General Question

hoist2k's avatar

Why Do Competing Airlines Allow Reciprocity for their Frequent Flyer Miles?

Asked by hoist2k (99points) February 17th, 2010

I’m taking a flight on Continental. They allow me to use my US Airways or United frequent flyer number and gain points on the competing airline. Why would they do that? Doesn’t that defeat the point of a customer loyalty program?

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4 Answers

Mamradpivo's avatar

United and US Air offer routes that Continental doesn’t. By working together, they can drive business to each other against other airline alliances. For instance, United does the West Coast pretty well, and so does Alaska. Continental helps United get passengers to the southeast, which is Delta country, while Alaska routes Delta customers along the west coast. Airline alliances and code-sharing provide a lot of savings on routes that individual airlines may not be able to fly.

SeventhSense's avatar

Why does Pizza Hut accept competitor’s coupons? It’s good for business.

Broken_Arrow's avatar

Frequent Flyer Miles are a sham

lilikoi's avatar

Of note is that it may not be a 1 to 1 trade. For example, I flew an AA codeshare with British Air, and while they gave me some miles for the BA segment, it was no where near what it should have been had it been AA all the way.

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