More free miles: Northwest elite members get 50% bonus

Perhaps as a result of some of the recent increased marketing (read: fare sales) lately or perhaps because of the pending mergers and passengers switching carriers, several airlines have been pitching to frequent fliers in an attempt to retain their business. I posted earlier on double miles promotions on Delta and American, two classic examples of the pitches.

Northwest just launched a similar promotion: now, any elite member who purchases and travels on a flight before August 31 is eligible for a 50% bonus on their earned miles. Real quick, since I know you guys hate numbers, you’ll thus now earn the following miles for a sample Detroit – Los Angeles leg:

Silver Elite: 1980 base miles + 990 Silver Elite miles + 990 bonus miles = 3960 miles
Gold Elite: 1980 base miles + 1980 Gold Elite miles + 990 bonus miles = 4950 miles
Platinum Elite = 1980 base miles + 2475 Platinum Elite miles + 990 bonus miles = 5445 miles.

So on a roundtrip you could be earning as much as 11,000 miles, or about 2/5 of a free domestic ticket. Neat huh? Of course you have to be an elite member to reap any of these benefits, which means you have to fly at least 25k miles a year anyway. So the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Sound like any tax plans you’ve seen recently?

Check out Northwest’s promo page if you want to participate.