Qatar to expand usage of loyalty sign-up kiosks

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on January 2, 2008

Qatar to expand usage of loyalty sign-up kiosks

Given the success of the frequent flyer programme (FFP) enrolment kiosk deployed in Qatar Airways' Business Class lounge in Doha, the airline has now decided to invest in additional kiosks, supplied by UK-based Trident Loyalty Systems.

In August 2007 a Privilege Club loyalty programme enrolment kiosk was introduced in Qatar Airways' First Class Lounge in the Premium Terminal at Doha International Airport, allowing First Class passengers to enrol in the airline's Privilege Club and receive their personalised and magnetically encoded membership card within only three minutes.

Several advantages gained With strong competition among airlines to enrol and retain profitable passengers, Qatar Airways adopted the kiosk system which Trident developed using technologies from IBM and Zebra Technologies. The kiosk allows First and Business class passengers to join the Privilege Club programme on-the-spot, gaining several advantages (i.e. time, costs, and consumer engagement) over the traditional sign-up process which provided the loyalty card by mail, often taking several weeks for international members.

Qatar Airways' research found that, despite an extensive frequent flyer member acquisition strategy - which included the airline's web site, cabin crew in-flight, and paper application forms in the airport - a significant proportion of the airline's First Class and Business Class passengers were still not members of the Privilege Club. At the same time, industry research suggested that up to 80% of a full-service airline's profit can be generated by these premium cabin passengers, making them a very attractive target for the loyalty programme.

Kiosk approach succeeds As a result, Qatar Airways became the launch client for Trident's FFP enrolment kiosk, aiming to accelerate and improve the recruitment, activation, and fulfilment processes for its premium cabin passengers. One of the key features of the kiosk is the built-in card printing and personalisation system (the P330i dye-sublimation card printer from Zebra), which produces a personalised, magnetically encoded card within three minutes.

Now located in Qatar Airways' First, Business, Gold, and Silver lounges at Doha, non-members can enrol in the programme immediately by entering their details directly through a touch-sensitive screen (which shows a virtual keyboard).

According to Philip Charlton, managing director for Trident Loyalty Services, "The kiosk has been so successful because it provides passengers with access to Privilege Club at exactly the right time, when the enrolment message is most relevant, right up to a few minutes before boarding the flight. It's also in the right place because the passenger has time to interact with it in the lounge, and the sign-up offer of a 500 Qmiles bonus award is also very compelling."

Increased results The kiosk is already exceeding Privilege Club's enrolment target and is helping to increase the programme's penetration within Qatar Airways' most profitable customer segment (the premium cabin passengers). The airline says that the system is also achieving FFP activation rates in excess of the industry benchmark of 50%.

According to Iain Webster, senior manager of customer loyalty for Qatar Airways, "The kiosk enhances our service offering for our most valued passengers, and accelerates our drive to enrol premium cabin travellers. We are now working with Trident to explore further ways to bring added-value retention functionality to the kiosk."

Coupons and kiosk upgrades The Zebra printing system used in the kiosk means that there is a future upgrade capability that could enable existing Privilege Club members to print promotional coupons and personalised mileage statements directly at the kiosk, by using two separate thermal printers. A fully configured kiosk is capable of operating three different Zebra printers simultaneously.

With 60% of business travellers belonging to at least 3 frequent flyer programmes, such multi-purpose kiosks could provide a significant point of differentiation for airlines that adopt them. And, with 85% of enrolees currently providing a working e-mail address, relationship building campaigns can be accelerated and the cost of sending out welcome packs by post is greatly reduced by the use of e-mail.

In February 2007, Privilege Club won a Gold Award for FFP Innovation for its deployment of the Trident FFP kiosk, and in April 2007 the programme took eight awards at the annual Freddie Awards in the US.

For additional information: ·  Visit Qatar Airways at ·  Visit Trident at ·  Visit Zebra at ·  Visit IBM at