Airlines, with the hotel industry close on their heels, pioneered the modern loyalty program, so it’s fitting that both have been the focus of recent news. Airline, travel and hospitality rewards programs, like much of the loyalty industry, find themselves at a critical junction. With two Deloitte reports – one on airline loyalty and the other on hotels – indicating lackluster engagement, brand fickleness and mounting consumer frustration, it’s as if the airline, travel and hospitality industries have been given a challenge. How do they re-invigorate customer engagement and long-term loyalty?
Encouragingly, brands within these sectors – along with third-party loyalty program providers – are meeting these challenges head-on. Rather than feed the perception of themselves as verticals forever dialing back rewards or making higher tiers more difficult to reach, the airline, travel and hospitality industries are re-writing that narrative.