What is the Future of Airline Loyalty in the Age of the Connected Traveller? Five questions to wake airlines up

Something’s gotta give. [push h=”14″]

I write this, not only as a consultant on digital communication and social marketing, but also as one of the millions of passengers who fly frequently enough to be in the twilight zone between occasional flyers and frequent flyers.

I am frustrated by the outdated airline loyalty model that airlines still follow. I am annoyed by the lack of recognition of the simple fact that there can be no loyalty without gratification (I will not fly your airline frequently if I have to wait to earn 25,000 miles for my first reward). And I am disappointed that airlines won’t adopt very simple, common sense measures to earn the genuine loyalty of flyers.

Here are five questions that I’d like airlines to answer:

  • Why do you send me ads about Business Class and raise expectations, when you know that I’ll be flying uncomfortably in Economy Class. (See also: Why Ryanair has a great brand.)
  • Why do you not recognise me for praising you, and recommending you, online?
  • Why do you still distribute paper feedback forms but not interact with me online?
  • When I interact with you online, why can’t you recognise me as a customer?
  • When I interact with you offline, why can’t you recognise me as an online promoter?

Small gestures matter. The average passenger doesn’t want big rewards. This average passenger, for one, would fly the same airline much more if it took a moment to recognise this – for a small cost, you can have my loyalty.

Which airline’s up for it?

Does your airline want to think differently about marketing and loyalty? If so, email: shubhodeep@simpliflying.com or tweet us at @simpliflying.

Shubhodeep Pal

Shubhodeep Pal

Vice President, Products and Operations at SimpliFlying
Shubhodeep Pal is the Vice President, Products and Operations at SimpliFlying. He has been leading Research, Product Development, Marketing and Business Development since December 2010 from the headquarters in Singapore. He has spoken at airline conferences and delivered training workshops for senior aviation executives. He has also appeared on television interviews and been quoted in publications such as the Wall Street Journal. His writings have appeared extensively on SimpliFlying and respected industry outlets such as Airlinetrends, Tnooz, Airport World, Low Cost and Regional Airline Business Magazine and Loyalty360. In a previous role, he also conducted a workshop on social media at the Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. He speaks three languages fluently, and is also a published poet and amateur film critic. He can be reached at shubhodeep@simpliflying.com.
Shubhodeep Pal
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Comments
  • PhilDernerJr
    Reply

    I’ve got to be honest, some of your questions surprise me, as I rarely see examples of what those questions imply. I guess I’ve been fortunate!

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