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!