Got an idea for a holiday? Send it to us

Submit Now

Frequent Flyer Day – May 1, 2023

Frequent Flyer Day is celebrated on May 1 every year. If you’re a jet setter or someone who frequently flies across the U.S. or all over the world, then this day is for you. The Frequent Flier is an incentive program that airlines have come up with to reward a customer’s loyalty. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, as long as you’re registered to the program, you’re in for a treat. Celebrate this day by enjoying all your perks from the points you’ve accumulated. From more air travel, class upgrades, and priority bookings, to airport lounge access, there’s no better day to feel like a V.I.P. than today.

History of Frequent Flyer Day

The idea of a frequent flyer was first suggested in the 1950s when airlines tracked the travel activity of their customers, which lasted until the 1960s. However, it was Texas International Airlines that established the first mileage-based Frequent Flyer Program (F.F.P.) in 1979, merging with Continental in 1982.

It wasn’t until 1981 that the Frequent Flyer Program was popularized by American Airlines and was called the AAdvantage. This was a marketing strategy with the goal of not only rewarding customers but also, promoting customer loyalty. They tracked the number of miles traveled by all their members and came up with a system of “a mile earned for a mile traveled.” They included Hyatt hotel accommodations as well as Hertz rental cars, and surely enough, the incentive program became a major hit, immediately pushing their competitors to come up with similar systems.

The same year, United Airlines introduced Mileage Plus, which upped the ante from American Airlines by introducing an enrollment bonus of 5,000 miles. Months later, Delta Airlines also launched the Frequent Flyer program, later renaming it SkyMiles in 1995. More and more airlines adopted the reward system, changing the world of travel forever. The program in American Airlines started with only 283,000 members in 1981. Today, it has over 46 million members. Without a doubt, the F.F.P. is one of the most successful incentive programs in any industry.

Frequent Flyer Day timeline

1950s
The Frequent Flyer Origin

Airlines all over the U.S. create the system of tracking every traveler’s activity, inspiring the concept of F.F.P.

1979
The First F.F.P. Incentive Program

Texas International Airlines creates the first mileage-based incentive program for loyal customers.

1981
The Launch of AAdvantage

American Airlines introduces their F.F.P. called AAdvantage.

1981
United Airlines Launch MileagePlus

A week after American Airlines’ AAdvantage launch, United Airlines introduces MileagePlus.

2006
The Peak of F.F.P.

Airlines all over the U.S. boast a collective of 120 million members and 10 trillion miles.

Frequent Flyer Day FAQs

Can you transfer Frequent Flyer Program points?

You can’t transfer F.F.P. points from one airline to another.

Do frequent flyer miles expire?

Yes, F.F.P. miles expire when they’re unused for a while.

How many miles do I need to get a free flight from United?

You will need at least 10,000 miles to get a free flight from United Airlines.

Frequent Flyer Day Activities

  1. Treat yourself to the perks

    Depending on the points you’ve accumulated, you’re entitled to several perks and benefits as a frequent flyer. Today’s the day to redeem those points and treat yourself to the mileage you’ve earned.

  2. Travel more often

    Most frequent flyers have a mileage goal to reach. There’s no better way to spend Frequent Flyer Day than adding more points to your mileage until you reach the number you’re aiming for. So take that trip you’ve been postponing today!

  3. Upgrade your seat

    If you usually travel via economy, then it’s time for you to experience first class. Frequent Flyer Day is that time of the year to spoil yourself with rewards. Enjoy a business class trip to your destination complete with first-class service, drinks, and plenty of legroom.

5 Fascinating Facts About Frequent Flying

  1. The average traveler activity

    A frequent flyer member earns an average of 11,364 miles annually.

  2. The annual growth of loyalty programs

    Loyalty programs grow up to 11% per annum.

  3. The largest F.F.P. program

    As one of the airlines to pioneer the F.F.P. program, American Airlines's AAdvantage is the largest F.F.P. membership program in the world.

  4. Not all members are active

    Only 27 to 28% of all F.F.P. members are active frequent flyers.

  5. Credit cards do the trick

    Using credit cards is the best way to earn points without flying.

Why We Love Frequent Flyer Day

  1. We love the perks

    It’s always rewarding to get what you earned. Redeeming the perks and benefits is one of the most exciting parts of being an F.F.P. member.

  2. First-class travel

    For every F.F.P. member, the goal is to get a first-class upgrade. There’s nothing better than traveling on the fancy side of the plane complete with world-class amenities and V.I.P. treatment.

  3. It’s an exclusive club

    One of the bragging rights one can have is the exclusivity of an F.F.P. membership. It’s a small community of travelers with mileage points.

