Sunday, May 07, 2017

Miles to go before you fly high

Many airlines have come up with lucrative options to lure customers through their Frequent Flyer Program (FFP). By allotting airline miles, they are offering freebies and a chance to travel free by redeeming these miles. Should you take the bait?

For starters, airline miles are basically loyalty programmes, wherein an airline traveller accumulates certain amount of miles based on the distance travelled or the money spent on the air ticket. It is similar to shopping with a credit card, where you get points on purchases, and after accumulating minimum points, you can redeem them.

However, the miles credited to your account vary with the airline and their method of calculation. Take Vistara Airlines, for instance, where the air miles are calculated based on the ticket price (exclusive of taxes and other charges) and cabin class rather than the miles travelled. Air India, in turn, calculates air miles based on the sector (domestic or international) chosen and the booking class (economy, business or first class). Also, you can receive or transfer miles to your family or friends which, in turn, could be used to either buy tickets or upgrade to a higher cabin class.
You get bonus miles if your cabin class is higher. For instance, Jet Airways’ Jet Privilege has a five-tier membership — Blue, Blue Plus, Silver, Gold and Platinum — while flying returns (FR) by Air India has four tiers. You get an additional 25 per cent bonus miles (for domestic) if you are a silver grade member. The higher the class, the better are the services — complimentary cabin upgrade vouchers, priority check-in, baggage allowance and lounge access.
07/05/17 Bavadharini K S/The Hindu