More Rewards Seats Available Now On Top US Airlines

 In News, Travel

flights_page_bannerAirlines haven’t done much in recent years to keep customers happy. In fact, with the rate hikes, additional new fees and shrinking seat space they seem to have instead done a lot to anger a lot of airline travelers. So now they’ve decided to start redeeming themselves by offering something that makes customers, like many of you frequent business travelers who use points, very happy.

They have decided to increase the number of flights that accept rewards points. This means that the next time you view that seat availability calendar online; there should be more open seats and less rows of black dates.

CNBC reported that 74% of seating is now available for reward travel, citing an annual survey by Switchfly — that’s up from 66% when the survey was originally done in 2010.

According to the article as reported by CNBC, Sorensen thinks three factors are pushing airlines to free up more reward seats. First, competition from credit cards like Capital One offer reward bookings without blackout dates may be forcing airlines to make more seats available so airline frequent flyer programs are more attractive. Second, airline travelers are flying less for leisure and picking/choosing when they go to take advantage of off-peak travel dates to save money since the airline prices have continued to rise, despite falling gas prices. And third, partnerships between third party travel perks programs and the airlines are creating a higher volume of passengers who have been gifted reward travel so the airlines have to open up more seats to fill the demand.

The biggest U.S. airlines, including American, Delta, and United, all upped the number of reward seats available on their flights. Meanwhile, there are also airlines that have reward seats on every flight, including Southwest .

Check out this video on the latest airline trends.

In other airlines news, starting this fall US Airways will cease operations as it completely folds into its new parent American Airlines. So gate agents can stop saying, “Sorry, we’re in transition.” We’re sure you’ve heard that more than once over the past six months.

If you’ve successfully booked a rewards point flight recently share your good fortune with us on Twitter @SmartCars1 using hashtag #bookedit!

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