5 Must-Ask Questions before you Sign Up for an Airline Frequent Flyer Program

Airline Frequent Flyer Program


Hello, aspiring globetrotter! It’s time to find the best frequent flyer program for you. Ask these questions to choose the right rewards program and jet-set in style around the world.

There are dozens and dozens of frequent flyer programs. What works for one person certainly doesn’t work for another. There’s no “one best program” that suits all travelers. You have to search and find the right program that offers you the maximum benefits.

Finding the frequent flyer program that matches your travel needs can be challenging, but it’s so worth it. To help you find the right airline reward program, here we give you a few questions that you should ask yourself.

5 Questions to Ask before Signing up for an Airline Loyalty Program:

  1. How are miles awarded in the program?

Most airline loyalty programs today don’t just award miles based on the actual miles you have flown. There are some conversions done, and the miles you acquire are also based on your booking class, fare types, etc.

For instance, let’s say, you book a flight from Singapore to London on Singapore Airlines. The distance between these two cities is 6761 miles. This doesn’t mean you get 6761 miles in your KrisFlyer account (the reward program of Singapore Airlines) when you book an economy ticket.

If you had purchased the ticket on a sale or during a promotion, then you may be awarded only 50% of the miles you have flown. On the other hand, when you book a business class ticket, you may be awarded 125% or 150% of the miles you have flown.

So, you need to understand how miles are awarded in your preferred frequent flyer program while choosing it.

  1. Does the airline have a strong presence/hub in your preferred airport?

Choosing an airline with a dominant presence in your home airport offers you better benefits. This way, you are likely to choose the airline for all your domestic and international flights, helping you earn more miles.

More flights = more reward miles = more benefits and rewards. That’s simple math.

  1. Which global airline network is the program a part of?

One of the biggest benefits of airline reward miles is that you are not restricted to redeeming it just on the airline you have chosen. You can redeem the accumulated miles on any one of the partner airlines.

There are three major global airline alliances – SkyTeam, OneWorld and Star Alliance. For instance, let’s say you have accumulated Avios on your British Airways flight from Mumbai to London. You can redeem these miles on Cathay Pacific since both British Airways and Cathay Pacific are part of the OneWorld global alliance.

So, while selecting an airline rewards program, check the list of partner airlines to get the most value from your miles.

  1. What are the other ways to earn miles in this program?

Flying is just one of the many ways to earn airline miles. There are plenty of other ways. For instance, if you are part of the Jet Privilege program, you can continue earning miles, even though Jet Airways has suspended operations. Staying at partner hotels, dining at partner restaurants, shopping online at Amazon, Flipkart, and other e-commerce websites are some of the answers for how to earn Intermile. You can redeem your acquired JP Miles for booking reward flights on more than 20 partner airlines.

  1. What are the rules for miles expiration?

Some airline reward programs offer you miles with lifetime validity – meaning, they never expire. On the other hand, there are programs where your miles are only valid for a certain number of years. You have to redeem them before the expiry period, or they are no longer valid. So, make sure to check the rules for miles expiration while picking an airline reward program.

That’s it. These are the five main questions that you have to ask so that you can pick the right airline reward program that helps you reap the maximum benefits.

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