Airline mile gifts now 2 B given in SMS txt msgs
The frequent flyer programmes of SWISS and SN Brussels Airlines have both introduced SMS mileage vouchers, enabling airline miles to be transferred and sent as gifts or top-ups to programme members by means of an SMS text message.
The new SMS Gift Miles product, which was developed by Loyalty Gate Ltd (formerly Qualiflyer Loyalty Ltd) and its mobile technology partner Wirelesspark, enables Swiss TravelClub and Privilege members to give other members extra airline miles via SMS without even knowing the recipient's club membership number.
All a member needs to is go to their loyalty programme's web site and enter the number of gift miles they wish to send to another member. The web page also has a box for a short personal message - useful for a short "happy birthday" or "Good job - here's a bonus!" message. With the provision of the recipient's mobile phone number, the system sends the recipient an SMS message with a unique Gift Code. Then, to have those miles credited to their account, the recipient simply sends the gift code to the loyalty programme operator's special gift miles number, together with their own membership number. The miles can then be automatically credited to their account.
International The new SMS mileage voucher application is currently available in five languages, and to mobile phone users in 20 countries. The facility, which is aimed primarily at existing programme members, is to be extended to other countries during the early part of 2005. According to Loyalty Gate, the new service has been well received by members of both programmes.
Non-members who receive Swiss TravelClub or Privilege gift miles also have plenty of time (up to one year) to enrol in the programme, redeem their voucher by SMS, and have the miles they've received credited to their new account.
Future developments In developing the mileage voucher application, Loyalty Gate (which already manages a number of frequent flyer programmes) says it has laid the foundation for a mobile customer loyalty marketing platform. Thus, having previously focused on personalised e-mail solutions and developed the Privilege and Swiss TravelClub web sites, the company is now turning its attention to mobile telecommunications technology.
In developing the system in collaboration with Wirelesspark, Loyalty Gate has left room for further developments in the mobile marketing of its frequent flyer programmes, with additional mobile services being planned for testing and launch during 2005, including SMS-based promotions of consumer goods, mileage balance inquiries, and WAP integration.