Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Frequent flyers: Building custom

Full article in JPG format: page 46/47, page 49 & page 50

A recent survey of 2,500 passengers by Deloitte, the financial advisory firm, found that 72 per cent of high-frequency business travellers participate in more than one airline loyalty programme. Few people will be surprised by that statistic. But it underscores how airlines – which already operate the most complex loyalty schemes of any sector – must continue innovating their frequent flyer programmes (FFP) to incentivise repeat custom.

Texas International Airlines launched what is widely regarded as the first modern FFP in 1979. It was followed two years later by the more advanced American Airlines AAdvantage and United Airlines MileagePlus programmes. Both schemes are still operated today, but their breadth and scope has changed profoundly over the past two decades...