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Clubs and Programs

  Tips Home >> Travelling Tips >> Clubs and Programs


How can I receive special treatment and free tickets from the Airline?
Get to know the Airline personnel that you see the most. If you use the same Airline to fly out of the same airport, take some time to recognize people. If you take the time to get to know them, it will make traveling more pleasant and the contacts you develop will be able to help you with problems and might even result in some free upgrades.
If the Airline personnel are extra helpful, send a letter of thanks to the Airline. Most companies reward employees who receive positive customer service letters. You don’t have to give all the details. Don’t include "they broke every policy in your book to help me", even if they did, it may end up getting them in trouble. You can just state how helpful and professional they were and how their actions will only encourage your further use of the Airline. This will encourage the employee to continue to give good service and once they get the letter, they will probably remember you the next time you need their help.
Join the Airline’s elite membership clubs. There are some costs involved, but there are also lots of perks.
Consider joining the Airline’s frequent flyer program. This is not only a good way to work your way to a free ticket, better seat assignments, class upgrades, but also to keep informed of special programs. You’ll also gain leverage when dealing with the Airline’s customer service department if you ever run into a problem. You can start collecting miles with your next flight.
You may also find that you’ll be able to collect miles with your hotel and rental car reservations. Some credit cards are connected to frequent flyer programs and you can receive miles for any charges placed on those cards.
Is it worth the money to join the Airline’s elite membership clubs?
These clubs generally have membership fees and some have minimum travel requirements. You probably shouldn’t spend the money to join if you don’t travel often. Every program will vary as to what you get for the membership, so you’ll have to look at the individual program benefits. Some Airlines have several different levels of clubs to join, so you might try the entry level first. Before you spend the money to join, you also want to check and see if the services the club offers will be available on the routes you fly. The frequent flyer will find the most benefits in joining. Here are a few benefits offered by elite clubs.
You get the short line. If you need any help, you’ll get the most and be the first to get it.
You’ll get the first shot at the extra first class seats or other upgrades.
You’ll be much less likely to be bumped.
If you get stuck somewhere, you’ll be on the top of their list to get you out.
When you do wait, they may have a special private waiting area. These areas often have much more comfortable seating and can have business services available.
You may be entitled to special deals that are only offered to elite club members.
You may be allowed a larger luggage allowance.
Customer service issues are generally taken more seriously when you belong to an elite club.
How can I maximize my frequent flyer points?
Be flexible and check several itineraries. Different routes or days traveled could save you money and/or reward you with more points.
If you can’t find a seat on your chosen Airline, look into using their partners. Many Airlines have partnership agreements that can earn you frequent flyer points on your regular Airline.
Stay in hotels that reward your frequent flyer program. Charge items, such as meals and other services, at the hotel to your room so you’ll earn even more points.
Use rental car services that reward your frequent flyer program.
Use credit cards that reward your frequent flyer program.
Always be on the lookout for special marketing agreements that reward your frequent flyer program
What should I know about my frequent flyer program?
Read the fine print and make sure to follow the rules or you could loose all your hard-earned privileges. Also, make sure you keep your boarding pass until your account shows that points have been credited for that flight. Ask the following questions of your frequent flyer program so you can avoid unpleasant surprises.
What do you need to do to earn points?
What other Airlines or businesses reward miles from your frequent flyer program?
Are there minimum points rewarded for short flights?
Are the points earned only valid for a certain time period?
What are the blackout periods for the use of my rewards?
How are you informed if they change the rules?
Is there a limit on the number of passengers using points to reserve seats on a particular flight?
Do they allow you to share your rewards with others?
What is the process to grant others your rewards?
Can my rewards be used on international flights?
What other limits are there on the use of your rewards?
Are frequent flyer programs always the best way to go?
No. Joining a frequent flyer program is a good idea, but don’t get too caught up in the program. Don’t spend a lot of extra money for tickets just because you get the points. The free tickets are supposed to be free, so keep this in mind and continue to shop for the best rate. You can always join several programs to be able to earn the miles and still have the flexibility to find the best rates.


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