Required Reading for Frequent Flyers
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2014 Freddie Awards
[May 2014 Issue]
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The winners.


Introduced in 1988, the Freddie Awards allow travelers around the globe to give voice to their opinions of which frequent flyer and hotel loyalty programs offer the best value. This is the 26th Anniversary of the Freddie Awards; and as a group, the voters have a very loud voice. The Freddie Awards are the most prestigious consumer-generated awards in the industry. Enjoy reading the following pages. Did your favorite programs win?

Who Was Freddie?
The awards were inspired by the late Sir Freddie Laker, who in 1978 was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his contribution to commercial aviation and the British economy. Known for his pioneering marketing ideas within the travel industry, Sir Freddie founded Britain's first all-jet air carrier, Laker Airways Limited. He also founded the "SKYTRAIN" service that revolutionized the airline industry by offering no-reservation, low-cost air service. Mr. Laker passed away Feb. 9, 2006. The Freddie Awards continue to honor his contributions to the industry.

A Note About Voting
Freddie Awards recipients are determined by members of frequent travel programs throughout the world. Members voted online for their favorites in six categories from Feb. 15 to March 31, 2014, in three separate geographical ballots: Americas, Europe / Africa and Middle East / Asia / Oceania.

The categories include: Program of the Year, Best Promotion, Best Redemption Ability, Best Customer Service, Best Elite Program and Best Loyalty Credit Card.

There were over 19 million page views (19,065,019) in this year's Freddie Awards, a 377.49% increase over last year (3,992,759). The top 10 cities travelers voted from included New York City, Bogota, Chicago, Los Angeles, Paris, Houston, Sydney, London, Melbourne and Istanbul. The top five countries that travelers voted from included the U.S., France, Australia, Canada and Colombia. The countries/territories represented numbered to 234, including 83 voters from Cuba, 3,645 from the Ukraine and one each from Eritrea and Norfolk Island. The new voting platform was a big success resulting in a much faster balloting rate (the average ballot took 23 percent less time than last year to complete) and the completion rate also saw a big rise. As in the past, of all of the categories, Program of the Year was the most popular category for completed ballots. The top voting day was Friday, March 7 with 329,279 ballots cast that day and the day with the fewest ballots cast was the final day of voting, Monday, March 31 with 12,405 voters.

Travelers were asked to rank up to three of their favorite programs in each category. This results in an average ranking (first through third) for each program, normalized to a 10 point scale. In this way, each program is judged by those travelers who have an opinion of its offerings rather than just the program receiving the most votes. A program with fewer voters mentioning it, but the most intense support from those familiar, can have the best average ranking.

It is also Freddie Awards policy that in order for any program to be considered for a Freddie Award, it must garner at least two percent of the overall votes cast within a particular category to ensure that the number of ballots cast for a program are significant enough to balance any minor bias. And to ensure accuracy and fairness, the votes are audited with a "one ballot, one traveler" mission in mind.

You will notice that after the names of the programs in the following text, we list the ranking numbers and a percentage. The percentage refers to the number of votes that program received in that particular voting category. Since each voter can select up to three programs, the totals will exceed 100 percent. Winners are listed by category according to geographical ballot. If you look closely at the numbers, you'll notice that sometimes the difference between a frequent traveler program taking home a Freddie or not can be quite slim. But just like in a horse race, there always has to be a winner, no matter how close the race.

The Freddie Awards were handed out at a gala event on the evening of April 24 at The Museum of Flight south of downtown Seattle, Wash. Our congratulations goes out to all of the programs who placed well in this 26th Anniversary of the Freddie Awards.




PROGRAM OF THE YEAR

This award recognizes the airline and hotel group that members feel offered the best overall loyalty program.

[ Americas ]

American AAdvantage
American AAdvantage has done it again, winning Program of the Year in the Americas for a third year in a row, squeaking by Avianca to take top place. Even after all these years, AAdvantage delivers value that members appreciate. The program works to keep their elite members happy and many would say that the program offers the best domestic award availability of any U.S. airline and some of the most lucrative international award redemptions in the industry.

Rank % Voters
  1. American Airlines AAdvantage 8.782 36.66%

  2. Avianca LifeMiles 8.776 7.12%

  3. Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards 8.75 46.71%

  4. Air Canada Aeroplan 8.40 2.87%

  5. Virgin America Elevate 8.02 2.52%

  6. WestJet Rewards 7.43 2.04%

  7. United Airlines MileagePlus 7.09 18.09%

  8. Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 7.07 23.91%

  9. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan 6.85 6.51%

  10. JetBlue TrueBlue 6.74 10.38%

  11. LAN LANPASS 6.32 3.51%

  12. US Airways Dividend Miles 6.29 11.27%

  13. AirTran A+ Rewards 6.18 6.50%

  14. Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles 6.10 3.19%

  15. Spirit Airlines Free Spirit 5.79 2.00%



Marriott Rewards
Marriott Rewards hits lucky seven with its win of Program of the Year in the Americas for the seventh consecutive year. This is the 15th time through the years that the program has won this honor in the Americas. Marriott is all about consistency - in the guest experience, customer service and loyalty program - and their members showed their appreciation by turning out to vote in large numbers.

Rank % Voters
  1. Marriott Rewards 8.46 55.76%

  2. Choice Privileges 8.16 11.85%

  3. IHG Rewards Club 7.65 14.54%

  4. Hilton HHonors 7.59 41.45%

  5. Hyatt Gold Passport 7.54 15.76%

  6. Starwood Preferred Guest 7.26 14.88%

  7. Best Western Rewards 7.25 13.78%

  8. Omni Select Guest 6.83 4.09%

  9. Club Carlson 6.67 3.02%

  10. La Quinta Returns 6.25 5.13%

  11. Wyndham Rewards 6.07 7.36%

  12. Fairmont PresidentÕs Club 6.03 3.28%

  13. Ritz-Carlton Rewards 5.92 4.05%




[ Europe / Africa ]

AIR FRANCE - KLM Flying Blue
With an impressive and commanding value vote and percentage of voters for the second year in a row, AIR FRANCE - KLM Flying Blue takes the Program of the Year Freddie Award. Flying Blue offers members a great many ways to earn miles, decent award availability including limited-time Promo Awards of up to 50 percent off and even the lowest level elite members, Silver, get 50 percent more award miles on SkyTeam flights (and then 75 and 100 percent for Gold and Platinum); Gold and Platinum members get free lounge access.

