This clever new 30-second video from Virgin America hits the nail on the head when it comes to traveler irritation with frequent flyer programs. The video uses the popular “crane game” to depict how travelers feel when trying to redeem miles for trips or perks. It arrives at a time when we’re more frustrated than normal due to summer blackout dates and the seeming impossibility of ever getting that “free” round trip for 25,000 miles.
Today Virgin launched a new campaign to play off frequent flyer frustration. The #loyaltymademedoit microsite asks: Has loyalty got you trapped in a dysfunctional relationship?
I would say “yes” based on the way many TravelSkills readers seem to have a love/hate relationship with their airline of choice. I see it on the blog’s comments and I hear it almost daily in emails.
The angst came in loud and clear when giant programs like Delta SkyMiles and United MileagePlus announced that they would be tying loyalty programs to spending instead of miles flown earlier this year.
I hear it about this time of year when people try to redeem those hard earned miles for trips home for the winter holidays.
In the business section of the New York Times this week, the headline read, “Fliers facing fewer rewards” and was full of angry words like these:
“I was like, ‘Seriously, you’re taking another thing away?’ ” Ms. Martin said. The changes, she said, have left her frustrated, but she feels that she has no choice but to take whatever miles she can, “mostly to pay for upgrades so we can get back some of the perks like more legroom that we used to get for free.”
So I think Virgin’s on to something here.
Do you love…or hate your primary frequent flyer program? Why? Please leave your comments below.
Disclosure: Virgin America is a sponsor of the TravelSkills blog
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