Why do we even bother signing up for flight mileage / loyalty programs with airlines?
Shouldn’t we just pick the cheapest one each time and just go with it?
If you travel often, you’ll know that there’s often a “favorite” airline that you prefer to travel with. Maybe the flight times are better, the seats are more comfortable, or the stewardesses are kinder. But would you really still travel with the same airlines if you found an alternative airline that’s 10% cheaper? 20% cheaper?
Well personally, I’d probably stick with my top pick of the same airlines. One might ask, what’s the point on spending a potential up-charge of 10-20%? There’s actually quite a bit of math to this. If you save up on your mileage sensibly, you might qualify for upgrades to business or first class, depending on the flight and your luck.
However, if a flight is a shorter one, it might be better to find a cheaper airlines as the low mileage will not translate to a higher mileage gain. Thus if it’s a longer trip, sticking with your choice would probably be the best method as you get the comfort and the points.
Of course, please do not randomly use your points here and there to “exchange” for items or products. Furthermore, you “can” use your points to upgrade a class, but that’s just not sensible if used on a regular basis. Not only do you burn through your miles for “emergency purposes”, but 1/5 times you fly, you might get that upgrade you would’ve paid for- completely free of charge.
For example, this time flying back to Los Angeles, I bought a premium economy ticket, but at the last moment, China Airlines upgraded me to business class (technically first on a 777). Well, is it “just” an upgrade? For a 13+ hour flight, it kind of does. Not to mention, to pay for a the upgraded ticket would’ve costed me at least another $500 USD.
So try signing up with your favorite airlines. You just might be rewarded for your “loyalty”