Our Top Frequent Flyer Programmes
With so many loyalty programmes out there it can be difficult to decide on which one to join. For UK flyers we have created a list of our top suggestions.
- British Airways Executive Club – This is the naturally most popular programme in the UK, and our number one choice for UK flyers. Why? British Airways offers the most nonstop flights from the UK to worldwide destinations, and through its membership of the Oneworld Alliance it offers even more destinations. This means there are endless opportunities to earn miles on flights. In addition through the partnership with American Express if you qualify for one of their British Airways cards you will earn miles every time you spend money on the card, with great mileage bonuses when you spend a certain amount, and even a free companion ticket if you spend a certain amount in your first year. In addition you can earn miles while shopping a at huge range of shops, including Tesco, when you rent an Avis vehicle or stay at certain hotels and get special mileage bonus promotions when shopping online through the Gate365 portal. With all the flight options and great extra ways to earn miles, this is our number one choice for UK travellers.
- KLM Flying Blue – with its large selection of regional airports that it serves, KLM might be the first choice for many travellers, and as such, a good choice for loyalty programme. You will earn miles when you fly on KLM, Air France and most other flights operated by the Skyteam Alliance as well as being able to earn miles when renting cars, staying at various hotel groups and spending money on-line through the KLM portal at a wide range of UK shops.
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club – Britain’s second largest carrier is a natural choice for UK flyers. Gaining limited status at their Silver level is easier than most airlines, but does offer fewer benefits than other airlines. Virgin has a fairly limited network from the UK, focussed mainly on the USA and Caribbean, with some Asian services and Johannesburg. Not being part of an alliance, also means fewer earning opportunities when flying. However, being UK based they do offer the chance to take out a Virgin credit card through Visa and American Express and earn points while you shop, as well as when you rent cars and stay at various hotels. Although there are limited opportunities while flying compared to other airlines, the ability to earn through spending and relative ease to gain some level of status means Virgin makes our top list.
- Turkish Airlines Miles and Smiles – Turkish?? Yip, Turkish. They fly from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh to Istanbul from where they connect onwards to more countries than any other airline. Not only will you earn miles while flying on Turkish flights, but also while flying on all Star Alliance partners, and being the largest alliance in the world means a lot of choice – think Lufthansa, Swiss, United, Singapore Airlines etc. They offer some of the most competitive fares from the UK to almost anywhere, and are one of the easiest airlines within Star Alliance to gain status, and once you have status it lasts for 2 years, unlike most airlines which only last for a year. Once you have status, they are also one of the easiest airlines with which to maintain your status.