Travel Thursday: Frequent Flyer Cards Yay or Nay?

How often do you travel by air? How often are you planning on travelling by air? Most airlines are member’s of alliances and have their own frequent flyer cards. Some with catchy names, the question is, should you really join? Are the benefits really worth it? Well, I will let you in on a little secret. You only need 3 frequent flyer cards as there are 3 major alliances namely  Oneworld, Star Alliance and SkyTeam.

My frequent flyer cards

My frequent flyer cards

I usually fly with Oneworld or Star Alliance. Between them they have most of the airlines’ covered. I only got SkyTeam because I was going to take a flight with one of their member airline’s. Some come with credit cards unless you have a good credit score and read the fine print and understand its terms by all means, get one. I personally would not get one linked with a credit card.

The advantages I have had– are getting a voucher from my points to pay for extra luggage. Not having to pay for check-in luggage ( if it is a “cheap flight”). Putting my details in advance on special meals and seat preferences ensures that I often get my preferred seat. When it comes to confirming special meals do it at least 48-24 hours depending on the airline.If you indicated it while booking you may still have to confirm. I had an awkward situation where I had booked my special meals when booking the flight. Then the ticket was changed by the airline as the departure time had changed. I got issued with new tickets, on my first flight I got my meal, on the connecting flight I did not. As the meals contained everything I was allergic to, I was on liquids. It was the airline’s fault, due to this experience, confirm your meals.

The thing with getting one card each, depending on your carrier arilines is that you may get flying miles from partner airlines. Although when signing up, read the fine print to avoid disappointment. As much as some airlines partner with other airlines’, in some cases you may not get any mileage regardless of whether the airline is a member of an alliance. In the past having a frequent flyer card had more advantages. In order to get to the next level or tier  you need to fly at least 10-15 times a year to at least reach the next tier. I don’t fly that much. I consulted a travel consultant on flying miles and she said that nowadays airlines do not really make much from selling tickets so the benefits have reduced. For example if you book a ticket with another airline member other than your card. Even if you do have the  required points, you may not upgrade to business. Advantages are nowadays presented in carrying extra hand baggage, fast check-in, fast security checks and access to the lounge. While in some you don’t have to pay for baggage.

The mileage you acquire and how long its valid solely depends on the airline. Some expire and some don’t. I am all for getting a frequent flyer card if you’re a regular traveller. It does come in handy.

Have an adventurous day won’t you.



PS:I have a giveaway going on to celebrate one year of the blog,find the details from here.

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  • Reply
    14/05/2015 at 16:11

    Great advice and insight. Thank you!

    • Reply
      14/05/2015 at 16:27

      You’re so welcome! I love your initiative btw! Would you like to come on my podcast and talk about what you do?

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