The consumer experience network Hip Digital Media has conducted a survey with frequent flyer loyalty experts from Airline Information to examine the strategic aims and challenges affecting frequent flyer programmes, with one surprising finding being that many marketers feel that FFPs can be 'recession proof'.
The survey, conducted after Airline Information's FFP Conference in Turkey, asked the opinions of over 3,000 industry executives, and found that two-thirds (66%) felt that a loyalty programme can indeed be recession proof.
Interestingly, when it came to airline industry executives' view of the finances of a frequent flyer programme, 77% said that five years from now the major source of revenue for most FFPs will still be co-branded credit cards (as it is today).
And, when asked about the most important benefit of an FFP to the airline, 40% of those surveyed said that the programme increases customer satisfaction, while 30% cited liability relief, and the remaining 30% said it provides cash from the sale.
FFPs still in demand
According to the survey, the demand for incentives, rewards and new options through existing and new loyalty programmes is still tremendous. As the market evolves, opportunities to integrate new incentives into FFPs will also develop, generally with a growing focus on connecting with and engaging the customer.
"The results suggest that frequent flyer programmes will continue to lead in terms of the generation of ancillary revenues, particularly through co-branded credit cards," according to Roger Williams, managing partner for Airline Information. "I am also pleased to see that loyalty managers are actively taking measures to manage their liability more responsibly and to deliver value in the form of award seats and lifestyle rewards such as music downloads."