Choosing An Airline: Frequent Flier or Frequent Buyer?

When I started flying frequently on business about 20 years ago, I joined American Airlines AAdvantage Program. It earned me many free trips and upgrades to exotic locales worldwide. Next, I joined the United Airlines Mileage Plus program because my wife had more miles there. Now, we have a credit card with a third party where we can choose to use the points for miles on any airline.

This is a typical scenario in the frequent flier game as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the AAdvantage program. In fact, there are now nearly 230 million members worldwide, says randy Petersen, editor of Inside Flyer Magazine, who adds that there are more than 14.2 trillion frequent flier miles currently in circulation.

In fact, my friend Michael in LA who accumulates well over 150,000 miles per year usually flies his family of four First or Business Class when they vacation. Once, coming back from Maui, they had to fly with the regular passengers. He Ben said, “Flying Coach really sucks.”

Read a story about a man in Atlanta who flies 200,000 miles per year and how he uses his miles.

Any comments you want to share about your frequent flier experiences?

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