Weekend survey: Are airline mileage programs worth it?

We had some interesting news last week, with Delta Air Lines’ announcement that its miles wouldn’t expire, and before that, Southwest Airlines’ loyalty program changes.

The subject also was brought to my attention by a recent article reminding all of us that you could buy your way into US Airways’ program as an elite.

Does this change anything? Are you more likely to give your loyalty to an airline, as opposed to shopping around for the best fares and booking your flight based on price and schedule?

Full disclosure: I’m not neutral on the topic of loyalty programs — I think they do more harm than good. But I wonder if the recent changes have changed the dynamic, and whether more frequent travelers will participate in a program.

Here’s a link to the survey.

And a follow-up question: What other changes would you need to see in order to participate in a program, beyond these? More benefits? Fewer fees? Or should all passengers have access to some of the perks now being witheld and offered only to elites?

Please send me a note or leave a comment.

As always, this survey is being conducted by readers of this site and Consumer Traveler, and in cooperation with our friends at the Consumer Travel Alliance.

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or check out his adventures on his family adventure travel site. Contact him at chris@elliott.org. Read more of Christopher's articles here.

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