Everything You Need To Know About Frequent Flyer Programs!

Travelling frequently by air can get expensive, but most flyers will agree to the fact that air travel is still the fastest and convenient way of reaching your destination.

But how do you get around those expensive flight tickets and keep your travel within your budget?

Well, the answer to this question is “Frequent Flyer Programs”!

Signing up to a frequent flyer programme is one of the most important steps to spending a lot less on travelling by air and ensuring a much better flight & airline experience.

It’s such an unbelievably simple way of saving money on flying, yet many of us don’t use it at all.

But that’s why we’re here!

To help you save whenever you fly, let us give you brief  understanding of what exactly is a frequent flyer program and how does it work.

What Is A Frequent Flyer Program?

A Frequent Flyer Program (FFP) is a promotional offer given by an airline to win the loyalty of its guests by offering certain rewards to them.

The programme involves the guest accumulating frequent flyer miles or airline miles by travelling with the airline.

These miles can then be used to make the most of rewards offered by the airline such as free flights, seat upgrades, priority check-ins and lounge access. These rewards apply to both domestic and international flights.

History Of Frequent Flyer Programs

When the concept of FFP started, airlines gave frequent flyer miles or points to the guest for the number of miles  or distance they flew with them. Basically, the points given were roughly the same as the miles a customer flew.

However, overtime this concept changed.

In recent times, while the distance travelled doesn’t earn you as much points as it used to, travel miles can now be earned in a lot more ways than just flying.

Things like booking a ticket on the airline’s website, subscribing to their magazines and booking through a partner airline credit card can earn you frequent flyer miles.

What Are The Benefits Of Frequent Flyer Miles

1.Elite Membership

As you accumulate more points, the airline tends to upgrade you to a platinum or a gold memberships.

Every airline has its stipulated amount of miles to be accumulated before you can be invited to an elite member program.

The elite membership in FFP’s give you some eye catching perks like lounge access, priority check-in & boarding, occasional free ticket upgrade, priority baggage handling and more.

2.Seat Upgrades

You can use you airline miles to upgrade your seat from economy class to premium class or premium class to business class depending on what is available with  the airline.

3.Trade Miles For Experiences

Some International airlines allow you to exchange earned miles for vacations, festivals, sporting events, and more.

Tickets to a football game, a seven-day cruise , 5 star hotel stay and tickets to an arts & music festival are just some of the packages you can exchange for your airline miles.

4. Travel With Partner Airlines

Frequent flyer miles can come in handy when you’re flying with a partner airline or if your airline is part of an alliance.

For instance, Air India is part of the Star Alliance which has International carriers such as Lufthansa, United Airlines & Singapore Airlines.

You can use your Air India miles to redeem rewards if you’re flying with its star alliance partner airlines.

Registering For A Frequent Flyer Program

There are 2 ways in which you can register for a Frequent Flyer Program:

Airline Program

Registering for a FFP is very easy. You just have to go to your airline’s website and create an account with them. Once you sign up , you will get a frequent flyer number and they will also send you a frequent flyer card.

Airline Credit Card

Airlines partner with banks to help each other benefit from their customers, so check if your credit card bank has a tie-up with an airline

If you want to stack up your flyers miles, then use your credit card wherever you can. Put away the cash and debit card. Use mileage-accruing credit cards for everything from bills to everyday items like shampoo.

For instance, Axis bank credit card holders can be a part of the “Axis Vistara Infinite” FFP. This progra gives up to 4  Vistara Business Class vouchers (1+3) based on your credit card expenditure.

Using Frequent Flyer Miles

  • Onece you get your Frequent Flyer Number, all you need to do is use it while booking your flight.
  • It will be used automatically if you’re booking through the airline’s website and points will be added to your profile.
  • If you book through websites like GoIbibo or MakeMyTrip, you can add this while you are booking the ticket.
  • In case, you forget to use the number while booking a flight, you can always let the staff at the airport counter know while check-in and he/ she will be add it to your journey. Typically your boarding pass will have this number printed.
  • If you forget to use the number all together for a journey, you can always claim your miles after 3 to 6 months for that trip.Howvere, you’ll need to retain your boarding pass for it.

*Learn more about “How To Earn & Spend Frequent Flyer Miles Like A Pro

Best Frequent Flyer Programs In India

These are the best frequent flyer programs in India

1.Jet Privilege By Jet Airways

Jet Privilege is an award winning airline loyalty program and is useful for both international and domestic travel.

Rewards are very easy to redeem in this program, plus you can earn “JP Miles” by flying internationally with Jet Airways partner airlines like Etihad.

The Jet Privilege loyalty membership is a 5 tier program. The journey begins as a Jet Privilege Blue member and progresses through Blue Plus, Silver, Gold and finally to a Jet Privilege Platinum member.

2.Club Vistara By Vistara

Club Vistara claims to be the fastest rewarding Frequent Flyer Program in all of India and “tailored for the trendsetters and the high boardroom fliers” as stated in its official website.

However, the airline is relatively new and flies to a limited number of destinations. Plus it has only 2 partner airlines, which are Singapore Airlines and Silk Air.

Club Vistara operates a four tier Frequent flyer program which are – CV Base, CV Silver, CV Gold and CV Platinum. The more you fly with them the faster you’ll progress from basic CV Base membership to a CV Platinum Membership.

3.Flying Returns By Air India

Flying Returns was India’s first frequent flyer program.

The biggest advantage of being a Flying First member is that you can redeem and get rewards for you points across many international airlines , since Air India is part of the Star Alliance.

Flying Returns has premium membership with some very amazing perks. The program has three tiers, the Maharaja Club – as the elite tier, The Golden Edge Club and the Silver Edge Club.

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