They are your miles. Use them.
Many airlines offer frequent-flyer loyalty programs to encourage customers to accumulate “miles” which airline customers can redeem to purchase air travel or other rewards. Points, or miles earned though those programs are based on complex rules, like class of fare, distance, season or the amount paid. There are also many other ways to earn points. For example, credit card issuers partner with airlines and award loyalty points or miles based on customer’s credit card usage. Points can be redeemed for air travel, ticket upgrades, booking hotels, car rentals, magazine subscriptions etc.
Frequent-flyer program points are in essence a type of virtual currency, but unfortunately it was a one way process –people could purchase points with national currencies, but were not able to exchange back into those currencies.
Airline miles programs go back to the early 70’s when United Airlines began to reward loyal customers with points that could be accumulated and later could be used to pay for air travel. Their programs have evolved over the last 20 years, but it is not easy to use those programs.
When travelers actually try to book a flight, they encounter major hurdles, like-blackout dates (days when award seats are limited or unavailable). Every airline program has its own policies, procedures, restrictions, etc. Also airlines and credit card issuers are constantly changing the rules and policies. Several Airlines, for example, recently increased the minimum number of miles needed to book some of their flights.
Research published by COLLOQUY, a leading provider of loyalty marketing research in 2015 indicates that U.S. consumers hold 3.3 billion memberships in customer loyalty programs, a 26% increase over the number of memberships reported in COLLOQUY’s prior census study in 2013. The 2015 Census shows that specialty store loyalty memberships now total 434 million, exceeding airline frequent flyer memberships (356 million) for the first time, placing second only to credit card reward programs, which account for 578 million memberships.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics, year over year air travel increased by 5.5% from 2015 to 2016. COLLOQUY survey found that a little more than half of Americans – 55% – have taken a flight for business or leisure purposes in the past two years. And three-fourths of respondents, 75%, said their most recent flight was within the past six months.
Another noteworthy statistic is that 60% of frequent traveler miles issued today are not earned but instead purchased. Points accumulating in loyalty programs globally are considered by some as real currencies with increasing value that have attracted the attention of criminals, according to Barry Kirk, vice president of Loyalty Solutions for Maritz Motivation Solutions. In the US alone, 3.3 billion loyalty program memberships have stored points and miles worth an estimated $48 billion, according to the Gartner Group.
BLOCKCHAIN will CHANGE customer loyalty programs forever by giving more control to rewards owners and reducing fraud through the transparency of blockchain technologies.
First Bitcoin Capital Corp trading on the OTC Markets as BITCF has developed a unique Blockchain based airline miles platform, allowing people to buy/exchange/trade/transfer miles without any restrictions, blackout days or other cumbersome rules that airlines impose on their programs.
Air line miles come with tons of restrictions. We have a way to free you from those shackles and all you to use the miles you earned, unbound.