CWT Solutions over two years measured airfares for more than 12,600 different U.S. point-of-sale travelers, comparing prices according to the loyalty status level achieved by the travelers. On average, travelers with status paid 15 percent to 20 percent more for their tickets than travelers without status. "As loyalty programs have evolved, travelers are increasingly drawn in by the benefits that come with earning various levels of status," according to the report. "It's about more than just the redemption value of the miles earned, as the status-related benefits such as priority boarding, waived baggage fees and complimentary upgrades serve to improve the overall travel experience." The report also suggested that travel buyers should monitor traveler behavior as some airlines switch to loyalty programs with benefits based on ticket price paid rather than miles traveled. Such programs might cause travelers to consider booking outside of optimal windows for pricing or with nonrestricted fares in order to bolster their points accrual, the report cautioned. Get the full story at Business Travel News