I just finished casting my vote in the 2012 Freddie Awards and it was actually pretty fun looking back at the different airline and hotel promotions from 2011. Of course, my definition of “fun” may be a smidge different than that of the average bear. So, even if you don’t think revisiting all of the loyalty programs and promotions from the previous year is fun, you should still strongly consider taking a few minutes to let your opinions be heard.
In case you are not familiar with the Freddie Awards, they are an award ceremony that has been around since 1988. They were named after Sir Freddie Laker who revolutionized the airline industry in the 1970s by becoming the first to offer no-reservation, low-cost air service. The Freddies are described as the “prestigious member-generated awards in the travel loyalty industry. The goal of the Freddie Awards is to give voice to the frequent flyer and to honor the efforts of an industry that counts more than 300 million members worldwide. In 1988 thousands of voters cast Freddie Award ballots. Today, more than 1 million ballots are cast annually.”
The Freddies had a two year absence in 2010 and 2011, during which time the Frequent Traveler Awards carried the torch during their hiatus. However, the Freddies are now back.
While I am certain my miles and points blogging privileges will be immediately revoked when I admit this, up until a few months ago, I had never heard of the Freddies. Why would I have cared about awards given to loyalty programs?? I just cared about getting points for myself and my family. Heck, I’m a busy mom, why in the world do I now care about taking time to vote in and write about the Freddies?
I care about the Freddies because the hotel and airline programs care about the Freddies. They want to win. They pay attention to what promotions and programs win. In fact, it seems that one of the reasons that Point Breaks (hotel award nights available for just 5,000 points) are still around in the Priority Club program is because of the tremendous support that they received in the Freddie Awards. I know I have been receiving mass emails from multiple loyalty programs encouraging me to “declare my loyalty” and to vote for them in the Freddie voting. I have even seen similar pushes on points forums.
Here are the seven categories you can vote in: Program of the Year, Best Promotion for Redemption, Best Promotion for Earning, Best Loyalty Credit Card, Best Redemption Ability, Best Elite Program and Best Customer Service.
So, I am happy to share my thoughts about those topics if there is a chance that my vote can help keep my favorite promotions around in 2012 (hello, US Airways Grand Slam), or send a message to loyalty programs that I didn’t love their promos last year as much as I have in the past (Hyatt’s Faster Free Nights, where have you gone?). It only took a few minutes, so I encourage you to express your opinions by voting in the Freddie Awards as well. Voting is open until March 31st.
The awards ceremony will be held April 26th at the Newark Renaissance Hotel. The ceremony is not open to the public, but it sounds like there will be an opportunity for 15 people to attend by signing up to go to the Frequent Traveler University that happens that same weekend in the NYC area and winning a raffle. I have also seen that The Points Guy will be hosting a table at the ceremony, so keep your eyes peeled if you want to be there to hear the winner’s announced first-hand.
Did you get a chance to vote yet? What were some of your favorites? Grand Slam, Grand Slam, Grand Slam…….