According to a recent report, airlines around the world are making improvements to the availability of seats that can be booked using loyalty rewards.

The ninth annual Cartrawler Reward Seat Availability Survey included airlines with new rewards programmes, including China Eastern, Norwegian and Westjet.

The results also revealed that earning miles or points is shifting to spend-based methods rather than distance flown, with 11 of the 25 airlines included in the survey saying they now use ticket prices to determine the number of points or miles rewarded. Air France KLM and the Lufthansa Group are leading the way in this change, with the companies switching to euro-based accrual during 2018.

The emergence of low-cost carriers and basic fares appears to be an influencing factor in shifting to price-based rewards, with Cartrawler saying traditional airlines have realised old reward tables create ‘unreliable value’ for customers. Programme members believe low fares should incur lower reward value.

Of the survey participants, 11 had improved their reward availability for 2018. American Airlines’ AAdvantage programme saw a significant increase of 27.8 points in overall seat availability, while Turkish Airlines’ Miles&Smiles saw a 31.4-point boost. US carrier Southwest led the pack with its Rapid Rewards, which maintained 100 per cent availability.

Read the full report here

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