Many people are completely soured on frequent flier programs. They just don’t believe they’ll ever get any value. And in some cases they’re absolutely correct. In a recent study done by IdeaWorks, they found a huge disparity amongst the airlines in terms of how often they had seats available for frequent flier reimbursements. You have all those points – thousands and thousands of points – collected over years … and when you want to turn them in for a “free” plane ride, will you be able to?
If you’re flying with Southwest Airlines, your chances are extremely good. The study found that Southwest had reward seats available 99.3% of the time. Air Berlin ranked 2nd best with 98.6% availability. After Air Canada, Virgin Blue and Lufthansa, the likelihood of getting a reward seat starts to drop significantly. Delta Air Lines and US Airways were only able to provide reward seats 12.9% and 10.7% of the time.