Imagine having a virtually captive audience, motivated by all the right reasons and that is larger than your main source tourism market, the United Kingdom. That’s perhaps how we should be viewing the world’s first and probably the most successful loyalty programme, American Airlines AAdvantage.
Last year their 66 million members redeemed more than 165 billion miles to claim nearly 7.2 million awards for flights, upgrades and other rewards. Why do I consider it such an important tool to drive higher arrival numbers?
These people through their smart spending choices are accumulating the means to travel. In fact it goes beyond that now. Since last November, the programme has been expanded to allow members to redeem miles for car hire and hotel stays at more than 10,000 locations in 320 destinations worldwide. There is also the flexibility of using only miles or a combination of cash plus as few as 1,000 AAdvantage miles.