Rank % Voters
  1. AIR FRANCE - KLM Flying Blue 9.06 52.65%

  2. Lufthansa Miles & More 8.30 44.01%

  3. SAS EuroBonus 7.938 15.77%

  4. Turkish Airlines Miles Smiles 7.935 8.72%

  5. airBaltic BalticMiles 7.82 2.07%

  6. Alitalia MilleMiglia 6.95 9.62%

  7. Aegean Miles&Bonus 6.71 2.36%

  8. Virgin Atlantic Flying Club 6.13 4.99%

  9. Aeroflot Bonus 6.04 2.17%

  10. British Airways Executive Cub 6.03 20.67%

  11. Iberia Plus 5.91 7.30%

  12. airberlin topbonus 5.83 9.17%

  13. Aer Lingus Gold Circle Club 5.63 2.03%

  14. Flybe Rewards4all 5.56 2.43%

  15. Finnair Plus 5.44 4.76%

  16. South African Airways Voyager 5.36 4.27%



IHG Rewards Club
Le Club Accorhotels and IHG Rewards Club switched places this year for the Program of the Year honors, with IHG Rewards Club finding itself on top. Between 2001 and 2012, Starwood and Marriott were the only two programs to win Program of the Year in Europe / Africa so this could signify a changing of the guard. IHG Rewards hotels are found in 32 European countries. Members enjoy frequent promotions and quality service.

Rank % Voters
  1. IHG Rewards Club 8.39 16.98%

  2. Le Club Accorhotels 7.92 26.22%

  3. Starwood Preferred Guest 7.61 16.14%

  4. Marriott Rewards 7.58 37.29%

  5. Hilton HHonors 7.22 34.97%

  6. Club Carlson 7.13 10.34%

  7. Hyatt Gold Passport 7.08 21.48%

  8. Best Western Rewards 6.98 21.07%

  9. Choice Privileges 6.77 2.36%

  10. Melia MeliaRewards 6.72 5.57%

  11. Fairmont President's Club 6.68 5.22%

  12. Ritz-Carlton Rewards 6.43 8.02%

  13. NH Hotels Rewards 6.41 7.57%

  14. Wyndham Rewards 6.20 3.02%




[ Middle East/Asia/Oceania ]

Virgin Australia Velocity
This is the second year in a row that Virgin Australia Velocity has won a Freddie for Program of the Year, and the program upped its value ranking from 8.76 last year to an admirable 9.04 this year. The program is known for its ease of award redemption, which goes straight to the heart of a frequent traveler. Velocity offers last seat availability for additional points and members can pay with a combination of points and cash for flight awards. Members can even get a flight on non-partner airlines with their Velocity points.

Rank % Voters
  1. Virgin Australia Velocity 9.04 22.33%

  2. Jet Airways JetPrivilege 8.73 16.77%

  3. Qatar Airways Privilege Club 7.88 25.54%

  4. Etihad Guest 7.54 26.21%

  5. Air China PhoenixMiles 7.49 2.35%

  6. Emirates Skywards 7.39 40.74%

  7. China Southern Airlines Sky Pearl Club 7.26 2.47%

  8. All Nippon Airways Mileage Club 6.97 2.68%

  9. Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 6.95 6.61%

  10. Qantas Frequent Flyer 6.79 13.39%

  11. Korean Air SKYPASS 6.63 3.19%

  12. Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 6.54 13.52%

  13. China Airlines Dynasty Flyer 6.28 2.66%

  14. Air India Flying Returns 6.12 5.91%

  15. Air New Zealand Airpoints 5.92 3.17%

  16. Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus 5.84 11.48%

  17. Gulf Air Falconflyer 5.06 2.71%



Hyatt Gold Passport
Hyatt upsets last year's winner, IHG Rewards Club, for Program of the Year in this category and must be doing something right for its members in Middle East / Asia / Oceania because the program ranked fourth last year. Moving from fourth to first in one year is an accomplishment worth noting. Hyatt Gold Passport has a strong elite program that members appreciate and members can choose from truly aspirational properties when they are ready to spend their points.

Rank % Voters
  1. Hyatt Gold Passport 7.72 34.69%

  2. IHG Rewards Club 7.69 18.18%

  3. Starwood Preferred Guest 7.63 25.94%

  4. Club ITC 7.58 12.77%

  5. Marriott Rewards 7.54 38.03%

  6. TAJ InnerCircle 7.53 12.80%

  7. Le Club Accorhotels 7.12 14.98%

  8. Club Carlson 6.88 5.49%

  9. Best Western Rewards 6.68 9.27%

  10. Fairmont President's Club 6.63 6.36%

  11. Hilton HHonors 6.59 26.67%

  12. Shangri-La Golden Circle 6.36 8.94%

  13. Wyndham Rewards 6.36 2.98%

  14. Ritz-Carlton Rewards 6.20 8.21%




BEST PROMOTION

Airlines and hotel groups offer a variety of special redemption and bonus earning opportunities to their loyalty program members throughout the year. This award recognizes the promotion that members feel was most valuable.

[ Americas ]

Avianca LifeMiles
Avianca is known for awarding double miles with miles purchases. Last year, the offer was a close third in this category and this year, voters chose this offer as their favorite. During April, August and December, for every 1,000 miles that members purchased, LifeMiles awarded an additional 100 percent bonus miles.

Rank % Voters
  1. Avianca LifeMiles 9.18 8.2%
    Mileage Purchase 2x1

  2. Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards 8.96 52.06%
    Rapid Rewards A-List Acquisition Promotion

  3. Air Canada Aeroplan 8.22 3.78%
    Aeroplan Star Challenge

  4. American Airlines AAdvantage 8.21 40.64%
    American Airlines AAdvantage Program Elite Rewards
  5. Virgin America Elevate 7.52 3.84%
    Feel the Earn

  6. Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 6.89 29.23%
    Crossover Rewards

  7. United Airlines MileagePlus 6.774 21.40%
    People Power - Purchase Miles Promotion

  8. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan 6.768 8.73%
    Double Elite-Qualifying Miles on Popular Routes

  9. US Airways Dividend Miles 6.13 15.64%
    100% Bonus for Buying, Gifting and Sharing Miles



Marriott Rewards
It feels a bit like deja vu all over again as Marriott Rewards wins again in this category. The program has been offering its popular MegaBonus promotion for several years now. In an ever-changing industry, members have grown to expect the trustworthy MegaBonus to return year after year and continue to rate this bonus as best in class.

