2022 Freddie Awards
Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

The Unofficial Theme of the 2022 Freddie Awards

So who were the winners this year?

I attended the 2022 Freddie Awards in New Orleans last night, Thursday, April 21, 2022 — which was the first time I attended a Freddie Awards ceremony in person since the event occurred in Atlanta in 2015 — and although the winners were celebrated at a dinner at the US Freedom Pavilion in The Boeing Center at The National WWII Museum, the underlying unofficial theme was that travel in general was returning to some semblance of normalcy after greater than two years of the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic, with no attendees wearing masks or coverings for the nose and mouth of any kind.

The Unofficial Theme of the 2022 Freddie Awards

2022 Freddie Awards
Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

Although I maintained a low profile in general, seeing some familiar faces in person again was quite nice. Attendees were talking about being able to fly as passengers aboard airplanes without wearing masks or coverings for the nose and mouth of any kind. Some people related their experiences with being vaccinated for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus — and then being infected with it anyway afterwards.

Scott McCartney
Scott McCartney — who founded The Middle Seat column for The Wall Street Journal and has since retired — was the master of ceremonies for the 2022 Freddie Awards in New Orleans. Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

I must say that the most disappointing part of the 2022 Freddie Awards was the noticeably notable absence of Randy Petersen, who founded the event in 1988. I was looking forward to seeing him again in person; but he did not attend.

Winners of the 2022 Freddie Awards

Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

One award category of each of the three regions for airlines and lodging companies is what is known as the 210 Award, which is given to the best scoring frequent travel loyalty program that is ranked by fewer than 10 percent of voters. The 210 award is meant to recognize an up-and-coming frequent travel loyalty program which is delivering value to members that may not yet be on the radar of as many frequent travelers.

Without further ado, the official list of winners of the 31st Freddie Awards in 2022 includes:

Airline — Middle East and Asia/Oceania
  • Program of the Year: Singapore Airlines – KrisFlyer
  • Best Elite Program: Singapore Airlines – KrisFlyer
  • Best Promotion: Singapore Airlines – KrisFlyer – Earn Status Credit without Flying
  • Best Customer Service: Singapore Airlines – KrisFlyer
  • Best Redemption Ability: Singapore Airlines – KrisFlyer
  • 210 AWARD: Garuda Indonesia – GarudaMiles
Hotel — Middle East and Asia/Oceania
  • Program of the Year: ITC Hotels – Club ITC
  • Best Elite Program: ITC Hotels – Club ITC
  • Best Promotion: ITC Hotels – Club ITC – Reduced Requalification Requirements
  • Best Customer Service: Marriott Hotel – Marriott Bonvoy
  • Best Redemption Ability: ITC Hotels – Club ITC
  • 210 AWARD: Shangri-La – Circle
Credit Card — Middle East and Asia/Oceania
  • Best Affinity Credit Card: American Express — Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card
2022 Freddie Awards
Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.
Airline — Europe and Africa
  • Program of the Year: TAP Air Portugal – Miles&Go
  • Best Elite Program: TAP Air Portugal – Miles&Go
  • Best Promotion: TAP Air Portugal – Miles&Go – Black Friday
  • Best Customer Service: TAP Air Portugal – Miles&Go
  • Best Redemption Ability: TAP Air Portugal – Miles&Go
  • 210 AWARD: Virgin Atlantic – Flying Club
Hotel — Europe and Africa
  • Program of the Year: Accor – ALL Accor Live Limitless
  • Best Elite Program: AccorALL Accor Live Limitless
  • Best Promotion: Marriott Hotels – Marriott Bonvoy – Better Two-gether
  • Best Customer Service: AccorALL Accor Live Limitless
  • Best Redemption Ability: AccorALL Accor Live Limitless
  • 210 AWARD: GHA – GHA Discovery
Credit Card — Europe and Africa
  • Best Affinity Credit Card: American Express – Membership Rewards
2022 Freddie Awards
Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.
Airline — Americas
  • Program of the Year: Southwest Airlines – Rapid Rewards
  • Best Elite Program: American Airlines – AAdvantage
  • Best Promotion: Avianca – LifeMiles – 175% Bonus on Purchased Miles
  • Best Customer Service: Southwest Airlines – Rapid Rewards
  • Best Redemption Ability: Air Canada – Aeroplan
  • 210 AWARD: Air Canada – Aeroplan
Hotel — Americas
  • Program of the Year: Marriott Hotels – Marriott Bonvoy
  • Best Elite Program: Marriott Hotels – Marriott Bonvoy
  • Best Promotion: Caesars Entertainment – Caesars Rewards – Earn for Next Year
  • Best Customer Service: Caesars Entertainment – Caesars Rewards
  • Best Redemption Ability: Marriott Hotels – Marriott Bonvoy
  • 210 AWARD: Hyatt Hotels – World of Hyatt
Credit Card — Americas
  • Best Loyalty Credit Card: Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards — Premier Credit Card

Final Boarding Call

2022 Freddie Awards
Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

Of interest to note is that Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines not only did not win an award — they were not even officially mentioned at all throughout the entire evening. Although Hilton Honors and IHG One Rewards placed in the final four of several categories, both frequent guest loyalty programs failed to win an award as well.

Then again, I was told by no fewer than two employees of Delta Air Lines prior to the start of the awards ceremony in 2015 that if the airline did win a Freddie Award that they were not doing their job correctly. Nonetheless, a few representatives of Delta Air Lines did attend the event last night.

I did not agree with many of the results — but then again, the votes were tallied by frequent travelers; and compiling the information as accurately as possible while organizing a major event is a monumental task. When I asked Edward Pizzarello of Pizza in Motion — who co-organized the event last night — how the process went this year, he blearily responded with a simple statement: “I did not get any sleep last night.”

Regardless, the most important point of the 2022 Freddie Awards is that attendees were able to once again be at this event — which was cancelled in 2020 and again in 2021 — live and in person…

…and everyone seemed to be happy about that. I know I was thankful to be invited to attend the awards ceremony and banquet…

All photographs ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

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