The hunt for airline frequent flyer status is always an adventure. For some folks it is just a matter of going about their regular business life. For others (like me) it is a collection of random adventures that eventually add up to the right numbers. For folks flying on US Airways this year there have been some creative options, including the program they announced this week: Hop, Skip & Jump.
The concept behind the program is a fun one. There are a 20 different flight routes and regions identified in the program. Customers buying new tickets for travel within these regions or on the routes between July 7 and October 10 will earn a point for each route or region covered. A change in status level is earned for every four points. Earning 16 credits can take one from no status to Chairman’s Preferred, the top status with the program.
Multiple categories can be earned on a single ticket so some judicious planning could have one earning a status bump very quickly. A 12-hour, $300 jaunt of BOS-CLT-BTR-CLT-DCA-BOS is enough to earn four credits. That’s quite a quick way to grab status that is valid through to February 2012.
Also intriguing about this promo is that US Airways is, once again, trying to attract more elites. Yes, folks with status are likely to have more loyalty to the program so that makes sense at some level, but they’re also giving away a lot for a long time. That customer who now has loyalty and flies with US Airways on their 3-5 cheap vacation flights next year are likely not going to pay fees for checked bags or seat assignments. So there is some lost revenue that offsets the few extra flights. And with the low yields on the actual travel part of the tickets and the high margins on the incremental bits I’m not so sure th at deals like this really make economic sense in the long run. Then again, most airlines are much more focused on just trying to hit next month’s numbers, not next year’s, so maybe they’re happy with this approach.
Got another cool routing for lots of credits and not much time or money? Share it in the comments below.
Some more discussion of the promo from View from the Wing and from One Mile at a Time. Both note that it isn’t a phenomenal mileage run opportunity, but it does have some potential if you can find things like the above noted run.
- JetBlue adds triple points promo
- Triple miles (including MQMs!) from Delta
- Frequent Flyer promos worth noting
- The fight for BOS-BWI
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