Travel Megatrends 2019: Travel Loyalty Is Overdue for Disruption
We're in an era of copy-and-paste loyalty programs. Cowed by active investors and afraid of straying too far from the pack, operators of today's airline, hotel, and car loyalty programs run the conservative game of offering nearly the exact same thing that the competition delivers. It annually takes 25,000 miles and $3,000 in spend to earn low-level elite status on the major U.S. carriers. Stay in a big-brand hotel for 10 nights and the loyalty benefits start to roll in.
According to research from Skift, tomorrow's travelers are less interested in the drumbeat of accumulating points for their weekly flight between Omaha and St. Louis and more in how they can use those points for unique experiences. In short, they want faster gratification and deeper engagement from their loyalty programs. Even shorter: they want disruption.