Rank % Voters
  1. Marriott Rewards 8.38 59.15%
    MegaBonus

  2. Choice Privileges 7.97 13.21%
    Two Stays Pays

  3. IHG Rewards Club 7.73 15.76%
    The Big Win

  4. Hilton HHonors 7.55 43.79%
    Daily Grand

  5. Hyatt Gold Passport 7.30 17.96%
    Earn 50,000 Bonus Points Faster for Rewards

  6. Starwood Preferred Guest 7.23 16.21%
    Your Choice

  7. Best Western Rewards 7.19 17.12%
    25th Anniversary Promotion

  8. Le Club Accorhotels 6.92 1.96%
    Enjoy Every Tour!

  9. Stash Hotel Rewards 6.91 0.87%
    Stash Multiples and More Promotion

  10. VOILA Hotel Rewards 6.76 0.43%
    Meet Your Match

  11. Club Carlson 6.65 3.60%
    Triple Points Returns

  12. Preferred Hotels iPrefer 6.13 0.74%
    iPrefer 2013 Cyber Monday Sale

  13. Ritz-Carlton Rewards 5.91 5.56%
    Enjoy More




[ Europe / Africa ]

AIR FRANCE - KLM Flying Blue
Flying Blue's Great Take-Off promotion took place in November 2013, and AIR FRANCE - KLM and their airline partners offered Promo Awards@, inviting Flying Blue members to save up to 50 percent on award miles required for award flights, with many more destinations and a full five-month travel period instead of the usual two.

Rank % Voters
  1. AIR FRANCE - KLM Flying Blue 8.90 57.28%
    The Great Take-Off

  2. Lufthansa Miles & More 8.03 48.20%
    Celebrating 20 years of 'More'

  3. Turkish Airlines Miles Smiles 7.69 12.14%
    Valentine's Day Promotion

  4. SAS EuroBonus 7.54 21.14%
    Fast Track to Gold Status

  5. Alitalia MilleMiglia 6.55 14.31%
    MilleMiglia e-Coupon Promotion

  6. Virgin Atlantic Flying Club 6.21 10.20%
    Global Upper Class Campaign

  7. Aegean Miles&Bonus 6.13 3.60%
    Travel More for Less!

  8. airBaltic BalticMiles 5.94 2.87%
    Burn the Miles

  9. Iberia Plus 5.87 11.20%
    #voyenelasientodenadal

  10. airberlin topbonus 5.86 12.71%
    The Collectors' Weeks



IHG Rewards Club
Once again IHG Rewards Club and Le Club Accorhotels switched places from last year in this category with IHG Rewards again coming out on top. The Big Win offered a minimum 50,000 points when completing tailor made offers based on members' personal booking and travel patterns within IHG's brand family of hotels.

Rank % Voters
  1. IHG Rewards Club 8.31 17.69%
    The Big Win

  2. Le Club Accorhotels 7.95 29.14%
    Enjoy Every Tour!

  3. Starwood Preferred Guest 7.60 16.72%
    Your Choice

  4. Marriott Rewards 7.46 40.28%
    MegaBonus

  5. Hilton HHonors 7.17 37.64%
    Daily Grand

  6. Best Western Rewards 7.12 25.68%
    25th Anniversary Promotion

  7. Club Carlson 7.04 11.92%
    Triple Points Returns

  8. Hyatt Gold Passport 6.89 24.16%
    Earn 50,000 Bonus Points Faster for Rewards

  9. VOILA Hotel Rewards 6.75 1.98%
    Meet Your Match

  10. Choice Privileges 6.38 3.35%
    Two Stays Pays

  11. Ritz-Carlton Rewards 6.29 9.55%
    Enjoy More

  12. Preferred Hotels iPrefer 6.09 1.97%
    iPrefer 2013 Cyber Monday Sale




[ Middle East/Asia/Oceania ]

Virgin Australia Velocity
Fido and Kitty win. Velocity Frequent Flyer introduced the ability to earn points for traveling with a cat or dog on a Virgin Australia domestic flight - a minimum of 300 points earned per pet carrier for each flight sector flown, and for up to two pet carriers per booking. Virgin Australia (then known as Virgin Blue) won a Best Award Freddie in 2009, so this is the second win in this category for the program.

Rank % Voters
  1. Virgin Australia Velocity 8.23 38.62%
    Australia's First Pet Frequent Flyer Program

  2. Etihad Guest 7.80 49.15%
    2013 F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Raffle

  3. Qatar Airways Privilege Club 7.79 50.80%
    Easy Deals

  4. Jet Airways JetPrivilege 7.69 32.59%
    20 - 20 Bonus JPMiles Promotion

  5. EL AL Matmid Club 7.15 4.69%
    50 Percent Award Discount

  6. JAL Mileage Bank 6.46 10.33%
    Charity Mile

  7. Qantas Frequent Flyer 6.36 2.69%
    Curiosity "For Every Journey" 2014



IHG Rewards Club
Last year's second place program finds it way to the top. IHG Rewards Club's Big Win wins in Middle East / Asia / Oceania just as it did in Europe / Asia. Members were happy with their individual offer to earn a minimum of 50,000 points, with many being offered the chance to earn a great many more points.

Rank % Voters
  1. IHG Rewards Club 7.83 19.11%
    The Big Win

  2. Club ITC 7.81 13.41%
    The Luxury of Choice

  3. Starwood Preferred Guest 7.65 26.31%
    Your Choice

  4. Hyatt Gold Passport 7.54 37.66%
    Earn 50,000 Bonus Points Faster for Rewards

  5. Marriott Rewards 7.51 40.68%
    MegaBonus

  6. Le Club Accorhotels 7.31 16.96%
    Enjoy Every Tour!

  7. Best Western Rewards 6.86 12.05%
    25th Anniversary Promotion

  8. Club Carlson 6.83 6.72%
    Triple Points Returns

  9. Hilton HHonors 6.68 29.15%
    Daily Grand

  10. Shangri-La Golden Circle 6.52 10.72%
    "Less is More" Redemption Savings Campaign

  11. Choice Privileges 6.34 2.32%
    Two Stays Pays

  12. Ritz-Carlton Rewards 6.09 9.63%
    Enjoy More




BEST REDEMPTION ABILITY

Redeeming miles or points can sometimes be a challenge. This award recognizes the airline and hotel loyalty program that makes awards easily available, makes the redemption process smooth and provides the greatest value for members.

[ Americas ]

Avianca LifeMiles
Avianca LifeMiles made its Freddie Awards win debut in this category last year and has repeated its win again for 2014. LifeMiles makes it easy for members to spend their miles. Members have the flexibility to adjust the combination of miles and money. When booking an award ticket online, members can decrease the mileage amount in increments of 1,000 miles and pay more in cash. LifeMiles also allows one-way award redemptions.

