Outstanding Predictions

I stumbled upon this three-year old article in Fast Company where Randy Petersen offers several predictions about frequent flyer miles:

  • 25,000 miles for a domestic award ticket will remain the standard for awhile, though may eventually go up. Verdict: still true after three years.

  • Award travel to Hawaii will remain difficult. Verdict: true, but no bonus points for ‘degree of difficulty’ on this one.

  • The IRS won’t tax miles. Verdict: true after three years of data.

  • Customized rewards are coming. Verdict: Air Canada’s introduction this year of a suite of benefits for elite members to choose from makes it look more and more like this prediction is coming true.

  • It will get easier to redeem miles for small awards. Verdict: True. It isn’t just miles for magazines anymore, either, with the last entry into the field of United’s partnership with Sony which permits downloading music for miles.

  • It will remain difficult to move miles from one program to another. Verdict: true. In fact, it has gotten more difficult in the past couple of years as airlines (such as United, Delta, and Continental) have dropped out of the Hilton Reward Exchange, Delta miles can no longer be exchanged for Diners Club reward points, and Amtrak has capped the number of points that can be moved out of a Guest Rewards account in a calendar year.

All in all, a pretty good batting average Randy!

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community Milepoint.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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