The Basics of Airline Loyalty Program

airline loyalty program

If you wish to travel, there are many destinations you should choose Airline Loyalty Program. However, for every place you select, you’ll have an array of options as far as mode of transport is concerned. Domestic data shows that 5.43 million passengers used commercial aviation to reach different cities in Australia. Also, international traffic until the end of 2017 was nearly 40 million passengers strong. Both figures have shown increases from the previous year.

To reward repeat customers, airlines have created benefit schemes. Frequent travel means passengers add to their points tally and they can avail opportunities like extra luggage space or upgraded meals also.

Incentivized Travel

Managing your travels can lead to exclusive rewards, depending on the airline’s loyalty programs. Qantas, the largest airline in Australia, runs a similar scheme. Points are gained as per distance flown. Prizes differ according to membership levels, which can be earned by paying a small fee.

Airline frequent flyer programs can be managed in one place by companies like Points Bank which assist customers in redeeming their points and putting them to good use.


Reward recognition plans are used by many airlines in Australia and beyond. Such memberships have shown significant growth.

Qantas estimates that there are more than 6 million members of their frequent flyer program. In other words, that is a quarter of Australia’s entire population.  Almost every mainstream airline you can imagine has their unique loyalty program.

Success Story

They were first introduced by American Airlines in 1981. Their specific plan was called AAdvantage. The idea was to give special fares to regular customers but this was changed to a customer loyalty system later.

This gave them a competitive advantage compared to others. Commercial airlines the world over soon followed this business model. Qantas began their program in the early 90’s.

Essentially, frequent flyer programs became a success was because they were an effective marketing tool. It increased the appeal of travel, ensured brand loyalty and guaranteed a return on customer’s investment.

In 2008, JP Morgan estimated that Qantas’ program could be worth as much as 2 billion Australian dollars. Furthermore, in terms of mileage, a total of 14 trillion miles (equal to roughly 700 billion Australian dollars) had been provided to travelers by 2005.


Frequent flyer plans are governed by well-defined rules. Although they are technically obtained by paying money, in a way frequent flyer points are a virtual currency. Money does not change hands but customers can avail benefits based on their mileage.

Rewards are not transferable to other passengers of the same airline. They cannot be used when travelling on another airline either.

Additionally, points may lapse after a fixed duration, usually a few years. Travel classes such as Economy and Business will have different incentives as well.

It’s been nearly 40 years since frequent flyer points first began. In that time most airlines have adopted the strategy. The concept has found its own niche in the vast airline business.

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