Following in the footsteps of WestJet, JetBlue and Southwest, German low cost carrier Germanwings has changed the earning methodology for its Boomerang Club to a revenue based model. Previously, the program awarded a fixed 1,500 miles per segment which accounted for a free flight after 8 segments. The new system awards 10 Miles for every 1€ spent with Germanwings (Flight, seat reservation fees, luggage fees etc) and members can redeem for a one way flight at 10,000 miles. This means that a member can earn a single one way ticket for every 1,000€ spent excluding bonuses or miles earned with partners.
As we have seen with all the other programs running the revenue based model, the program awards the higher spenders faster then those who do not spend as much traveling (think Business traveler vs. Leisure traveler) however this will also impact the business traveler who flew on short routes with Germanwings as they always received 1,500 miles no matter what and now it may take them more segments on that short route to earn the same free flight. On the other hand, last minute business travelers may be awarded sooner then the previous 8 segment rule strictly on the fact there are shelling out more money to buy there revenue tickets.
The revenue based model is a good system and works well for airlines, particularly low cost airlines, but when it is introduced as a change to an existing program it can and will be met with some backlash as those frequent travelers who earned free flights without spending too much will have to, unhappily, fork over more money or look at switching programs where they may be rewarded sooner. As is with any change to a Frequent Flyer Program, you win some and you lose some as you can’t make everyone happy.
For more details on the change please visit Germanwings’ Boomerang Club