TPG readers share the airline loyalty programs they’d miss the most
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As the aviation industry continues to suffer from the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, it’s natural to worry about your favorite airline going belly up. Some airlines have already suspended service during the pandemic, others have filed for bankruptcy and still more may not survive the unprecedented downturn in travel.
We asked TPG Lounge members to weigh in on the two frequent flyer programs they’d miss the most if they disappeared or completely changed due to the pandemic. Here are some of our favorite answers. (Some responses have been lightly edited for style and clarity).
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Sweet spots that would be sorely missed
Flying for next to free is great, but it’s even better when you spend fewer miles than other programs charge. Many TPG readers would be heartbroken to lose their favorite airline award chart sweet spots.
“Turkish and ANA for their Star Alliance sweet spots.” — Jo B.
“Alaska Airlines for sure, and maybe American Airlines AAdvantage just because I have more miles with them than anyone else right now (although some of the Web Specials have been tempting, and changing Morocco to be in Europe zone was a nice move).” — Daniel C.
“Alaska Mileage Plan. Partner awards. Ugh, I miss travel.” — Maria B.
“Alaska and its partners.” — MaryAnn G. B.
“The British Airways fuel surcharges suck but I would miss that the most followed by Alaska.” — Liz M.
“Alaska Mileage Plan and Etihad Guest. So many unique partnerships and sweet spots on many partner airlines: Alaska with Cathay Pacific, Qantas, Fiji, Emirates, etc. Etihad with American, ANA, Oman Air, Virgin Australia, GOL, Czech Airlines and Asiana. Honorable mentions go to British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.” — Matthew T.
Probably United MileagePlus and American Airlines AAdvantage because I got some excellent redemptions with them, such as Etihad’s first-class apartment, as well as lots of low-level award tickets for moderately expensive short-haul flights to visit family.” — Shana G.
Long-term loyalty matters
Another group of readers picked airline programs they’d used most frequently or had treated them well in the past. Understandably, many are worried about losing large miles balances in the event of a bankruptcy or the convenience of airlines that fly from their home airport.
“Alaska Airlines for sure. American Airlines better not buy them.” — Chad P.
“I’m gonna have about 500,000 Alaska miles once my Europe trip is canceled so they’d better not devalue or go away!” — Shannon S. F.
“American Airlines, but that’s only because that’s where almost all my miles are..” — Mialisa G.
“Turkish Airlines food is so good but I don’t fly them enough. Honestly I’d miss American. They have the most routes from my airport that is firve minutes away.” — Nicole S.
“Delta. Since I have almost 200,000 miles with them and their miles don’t expire. And because they’re the highest-quality airline in the South.” — Brandon B. W.
“380,000 United MileagePlus miles. Was supposed to be on a trip to Southeast Asia right now that ate those up, but here we are, not in Southeast Asia.” — Dominic B.
A major blow if this program perk disappears
One of the most valuable loyalty program perks around was on the mind of numerous readers — losing two-for-one travel with the Southwest Companion Pass would sting.
“Southwest Companion Pass. It’s allowed my wife to travel with me on business trips for years.” — Clay N.
“Southwest for their Companion Pass. I would cry.” — Bao C. N.
“Southwest, any loss of them or the Companion Pass would leave a huge hole in our travel needs. Pretty much everything else airline-wise can be booked from a number of angles.” — Kenny B.
“Southwest Companion Pass.” — Jeffrey R.
“Hands down Southwest.” — Shana R. T.
“Southwest Companion Pass.” — Jeff C.
“Southwest for the Companion Pass. But I don’t know how useful it will be with 80% of the flights removed.” — Devin S.
Related: The best Southwest credit cards
Featured photo by Alberto Riva/The Points Guy.
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