Frequent Flyer Day dates

YearDateDay
2023May 1Monday
2024May 1Wednesday
2025May 1Thursday
2026May 1Friday
2027May 1Saturday
Deaf Awareness Week
Dog Anxiety Awareness Week
Hurricane Preparedness Week
Lawyer Well-Being Week
National Auctioneers Week
National Physical Education and Sport Week
Screen Free Week
Beltane
Calan Mai
Couple Appreciation Day
CSS Reboot Day
Early May Bank Holiday
Executive Coaching Day
Frequent Flyer Day
Global Love Day
Great Lakes Awareness Day
International Doodle Dog Day
International Sunflower Guerilla Gardening Day
Keep Kids Alive Drive 25 Day
Labour and Agriculture Day
Learn to Ride a Bike Day
Lei Day
Marshall Islands Constitution Day
May Day
Melanoma Monday
National Black Barber Shop Appreciation Day
National Blessing Day
National Chocolate Parfait Day
National Infertility Survival Day
National Loyalty Day
National Mantra Day
National Mother Goose Day
National Open Farm Day
National Purebred Dog Day
National Rotate Your Beer Day
New Home Owners Day
Philippines Labor Day
Phone in Sick Day
Save The Rhino Day
School Principals' Day
Silver Star Service Banner Day
Therapeutic Massage Awareness Day
Worthy Wage Day
ALS Awareness Month
American Cheese Month
American Wetlands Month
Arthritis Awareness Month
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Awareness of Medical Orphans Month
Be Kind to Animals Month
Bealtaine Festival
Better Sleep Month
Better Speech and Hearing Month
Bladder Cancer Awareness Month
Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month
Brain Cancer Awareness Month
Building Safety Month
Celiac Disease Awareness Month
Chip Your Pet Month
Clean Air Month
Correct Posture Month
Creative Beginnings Month
Date Your Mate Month
Deck Safety Month
EDS Awareness Month
Electromagnetic Radiation Awareness Month
Family Wellness Month
Fibromyalgia Education and Awareness Month
Food Allergy Action Month
Fungal Infection Awareness Month
Gardening for Wildlife Month
Get Caught Reading Month
Gifts From The Garden Month
Global Employee Health and Fitness Month
Global Youth Traffic Safety Month
Haitian Heritage Month
Heal the Children Month
Healthy Vision Month
Hepatitis Awareness Month
Homeschool Awareness Month
Huntington's Disease Awareness Month
Indian Heritage Month
International Business Image Improvement Month
International Civility Awareness Month
International Drum Month
International Internal Audit Awareness Month
International Respect for Chickens Month
International Victorious Woman Month
Jewish American Heritage Month
Labor History Month
Latino Books Month
Leaders of Tomorrow Month
Lettuce Month
Local and Community History Month
Lung Health Awareness Month
Lupus Awareness Month
Make May Purple /Action On Stroke Month
Maternal Mental Health Month
May Measurement Month
MCS Awareness Month
Melanoma / Skin Cancer Detection & Prevention Month
Mental Health Awareness Month
Military Appreciation Month
Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
National Allergy and Asthma Awareness Month
National Anxiety Month
National Asparagus Month
National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month
National Barbecue Month
National Bicycle Safety Month
National Blood Pressure Month
National Chocolate Custard Month
National Comfort Month
National Community Action Month
National Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month
National Digestive Diseases Awareness Month
National Duckling Month
National Egg Month
National Foster Care Month
National Hamburger Month
National Heritage Month
National Inventors Month
National Lyme Disease Awareness Month
National Meditation Month
National Mediterranean Diet Month
National Moving Month
National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month
National Pet Month
National Photo Month
National Physical Fitness and Sports Month
National Physiotherapy Month
National Preservation Month
National Prom Graduation Safety Month
National Recommitment Month
National Salad Month
National Salsa Month
National San Architect Month
National Service Dog Eye Examination Month
National Share a Story Month
National Show Your Smile Month
National Sight-Saving Month
National Strawberry Month
National Stroke Awareness Month
National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month
National Teen Self-Esteem Month
National Toxic Encephalopathy and Chemical Injury Awareness Month
National Tuberous Sclerosis Awareness Month
National Vinegar Month
National Walking Month
National Youth Traffic Safety Month
Necrotizing Fasciitis Awareness Month
Neurofibromatosis Month
Older Americans Month
Personal History Awareness Month
Pet Sitter Safety Month
REACT Month
Responsible Animal Guardian Month
Revise Your Work Schedule Month
Small Business Month
Speech and Hearing Awareness Month
Steelmark Month
Strike Out Strokes Month
Syringomyelia Awareness Month
Teen CEO Month
Tennis Month
Tuberous Sclerosis Awareness Month
Ultraviolet Awareness Month
Women's Health Care Month
Zombie Awareness Month

Want to sponsor this holiday?

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.