As part of the company's fourth annual ‘Switchfly Reward Seat Availability Survey’, more than 7,500 booking queries were entered into 25 airline frequent flier programme websites in March 2013.
The top routes for each airline were checked to assess reward seat availability, with a minimum of two seats needed for each outbound and inbound reward reservation query.
The survey results are listed below, with ‘% of total availability’ in brackets next to each airline (representing the frequency of queries which produced one or more available flights for a roundtrip pair of travel dates).
Note that the first three airlines are tied in first place with an impressive 100% score. In addition, the 5th, 13th and 20th positions are also tied.
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“Ongoing consolidation and capacity cuts continue to squeeze reward seat availability, and yet frequent flier programmes find ways to grow their membership and drive redemption,” said Daniel Farrar, CEO of Switchfly.
“While often viewed as a programme’s primary redemption benefit, reward seats need not be the final frontier. Travelers banking a percentage of the trillions of miles outstanding today have interesting options as more programs start to think ‘outside the cabin’ to include rewards through joint ventures and alliance partners, hotel nights, rental cars, other travel and retail purchases and even cash.”