|by Jason Steele|
As a Denver based traveler, I have been a Frontier passenger for the last decade or so. The Denver based carrier was the only alternative to the customer hating United here in Denver until Southwest showed up here a few years ago. I have seen Frontier start it’s loyalty program, EarlyReturns, new jets, devalue EarlyReturns, enter bankruptcy, and get acquired by Republic.
At first, Frontier offered domestic award flights for a mere 15,000, but they later devalued that to 20,000, and then again when they went to the two tiered system. On the other hand, their reciprocal agreement with their fellow discount carrier Airtran was a real added value for travelers to the east coast. I for one travel Airtran to Atlanta and Florida when Frontier’s schedule or price doesn’t seem work for my plans. Unfortunately, the connection is not always seamless, and I occasionally have to request miles flown on Airtran be credited to my Frontier account. EarlyReturns award redemptions on Airtran are slightly higher at 25,000 miles, but the added option is worth it. I would also expect to see more cooperation soon with Midwest airlines, another company owned by Republic.
A Real Deal
The credit card is still being offered, but there is now an unprecedented sign up bonus of 40,000 miles. That is the equivalent of two tickets on Frontier. Yes there is a $49 annual fee, but that is well worth the Frontier miles. Here is the link. The offer is only valid until November 15th, and it requires a $750 in minimum spending by February 28th. Like most airline reward cards, you get one mile per dollar spent, and two on every dollar spent at the airline itself.
Hilton Devalues Their Program
I came across this article recently about Hilton’s loyalty program being devalued. The author is incredulous that they are taking this approach at a time when hotels are having real trouble booking rooms. Nobody seems to understand the motivation behind such a devaluation when customer loyalty should be at a premium. To their credit, they are giving sufficient advanced notice. So all you Hilton HHonors point holders out there have until January 14th, 2010 to redeem your points at the old rates, which weren’t really all that great in my opinion anyways.