Southwest ranked best, US Airways worst for frequent fliers

May 27, 2011 Updated May 27, 2011 at 7:15 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By Business First - by Denver Business Journal

May 27, 2011 Updated May 27, 2011 at 7:15 AM EDT

Southwest Airlines is the most generous U.S. airline when it comes to redeeming frequent flier miles, according to a new study.

Southwest is the dominant carrier servicing Buffalo Niagara International Airport with 30 percent market share.

US Airways was found to be the least generous in the study by consulting firm IdeaWorks Co.

Twenty-four airlines were rated on how often they award free tickets in response to website inquiries on redeeming frequent-flier miles. IdeaWorks evaluated the carriers by making 6,720 web requests for a standard-mileage award.

Dallas-based Southwest (NYSE:LUV) awarded free seats 99.3 percent of the time, the study showed. Worldwide, only Brazil's GOL awarded seats more often - 100 percent of the time.

US Airways (NYSE:LCC) had an award rate of 25.7 percent. The second-lowest rate was at Delta Air Lines, at 27.1 percent.

The average award rate for U.S. airlines was 68.6 percent, up from last year's 66.1 percent rate.

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