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Frequent flyer program (FFP)

A frequent flyer program (FFP) is a loyalty program offered by many commercial airlines to reward their customers and thus increase retention. FFPs allow passengers to receive points/miles/bonuses when purchasing travel, accumulate these points, and then redeem them for discounts on tickets or other airline services like 

  • extra baggage allowance,
  • better seat class,
  • priority boarding,
  • lounge access, etc.

Typically, FFPs offer a range of statuses depending on the number of points earned, offering more benefits and rewards to members with higher status.

Within most FFPs, miles can be earned not only through flight purchases with an airline but also when using credit cards of a partner card-issuing company or when spending money with other commercial partners such as car rental companies, hotels, or retail stores. These companies buy points from an airline and redeem them for their customers as rewards to drive sales.

Most FFPs today are revenue-based, meaning that points are accrued according to the member’s actual spending instead of the number of miles flown.