ASATA Column: Make the most of your FFP


Are you confused by all the changes airlines have introduced to their frequent flyer programmes (FFP) during the past year? Have you seen your miles devaluate overnight? Are you tired of having to jump through hoops to redeem your rewards? You are not alone.

Even travel industry experts have started saying that loyalty programmes might not be worth the effort anymore as increasingly more airline programmes are shifting toward revenue-based rewards. These changes mean that if you want to hit a coveted ‘elite’ level, you don’t just have to fly a certain number of miles – you also have to spend a certain amount.

But, before you throw out the baby with the bathwater, you might want to think twice. Elite status can still be very valuable, especially for business travellers.

You can still get upgrades and even free tickets, but you need to realise that earning this status will require more foresight and planning than ever before.

Does this all sounds complicated? Don’t worry, your ASATA travel agent will be able to guide you effortlessly through the maze of frequent flyer programme regulations.

They will analyse your travel habits, evaluate how you currently travel and how you would like to travel. On the basis of the perks you value, they will choose the programme that offers you the best solution to achieve your objectives.

While you might feel daunted at having to try and claim a reward seat, your ASATA travel agent is trained to do this and knows all the loopholes. Travel agents are skilled in offering more flexibility when creating flight itineraries for the unique needs of their clients. They know the optimal timeframes for booking rewards and can make sure you don’t let your miles expire.

So, can you just sit back and relax? Yes, you can! Although there is one thing you could do to speed up the accumulation of your miles. Use your favourite airline’s reward credit card as an effortless way to boost your miles. Most business travellers will easily meet the spending thresholds required to earn miles, especially considering the money they spend on business flights and hotels.

Otto de Vries