How might airline loyalty programs impact customers in the midst of a natural disaster? Having status within an airline’s frequent flyer program might help. Unfortunately, sometimes nature takes the reigns and it becomes your top priority to evacuate. When east coast states are warned of an impending tropical storm or hurricane, they are lucky enough to have some time for preparation. Often with days of advanced warning, residents have opportunities to run to the grocery story and gas station to stock up on supplies. However, in severe circumstances, some areas are advised or forced to evacuate.
Anyone who’s been in this dire situation knows how stressful an evacuation can be. Driving may be difficult when highways are backed up and gas stations are cleared out. When flying is the only option, here’s where having status with an airline can come in handy.
Loyalty to an airline gives you status with their frequent flyer program. When you have a higher status with an airline’s loyalty program, you’ll be awarded priority in many aspects of booking, especially when it comes to making last minute plans. In planning around a natural disaster, such as a hurricane, being able to book an emergency flight will benefit you immensely.
For example, in general, members with higher elite status will be placed higher on standby lists. So, when flights out of town are being booked up, a member with an elite status will have a better chance of getting on a desired flight. Not to mention, those traveling with elite members will also receive the same priority status. If you’re traveling with friends or family members who don’t have any status with an airline’s loyalty program, they will automatically be considered to have the same priority as you do.
In the worst case scenario, having status with an airline will help you and your loved ones get to safety much quicker. No one wants to deal with interstate traffic, gas station lines, or waiting days on a standby list. Airlines want to recognize you for your loyalty. In the unavoidable situation of a natural disaster, your needs will be considered their first priority.