Airline miles satisfaction is the topic of a recent survey by mileage credit card comparison tool MilesCard
The survey results
show a surprising majority satisfied with the overall loyalty programs of most airlines, although there's plenty of room for improvement - especially related to the efficacy of online portals where the vast majority of travelers are booking.
When asked about overall satisfaction, here's how the airlines stacked up:
- Southwest Rapid Rewards – 62%
- United MileagePlus – 55%
- American AAdvantage – 52%
- Delta SkyMiles – 49%
- US Airways Dividend Miles – 43%
Related to the ease of actually securing a flight - something that airline loyalty program are often criticized for - respondents found Southwest to be the most amenable to actual mile redemption.
On the flip side of the redemption coin, respondents were not at all satisfied with the number of available awards on US Airways:
- US Airways Dividend Miles – 17%
- Delta SkyMiles – 16%
- American AAdvantage – 10%
- United MileagePlus- 8%
- Southwest Rapid Rewards – 8%
Taking all of these results into account, Southwest comes out on top. The airline is the most loved as far as loyalty, and this includes a 64% satisfaction level with their Rapid Rewards branded cards.
Credit cards have become a huge business for airlines looking to both extend loyalty and offer new ways to use points besides travel. The only cards above Southwest's were #2 American Express Membership Rewards and the top dog, Chase Ultimate Rewards.
US Airways dropped to the bottom of this credit card satisfaction list, while American was in the middle of the pack with 56% of respondents happy with the card. This edged out United by a mere one percent, and shows that American is going to be taking on some unsatsfied loyalty customers in this year's completed merger. The opportunity to turn those folks around could result in some stronger performance - next year's survey will be interesting if the airline manages to pull it off.
One of the other important factors to consider is how many miles are required for an award ticket.
The website also compiled this infographic to show how consumers are experiencing airline loyalty programs, including what platform they are booking mileage awards on, and what destinations they are using them for.
Full piece here.
NB: Boarding pass image courtesy Shuttertstock.