The conversation around business traveler satisfaction is growing. American Airlines’ refreshed corporate benefits show that the airline is listening. Continue reading American Airlines Revamps Its Corporate Recognition Benefits
Following the ceremonial opening of the first concourse to comprise Delta’s state-of-the-art terminal at LaGuardia Airport last month, all Delta Shuttle flights to Boston, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., have relocated to these new gates from Terminal C starting Nov. 16, 2019. Continue reading Delta Shuttle to Depart from Airline’s First New LGA Concourse
In the world of airline loyalty programs, many are waiting for the other shoe to drop: Will American and Delta raise requirements for earning airline elite status?
United last month changed its 2020 loyalty program to push up the annual spend requirements for top-tier status dramatically from $15,000 to $18,000 or even $24,000.
The move comes only a few years after all three carriers aligned and shifted to loyalty programs in which a flyer earned elite status not only by distance traveled but also by the size of her pocketbook.
Then, last year, the carriers raised the requirements for top-tier qualification from $12,000 to $15,000. (Delta, notably, was already at that mark.) Just as the legacy carriers fell into line on a strategy around spend, now it seems only a matter of time until American and Delta follow United on its current path of ratcheting up the requirement yet again.
If that does happen, it’ll be the end of an era for budget travelers, who often — if not more often — were just as loyal to airlines as their deep-pocketed peers. Right now $15,000 is a high hurdle to jump on a diet of monthly $300 tickets to San Francisco and the annual holiday to Hong Kong or Barcelona. Bumping up that figure to $24,000 is aspirational to the point of delusional, like staring at a GT3 through a showroom window or gushing over foie gras foam at Alinea.
Times have changed. As seats become closer to one another, overhead bin space goes to the highest bidder, and revenue is prioritized over loyalty, each year it becomes harder for the common traveler to earn elite status. In many ways, the heady days of mileage runs and qualifying mile bonuses and last-second upgrades have gone the way of the 747.
Strategically, loyalty is also now embedded deeply into corporate strategies — and as we move forward, it makes sense to mix that content into the proper airline, hotel, or other industry beats.
Keeping loyalty inside of our respective sectors ensures that we write stories that focus on business strategy and marketing. It adheres loyalty more closely to Skift’s B2B mission.
The Centre for Energy Policy and Technology at the Imperial College of London last month suggested that to curb future carbon emissions, a frequent flyer tax should be considered instead of a frequent flyer incentive. Looking at the world today, maybe it’s not a bad idea. Perhaps in 20 years when my son takes that trip to Mombasa, he’ll go by ship instead of by air.
By: Grant Martin
Those who are used to glacially accumulating airline miles over the course of many years may now have a better program to look forward to with Southwest Rapid Rewards. Continue reading Southwest Is Latest to Remove Expiration Dates From Frequent Flyer Miles
This summer, American Airlines received good news: The U.S. Department of Transportation gave final approval of the airline’s joint business agreement with Qantas. Continue reading American Airlines Receives Final Approval of Its Joint Business With Qantas and Announces New Routes
United will offer a first-class cabin in a 50-seat jet when it launches flights on its Bombardier CRJ-550 fleet starting Sunday October 27, 2019. Continue reading United reveals unprecedented regional jet
This priority boarding craze is getting out of hand. Almost no one wants to get on an airplane 45 minutes before it departs. People go nuts over boarding early because they have overhead bin anxiety. Can we just start charging for bin space? It’s a precious resource for which demand outstrips supply. Continue reading Delta Air Lines Sells a New Subscription That Indirectly Includes Overhead Bin Access
JetBlue is expanding its Europe connectivity ahead of plans to begin its own transatlantic flights in 2021. Continue reading JetBlue, Norwegian Air ink interline agreement