SURVEY: Lounge access and upgrades perceived as top benefits in APAC Airline Loyalty Survey – but travellers unsure how to spend points

Dubai, 13 July 2023: IBS Software, a global leader of SaaS solutions to the travel industry, today reveals the results of a survey of 1500 air passengers based in Hong Kong, Singapore or United Arab Emirates (UAE). The majority (63%) of respondents, which included both leisure and business travellers, are members of an airline loyalty program and nearly 80% also choose to be part of schemes at supermarkets (44%), clothing brands (36%), and restaurants (33%).

Despite the widespread adoption of Airline Loyalty Programs (ALP), the results reveal passengers feel unable to make the most of them with over half (58%) unsure where they can redeem points and 56% unaware of the value of their points; this figure jumps to 64% in Singapore and the UAE.

Of the 37% of respondents who either have never been a member of a loyalty program or whose membership has lapsed, the main reason cited (after not flying frequently enough to make it worthwhile) is a lack of awareness of the benefits (30%). The perception that it’s too hard to build up points is the third most common reason for avoiding loyalty programs with nearly a quarter (23%) and this figure jumps to a third (33%) of non-members in Singapore.

However, despite the apathy amongst non-members, there is an opportunity for airlines to tempt them to sign up. 58% of respondents not already part of a loyalty program would be willing to try one in the future and this increases to 67% in the 26-35 year old age bracket and 64% in the UAE region. Hong Kong residents seem the most reluctant to try loyalty programs with just 46% considering it in the future. Easy check-ins (46%) and cabin class upgrades (44%) are highlighted as the two top reasons a non-member would be willing to sign up.

Of the respondents who are already members (63%), they belong to an average of at least two airline loyalty programs. Exclusive access to lounges (32%) and cabin class upgrades (31%) are seen as the top benefits for this group. For leisure travellers, class upgrades and points not expiring are the most appealing benefits, while a fast track check-in, immediate rewards and free tickets to events appeal more to business travellers.

Marcus Puffer, Vice President & Head of Loyalty Solutions at IBS Software said -- “It’s incumbent on airlines to ensure their program members are aware of the benefits of their loyalty schemes, or they risk losing their interest in being part of the club. VIP lounges and class upgrades are fantastic perks but if a member doesn’t feel confident in how to build up their bank of points or, worse, know how to use them, the selection of benefits becomes irrelevant.”

For detailed survey refer to the blog: While airline loyalty benefits appeal, 58% don’t know how to redeem points

*The survey was conducted online by YouGov. The study polled 1500 travellers from Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai who have travelled by air in the last 18 months.

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