Airlines offer large corporations attractive packages, like negotiated rates and rewards, to drive loyalty and repeat business. But they typically don't have similarly structured programs for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). And that was understandable in the days when technology wasn't scalable, automated, or flexible enough given the technical and commercial resources airlines would have needed to manage such a large customer pool.
Loyalty fraud is a growing problem that costs airlines millions of dollars annually. In addition to financial losses, airlines also face reputational and regulatory damages. And with attacks on loyalty programs becoming increasingly sophisticated, it´s an overdue problem loyalty leaders need to tackle urgently.
Managing travel credits efficiently and cost-effectively has long been a pain point for airlines, causing friction with their customers. Find out how a digital wallet can turn the tide by enabling better customer experiences, flexible spend options, and value retention for airlines.
For many years, airline and hotel loyalty programs have catered to an older audience. The bread and butter of these loyalty programs has centered around the 45+ year-old business traveler.
Launching new business ideas or adapting program designs in airline loyalty are only as viable as the underlying technology can support them. Too often, airline loyalty leaders face painfully long, resource-intensive, and costly systems customizations to get new ideas off the ground or integrate new partners into the ecosystem. The victims? Innovation, speed to market, and the ability to unlock a loyalty program´s full business potential. But there is another way.
Loyalty programs acquired superstar status during the pandemic, with many airlines selling miles to secure lifeline funding and alternative revenue streams. Ultimately, the objective is to acquire new members and steer them to the scheme´s everyday earn opportunities through the airline’s co-branded credit card or partner network.
With so many loyalty programs competing to be top of wallet, a strategic approach to creating a valuable currency is critical. Yet, airline loyalty programs don´t just compete against each other in this lucrative space. Often, unrelated credit card schemes offer their users more attractive benefits and have stronger currency value.
As the COVID-19 crisis continues, airline loyalty programs have become a survival lifeline for airlines. Airlines can harness the power of loyalty programs to generate non-travel related revenue and retain cash by maintaining meaningful engagement through non-air activities and demonstrating compassion for their customers' circumstances.