Here are some common terms that I use in the blog:
Alliance: A partnership between multiple airlines, allowing passengers to purchase one ticket for travel that involves more than one airline.
American Aadvantage: American Airlines’s frequent flyer program.
Award Chart: A list of all the awards that an airline offers for frequent flyer miles.
Code Share: Refers to a flight that has more than one flight number. In this case, multiple numbers are assigned to a flight for passengers connecting from alliance partners. The originating carrier is identified by the letters in front of the flight number.
Devaluation: When an airline raises the amount of miles needed for an award, effectively making each mile worth less.
Elite Status: Additional benefits awarded to travelers who fly a large number of miles in a calendar year. The benefits that you receive are based on the number of miles that you have flown and the airline you have flown on.
Fare Class: The letter on your airline ticket that determines what benefits you are entitled to. For instance, Fare Class “F” generally refers to a First Class ticket, while “Y” usually corresponds with a full-fare, fully-refundable coach ticket. Airlines have dozens of different fare classes, each with an associated set of benefits. Usually, the more you pay, the better your fare class.
Frequent Flyer Mile: A unit of currency from an airline that can be redeemed for flights or other awards. Also referred to as Frequent Flyer Points.
Manufactured Spending: The purchase of cash-equivalents, such as gift cards or money orders, that are then converted into actual cash. The most famous example is when the mint was selling dollar coins at face value. Consumers bought them with a credit card, earning miles for the purchase, and then deposited them in the bank to pay the bill. Current examples are buying money orders with a mileage-debit card or purchasing cash-equivalent gift cards.
Peak/Off-Peak: Used to refer to the timing of an award. Peak periods refer to times when flights are booked heavily and the airline can sell a ticket easily. These awards will cost more. Off-peak times are periods of lighter travel when awards might be cheaper.
Revenue Management: The system by which airlines price tickets based on anticipated demand for a route, as well as competitive responses. Over time, fares have correlated increasingly less with costs or distance. For instance, a highly competitive transcontinental flight might cost less than a short route on which an airline has a monopoly.
Shopping Portal: An area on an airline’s (or other merchant’s) website where you can link to a virtual shopping mall. You can earn miles for shopping through one of these portals.
United MileagePlus: United Airlines’s frequent flyer program.