Frequent Flyer Programs are primarily known to be an incentive tool created by airlines to reward loyal passengers for sticking with their airline over others. Traditionally, passengers would register for a Frequent Flyer membership before their flight earn miles for their journey. Miles can then be used to offset or redeem future flights or upgrades. In this piece, we look at a new trend in Frequent Flyer loyalty with a focus on Cebu Pacific Airline’s iconic lifestyle loyalty program, GetGo.
Today, Frequent Flyer programs are more competitive and exist in a different ecosystem. It’s become the norm for passengers to be able to earn and redeem rewards under an airline’s program without even getting on a flight! Airlines are taking advantage of the digitally savvy passenger and offering a miles brokerage system that allows passengers to earn miles when spending at partner merchants, and redeem those miles either with the airline or with alternative partner merchants.
Maximizing Your FFP Gains
The air travel industry is changing quickly, especially with technologies advancing faster than most airlines can keep up with. The need for flexibility and an open mind is a must if airlines expect to keep up with passenger’s rising expectations. Beyond this, the advance of online travel agencies and metasearch engines have created stronger competition – brand loyalty takes a backseat to cheap flights, especially for short-haul flight paths on low-cost carriers. If the offerings onboard are the same, the only thing left airlines think they can compete on is price, often forgetting to craft a strong loyalty ecosystem.
New Frequent Flyer Programs: Real-World Applications
Let’s take a look at Philippine’s favourite low-cost carrier, Cebu Pacific Airlines. Their iconic GetGo loyalty program is a pinnacle of success in the low-cost carrier market because of the way they created their mobile merchant marketplace.
Members of Cebu Pacific’s lifestyle GetGo program are able to earn points not only while on flights; but also by spending at partner and affiliate merchants like Grab, Sephora or Lazada. Passengers are then able to redeem the points they earned on flights with the carrier, or to redeem vouchers and offers with other participating merchants.
What Cebu Got Right
Allowing users to have full control over the way they earn and redeem points is an excellent move, and is one that popular Asian private-hire company Grab utilizes effectively as well. This style of earning-and-burning allows members to make their own decisions on what rewards would be most beneficial to them. The level of control and autonomy encourages members to stick to the program over others, simply because it raises the bar for incentives.
What’s even more interesting is how Cebu Pacific managed to read their demographic and catered to their preferred means of reward and redemption. Cebu Pacific’s partnership with popular online retailers didn’t hurt – instead, it encouraged members to keep spending within the GetGo ecosystem, because they were able to redeem real-world, tangible benefits for very routine purchases.
Keeping up with new technologies and changing passenger behaviours are important – and that’s one way WINGS can help. WINGS helped Cebu Pacific develop their mobile GetGo program (read about it here!) and is designed to be your airline’s gateway to a multi-million dollar partner governance and asset creation framework. Speak to us for a quick consult so we can show you how our platform’s capabilities can keep your airline on trend, and help you cut through the competition.