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Weird airline rewards unveiled

April 08, 2012|By Hugo Martin
  • Actor George Clooney in "The Ides of March."
Actor George Clooney in "The Ides of March." (Saeed Adyani / Columbia…)

Would you fly more often if your reward was a regular supply of socks or a leather vest autographed by George Clooney?

With demand for air travel on the rise, the competition for passengers is heating up. One way airlines are trying to lure passengers is with tantalizing rewards offered through frequent flier programs.

And many of those rewards are, well, weird, according to a study by IdeaWorks, a Shorewood, Wis., airline consulting firm that studied more than 150 airline rewards programs. The firm released a list last week of the top 40 “weird, wild and wonderful” rewards.

For example, passengers of the Latvian national airline AirBaltic who accumulate 13,754 airline points can trade the points in for a dog-sled adventure.

American Airlines passengers can trade in 14,700 points for a beer-tasting tour in Brussels, the study found.

With 21,000 points on Lufthansa, passengers can get a “sockscription” that includes a delivery of three pairs of socks immediately, followed by identical deliveries four months and eight months later.

Passengers who accumulate 650 miles with Icelandair can trade in the miles for a traditional Icelandic oatmeal and rhubarb cake known as a “Happy Marriage Cake.”

And if you want the leather vest signed by Clooney, the star of “Ocean’s Eleven” and “Up in the Air,” you’ll need to rack up 177,000 miles with Air Canada.

“Consumers expect more from their frequent flier programs and airlines seem to be stepping up to the challenge,” the report said.

ALSO:

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LAX unveils $238-million renovation of Alaska Airlines terminal

J.D. Power gives low-fare airlines high marks for service

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