Point Me to the Miles

Navigating the Path to Great Travel

My (Belated) Freddie Awards Post

I suppose I am a little late in finally getting to it, but I did have the wonderful opportunity to attend the Freddie Awards few weeks back, as a guest of the fabulous Mr. Randy Petersen.

TITAN LIMO

But before I get ahead of myself, it might be nice to put out a plug.  Thanks to Million Mile Secrets post on Titan Limo, I was able to book a ride from the airport to my hotel (just down the road from where the Freddies were held) at a discounted rate.

I suppose you would call me an extrovert, and I’ve been driven by folks from every corner of the globe, so I generally make small chat when I can.  During the course of small talk, I blurted out a loaded question, though at the time thought it was innocent:  “Do you enjoy doing this?”

Agaffed, my driver admitted “No I don’t!  I’m the owner, but all other available drivers are busy!”  I was immediately humbled to be driven by the President of the company, and it was fairly smooth ride.  So if you are in the DC area, Titan Limo is well worth it!

One additional tidbit is that they are starting their own loyalty program, which will usable in a number of major cities across the US through their various connections.

THE FREDDIES

After a quick shower, I decided to be adventurous and walk a mile or so from the Ritz Carlton to the USA Today headquarters, where the Freddies were hosted.

I entered on the tail end of the cocktail reception, but was able to hobnob with a number of blogger friends, old and new.

Freddie Awards

Freddie Awards Cocktail Reception

The food was decent-good but not spectacular.  And while the ceremonies may have left a little to be desired, I really don’t think I have the right to complain:  I was enjoying a complimentary dinner and drinks, as a guest of Randy.

IMG-20130425-01128

IMG-20130425-01129

The award part went by like a blur, and the winners were:

EUROPE/AFRICA:

HOTELS

Best Hotel Promo – Le Club Accorhotels
Best Hotel Redemption Ability – Starwood Preferred Guest

Best Hotel Customer Service – IHG Priority Club Rewards

Best Hotel Elite Program – Starwood Preferred Guest

Hotel Program of the Year – Le Club Accorhotels

AIRLINES

Best Airline Promo AirFrance/KLM Flying Blue
Best Airline Redemption Ability –
AirFrance/KLM Flying Blue

Best Airline Customer Service – SAS EuroBonus
Best Airline Elite Program –
AirFrance/KLM Flying Blue
Airline Program of the Year –
AirFrance/KLM Flying Blue

CREDIT CARDS

Best Loyalty Credit Card – Flying Blue American Express Card

MIDDLE EAST/ASIA/OCEANIA

HOTELS

Best Hotel Promo – Taj Hotels & Resorts InnerCircle
Best Hotel Redemption Ability –
Hyatt Gold Passport

Best Hotel Customer Service – Hyatt Gold Passport

Best Hotel Elite Program – Hyatt Gold Passport

Hotel Program of the Year – IHG Priority Club Rewards

AIRLINES

Best Airline Promo – JetAirways JetPrivelege
Best Airline Redemption Ability –
Virgin Australia Velocity

Best Airline Customer Service – Emirates Skywards
Best Airline Elite Program –
Virgin Australia Velocity
Airline Program of the Year –
Virgin Australia Velocity

CREDIT CARDS

Best Loyalty Credit Card – JetPrivelege HDFC Bank Credit Card

AMERICAS

HOTELS

Best Hotel Promo – Marriott Rewards
Best Hotel Redemption Ability –
Marriott Rewards

Best Hotel Customer Service – Marriott Rewards

Best Hotel Elite Program – Hyatt Gold Passport

Hotel Program of the Year – Marriott Rewards

AIRLINES

Best Airline Promo – American Advantage
Best Airline Redemption Ability –
AviancaTACA LifeMiles

Best Airline Customer Service – Southwest Rapid Rewards
Best Airline Elite Program –
American Airlines AAdvantage
Airline Program of the Year –
American Airlines AAdvantage

CREDIT CARDS

Best Loyalty Credit Card – Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Card

Just as it did  last year, Marriott did very well, and I still think it is a very undervalued loyalty program given all that it offers.  As a hardcore loyalist myself, I think the “Best Hotel Customer Service Award” was very well deserved.

And to some degree AirFrance surpised me with how well they did.  It’s a good frequent flyer program, but never struck me as spectacular.

And Avianca continues to make strides in my book, with their easy to gain miles, and lauded redemption ability.

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