Each year, the Freddie Awards are held and it allows travelers to make their choices known for the best in aviation, hotel hospitality, and affinity credit card. This year, already over 3.5 million votes have been cast for the favorite programs and it all winds down this week! Tomorrow, March 31, is the last day of voting so it is time to get your votes in, if you have not already.
Vote for Favorite Airline, Hotel, and Affinity Card – The Freddie Awards 2017
This year, the Freddie Award ceremony will take place on April 27. The winners, chosen by people like you, will be announced that night and it is always something that the various travel providers take price in winning.
If you have visited an airline or hotel website in the last month, you have seen their pages asking for your votes. You may have even received an e-mail from them asking for your vote. It is a big deal to these programs so now is your chance to pick the ones that are your favorites.
Here were the winners in the Americas region for 2016:
Program of the Year — Southwest Airlines – Rapid Rewards
Best Elite Program — American Airlines – AAdvantage
Best Promotion — Avianca – LifeMiles
Best Customer Service — Southwest Airlines – Rapid Rewards
Best Redemption Ability — Avianca – LifeMiles
210 AWARD — Avianca – LifeMiles
Program of the Year — Marriott Hotels – Marriott Rewards
Best Elite Program — Hyatt – Gold Passport
Best Promotion — MGM – M life
Best Customer Service — Marriott Hotels – Marriott Rewards
Best Redemption Ability — Marriott Hotels – Marriott Rewards
210 AWARD — MGM – M life
Best Loyalty Credit Card — Starwood – Starwood Preferred Guest from American Express
Who Will You Vote for in 2017?
Looking at the winners last year, there have been a few things that have shaken it up. American Airlines went revenue-based in their earning in 2016 and changed the elite structure a bit with the addition of a fourth tier while adding spending requirements for status as well. How they handled the qualification of the new Platinum Pro frustrated a lot of people so we shall see if that had any affect in the voting.
Southwest Airlines continues to be a strong program and even a very customer friendly one at large. Just look at how they handled the transferring of hotel points for the Companion Pass! After making it an immediate change on January 1 that it no longer qualified, they walked that back and gave customers until March 31 to take advantage of this awesome transfer option. Also, it is in the only airline in the US that continues to give a 2 bag allowance while also allowing fee-free changes and cancellations on tickets.
With hotels, Marriott has a good chance of taking top honors again with how they have been handling the Marriott/SPG merger. There have been no major headaches and the ability to transfer points between programs at a generous ratio on day one had a lot of travelers very happy.
As for hotel elite program, Hyatt announced at the end of October last year that they were shaking up their elite program and qualification process. This went into affect on March 1, 2017. Many people who qualified for Diamond on stays in the past are left out in the dark now with the requirement of needing 60 nights in a year to capture the top-tier Globalist status. So, we shall see what happens with this going forward. Even with that, Hyatt has really given their top-tier Globalists some amazing benefits and perks so this should help all of them in the voting. To be fair, all Diamonds who qualified for this year do have Globalist status so it would not be really right to skip voting for Hyatt, at least this year, when we get to enjoy those perks. But, SPG has some nice things going for it, especially since the stay requirement (25 nights) is still good with them and it can be achieved with award nights! Plus, you get Marriott Platinum as a result, which gives you United Silver. Not bad!
So, Who Will You Vote For?
The voting is almost over so get your vote in! Leave a comment below if you want to share which programs you voted for and why!
Fun fact: The man who started the Freddie Awards, Randy Petersen, is also the man who started BoardingArea, Flyertalk, and Inside Flyer!