Airlines and hotels often receive a bad reputation for being too complicated and for changing their programs without advanced notice. For the most part, they deserve much of their criticism.
Nevertheless, there are still some programs out there that have earned my admiration, trust, and yes, loyalty.
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
Don’t believe it when people value the frequent flier rewards of most airlines at what a ticket would have cost. Unaccounted for are the sacrifices in terms of advanced notice and flexible planning necessary to secure a scarce award seat.
This is not the case with Southwest, where any seat for sale is available as an award. Furthermore, I value their awards more than paid tickets, as awards are fully refundable (cancel a regular ticket and you will receive a travel credit that can only be used by the person the ticket was issued to). [click to continue…]