As a business traveler who flies regularly, have you signed up to frequent flyer programs? Airlines offer corporate reward schemes and points may be collected for both the company and individually – your TMC can advise on which are most suitable for your business and which reward frequent travelers.

Through these loyalty points schemes you can earn various rewards both in the air and on the ground with hotels and car rentals, making business travel a more enjoyable experience.

frequent flyer programmes, airline loyalty schemes, business travel

1. Loyalty to preferred airlines

Maximize your reward program and accrued points by travelling with your company’s preferred airline carriers; brand loyalty goes further. Airline alliances provide more options to earn rewards, to combine and redeem miles on any partner airline. Most major airlines are partnered with one of the three large alliances: Star Alliance, OneWorld and SkyTeam. For example, you can earn miles flown on American Airlines if you’re flying with British Airways, as part of the OneWorld alliance both airlines are part of.

If seats on an airline you have a loyalty program with are unavailable for the times you want to fly, ask your TMC if they can book with an airline who is partnered with the alliance. Your frequent flyer number of the corresponding airline can be added to the reservation.

2. redeem pointS for business class

The best way to maximize the redemption value of your accumulated frequent flyer points is to book business class seats over economy.

However, if you’re booked on an economy fare, consider asking if you can use frequent flyer points to upgrade your seat via your consultant or while at the airport. There are various factors affecting whether you’ll receive the requested upgrade. There is generally more demand for upgrades on international routes and airlines usually approve upgrades depending on status.

3. the right route at the right time

It’s important to check which flight routes offer the best deals. International flights typically offer the best value in terms of distance for points. As different zones are priced differently, shorter flights may cost the same number of miles as long-haul ones and may not have the same benefits, such as more comfortable seats. Consider saving your miles for longer flights for maximum benefit.

If you’re using your points accrued while flying for business for personal travel, getting in early is best. Book as far in advance as possible to pick up the best long-haul flight deals with optimal departure times, less layovers and more seat choices.

And, if you know your flight number, you can look up seat plans to select seats that may offer more leg room.

4. match your status

While it’s easier to maximize your points when flying with an airline or alliance partner you have signed up to a loyalty program with, it might not always be possible. In these cases, check whether other airlines may ‘match’ your status within their own program and are offering rewards. This is not guaranteed but it does sometimes occur. Stay up to date with other travelers’ experiences of status matching on sites like Status Matcher to see which offer this.

5. points on the ground

Many hotels also offer loyalty schemes, allowing you to earn airline miles alongside points within their own loyalty programs. These accumulated hotel points may be exchanged for air miles. Your TMC can advise which airlines and hotels have partnered for these loyalty programs.

Once you have earned these frequent flyer points, they can be used for hotel stays and discounts on car rentals. Remember, however, to check how much you get for your points at hotels. You tend to get more in return when using them for flights.

There are additional ways that, as a traveler, you can earn frequent flyer points, such as through dining, shopping and credit cards. It’s worth exploring all options.

change on the horizon

There are changes to loyalty points being made by multiple Loyalty Program providers. Make sure you stay ahead of the changes to avoid losing points and missing deals. Read our article all about Staying Ahead of Loyalty Program Updates.

At Reed & Mackay, we can help you maximize your corporate loyalty program, unlock exclusive rates and more.

Contact us or email helloUS@reedmackay.com to discuss your travel management needs.