Best & Worst Frequent Flyer Programs

This interesting interview takes a look at how the 25 largest frequent flyer programs in the world stack up when it comes to redeeming your miles.

Here are the best and worst airlines for using travel rewards.  I have bolded the programs that I use and added my observations.

1. airberlin, top bonus

1. Southwest, Rapid Rewards – I joined this one just because it seems to be the only way we can fly from SJU (Puerto Rico) to mainland USA.  No availability on other programs the date I wanted.

3. Virgin Australia, Velocity – easy to redeem on their own flights, even managed to snag a domestic USA route I needed for next year on Delta!

4. Air Canada, Aeroplan

5. Singapore, KrisFlyer – yes, easy to get flights but crazy expensive fuel surcharges!

6. JetBlue, True Blue

6. Lufthansa/SWISS/Austrian, Miles & More

8. Air Asia Group, BIG

9. Alaska Group, Mileage Plan

9. British Airways, Executive Club – my go-to program for shorthaul OneWorld flights

9. China Southern, Sky Pearl Club

12. United, MileagePlus – partner availability better than their own flights but excellent online booking interface.

13. Qantas Group, Frequent Flyer – easy to book but expensive fuel surcharges.

14. Alitalia, MilleMiglia


16. American, AAdvantage – better availability on international than domestic, no fuel surcharges!

17. Cathay Pacific, Asia Miles

18. Emirates, Skywards

19. Air France/KLM, Flying Blue – useful for flights in exotic places on KQ & GA

20. Turkish, Miles & Smiles

21. Delta, SkyMiles

22. Scandinavian, EuroBonus

23. Air China, PhoenixMiles

24. Avianca, LifeMiles – easy to use on their own metal but I hear not so easy on partner awards.

25. LAN, LANPASS – had to join as I couldn’t get flights to Galapagos any other way.  Call centre is useless.  They take your complaint, raise a “case number” when apparently disappears into a black hole.  Why do they even bother?