Aeroplan? Flying Blue? Flying Backwards (just kidding). Who dreams up the names for the frequent flyer points? They conjure up strange and wonderful things. Take Virgin Airline’s frequent flyer program – it’s called Elevate. Well that’s helpful I guess – you do want to go up and probably come back down again. Virgin Australia uses Velocity and Air Pacific invites you to join its Tabua Club. (mmmm sounds taboo to me). Air Nigeria is Eagleflier (when it flies) and now defunct Olympic Airlines used the name Icarus for its frequent flyer program. Now there’s a good one – best of them all I reckon.
It’s all hype to try to buy loyalty and we all fall for it. Collect points on every flight, every time we fill up at the gas station, pay extra at the sports shop because they give miles and then …………. we try to use them. (I can almost hear the hysterical laughter of a those airline executives somewhere in the distance.) Booking reward travel – now there’s an exercise in futility, frustration and extreme patience. Still it does sometimes work and saves a lot. If you want some good tips try www.webflyer.com. It will also give you a chuckle with their excellent cartoons relating to the woes of trying to use up all those points.