• Posted by Editor
  • Tips

Top 5 reasons to join a frequent flyer program

Are you new to the world of regular air travel and wondering if you should join a frequent flyer program? Well here are a few of the best reason for beginners to start collecting air miles:


1. Save money

Free flights and upgrades

The amount of money you can save annually by building up your miles and then spending them is significant. Let’s take a look at one person flying from London to New York return:


Class (return)

Cost (cheapest possible)

Purchase (with miles)

£ saved on purchases with miles



26,000 miles + £325.26*




52,000 miles + £371.89*




100,000 miles + £530.76*




136,000 miles + £530.76*


British Airways flights for May 16, 2017 returning on May 23, 2017 (accurate on April 16, 2017)

*Taxes, fees and carrier charges

So if you were to buy a Business Class seat it would set you back nearly £3000 but if you have plenty of air miles (which we’ll tell you how to collect in an article coming soon) you would only need to pay a few hundred pounds in taxes, saving you over £2400.

And it’s not just on the airline with which you have your frequent flyer account where you can save money. All major airlines have partnerships with other airlines with which you can spend and earn miles. So, if you’re a Delta Airlines frequent flyer member, for example, you can use your miles to buy flights and upgrades with over a dozen of their partner airlines, like KLM and Virgin.


2. Avoid the airport crowds

Lounge access

With many frequent flyer programs there is an important different between loyalty points and air miles. Each airline has their own name for these terms. For example, British Airways call their loyalty points ‘Tier Points’ and air miles ‘Avios’. The difference is that air miles are the miles you use for buying flights and upgrades while loyalty points denote status within your program.

So what does status do for you? Well, one of the main benefits is that it gets you access to airport lounges. This means you have a space away from the crowds to relax and enjoy free food and drinks. The quality of airline lounges varies wildly, but the best can be quite an experience, with jacuzzis, champagne and hairdressers on hand to pamper you. That’s better than a burger at TGI Fridays!


3. Pick a reward

It’s not just flights and upgrades

You can use your air miles for much more than flights and upgrades. Hotel rooms, car hire, wine and many other things like tours and meals can be bought with air miles.


4. Skip the queues

Priority check-in and priority boarding

Another valuable benefit is that you don’t have to queue up to check-in or drop off your bag if you have a high tier status (usually Gold status and above). Gold cards and Business or First Class passengers have their own check-in line which rarely has queues. This can be a real blessing in some of the more chaotic airports around the world where you can queue for a couple of hours just to check in. Another useful, although less valuable, benefit is that you can board before standard passengers, meaning that you’re seated before the crowds start jostling and pushing their way on board.


5. Choose your seat

Free seat selection

If you have a good tier status and travelling economy, you can reserve your specific seat of choice in advance without paying. More and more airlines are making economy passengers wait until a few days before the flight to select the seat they want unless the customer is willing to pay for the privilege. In most cases frequent flyer status usually means you can book your seat straight after purchasing your ticket.