Rank % Voters
  1. Avianca LifeMiles 9.35 7.32%

  2. Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards 9.02 48.63%

  3. Air Canada Aeroplan 8.343 2.88%

  4. American Airlines AAdvantage 8.338 36.37%

  5. Virgin America Elevate 7.89 2.47%

  6. United Airlines MileagePlus 7.10 18.58%

  7. Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 6.92 22.50%

  8. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan 6.90 6.59%

  9. JetBlue TrueBlue 6.67 8.95%

  10. LAN LANPASS 6.40 3.35%

  11. AirTran A+ Rewards 6.32 6.34%

  12. Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles 6.25 2.96%

  13. US Airways Dividend Miles 6.22 10.92%



Marriott Rewards
Marriott Rewards wins in this all-important category for a third year in a row. Marriott has plenty of properties, in locations where their members want to stay, and at different levels of service. With this vote, members are saying that they have been pleased with the ability to redeem their points for the awards they want. The first four programs below also finished in the same ranking last year.

Rank % Voters
  1. Marriott Rewards 8.45 55.61%

  2. Choice Privileges 8.17 12.46%

  3. IHG Rewards Club 7.83 15.32%

  4. Hilton HHonors 7.58 40.49%

  5. Starwood Preferred Guest 7.42 14.64%

  6. Hyatt Gold Passport 7.37 15.43%

  7. Best Western Rewards 7.25 15.12%

  8. Omni Select Guest 6.78 3.47%

  9. Club Carlson 6.74 3.25%

  10. La Quinta Returns 6.46 5.18%

  11. Wyndham Rewards 6.15 6.70%

  12. Ritz-Carlton Rewards 5.92 3.71%




[ Europe / Africa ]

AIR FRANCE - KLM Flying Blue
AIR FRANCE - KLM Flying Blue repeat their win in the Best Redemption Ability category after their winning debut in this category last year. Award sales are a sure way to win the heart of many a frequent flyer and Flying Blue offers the program's popular Promo Awards of up to 50 percent off. Hotel stays, car rentals, extra baggage allowance and electronics are just a few of the other types of awards available to members.

Rank % Voters
  1. AIR FRANCE - KLM Flying Blue 8.96 50.24%

  2. Lufthansa Miles & More 8.31 43.07%

  3. SAS EuroBonus 8.01 16.62%

  4. Turkish Airlines Miles Smiles 7.965 9.68%

  5. Pegasus Airlines Pegasus Plus 7.959 2.96%

  6. Alitalia MilleMiglia 6.87 9.70%

  7. Aegean Miles&Bonus 6.44 2.41%

  8. British Airways Executive Club 6.26 18.54%

  9. Virgin Atlantic Flying Club 6.25 5.55%

  10. Iberia Plus 6.06 7.49%

  11. airberlin topbonus 5.98 9.07%

  12. Finnair Plus 5.66 4.53%

  13. Flybe Rewards4all 5.64 2.35%

  14. South African Airways Voyager 5.58 4.08%



IHG Rewards Club
Last year's winner, Starwood Preferred Guest, slips to third place in this category while last year's number two program, IHG Rewards Club, makes its way to the top. Members can combine points and cash for award nights, flights, car rentals or merchandise and as of July 1, 2013, award nights count toward elite status.The program won a Freddie Award in 2011 in this category.

Rank % Voters
  1. IHG Rewards Club 8.40 17.63%

  2. Le Club Accorhotels 7.98 26.98%

  3. Starwood Preferred Guest 7.62 15.94%

  4. Marriott Rewards 7.48 37.05%

  5. Hilton HHonors 7.22 34.66%

  6. Best Western Rewards 7.13 22.98%

  7. Club Carlson 7.12 11.06%

  8. Hyatt Gold Passport 6.95 21.75%

  9. Choice Privileges 6.78 2.97%

  10. Melia MeliaRewards 6.76 5.33%

  11. NH Hotels Rewards 6.43 6.56%

  12. Ritz-Carlton Rewards 6.32 7.67%

  13. Wyndham Rewards 6.19 3.20%




[ Middle East/Asia/Oceania ]

Virgin Australia Velocity
This is the sixth Best Redemption Ability Freddie Award win for Virgin Australia Velocity. Velocity members who plan in advance can get award flights for fewer points and they also have the option of using points for any available flight - including peak holiday travel times when the number of points is based on the cost of the fare. Jet Airways comes in at number two for the second year in a row and although it bested Velocity's ranking from last year, Velocity moved their ranking up even more to remain on top.

Rank % Voters
  1. Virgin Australia Velocity 8.93 24.43%

  2. Jet Airways JetPrivilege 8.65 17.08%

  3. Qatar Airways Privilege Club 7.80 24.40%

  4. Air China PhoenixMiles 7.57 2.14%

  5. Etihad Guest 7.55 26.02%

  6. Emirates Skywards 7.45 38.21%

  7. China Southern Airlines Sky Pearl Club 7.39 2.40%

  8. Qantas Frequent Flyer 7.10 14.51%

  9. Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 7.07 6.50%

  10. All Nippon Airways Mileage Club 6.78 2.44%

  11. JAL Mileage Bank 6.74 2.07%

  12. Korean Air SKYPASS 6.60 2.82%

  13. Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 6.56 11.42%

  14. Air India Flying Returns 6.38 6.09%

  15. China Airlines Dynasty Flyer 6.27 2.45%

  16. Air New Zealand Airpoints 6.17 3.20%

  17. Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus 5.95 10.44%

  18. Gulf Air Falconflyer 5.31 3.15%



Starwood Preferred Guest
Last year's seventh place program in this category makes a very impressive leap to first place this year. But Starwood is no stranger to this category having won several times in the past. Members who redeem their points for five nights will get their fifth night free at Category 3-7 hotels. An interesting side note is that IHG Rewards had the exact same ranking of 7.66 last year and this year and came in third place both years.

Rank % Voters
  1. Starwood Preferred Guest 7.68 25.41%

  2. Club ITC 7.67 14.07%

  3. IHG Rewards Club 7.66 19.25%

  4. Hyatt Gold Passport 7.49 34.84%

  5. Marriott Rewards 7.44 38.01%

  6. TAJ InnerCircle 7.41 11.71%

  7. Le Club Accorhotels 7.28 15.59%

  8. Club Carlson 6.92 6.18%

  9. Best Western Rewards 6.87 11.19%

  10. Hilton HHonors 6.69 27.62%

  11. Shangri-La Golden Circle 6.55 9.34%

  12. Choice Privileges 6.50 2.11%

  13. Wyndham Rewards 6.27 3.12%

  14. Ritz-Carlton Rewards 5.99 7.47%




BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE

This award recognizes the airline and hotel program with the most helpful customer service agents and policies, the ones that offer the best interactions to help give you a good experience and to get you back on track when things go wrong.

