“Tokenized cryptorewards” and other buzzwords flew around the room at Loyalty Live in Chicago last week. Fortunately the hype was (eventually) countered by a bit of loyalty program reality. Blockchain will not save or even truly transform loyalty programs. But it has a role and we were fortunate to discuss that for 20 minutes on stage.
Canadian upstart Swoop, the ULCC arm of WestJet, aims to succeed as an airline mostly by not really acting like an airline. Sure, there are airplanes and pilots and such, but CEO Steven Greenway is adamant that change come quickly. And he’s keen to dramatically upset the North American aviation market along the way.
In the end the difference was a couple hundred million or so. That’s the sweetener added by Air Canada and its banking partners to buy Aeroplan back from Aimia and boost the “new” in-house loyalty program at the carrier
The push for US airlines to better monetize their loyalty programs continues to grow. But don't expect it to happen any time soon. Airline executives continue to push back – strongly – against such suggestions from Wall Street analysts. The most recent such conversation, during American Airlines' Q2 2018 earnings call CEO Doug Parker was aggressive in explaining why his airline will not be considering such. The co-brand relationship with the credit card is simply too strong.
Does a merger integration still count as wildly successful if it hurts revenues to the tune of 1.5% for 9ish months? Alaska Airlines’ PSS integration came off incredibly smoothly on the operations side, but the carrier missed on the loyalty side. And lots of frequent flyers got a ton of award seats as a result.
A year after announcing that it would no longer be an Aimia customer Air Canada (and its banking partners) now wants to buy the Aeroplan program off the loyalty operator. At a nice discount, of course. And it still is probably a smart move for everyone.
The long slog to full integration of Emirates and flyDubai continues apace. This week’s announcement brings the loyalty programs of the two carriers together. And the move looks an awful lot like a shotgun wedding, with minimal regard for the flyDubai OPEN members’ history with that program.
More award seats? Better elite status recognition? Star Alliance hopes to deliver both thanks to its new digital middleware platform. But can these improvements be delivered without eroding the inherent value of points or the existing status tiers??
Extending an airline loyalty program into hotel earn & burn is a common evolutionary step. Today’s play by Alaska Airlines follows the plan pretty well, but comes up short on delivering a solid, consistent value to program members.
Change happens. Getting the messaging about those changes right is a rare win for loyalty programs and their members. AsiaMiles is in that rare group, announcing changes this week and owning both the good and bad that come from such.