Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Brand Loyalty

I wanted to cover a basic travel issue here. The one of brand loyalty versus always going with the cheapest price.

I am a believer in giving the loyalty when it is worth your while. Modern travel has become quite a trying experience with security worries and being nickle and dime'd to death with extra charges. Baggage fees. Rebooking fees. Long waits in line. Multiple lines to wait in.

Well this is where a little brand loyalty comes into play. With the airlines if you travel 25,000 miles per year they will give you basic low level status with their line. This has its benefits. Almost all airlines eliminate baggage fees at this level, at least for the first bag or two per person. This can really add up especially when most airlines consider anyone traveling in the party on the same PNR to be of the same status as the highest person as far as baggage fees goes. So one family member traveling more often can save a fortune come time for a family vacation. Maybe even enough money to make it worth your while to take an extra trip in the year just to get to the mileage level.

Hotels also have loyalty programs. Some of them will offer to upgrade you to the best available room in the hotel when you check in if available. Of course this is an example of a top status level perk, but it shows the power.

Even cruise lines will play the loyalty game with you. Every cruise line I can think of will require you to cruise once with them before you have any status. After that, the perks begin. You can get a coupon book with savings throughout the ship to access to a lounge with free drinks each evening.

I know this is a short overview of some of the perks involved with different loyalty programs but I wanted to bring it to the attention of our readers that sometimes sticking with the same company can pay off, or at least remove some of the hassles of travel.

As always, you can contact us for more specific information.

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