When will I be traveling for business again? And what about my frequent-flier miles?
This was the year business travel flatlined, taking with it airline, hotel and convention hall profitability. For a time, it also jeopardized those loyalty-point balances coveted as freebie currency by frequent business travelers and many others, as miles and credit-card points seemed less valuable when no one was traveling.
But points programs are far from dead, experts say, citing better booking terms, the growing value of loyal customers to travel companies and the advent of creative programs that may allow you to spend points like cash more easily on things other than airline tickets or magazine subscriptions. In these largely stationary times, programs are keen to retain existing members.
“Most airlines have increased the value of their points by getting rid of fees,” said Brian Kelly, the…