[ Americas ]

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
Southwest Rapid Rewards has always placed a high priority on providing stellar customer service and going the extra mile for customers. Members can call customer service 24/7 and unlike many programs, Rapid Rewards does not charge a phone booking fee to make award flight reservations over the phone. This is a commanding win with an impressive 9.00 ranking and 50 percent of those voting in this category.

Rank % Voters
  1. Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards 9.00 50.08%

  2. Avianca LifeMiles 8.98 7.78%

  3. Virgin America Elevate 8.24 3.24%

  4. American Airlines AAdvantage 8.16 34.21%

  5. Air Canada Aeroplan 7.94 2.63%

  6. WestJet Rewards 7.93 2.47%

  7. JetBlue TrueBlue 6.985 11.39%

  8. Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 6.977 22.90%

  9. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan 6.976 7.85%

  10. United Airlines MileagePlus 6.84 16.30%

  11. LAN LANPASS 6.71 3.89%

  12. Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles 6.54 4.21%

  13. AirTran A+ Rewards 6.27 6.48%

  14. US Airways Dividend Miles 6.14 10.54%



Marriott Rewards
When it comes to providing excellent customer service, Marriott Rewards is tough to beat. This is Marriott Rewards' eighth consecutive win in the Americas for Best Customer Service. All the perks in the world are worth less than a consistent and noticeable appreciation for the customer. Marriott Rewards continues to offer a responsive customer service experience.

Rank % Voters
  1. Marriott Rewards 8.38 54.96%

  2. Choice Privileges 7.97 10.95%

  3. IHG Rewards Club 7.62 13.92%

  4. Hilton HHonors 7.59 40.25%

  5. Hyatt Gold Passport 7.350 17.10%

  6. Starwood Preferred Guest 7.346 14.48%

  7. Best Western Rewards 7.18 14.05%

  8. Omni Select Guest 7.05 5.01%

  9. Kimpton InTouch 7.04 2.18%

  10. Ritz-Carlton Rewards 6.85 6.70%

  11. Club Carlson 6.71 3.01%

  12. Fairmont President's Club 6.55 4.67%

  13. La Quinta Returns 6.29 4.97%

  14. Wyndham Rewards 6.05 6.75%




[ Europe / Africa ]

SAS EuroBonus
This is the fourth time SAS EuroBonus has won a Freddie Award for Best Customer Service through the years. EuroBonus holds on to the Freddie by a very thin margin above AIR FRANCE - KLM Flying Blue. EuroBonus reaches out to its members on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube and is readily available on the phone and via email. Members are satisfied with how EuroBonus responds to their needs and give the program high marks for customer service.

Rank % Voters
  1. SAS EuroBonus 8.624 14.99%

  2. AIR FRANCE - KLM Flying Blue 8.620 52.93%

  3. Lufthansa Miles & More 8.24 43.90%

  4. Turkish Airlines Miles Smiles 8.18 10.06%

  5. Alitalia MilleMiglia 6.81 9.79%

  6. Aegean Miles&Bonus 6.54 2.29%

  7. Virgin Atlantic Flying Club 6.50 6.40%

  8. British Airways Executive Club 6.30 20.62%

  9. Aeroflot Bonus 6.23 2.08%

  10. airberlin topbonus 5.92 8.93%

  11. Iberia Plus 5.82 7.16%

  12. Aer Lingus Gold Circle Club 5.79 2.19%

  13. Finnair Plus 5.71 5.59%

  14. South African Airways Voyager 5.70 4.93%

  15. Flybe Rewards4all 5.55 2.35%



IHG Rewards Club
This is the second year in a row for IHG Rewards Club to win in this category and their ranking increased from 7.96 last year to 8.30 this year - quite an impressive improvement. IHG Rewards Club customer care is available 24/7.

Rank % Voters
  1. IHG Rewards Club 8.30 16.23%

  2. Le Club Accorhotels 7.75 24.84%

  3. Starwood Preferred Guest 7.64 15.89%

  4. Marriott Rewards 7.52 36.83%

  5. Hilton HHonors 7.25 35.05%

  6. Club Carlson 7.14 10.63%

  7. Hyatt Gold Passport 7.11 23.34%

  8. Best Western Rewards 6.97 20.31%

  9. Fairmont President's Club 6.89 6.09%

  10. Melia MeliaRewards 6.79 5.58%

  11. Ritz-Carlton Rewards 6.78 9.84%

  12. Choice Privileges 6.67 2.55%

  13. NH Hotels Rewards 6.43 7.00%

  14. Wyndham Rewards 6.24 3.01%




[ Middle East/Asia/Oceania ]

Virgin Australia Velocity
Virgin Australia Velocity makes its debut in this category. Members point out that they find the customer service representatives helpful and friendly - and good customer service equals happy members.

Rank % Voters
  1. Virgin Australia Velocity 8.75 23.48%

  2. Jet Airways JetPrivilege 8.36 15.98%

  3. Qatar Airways Privilege Club 7.86 26.51%

  4. Emirates Skywards 7.59 41.27%

  5. Etihad Guest 7.40 26.70%

  6. Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 7.04 14.62%

  7. All Nippon Airways Mileage Club 7.00 2.82%

  8. JAL Mileage Bank 6.81 2.12%

  9. Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 6.77 5.72%

  10. Qantas Frequent Flyer 6.66 12.56%

  11. Korean Air SKYPASS 6.57 3.30%

  12. Air New Zealand Airpoints 6.34 3.72%

  13. China Airlines Dynasty Flyer 6.23 2.50%

  14. Air India Flying Returns 6.19 5.25%

  15. Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus 5.98 13.25%

  16. Gulf Air Falconflyer 5.12 2.85%



Starwood Preferred Guest
Just as Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) leaped from seventh to first in Middle East / Asia / Oceania in the Best Redemption Ability category, the program did the same again to win Best Customer Service. But SPG is no stranger to the Best Customer Service category with 12 previous wins internationally in this category.

Rank % Voters
  1. Starwood Preferred Guest 7.66 25.23%

  2. IHG Rewards Club 7.65 17.21%

  3. TAJ InnerCircle 7.59 13.42%

  4. Club ITC 7.54 10.77%

  5. Hyatt Gold Passport 7.48 36.58%

  6. Marriott Rewards 7.43 37.46%

  7. Le Club Accorhotels 7.10 14.58%

  8. Shangri-La Golden Circle 6.77 10.78%

  9. Best Western Rewards 6.77 9.80%

  10. Fairmont President's Club 6.76 6.69%

  11. Hilton HHonors 6.67 27.10%

  12. Club Carlson 6.65 5.77%

  13. Ritz-Carlton Rewards 6.38 9.61%

  14. Wyndham Rewards 6.29 3.04%




BEST ELITE PROGRAM

Airline and hotel loyalty programs offer special amenities to their most loyal customers. This award recognizes the program that has provided the best overall benefit package to their membersÑthe entire elite program, not specific levels.

