Program Score Card: Midwest Miles
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Midwest was purchased by Frontier, so by this fall, their frequent flyer programs will have merged. It may be a bit pointless for me to do this analysis, but I’m a sucker for history, so I might as well document the Midwest Miles program for the frequent flyer time capsule :-)
Milwaukee based Midwest is known for its mid-western customer care and fresh baked cookies served in flight. Midwest has never been a part of the major alliances, but they did have a frequent flyer relationship with Delta, which ended in June of 2010. Now the Midwest Miles program will merge with Frontier Early Returns program sometime in fall of 2010. Midwest will be fully merged into Frontier by late 2011.
Currency= Midwest Miles (Sign up link here)
Flights: One mile per mile flown. 500 mile minimum on flights shorter than 500 miles.
Credit Card: When you click the link on the website for the Midwest Miles Mastercard, it brings you to a page with Frontier credit cards. However, I googled and found this application, which seems live. 25,000 Midwest Miles with $750 in purchases within 90 days. Double miles on Midwest tickets. $59 annual fee. Apply here.
Redeeming: Since Midwest only flies domestically, they only have domestic awards. They also have a cash and miles option as well as companion tickets. Generally 25,000 for standard coach, 50,000 for flexible ticket.
Expiration: Points expire after 36 months of no activity.
+Generous earning (including 500 mile minimum)
+ Good amount of points-earning partners
+ Companion awards and cash and miles (unique)
– 8 black-out days (around Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years)
– Limited route network
Aspire,:15,000 flight miles or 20 flight segments.
Executive, you need 25,000 flight miles or 30 flight segments.
Both get exit row seating, enhanced customer service, free bags, priority boarding, DirectTV, club discount and bonus miles.
Executive gets free drinks and waived fees.
Midwest has a nice program that catered to a relatively small amount of members (1 million). Their elite status qualifications are the lowest of any major airline that I am aware of and actually provide good benefits. Their biggest flaw is the lack of partners once Delta was lost and thus the lack of award redemption partners and lounge access. Things will get marginally better now that they are merging with Frontier, but nothing that will make them a seriously competitive program.
Elite Program: B+
Overall Grade: B+
First steps for Midwest Miles to get the overall score moving towards an A:
1) Not get merged into Frontier Early Returns (okay, that was mean)
2) Partner with a large airline that will allow international redemptions
3) Discontinue black-out dates
4) Get more hotel and travel partners
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