The first airline loyalty program was created in May 1981. American Airlines was the first carrier to kick off the party. The concept was hot, and United soon followed with their own “Mileage Plus” program.
In 1983, both Marriott and Holiday Inn began the first hotel loyalty programs, rewarding frequent guests with points that could be exchanged for free nights on future visits. Both programs have been modified over the years to better balance the program’s benefits to serve the companies’ most loyal members while ensuring that rewards remain valuable enough to motivate leisure travelers. These days, virtually every airline has a frequent flyer program and all the major hotel chains have frequent guest programs.
If you are not playing this game you are losing money and missing out on many travel opportunities.
Most travelers are fairly naïve about how mileage programs work, and the airlines use this to their advantage by attempting to limit awards to low-value trips. Savvy travelers can turn the tables on the airlines by a) earning many more miles than the average traveler, and b) redeeming those miles for high-value trips that would otherwise be very expensive. Because Frequent Flyer programs favor the airlines from the beginning, it’s only fair to do everything you can to earn as much mileage as you can, and also be able to easily redeem your mileage for great travel rewards. That’s where this site comes in, and it all starts with goal-setting.