Airlines are adapting to less frequent frequent flyers
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Nov 16, 2021
Airlines are adapting to less frequent frequent flyers

Frequent flyer programs have long been used to keep airline passengers loyal, but with people flying less due to pandemic and climate concerns, the lure of upgrades and freebies isn’t enough. So airlines are switching the focus from miles alone to a more general focus on spending and rewards.

Airlines have made adjustments to their frequent flier programs throughout the different stages of the pandemic to acknowledge the difficulty of travel and keep frequent fliers loyal. They're making it easier for passengers to reach or keep their status through mileage bonuses, lowered points thresholds, and time extensions, and by increasing the rewards passengers can make on the ground using brand credit cards. As restrictions on travel are lifted, conversations around the climate crisis mean that talking about mileage and encouraging travel for travel’s sake continues to feel problematic, so frequent flyer programs are shifting towards talking about and rewarding customers’ yearly spending and number of flights taken instead of their miles flown.