Airline Loyalty Programs are one of the key features that made flying the best means to travel from one place to another. Flying is an expensive means of transport and very few people preferred to fly a few decades ago. With the increase in the spending power of the customers, the number of airlines that started pricing their flying rates competitively and their exclusive marketing strategies, more and more people started to use airlines as their primary means of transport especially in developing countries. Loyalty programs were one such feature that helped airlines pick up more customers using user-efficient loyalty program software. Loyalty program was instrumental in improving the traveller frequency and the miles that they clocked with a particular airline. Not only did it improve the flyer numbers but also the brand loyalty to a particular flyer/airline.
What is a Loyalty Program?
Loyalty programs were invented by some retailers in the 18th century as part of marketing campaigns that let customers bring back a small token that can be redeemed on their repeated purchases. This trend slowly started to spread across the world having originated somewhere in America. The Airlines company were the true pioneers who blew up the idea into flyer miles and loyalty programs that can be used by customers to choose the particular airline for all their flying requirements repeatedly.
United Airlines was the first company that brought in the customer loyalty program for their frequent flyers. The campaign was introduced by Western Digital for the marketing of United Airlines flyer miles program. This helped them give points to their flyers each time they flew with the airlines and then use the accumulated flyer points to redeem while booking consecutive flights.
This program was a huge success and slowly all airlines started to give out flyer miles and frequent flyer points, each branded with their own campaign name. This loyalty program brought in huge appreciation from customers and developed brand loyalty amongst flyers. It increased the flyers overall in the USA and the frequency of flyers choosing the same airlines each time.
Need for the right Software
Loyalty programs need to be supported with an automated Loyalty program software that helps the airline company to calculate points or miles for each customer every time they book a flight with the carrier. This could be via an agent, a 3rd party booking site or the company's own booking website. The software must be able to collect customer information and cross reference the same with the database that the airlines use to accredit points for each time the flyer uses the airlines to travel.
Without a proper loyalty program software that is capable of real time data analysis and the point conversion to help provide discounts for customers for redeeming the points, many airlines were incapable of running the loyalty program service and faced criticism from customers over lost points. Therefore there is a need for dynamic loyalty program softwares that can truly help the airlines company with providing all the benefits of the loyalty programs such as: