Another Reason Frequent Flyers Are Considered a Bit Off

Ah for the good ole days.

Remember back in 2008/2009 when times were grand? Airlines were offering double and triple miles promotions, and hotels were practically giving rooms away. Oh sure, there were some concerns about the stability of the world economies, the end of currency as we know it and the massive world wars that would presumably result.

Look hard enough and you can always find a dark side.

Of course, those who might not have been into the frequent flyer game during the last great recession, such as vickers over on Milepoint, missed all the fun. All he knows of recessions is dark side. But now he sees another economic collapse on the horizon and is looking to figure out how he can get in on it:

how have Airlines and Hotels responded in the past to changes in the economy? I know that we have had recent devaulations, but what about in direct response to an economic situation?

Several posters provide some specifics with regard to steps frequent flyer programs could be expected to take if a bear or black swan were to awake from hibernation.

Earning for flying increased dramatically with bonuses around driving more paid travel. Double and occasional triple points promos – even including EQMs – happened often. ~WanderingAramean

I saw no “permanent” changes to the programs in 2008/2009. Instead we had generous short-term promotions, particularly the double EQM promotions. I would expect similar temporary effects if we have another crisis. I would also expect programs to avoid major changes. I would not expect devaluations. ~traveltoomuch

their interest is to avoid flying empty seats. They can do this in one of two ways – by reducing the number of seats and by filling a seat that would otherwise have flown empty. Usually they do a mix depending on how severe the downturn is and how long they expect it to last. ~Counsellor

Alas, right now we just seem stuck with this perma-bull – and an endless supply of award chart devaluations.

But if you’re feeling too depressed about it all, some of the posters in the thread offer a bit of a pick-me-up in the form of dire predictions about coming hyper inflation and a stock market crash.

So fear not, if blackjack-21 and vickers are correct, the good times, such as they might be, are just around the corner.

Read the thread in its entirety: How does a recession impact Miles and Points Earnings and Redemption

Image: “dancing bear” by Andy Fitzsimon. CC BY-SA 2.0.

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