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The loyalty programs for Southwest Airlines and Marriott both took home the Program of the Year award at this year's Freddie Awards. InsideFlyer magazine held the 29th annual Freddie Awards in Jersey City, with just about three million travelers casting their ballots for the rewards programs they feel gave them the best bang for their buck and service over the past year.
Both have won the Program of the Year award for the Americas region before, with this being the second win for Southwest Airlines. Marriot has taken the title every year since 2008. This year they both took home multiple awards in other categories as well.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards frequent flyer program also took home the Freddie Award for Best Customer Service, which they have received for the past five years. But that's not all. They also scooped up awards for Best Redemption Ability and Best Loyalty Credit Card award.
"Hearing that our loyal customers hold us in such high regard is both a pleasure and an honor," said Jonathan Clarkson, Southwest's senior director of Loyalty, Partnerships, & Products.
Marriott Rewards, on the other hand, took home awards for the Best Elite Program, Best Customer Service and Best Redemption Ability.
"Winning these Freddie Awards is especially meaningful as they are voted on by members," said David Flueck, senior vice president of Loyalty, Marriott International. "As we look to bring the best of all programs together, we will continue to build upon our award-winning legacy with our members at the center of everything that we do."
More Winners in the Americas
It was not a grand slam for either Southwest or Marriot with other programs standing out from the pack when it comes to the Americas region too. The other winning frequent flyer programs include:
- Best Elite Program — American Airlines – AAdvantage
- Best Promotion — Avianca – LifeMiles
- 210 AWARD — Avianca – LifeMiles
When it came to hotel rewards programs MGM's M life Rewards program took the Best Promotion award and AccorHotels took home the 210 AWARD.
And the rest of the world
What about Europe and Africa? Norwegian Air's Norwegian Reward frequent flyer program took home the Program of the Year award, and in the hotel category Accor Hotels picked up the Program of the Year award.
Heading out to the Middle East and Asia? Then you might want to take a look at EL AL's Matmid Club and Starwood Preferred Guest because they both took the top spot for airlines and hotels.