[ Americas ]

American AAdvantage
Elite members are happy with American AAdvantage and the program wins Best Elite Program in the Americas for the third consecutive year, just squeezing past Southwest Rapid Rewards. Top-tier elites get eight confirmed one-way systemwide upgrades from most fares and unlimited complimentary upgrades on domestic flights. Platinum members receive a 100 percent flight bonus. Members report that the elite help desk also provides exemplary customer service.

Rank % Voters
  1. American Airlines AAdvantage 8.704 38.79%

  2. Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards 8.701 40.68%

  3. Avianca LifeMiles 8.69 9.47%

  4. Air Canada Aeroplan 8.69 3.26%

  5. Virgin America Elevate 7.93 2.87%

  6. United Airlines MileagePlus 7.26 20.16%

  7. Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 7.18 25.04%

  8. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan 6.91 7.01%

  9. JetBlue TrueBlue 6.58 8.75%

  10. US Airways Dividend Miles 6.36 11.64%

  11. LAN LANPASS 6.31 3.88%

  12. AirTran A+ Rewards 6.29 5.88%

  13. Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles 6.27 3.41%



Hyatt Gold Passport
Hyatt Gold Passport wins this category for the second year in a row. Four confirmed suite upgrades at booking and complimentary breakfast for Diamond members are two of the most valued Gold Passport elite benefits. Add in excellent customer service, free Internet for all elite members and you have a winning elite program.

Rank % Voters
  1. Hyatt Gold Passport 7.932 17.79%

  2. Marriott Rewards 7.928 59.29%

  3. Choice Privileges 7.92 9.65%

  4. IHG Rewards Club 7.76 14.57%

  5. Hilton HHonors 7.62 41.71%

  6. Starwood Preferred Guest 7.46 15.60%

  7. Best Western Rewards 7.14 13.24%

  8. Omni Select Guest 6.95 4.61%

  9. Club Carlson 6.615 3.03%

  10. Fairmont President's Club 6.42 4.25%

  11. Ritz-Carlton Rewards 6.36 5.68%

  12. La Quinta Returns 6.27 4.57%

  13. Wyndham Rewards 6.08 6.52%




[ Europe / Africa ]

Lufthansa Miles & More
Lufthansa Miles & More ranked #4 last year in this category, so to find their way to the #1 spot is certainly an accomplishment. Among other benefits, first level Frequent Traveller members get free lounge access while Senators and HON Circle Members may overdraw their Miles & More account temporarily - up to 50,000 miles for Senators and up to 100,000 miles for HON Circle members.

Rank % Voters
  1. Lufthansa Miles & More 8.41 43.80%

  2. AIR FRANCE - KLM Flying Blue 8.37 60.49%

  3. Turkish Airlines Miles Smiles 8.22 9.72%

  4. SAS EuroBonus 7.93 16.97%

  5. Aegean Miles&Bonus 6.85 2.70%

  6. Alitalia MilleMiglia 6.82 9.42%

  7. Virgin Atlantic Flying Club 6.28 6.07%

  8. British Airways Executive Club 6.20 20.49%

  9. Iberia Plus 5.93 7.08%

  10. airberlin topbonus 5.85 8.51%

  11. Finnair Plus 5.54 4.39%

  12. South African Airways Voyager 5.52 4.18%

  13. Flybe Rewards4all 5.40 2.15%



Starwood Preferred Guest
Starwood is once again singled out for their exceptional elite program. SPG offers Platinum members best available room at check-in, including suites. Platinum members who stay 50 nights a year also receive 10 suite night awards that are confirmable five nights prior to arrival. And Platinum members who stay 75 nights can check in at any time, 24 hours a day. With an annual stay of 100 nights, Platinum members can enjoy the services of a personal ambassador.

Rank % Voters
  1. Starwood Preferred Guest 8.21 15.56%

  2. IHG Rewards Club 8.16 18.19%

  3. Le Club Accorhotels 7.84 25.12%

  4. Marriott Rewards 7.53 36.14%

  5. Hilton HHonors 7.27 35.76%

  6. Club Carlson 7.09 10.54%

  7. Hyatt Gold Passport 7.03 22.40%

  8. Best Western Rewards 6.96 20.41%

  9. Melia MeliaRewards 6.79 5.10%

  10. Fairmont President's Club 6.75 5.67%

  11. Choice Privileges 6.73 2.61%

  12. Ritz-Carlton Rewards 6.48 8.53%

  13. NH Hotels Rewards 6.37 6.46%

  14. Wyndham Rewards 6.24 2.99%




[ Middle East/Asia/Oceania ]

Virgin Australia Velocity
Virgin Australia Velocity wins in this category for a second consecutive year. Platinum members receive four complimentary upgrades per year on domestic flights from qualifying fares and Gold and Platinum members receive complimentary access to the Virgin Australia lounge. Silver members receive two single entry passes and a discounted annual lounge membership.

Rank % Voters
  1. Virgin Australia Velocity 8.66 20.65%

  2. Jet Airways JetPrivilege 8.47 16.56%

  3. Qatar Airways Privilege Club 7.82 26.67%

  4. Emirates Skywards 7.55 42.00%

  5. Etihad Guest 7.49 27.64%

  6. Air China PhoenixMiles 7.48 2.23%

  7. China Southern Airlines Sky Pearl Club 7.19 2.42%

  8. Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 7.06 5.99%

  9. Qantas Frequent Flyer 7.01 12.87%

  10. All Nippon Airways Mileage Club 6.87 2.82%

  11. Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 6.73 13.49%

  12. JAL Mileage Bank 6.72 2.20%

  13. Korean Air SKYPASS 6.66 3.07%

  14. Air India Flying Returns 6.33 6.09%

  15. China Airlines Dynasty Flyer 6.17 2.41%

  16. Air New Zealand Airpoints 6.10 3.14%

  17. Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus 5.90 11.42%

  18. Gulf Air Falconflyer 5.14 3.27%



Hyatt Gold Passport
Another repeat winner, Hyatt Gold Passport wins Best Elite Program in Middle East / Asia / Oceania for the fifth consecutive year. Hyatt Gold Passport has some spectacular properties in this region, including the Park Hyatt Maldives and Grand Hyatt Tokyo. On top of blissful stays at luxurious properties, members value the program's generous elite benefits, including confirmable suite upgrades and free breakfast for Diamond members.

