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Most airlines have some sort of frequent flyer scheme or loyalty programme, which as it suggests, rewards those who fly with the same airline time and time again. They work by collecting points for each mile you fly which can then be used to get free upgrades and discounted tickets.
There are many benefits to being part of an airline loyaltyscheme. Of course, it isn’t always the cheapest option – for example there maybe an alternative airline offering a cheaper flight, however if you are someonethat flies frequently then you will be able to reap the benefits throughout theyear.
Perks tend to include, access to the exclusive first-class lounge,free seat upgrades and discounted or even free flight tickets. What’s more ifyou are part of a loyalty scheme, then you are more likely to get a seatupgrade when you check in out of the blue. So, you could go from travelling ineconomy to business class without having to do or say anything – what a way tostart your trip!
Frequent flyer schemes tend to be free so if you are partial to aparticular airline, then check out their website. Even if you don’t fly often,it’s still worth signing up!
Airline schemes are no different than your typical supermarket,store or even coffee shop loyalty card. You get points equivalent to the amountyou spend. Loyalty schemes like this make you more likely to come back to that brandbecause you are gaining more than just the purchase itself.
Airlines point schemes can work in two different ways. Either youreceive points per mile or you get points per pound spent. So, the longer theflight duration or the more money you spend, the more points you can earn. Thismeans that whilst another airline could offer a flight for less, the fact youcan gain points may sway you to stick with the airline who’s scheme you arepart of.
Nowadays miles aren’t just the only way to get your points up. Youcan earn them by using a credit card associated to the airline or onlineshopping in your everyday high street stores via the airlines shopping page.
Once you’ve accumulated enough points, you will probably spendmost of them on flights, whether that’s getting free tickets or discountedfares. However, you can also spend points on seat upgrades, hotel stays, carrentals, or shopping through high street brands who are affiliated with theairline.
Most loyalty scheme are pretty self-explanatory and there aren’treally anyways to save money beyond the points themselves. However, there are afew things to bear in mind, to ensure you get the most out of the programme:
Shop around: Do your research to find which airline offers the most. Whilst allloyalty schemes offer benefits, you need to find who offer the best value. Forexample, two flights with different airlines could cost you the same amount ofpoints, however if you were to purchase them, they may not cost the same. So,you’re better off using your points on the flight that would have cost you moreas it’s better value.
Opt for business class: If you are using points to pay for a flight, then bear in mind taxis not included, so you must pay for that on top of any purchase. The amount oftax you pay for an economy seat is considerably higher than that of businessclass, making business class a much better option should you want to use yourpoints.
Buy tickets directly from the airline: Whilstcomparison and discount sites can find you a bargain flight, if you do want togain points for flying then you need to purchase off the airline’s sitedirectly. This does mean you may spend more, however bear in mind that airlinesdo have sales in January and as the summer holidays approach so make the mostof it when this does happen.
You have to weigh up what’s more important to you. Would yourather spend a little extra and gain points which you can use later down theline or would you rather just a cheaper flight? If you’re someone who travelsonce a year the latter may be the better option. However, if you’re a frequentflyer then these loyalties schemes can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Shop through the airline: If you are part of a loyaltyscheme, then before you go to do some online shopping, check out the airline’sshopping page to see what discounts they have on there. Not only could you savesome money on some of your favourite high street stores but you’ll gain pointsat the same time!
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