The Freddie Awards Will Return in 2012!

The Freddie Awards were the airline, hotel, and credit card loyalty program awards. Running from 1988 through 2009, hundreds of thousands of program members cast their ballots for the most rewarding efforts in miles and points during the previous year. They created a meaningful way to answer the question of which program was actually the best, as determined by the members of the programs themselves.

Randy Petersen discontinued the awards after the 2009 ceremony, and a group of frequent travelers got together to found a replacement, the Frequent Traveler Awards. The idea was that it’s important to recognize what’s good in miles, points, and loyalty. Doing so actually nudges the programs themselves at the margin to do better for members, and highlights those things which frequent flyers most value. It gives voice to the frequent traveler.

That’s certainly a sentiment that’s been echoed to me by programs that I’ve spoken to in preparation for the two past Frequent Traveler Awards ceremonies. And it did seem to influence Priority Club’s decision to keep PointBreaks awards this year, those were widely speculated to be on the chopping block but they were voted a Best Promotion award and spared at least for now. We can continue to cash in just 5000 Priority Club points for award nights at select properties.

After two years hosting successful Frequent Traveler Awards, we’ve worked out with Randy to revive the Freddies. And so going forward, the Freddie Awards will be back! And they’ll be in their traditional time slot, with an award ceremony held the last Thursday evening in April.

Here’s a recap of the 2011 awards held at Citi Field and hosted by Emmy award winner Robert Wuhl. And here’s a recap of the first Frequent Traveler Awards, held in Houston in November 2010.

Here’s my commentary on the 2009 Freddie Awards, the 2008 results, the 2004 results, and my pleasure at having attended my first Freddie Awards ceremony in 2003, where I took home a 4-night stay at the then-Wyndham El Conquistador in Puerto Rico as a door prize. Here is a notation of the passing of Sir Freddie Laker in February, 2006.

I’m excited, honored, and humbled to be continuing the role that I had with the Frequent Traveler Awards, as Chair of the Nominations Committee, now with the Freddie Awards going forward. It’s a tremendous legacy to be a part of, and am thrilled to have Randy’s continued advice and counsel as we proceed to build an even better award program. Just couldn’t help sharing the news with y’all, the Freddies are back!

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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  1. @Gene Randy and his team are involved. We did manage to rope Randy in last year as a presenter at the last minute, but he’s ‘back on board’ and that will help a great deal with our reach beyond the North American programs and a few beyond that I knew well. So it improves on my weaknesses. Randy’s tech team are available to help now, too. So we have not just the name but the help of the people behind the Freddies.

    @Dan While Randy loves this stuff, and it’s great to have him involved, he decided he couldn’t do it on his own anymore, it was pretty much a year-round exercise .. not just with the tech side and the event itself but visiting and corresponding with all the programs around the world on specific deadlines, it was expensive and time-consuming and meant that he couldn’t focus on other efforts. But I think he feels like he can rely on folks who have demonstrated something with the Frequent Traveler Awards, that the event can be continued in an appropriate way and that he can help out rather than having to drive the effort himself. As I understand it, he was offered large sums of money for the awards but wouldn’t sell the legacy. He retired it because he couldn’t continue and wouldn’t trust anyone else to. I like to think that what we’ve done with the Frequent Traveler Awards the last couple of go-rounds has earned trust. And with his help we’ll be able to improve on those efforts.

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