CHICAGO - While most travelers still prefer to use their accrued frequent flyer miles toward additional airline travel, a small percentage have switched to using them for hotel stays.
GO Airport Express, a Chicago-based ground transportation provider, conducted a survey of travelers in February of this year about frequent flyer miles usage and compared results with those from the same survey the company conducted last year.
The biggest change, although by just two percentage points, was in the number of participants who use their miles toward hotels. In 2012, six percent reported doing so compared with eight percent in 2013.
"While the percentage change in use of miles for hotels is small, in real numbers the uptick could be significant." says John McCarthy, president, GO Airport Express.
Using miles for airline tickets is still the first choice, cited by 87 percent of respondents, which is down just one percentage point from last year's survey. Four percent still use miles for products. Charitable donations of miles have gone down slightly from just over one percent in 2012 to just under one half percent this year.
GO Airport Express provides airport shuttles to and from O'Hare International Airport and Midway Airports, polled travelers nationwide. Almost 300 people responded to this survey and 380 participated in 2012.
One of the oldest companies in Chicago, GO Airport Express traces its founding to 1853 and the Parmelee Transportation Company, which provided a carriage service between Chicago's railroad stations and the downtown hotels. It is a founding member of The GO Group LLC, the nation's largest airport transportation provider, serving some 60 airports in North America, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe and transporting more than 13 million passengers per year.