Matthewonlive and let's fly

A Recap of the 2012 Freddie Awards

I had a wonderful time at the Freddie Awards in New York City last night, mingling with a number of bloggers, journalists, industry folk, and even some of my readers! A big thanks to Gary Leff for the invite and Randy Petersen for his involvement in this project after a three year hiatus. MC Robert Wuhl was a riot and I really did have a great evening.

Here are the winners (and there were a lot of them!):

AIRLINES

Program of the Year
Americas: American Airlines AAdvantage
Europe/Africa: Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles
Middle East/Asia/Oceania: Jet Airways Jet Privilege

Best Customer Service
Americas: American Airlines AAdvantage
Europe/Africa: Lufthansa Miles & More
Middle East/Asia/Oceania: Jet Airways JetPrivilege

Best Elite Program
Americas: American Airlines AAdvantage
Europe/Africa: Air Baltic Baltic Miles
Middle East/Asia/Oceania: Etihad Guest

Best Loyalty Credit Card
Americas: Delta SkyMiles Amex
Europe/Africa: Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles Garanti Card
Middle East/Asia/Oceania: Etihad Guest Above Visa

Best Promotion for Redemption
Americas: Delta “Travel in Style for Half the Miles”
Europe/Africa: Lufthansa Miles & More “Upgrade Discount”
Middle East/Asia/Oceania: El Al “Upgrade Assured”

Best Promotion for Earning
Americas: American Airlines AAdvantage Double EQMs
Europe/Africa: Lufthansa Miles & More “Every Flight Counts”
Middle East/Asia/Oceania: Jet Airways Privilege “A Trip Well Advised”

Best Redemption Ability
Americas: TAM
Europe/Africa: Air Baltic Baltic Miles
Middle East/Asia/Oceania: Etihad Guest

HOTELS

Program of the Year
Americas: Marriott Rewards
Europe/Africa: Starwood Preferred Guest
Middle East/Asia/Oceania: Taj Hotels

Best Customer Service
Americas: Marriott Rewards
Europe/Africa: Starwood Preferred Guest
Middle East/Asia/Oceania: Taj Hotels

Best Elite Program
Americas: Marriott Rewards
Europe/Africa: Starwood Preferred Guest
Middle East/Asia/Oceania: Hyatt Gold Passport

Best Promotion for Redemption
Americas: Marriott PointSavers
Europe/Africa: Starwood Preferred Guest Moments
Middle East/Asia/Oceania: Starwood Preferred Guest Moments

Best Promotion for Earning
Americas: Starwood Preferred Guest “Getaway Free”
Europe/Africa: Starwood Preferred Guest “Getaway Free”
Middle East/Asia/Oceania: Accor A-Club A “Bring Back Smiles to Thailand”

Best Redemption Ability
Americas: Starwood Preferred Guest
Europe/Africa: Marriott Rewards
Middle East/Asia/Oceania: Taj Inner Circle

*     *     *

The people have spoken, so it's not for me to second-guess them, but I will anyway. It always surprises me that Marriott does so well and some of the categories American Airlines won really surprised me as well. I suppose Marriott is a dominant chain that can be found just about everywhere worldwide and people loyal to that brand do not know that the grass is greener on the other side, but I was surprised that Hyatt did not win one category the Americas.

I can see why AA won the best promotion category for their double EQM offer and I can even see why they won the best elite program, but I had trouble justifying the best customer service category, though I am not a top-tier Executive Platinum...yet. I thought Southwest or JetBlue would have won that category, though it has been awhile since I have flown either of them. And poor US Airways, with their "Grand Slam" promotion, at least deserved an honorable mention.

In terms of best promotion for redemption, Delta's “Travel in Style for Half the Miles” was good, but Aeroplan's "let's discount first and business by 50% for two weeks on most routes" was huge and by the far the promotion of the year in my book, despite the added fuel surcharges on many carriers.

But the people have spoken and it was great to be part of the festivities last night. Congrats to all the winners.

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Comments

I'm shocked to see that UA didn't make the cut! (sarcasm)

Matthew, as you see above in your post, Hyatt DID win one award. I do feel like they deserved Best Elite Program in the Americas as well.

Marriott has an incredibly loyal following, I don't get it myself (I think I've described it elsewhere as Stockholm Syndrome).

But Aeroplan's discounted premium cabin redemptions really were a technical glitch and not a promotion....

#3
Dan April 28, 2012 at 07:56 am

Yea, thats the bigger news here. UA used to dominate some of these awards and they didn't get a single one this year.

Hopefully this and the mass of 1Ks matching to EXP at AA will get someone's attention at UA...

@Gary--thanks for catching that. I knew that, of course--I just meant to type that Hyatt did not win one category in the Americas. Correction made.

Here's the thing about Aeroplan--I think it was glitch too. It just seems it had to be, but the Aeroplan folks I have talked to insist that it was deliberate and not a glitch.

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