Travel loyalty programs refer to the programs that facilitate frequent flyer enrollment and accumulation of miles or points. It is also commonly called Frequent Flyer Programs (FFPs) and they are based on miles or points that a traveler can earn by flying on participating airlines.
Why are they important?
Major airlines around the globe have established a plethora of travel loyalty programs for their passengers to take advantage of. These programs are very important as they help in creating competition among the airlines and thus, benefit the consumers. There is competition for good frequent flyer incentives like free tickets, upgrades, and free upgrades to business class.
The travel loyalty programs also give rewards to long-haul travelers as well as short-haul travelers, which helps in creating mutual benefits for both types of customers. There are also rewards for travelers who make multi-leg flights on the same airline. Having a travel loyalty program is also important for frequent flyers in that it helps them easily log their flights and track their miles.
How do they work?
Travel loyalty programs work by tracking a traveler’s flight itinerary, the number of miles, and the frequent flyer number. A travel company like Singapore Airlines, Emirates, or Malaysia Airlines generates a credit number based on the distance traveled or the classes traveled to and from. For example, Emirates Airlines uses the same frequent flyer number for all classes of travel. In the Emirates program, a traveler can accumulate miles based on the number of kilometers traveled rather than the class of seating. By logging on to their website, a traveler can easily check his account balance, track mileage credits and points as well as make online bookings.
The frequent flyer number system is also advantageous in that it helps in connecting all award bookings to one single booking. Using a single frequent flyer number, passengers can track the status of their flight across multiple airlines and they can contact their respective airlines by simply calling the toll-free number.