Rank % Voters
  1. Hyatt Gold Passport 7.96 31.88%

  2. Club ITC 7.83 11.01%

  3. Starwood Preferred Guest 7.693 25.61%

  4. IHG Rewards Club 7.688 17.56%

  5. TAJ InnerCircle 7.56 12.36%

  6. Marriott Rewards 7.48 36.80%

  7. Le Club Accorhotels 7.14 14.26%

  8. VOILA Hotel Rewards 6.89 1.24%

  9. Best Western Rewards 6.80 9.05%

  10. Club Carlson 6.77 5.68%

  11. Hilton HHonors 6.73 27.13%

  12. Shangri-La Golden Circle 6.69 10.26%

  13. Fairmont President's Club 6.64 6.52%

  14. Choice Privileges 6.53 1.75%

  15. Wyndham Rewards 6.35 2.76%

  16. Preferred Hotels iPrefer 6.32 1.31%

  17. Ritz-Carlton Rewards 6.20 8.59%




BEST LOYALTY CREDIT CARD

Most programs offer points and other benefits from the use of mileage or points earning credit cards. This award recognizes the credit card that members feel offers the most value.

[ Americas ]

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Card
This the second consecutive year that the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Card has won top honors. Members like the point-earning card that gives them an anniversary bonus of up to 6,000 points and the ability to earn additional Tier Qualifying Points when using the card. Plus, only credit cardholders can redeem points for More Rewards, which include international flights on other airlines, hotels and car rentals.

Rank % Voters
  1. Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Card 8.97 26.37%

  2. Citi AAdvantage Card 8.54 24.48%

  3. Avianca LifeMiles Citi Visa Infinite 8.53 4.67%

  4. Choice Privileges Visa Signature 8.49 5.45%

  5. Marriott Rewards Visa 8.44 21.50%

  6. Starwood Preferred Guest American Express 7.87 5.03%

  7. IHG Rewards Club Visa 7.84 4.06%

  8. American Express Membership Rewards 7.81 16.18%

  9. Wyndham Rewards Visa 7.71 2.35%

  10. Alaska Airlines Visa Signature 7.61 3.21%

  11. Delta SkyMiles American Express 7.35 11.77%

  12. United MileagePlus Explorer Card 7.31 9.74%

  13. Best Western Rewards MasterCard 7.30 4.12%

  14. Hyatt Credit Card 7.20 3.85%

  15. Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card 7.12 7.12%

  16. Diners Club Club Rewards 7.10 2.76%

  17. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card 7.06 7.33%

  18. US Airways Dividend Miles MasterCard 6.66 3.69%

  19. JetBlue Card from American Express 6.56 2.12%




[ Europe / Africa ]

Flying Blue American Express Card
Flying Blue American Express cardmembers can earn up to two miles per euro spent on flights with Air France and KLM. Additional benefits include the ability to extend the validity of miles, elite qualifying flight credit and the ability for Platinum members to gift Platinum status to another member with the Platinum version of the credit card. Members can also share award miles with supplementary card holders.

Rank % Voters
  1. Flying Blue American Express Card 9.03 34.98%

  2. Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles Card by GarantiBank 8.545 7.54%

  3. Lufthansa Miles & More Credit Card 8.537 37.51%

  4. SAS EuroBonus American Express Card 8.16 10.60%

  5. Pegasus Airlines Pegasus Plus Card 7.91 2.35%

  6. American Express Membership Rewards 7.60 15.19%

  7. IHG Rewards Club Visa 7.52 4.22%

  8. Alitalia MilleMiglia American Express Card 7.315 4.77%

  9. Diners Club Club Rewards 7.314 11.41%

  10. Marriott Rewards Visa 6.76 9.07%

  11. Iberia Plus Sendo Card 6.73 3.13%

  12. Czech Airlines OK Plus Citibank MasterCard 6.47 2.77%

  13. airberlin topbonus Visa Card 6.46 6.30%

  14. Bristish Airways Executive Club American Express 6.38 10.12%

  15. Starwood Preferred Guest American Express 6.27 3.19%

  16. Virgin Atlantic Flying Club MBNA Cards 6.23 3.55%

  17. Finnair Plus Visa 6.13 3.27%

  18. Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card 6.00 7.49%




[ Middle East/Asia/Oceania ]

ADIB Etihad Guest Card
Etihad returns to win Best Credit Card for the program's second time. It first won in this category in the 2012 Freddie Awards. The ADIB Etihad Guest Card offered with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank offers a fast-track to elite status, a free companion ticket when you spend AED 150,000 or more in 12 months, complimentary Priority Pass giving you access to over 500+ airport lounges worldwide and more.

Rank % Voters
  1. ADIB Etihad Guest Card 8.69 13.19%

  2. Virgin Australia Velocity Virgin Money Card 8.66 20.17%

  3. Jet Airways JetPrivilege HDFC Bank Card 8.51 16.08%

  4. American Express Membership Rewards 8.09 26.30%

  5. Qatar Airways QNB MasterCard 7.78 14.22%

  6. Air China PhoenixMiles Credit Card 7.73 4.09%

  7. Emirates Skywards Citibank Credit Card 7.61 31.39%

  8. China Southern Sky Pearl Club Visa 7.13 3.06%

  9. ANA Mileage Club Suica Card 7.07 3.00%

  10. Qantas Frequent Flyer Westpac Earth Black Card 6.94 10.82%

  11. JAL Mileage Bank JALCARD 6.93 3.25%

  12. Cathay Pacific American Express Card 6.73 8.29%

  13. Asiana Airlines Asiana Club UC MasterCard/Visa 6.69 2.04%

  14. Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer American Express 6.61 11.38%

  15. Royal Jordanian Visa Credit Card 6.57 2.31%

  16. China Airlines HSBC Signature Card 6.56 2.74%

  17. Air New Zealand ANZ Airpoints Visa 6.42 4.84%

  18. Air India Flying Returns American Express 6.39 5.65%

  19. Thai Airlines Royal Orchid Plus KTC World MasterCard 6.36 5.71%

  20. Shangri-La Golden Circle CMBC Platinum AMEX 5.99 3.00%

  21. Gulf Air Falconflyer Ahli United Bank Credit Card 5.49 2.17%




FUN FREDDIE FACTS

We take a look at the history of the Freddie Awards, this year's winners, the "almost" winners and more.

