This occasional column is penned by ManAboutWorld publisher and writer Billy Kolber who’s also a very frequent traveler and one of the world’s experts on maximizing miles and other frequent traveler programs.
Mileage is no longer a proxy for loyalty. We’re hearing about it from our friends at the airlines, in industry publications and the New York Times where a recent article discussed how airlines:
Have become increasingly skilled at ranking fliers by just how elite they are, and at public displays of this customer-importance ranking.
All businesses want to reward the customers who bring them the most revenue. For years, airlines couldn’t measure revenue as easily as mileage. Now that they can, it’s the end of perks for travelers who racked up miles at the lowest cost.
On the bright side, many of those elite privileges, like lounge access, better seats and priority boarding are available for a fee. And paying it will free many travelers from the pressure of maintaining their elite status. And now more than ever, ManAboutWorld’s points whisperer column is serving up essential advice for navigating the loyalty programs.