Trillions of Frequent Flyer Miles Remain Unredeemed - as part of the news series by GeoBeats.
Frequently flyer program is perhaps one of the greatest marketing concepts. It's certainly beneficial for the airlines but how good are we at taking advantage of it?
A 2011 report in the Wall Street Journal notes that there are 9.7 trillion unredeemed miles based on an estimate by Inside Flyer. The Economist had an even larger estimate, according to which, by the end of 2004, there were 14 trillion unredeemed miles valued at approximately $700 billion.
If those many miles have been accrued, it's clear that we all like to enroll in such programs and airlines' partnership with credit cards, hotels and other businesses makes it easy to add miles, but at the end, we don't seem to benefit much.
One of the primary reasons for lower usage is attributed to blackout dates and difficulties in finding seats on dates that are convenient for frequent flyers. Many airlines have reduced capacity in the recent past, further limiting options for passengers using these miles. Another reason is that while a large number of consumers do use these programs, many don't accrue enough points to take advantage in a significant way.
What do you think about the frequent flyer programs? Do you find them to be beneficial?