The journey was so simple. The kind of travel experience I could expect was almost aligned with what I had paid for. Want a nice leather seat and a glass of Champaign during your flight? Pay for a first class ticket. Do you want a corner hotel room with a breakfast included? Pay for a top hotel. And car in car? Well, you don’t expect a bunch of options then anyway.
But now, the travel industry has become very competitive. Companies will go the extra mile to retain their best customers. Loyalty programs are grown to identify and keep track of frequent customers. Based on the number of flights, hotel stays, or car rentals booked, customers are grouped into different status levels. The higher the status level achieved, the better are the advantages and amenities that are offered during the trip.
As a customer, it makes sense to review and take advantage of these programs. After all, it can make the difference between a tight flight between screaming children or a peaceful sleep with first-class accommodation! The main services offered are listed below:
Mileage / point bonus
Travelers accumulate miles, points, or hotel stays and then redeem them later in the form of free trips or other benefits. As different status levels are achieved, companies allow the accumulation of extra miles or points. Typical programs include a bonus of 10-20% points at the lowest level and up to a bonus of 100% points at the highest levels of state. These bonus points really add up and can be quite valuable after redemption.
Access or Discount Lounge (Airport or Hotel)
Hotels that have areas usually offer access to guests with status. Here’s a nice benefit since it normally includes a free continental breakfast and free drinks for an hour or two in the evening. Airport lounges are generally offered at a discounted rate for guests with status. This is a great benefit for frequent flyers who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of an airport terminal.
Rental car companies generally offer a complementary upgrade to the next class of car for their best customers. This can mean upgrading from a small car to a midsize, for example.
Flight Companion Upgrade
Airlines usually offer upgrades from bus class to activity or first class to their best customers. An even better touch is a complementary upgrade for a partner on the same flight. This will always go well with the bride or partner of a frequent flyer.
Seat Airline update
Aircraft seat upgrades are one of the most expensive and tightly controlled benefits in the sky. With a special status, flyers can be moved from the coach class to the business or first class areas. This is typically done on a priority basis. The first priority goes to those of the highest status. Typically, the upgrade is only done a few days before the flight, to allow availability for customers who want to purchase first class tickets.
Accelerated car rental
Car rental companies are famous for their long lines and slow customer service. Most companies will offer some sort of accelerated service for their up-to-date customers. This typically includes ignoring the rental office, a huge plus for those furious travelers.
Many hotels offer a free breakfast to their best guests.
Companies typically offer some type of preferred booking priority for customers with status. At the higher level of status, some hotels offer guaranteed availability, which is a controversial practice that can mean canceling existing bookings. These amenities are a godsend, however, for last-minute travelers who often find themselves in availability problems.
A later check out time is a typical amenity offered to hotel guests.
No Dark Data
Experienced users of reward programs know that one of the biggest “gotchas” is blackout dates. These are dates at high volumes (think holidays and weekends) where companies don’t allow redemption of miles or points. It sure matches those data that you would most like to recover points for! With certain status levels, blackout dates are waived.
Preferred seats allow early access to the selection of airline seats and the ability to select the departure line and other preferred seats. This is a typical amenity offered even at lower levels of status.
Boarding airlines is a significant danger offered at almost every level of state. It allows the flyer to board first and gain access to the luggage space on the fly.
Handling of priority luggage
Priority baggage management means that passengers ’luggage will be loaded last. This causes the bags to first be out of the air, allowing a faster escape from the demand for luggage.
Airlines offer special check-in lines for flyers with status. This is less important in the age of online and kiosk control for flights.
Priority Security Line
One of the most coveted advantages. In the era of long-haul airline safety, the ability to operate the accelerated line, with first-class passengers and crew, is a great time-saver.
A key advantage for those who change flights at the last minute, the priority of standby puts the flyers with status in front of the queue for the availability of the standby flight.
Upgrade of the Rooms
Hotels usually offer customers with the status of a room upgrade. This could mean a larger room and on a higher floor.
Desk service is offered by many companies, typically for the highest level of status. It is a special telephone number that provides an accelerated service for high status customers.
How to get a particular travel status and its relative advantages The standard way is to simply use a particular travel provider enough and accumulate the required amount of points. Some cuts are possible, though. Many airlines and hotels correspond to a level of status that has been achieved with a rival company. This practice is common, but not widely advertised in the travel industry.