How Travel Companies Celebrated My Birthday

Written by Charlie

Check out how some travel companies decided to celebrate my birthday and which ones actually gave some kind of a gift!

This past week, I completed my 40th trip around the sun. If that was the climb up the hill, I can only imagine how fast it will be going down the hill of life now! But, it was a great time and I had a wonderful day with family which is always great.

How Travel Companies Celebrated My Birthday

I always find it curious each year to see which companies try to “celebrate” my birthday for me and what they try to do to gain my attention. There have been some pretty decent offers and such over the years so today I will just talk about the ones that I noticed that I have received.

The Birthday Greeting

The first one up is the simplest of all. Since travel companies have birthdates of members as part of their profile, this is really a simple and easy way for a company to try and get eyeballs with a simple “Happy Birthday” type message.

But, many do not take advantage of that. Honestly, I would kind of expect more airlines, especially, to do something like this in an attempt to try and keep their offers in front of someone’s mind, especially when it comes to something like a birthday. This can often be a time when people either are getting some gifts or thinking about their year ahead and how they may want to do something special.

However, I only received a few messages from airlines or companies in this space in this category (I am signed up with dozens of airlines so they all have my birthday information).

Citi Cards

I had a little birthday graphic I got from Citi to wish me a happy birthday – and encourage me to browse rewards to see what I may want to use my points on.

Delta Air Lines

Delta did a nice job of linking the happy birthday message to travel inspiration, including offering some various destinations that they serve. This is what I am talking about – a simple greeting in a way that looks more personal than normal e-mails with encouragement to travel a bit more and be more inspired on travel. Of course, this e-mail will get a higher chance of a click and purchase of out me than an e-mail I did NOT receive from someplace like United or AA! 🙂


Avianca took it one still further by telling me I should login to MyAvianca to “discover special discounts” for me. Who wouldn’t?! Well, of course, there was not special just for ME but a list of their ongoing discounted travel sales. Still, a nice way to get someone to check out their current sales.

National Car Rental

Now, unlike the previous companies, I actually do have status with National at their top tier (thanks, various stacking opportunities!). So, not sure if they send this to everyone or just to elite customers (which you can get very easily if you have an American Express Platinum card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve).

Anyway, it was a link to a “birthday treat” that had a graphic of a dash of a car radio. Upon clicking, it took me to their website and let me pick my favorite genre of music and then played Happy Birthday with that genre. Interesting but not as much of a “treat” as I thought I would get! Like, maybe a $20 discount like they offer all.the.time win e-mails? Still, nice little playful gesture.

The Birthday Gift

Next we get to companies that actually gave me something for my birthday. I will say that Alaska Airlines used to do this every year – give a 5% discount on a ticket purchased with them. I haven’t received this in a couple of years so not sure if they stopped this or just stopped sending it to me since I never used it.

Aegean Airlines

I have been an Aegean Gold member for almost 10 years now and every year, I get a little gift of 500 miles in my account. This year, they put it in without even an e-mail saying they were doing it so I actually only realized it when I noticed the little boost in my account. Since they charge €25 for 1,000 miles, this was like a €12 gift from them – very nice gesture.

Air France

Air France went ahead and gave me a discount code that would take off $56 on my next trip when I used that code. The discount had to be used before April 24 and is good for travel anytime in the next year. Other terms specified that I had to originate in the US and it was eligible in all cabins on Air France, KLM, Delta or KLM Cityhopper flights.

Lastly, it had to be used on a trip with a minimum price of $181 before taxes. If there happens to be an Amex Offer for Air France in the next month and I am so included, this could help save a little more money.


The last one I received something from was from KLM. Given that they are in the same family as Air France, this was not a surprise but the terms were quite different.

For starters, it was a discount of $35 on a trip that had a pre-tax price of $171. But, I would only be able to depart from an airport in the UK to get that discount. Since I do not live in the UK and do not plan on being in the UK in the coming months, this won’t be of interest to me. Not sure if this was because I chose English as my preferred language? But my address is in the US so not sure!

Bottom Line

Hey, I have enough family and friends so I really don’t “need” birthday greetings from companies, too! 🙂 But, I found it interesting to see which companies thought of using something like a birthday as a potential, targeted marketing opportunity. I was a bit surprised that foreign airlines seemed to try this more than US airlines.

Honestly, it is such an easy play and a way to get the customer to engage on the travel website that I am surprised they don’t do it – there does not need to be any gift involved. But, just use some simple software targeting to show some destinations that may be appealing based on past travel with the airline (or based on the season of year that the birthday is in).

Have you received any special birthday messages from travel companies? What were they and what was the best?

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


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