The 10 Worst Airline Reward Programs Carlos Yudica / Shutterstock.com

The 10 Worst Airline Reward Programs

Not all airline reward programs are created equal and beyond the frustrations of not being able to book a seat with your miles or points are outrageous taxes and fee, unfriendly websites and the inability to ever earn enough miles/points to redeem them for a flight. Looking at some of the major airlines around the world it is clear that some of the recent changes in reward programs have not actually been for the better and that some longtime reward programs are in desperate need of a refresh. Here are 10 of the worst airline reward programs around the world.

10. Emirates (Skywards)

Emirates is one of the major airlines that does not belong to an alliance, thus reducing the opportunity to earn and spend miles with partner airlines. They deal with two different kind of miles; Skyward miles that you can actually use and tier miles that are only responsible for upping your status in the reward program. It is hard to figure out how these reward miles actually work as currently Emirates does not publish an award chart, only a mileage calculator. To make things even more complicated they have two types of award fares, saver and flex. It is best to do some research before going for the saver fare (the fare that uses less miles) as it will cost you a lot to make changes, use a ridiculous amount of miles for a business class ticket and have high fuel surcharges. Overall this is just one confusing miles program.

9. American (AAdvantage)

With American and US Airways merging this past year it was interesting to see what was going to happen with the rewards program. Certainly not the worst of programs out there, the reason it ends up on this list is a combination of a few factors. To start off, booking a seat with rewards miles is still increasingly hard to do, though it does show signs of improvement. Although flights can be booked on blackout dates with certain miles, it costs the member a ton of miles and there are usually no seats. They also love to charge passengers for any changes on mile tickets. Knowing how many miles you are earning as you fly becomes confusing when you look at the many award charts available and there are limits in place for how many miles are allowed to be earned on each flight.

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