Wednesday, 8 August 2018

points create surprises


I'm in some of those frequent traveller programmes for hotel chains and airlines. My Stocard App holds all the details. They used to be called loyalty schemes, but I can understand why that term is being phased out. Things they don't always tell you are the ways the points melt away if not used.

I recently lost 20,000 points on one system because I hadn't stayed somewhere in their last allocated time period.

Then, when we recently travelled to Canada, the lovely hotel chain we were using changed its system whilst we were there. They cancelled their own club and we became a new number in another multi-brand system. It turned out I was already a member, although I was given a new number. Whether I will ever reclaim/relink the points together is an ongoing question.

And then to a 2019 flight I've recently booked. I logged onto the airline loyalty system and sought the best value flight. Let's say it was priced at 1850. Before I booked it, it was suggested that I see what exactly the same flight would cost to a non-member of the points scheme.

A different computer, the same airline quote site and curiously enough, it was 1724. Around 125 less.

Hmm.

So then I logged back into my points, from within that second quote. Still at 1724. Now to add some points to the fare to bring it down further. Another 500 less. 1224. A better result.

Maybe this is what is known as dynamic pricing and flexible ticketing?

These convoluted processes are not really adding to loyalty, however.

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