The Early Years
The idea behind the Freddie Awards was a simple one. Freddie Awards founder Randy Petersen was frequently asked, "Who has the best frequent flyer program?" The answer was easy for him to answer for himself, but he knew that the "best program" isn't the same for everyone. What's good for Bruce in Seattle or Bob in Fort Lauderdale is different than what is best for Betty in Memphis because the airlines serving the areas are different and travelers have different needs and wishes. Maybe they want upgrades and status instead of awards and discounts. Petersen started the Freddie Awards as a way to make it easier to answer the question he was repeatedly getting asked as frequent flyer programs became more popular. With the results of the Freddie Awards voting, he could tell those who asked which program won Program of the Year or Best Elite Program and the answer would be more objective and universal than his personal opinion.

When Petersen first started the Freddies in 1988, there weren't any awards in the travel loyalty industry. He chose to name them after Sir Freddie Laker because, he said, "If he was good enough to be knighted by the Queen then he's certainly good enough to have an award named after him." He didn't contact Sir Freddie about the awards until the 12th or 13th Freddie Awards. By then, Sir Freddie was retired and living in the Bahamas and he had not heard anything about the Freddie Awards. Petersen asked for permission and forgiveness for not asking in advance and it turned out Sir Freddie was honored by the namesake. They eventually met and became friends and Sir Freddie and his wife Lady Jacqueline were always on the Freddie Awards invite list as honored guests. When Sir Freddie Laker died in 2006, his family asked Petersen to speak at his funeral.



Getting the Vote Out
The original ballots were paper ballots and needed to be stamped and mailed. Freddie voting has gone from mailing, to faxing, to online and now voters are turning to mobile devices. Over 37 percent of the votes this year came in via a mobile device - that's a 45.1 percent increase over last year's count of 25.5 percent voters using a mobile device. And if you are wondering what type of mobile devices: overall, 75 percent were on Apple devices; 42 percent on iPhones and 32 percent on iPads.

2014 Freddie Awards

The Niners
Any program that provides such good value that their members collectively give them a nine rating out of a possible 10, deserves special recognition. Below, we list all of the programs that received a ranking of nine and above:

[Americas]
Best Promotion - Avianca LifeMiles 9.18; Best Redemption Ability - Avianca LifeMiles 9.35; Best Redemption Ability - Southwest Rapid Rewards 9.02; Best Customer Service - Southwest Rapid Rewards 9.00.

[Europe / Africa]
Program of the Year - AIR FRANCE - KLM Flying Blue 9.06; Best Loyalty Credit Card - AIR FRANCE - KLM Flying Blue 9.03.

[Middle East / Asia / Oceania]
Program of the Year - El Al Matmid 9.19 (although El Al got the highest ranking in this category, the program did not get at least two percent of the overall votes in the category so were not the Freddie winners); Program of the Year - Virgin Australia Velocity 9.04; Best Redemption Ability - El Al Matmid 9.00 (also not a winner because the program did not get enough votes to make the two percent cut).

None of the hotel programs earned a ranking of nine or above, Choice Privileges came the closest with an 8.49 ranking with its Choice Privileges Visa Signature credit card in the Americas (which was not high enough to win the Freddie Award).



Top Rank
The program that received the highest ranking of any other this year was Avianca LifeMiles with a 9.35 ranking in the Americas ballot to win the Freddie for Best Redemption Ability.

Top Vote
Within each category, you'll notice the percentage of voters for each program. The programs that got 50 percent or more of the total votes in one category include AIR FRANCE - KLM Flying Blue and Marriott Rewards. AIR FRANCE - KLM Flying Blue received 60.49 percent of the votes in the Best Elite Program category (but came in second place because the members didn't rank the elite program as highly as Lufthansa Miles & More) and Marriott Rewards received 59.29 percent in the same category, Best Elite Program, in the Americas region but also lost out on the Freddie Award, this time, to Hyatt Gold Passport. No program in the Middle East / Asia / Oceania ballot received more than 50 percent of the total votes in any one category.

Miss Congeniality
We're calling this section Miss Congeniality because although this program is obviously valued by travelers, it isn't quite popular enough for their members to vote in great numbers. Every program must get at least two percent of the total votes in each category to be considered a winner. El Al Matmid had the top ranking in the following four categories in the Middle East / Asia / Oceania region: Program of the Year, Best Redemption Ability, Best Customer Service and Best Elite Program.

Most 2014 Freddies Won - Hotel
Across all ballots, IHG Rewards Club won the most Freddie Awards this year with five in the following categories: [Europe / Africa] Program of the Year, [Europe / Africa] and [Middle East / Asia / Oceania] Best Promotion, [Europe / Africa] Best Redemption Ability and [Europe / Africa] Best Customer Service.

Marriott Rewards won four Freddies, followed by Hyatt and Starwood with three each (contrast Starwood's showing with the 17th Annual Freddies when the SPG program took home 17 Freddie Awards).



Most 2014 Freddies Won - Airline
Across all ballots, Virgin Australia Velocity won the most Freddie Awards this year at five in the following categories: [Middle East / Asia / Oceania] Program of the Year, Best Promotion, Best Redemption Ability, Best Customer Service and Best Elite Program.

AIR FRANCE - KLM Flying Blue followed with four wins. American, Avianca and Southwest all had two wins each.



2014 Looks a Lot Like 2013
The programs that won in the Americas region came very close to mirroring the 2013 winners. In fact, the only category that differed from the winners last year was Best Promotion. Avianca LifeMiles took top honors this year and American AAdvantage won last year. In the other regions, there was more variation, although AIR FRANCE - KLM Flying Blue won again in the Program of the Year, Best Promotion, Best Redemption Ability and Best Loyalty Credit Card categories in the Europe / Asia ballot.

No Debut
All of the Freddie winners this year have won a Freddie award in the past.

Upward Mobility
The Starwood Preferred Guest program made the biggest leap up among all categories by placing first this year in the Middle East / Asia / Oceania Best Redemption Ability, up from a seventh place finish last year.

Bridesmaid
The always the bridesmaid, never the bride designation (the most second place finishes without winning a Freddie in any category) goes to the following programs: In the Americas, Choice Privileges came in second four times; in Europe / Africa, Le Club Accorhotels came in second four times and in Middle East / Asia / Oceania, Jet Airways JetPrivilege and Club ITC came in at second three times each.

Freddie Repeat
This is the third consecutive year that American AAdvantage has won Program of the Year in the Americas. Hyatt Gold Passport has been the Best Elite Program winner in the Middle East / Asia / Oceania region for five consecutive years.


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Vote in the Freddies! [Feb 2012 Issue]
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