Best Frequent Flyer and Frequent Guest Programs Chosen in the 20th Annual Freddie Awards

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Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan was named frequent flyer Program of the Year and Marriott Rewards took top honors among hotel programs at the 20th Annual Freddie Awards on Thursday, April 24th.

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan was named frequent flyer Program of the Year and Marriott Rewards took top honors among hotel programs at the 20th Annual Freddie Awards on Thursday, April 24th.

Internationally, Etihad Airways Etihad Guest frequent flyer program was voted Program of the Year in the Europe/Middle East/Africa region and India's Jet Airways JetPrivilege received the Program of the Year Freddie Award in the Asia/Pacific region for the second consecutive year.

More than 600,000 frequent travelers worldwide cast online ballots to determine the winners. The awards represent excellence in frequent travel programs and rate the best frequent flyer and frequent guest programs in eight different categories: Program of the Year, Best Award, Best Bonus Promotion, Best Web Site, Best Elite Level, Best Member Communications, Best Award Redemption and Best Customer Service. The Best Affinity Credit Card was also chosen. Voters were permitted to vote for programs in one of three global regions: Americas, Europe/Middle East/Africa and Asia/ Pacific.

Starwood Preferred Guest won Hotel Program of the Year in the Asia/ Pacific region this year for the fourth consecutive year as well as in the Europe/Middle East/Africa region for the second consecutive year. Marriott Rewards placed first in the Americas region.

This is Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan's fourth time as the Program of the Year award winner. The Seattle-based program also won first place in the Best Web Site and Best Elite-Level Program categories this year.

Starwood Preferred Guest American Express was named top credit card for the second consecutive year in the Americas region. Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards took home the award for Best Award, Best Member Communications and Best Award Redemption, all in the Americas region.

Starwood Preferred Guest and Marriott Rewards tied for the most Freddie Awards overall with 10 while Jet Airways JetPrivilege took home the most for an airline program with seven.

The awards were announced yesterday by InsideFlyer Editor Randy Petersen during a ceremony at the Wyndham Phoenix in Phoenix, Ariz. Over 300 airline, hotel and credit card representatives attended the ceremony, along with several members of the voting public.

"For this 20th annual event, we are delighted to once again allow frequent flyers throughout the world to voice their opinions about the frequent travel programs that truly rise up in excellence," Petersen commented. "This is not an elitist view of these programs but rather the 'best' are determined by the votes of those who spend a great deal of their life on the road."

The Freddie Awards honor quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the overall merits of each program as reflected in a "Value Vote." Value Voting asks the voter to assign a number between one and 10 to the program for which he or she votes. To be eligible to win a Freddie Award, however, a program must receive at least two percent of the popular vote.

Petersen also presented Industry Impact Awards to Northwest WorldPerks, SAS EuroBonus, Qantas Frequent Flyer, Lufthansa Miles & More, Continental OnePass and Virgin Blue Velocity (a "Rising Star"). Introduced in 1992, the Industry Impact Awards are determined by editorial decision rather than by ballot. These awards honor the programs or individuals that have had, or will have, the biggest impact on the industry in coming years.

The Freddie Awards are named after the late Sir Freddie Laker, who attracted fame (and a knighthood in the United Kingdom) for pioneering low-cost air travel across the Atlantic in the 1970s.

This year, InsideFlyer magazine partnered with Points.com, Awards For Mortgage And Real Estate, Priority Pass, Executive Travel SkyGuide from American Express, ICLP and Loylogic to present the event for the 20th consecutive year. Attendees to the Award Ceremony were invited to dinner through a sponsorship with Visa and wine for the diners was sponsored by Synapse.

The event was Webcast live and a recap of the event may be viewed online at http://www.freddieawards.com/.

THIS YEAR'S WINNERS ARE:

Program of the Year
Americas Airline: Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
Europe/Middle East/Africa Airline: Etihad Airways Etihad Guest
Asia/Pacific Airline: Jet Airways JetPrivilege
Americas Hotel: Marriot Rewards
Europe/Middle East/Africa Hotel: Starwood Preferred Guest
Asia/Pacific Hotel: Starwood Preferred Guest

Best Award
Americas Airline: Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
Europe/Middle East/Africa Airline: Qatar Airways Privilege Club
Asia/Pacific Airline: Jet Airways JetPrivilege
Americas Hotel: Marriott Rewards
Europe/Middle East/Africa Hotel: Marriott Rewards
Asia/Pacific Hotel: Marriott Rewards

Best Bonus Promotion
Americas Airline: Delta SkyMiles
Europe/Middle East/Africa Airline: El Al Israel Airlines Matmid Club
Asia/Pacific Airline: Jet Airways JetPrivilege
Americas Hotel: InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards
Europe/Middle East/Africa Hotel: Marriott Rewards
Asia/Pacific Hotel: Hyatt Hotels Gold Passport

Best Member Communications
Americas Airline: Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
Europe/Middle East/Africa Airline: Gulf Air Frequent flyer
Asia/Pacific Airline: Korean Air SKYPASS
Americas Hotel: Marriott Rewards
Europe/Middle East/Africa Hotel: Marriott Rewards
Asia/Pacific Hotel: Marriott Rewards

Best Web Site
Americas Airline: Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
Europe/Middle East/Africa Airline: Etihad Airways Etihad Guest
Asia/Pacific Airline: Jet Airways JetPrivilege
Americas Hotel: InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards
Europe/Middle East/Africa Hotel: Starwood Preferred Guest
Asia/Pacific Hotel: Marriott Rewards

Best Affinity Credit Card
Americas: Starwood Preferred Guest American Express
Europe/Middle East/Africa: Lufthansa (and Partners) Miles & More Visa/MasterCard
Asia/Pacific: Jet Airways JetPrivilege Citibank Credit Card

Best Award Redemption
Americas Airline: Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
Europe/Middle East/Africa Airline: Etihad Airways Etihad Guest
Asia/Pacific Airline: Virgin Blue Velocity
Americas Hotel: InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards
Europe/Middle East/Africa Hotel: Starwood Preferred Guest
Asia/Pacific Hotel: Starwood Preferred Guest

Best Customer Service
Americas Airline: Midwest Airlines Midwest Miles
Europe/Middle East/Africa Airline: Etihad Airways Etihad Guest
Asia/Pacific Airline: Jet Airways JetPrivilege
Americas Hotel: Marriott Rewards
Europe/Middle East/Africa Hotel: Starwood Preferred Guest
Asia/Pacific Hotel: Starwood Preferred Guest

Best Elite Level
Americas Airline: Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
Europe/Middle East/Africa Airline: Qatar Airways Privilege Club
Asia/Pacific Airline: Jet Airways JetPrivilege
Americas Hotel: InterContinental Hotels Group Priority Club Rewards
Europe/Middle East/Africa Hotel: Starwood Preferred Guest
Asia/Pacific Hotel: Starwood Preferred Guest

Industry Impact Award
Northwest WorldPerks
SAS EuroBonus
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Lufthansa Miles & More
Continental OnePass

Rising Star Award
Virgin Blue Velocity

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KAREN HELDT
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