The Freddie Awards have been the airline, hotel, and credit card loyalty program awards since 1988.
They’re voted on by the traveling public rather than chosen by a panel of experts, so they represent ‘what the members think’ about their frequent flyer and frequent guest programs.
After 2009, Randy Petersen decided to close down the Freddies.
But honoring the programs that deliver the most value to their members remained an important goal. And recognizing that at the margins the sunlight the awards place on the best (and by implication, the not-so-best) has influenced program decision-making in the past, it remained important for frequent flyers to have a collective voice.
So I was proud for two years – 2010 and 2011 – to help Tommy Danielsen and a group of others keep the torch alive through the creation of the Frequent Traveler Awards.
The ongoing success of that effort — and demonstrating the continued importance of the voice — convinced Randy to bring back the Freddies for 2012, and I was truly honored that he asked for my continued help to make the awards a reality.
My role is as Chair of the Nominations Committee, reaching out to the programs to discuss with them which promotions ought to be considered for inclusion as the Best for Earning and Best for Redemption in the previous year, and vetting the lists of nominations in each category to make sure that the right products, offerings, and programs are included (there’s also careful, drudgerous work as well, like making sure spellings and punctuation are correct, and that everything is in a useful format to be translated into several languages).
I had tremendous help in the nominations process — guidance from Randy, his help reaching programs where I don’t have contacts, but also additional team members. I recruited Brian “The Points Guy” and also Matt D. who founded SeatGuru and I also had tremendous assistance from Randy’s magazine editors Lynda and Darcie. The tech team did a fantastic job as well. And I’m thrilled to see this underway.
Last year about a million members expressed their preferences, helping us to finally be able to answer the question “which program really is the best?” at least as far as the program’s members themselves are concerned. This year should be even bigger.
The awards ceremony will be held up in the New York area on Thursday, April 26 — just prior to and in conjunction with Frequent Traveler University (details of which will be forthcoming soon).
I hope you will cast your vote and do feel free to share in the comments how you’re voting!
You can select one region to vote in, if you’d like you can come back later and vote in another region of the world as well, awards will be given out in each of three geographic regions. Voting runs through March 31 and in the coming weeks I’ll share some of my own thoughts on which programs are getting my ballot (sadly, in this, my vote counts the same as everyone else’s).