Coronavirus and travel loyalty - benefits and status flexibility not top of mind

4th April, 2020

Travel companies, including airlines, have made announcements in order to protect their bond with their loyal set of customers. Halting loyalty currency expirations, offering extension for statuses, lowering elite threshold requirements etc. are some of the initiatives that have been taken.

When airlines dwell on, for example, status extension, how are they evaluating their database for the same? Plus, more than looking at miles expiration or statuses, airlines shouldn’t forget the way they deal with travelers at the time of crisis, especially dealing with existing bookings, is going to be a driver of the future association.

Some other areas that need introspection:

  • What’s changing and what to prepare for: Evaluate attitudes, behavior and spending changes related to COVID-19. In its latest study featuring the U. S., market (surveyed consumers twice in one week), Bond Brand Loyalty, highlighted that communication is key. In fact, benefits and status flexibility not top of mind for members.
  • Significance of assumptions: A main issue that has emerged with data analytics and loyalty is – there is no practical or observed data to evaluate how things are going to shape up. An analysis on stressed on the significance of coming up with “smartest assumptions” and classifying members “based on their expected future behavior under normal circumstances, and then apply COVID-19 adjustment assumptions to each”. For example, considering various scenarios such as no pause in expirations and halting expirations for six months, it goes deep into various segments – low, moderate and high (classified on the basis of future engagement).

Also, airlines must dwell on identifying those are likely to travel whenever the rebound happens,  and work out and push special deals accordingly.

  • At a time when planes are grounded, how can airlines celebrate the joy of flying and inspire travelers? Isn’t this a way to be with your future passengers/ travelers as and when they are ready to travelling again?


Ritesh Gupta

Ai Correspondent