After 21 years, the Freddie Awards were retired. And that was sad news for those of us who follow loyalty programs closely. They were real awards voted on by large numbers of real travelers, focusing on what’s being done right by frequent flyer and frequent guest programs. These were awards programs wanted to win, and really did influence the thinking of program executives towards how to better deliver value for their members.
Moreover, there really does have to be a way — beyond just reading this blog — of answering the question, which program is the best?
Voting will begin next month and the awards ceremony will be on November 4 in Houston. Flyertalk and Internet Brands are working on the project as sponsors, though there’ll be more partners coming online shortly. I’m deeply involved as chair of the award nominations committee.
Here’s how it will work:
Frequent flyer and frequent guest programs from around the world will compete in five categories. Voters will select programs in one of three global regions: Americas, Europe/Africa, and the Middle East/Asia and Oceania.
Awards will be presented in five categories to recognize the best airline and hotel promotion for earning, best promotion for redemption, best redemption ability, elite benefits and branded credit card. A sixth award will recognize the overall airline and hotel ‘Program of the Year’ in each region. In addition, a separate award will honor significant contributions to the loyalty industry by an individual or corporation.
The Frequent Traveler Awards will be voted on by frequent travelers worldwide, allowing them to rank airline and hotel programs from their point of view. The merits of what each program offers will determine the winners.