Collinson Latitude urges airlines to exploit technology to drive loyalty programme change and revenue

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James Berry speaks at Mega Event, San Diego

Expanding the breadth of rewards offered within airline loyalty programmes and investing in technology to deliver them could substantially and profitably reduce the estimated 14 trilli on unused air miles currently sitting in these programmes.

Speaking at this week’s Mega Event conference in San Diego, James Berry, Product Director for ancillary revenue experts, Collinson Latitude will share insights to advise programme managers on how they can meet the challenge of combining real-time reward demand, whilst creating long-term value, relationships and loyalty. James also reveals how investment in loyalty programmes can positively influence customer behaviour and reduce deferred revenue.

By offering a wider and deeper range of rewards, and leveraging partner products and services rather than focussing solely on own inventories, James argues that airlines can dramatically increase the perceived value of their reward programmes, leading to greater levels of redemption by customers. Provided redemption costs are managed effectively, this results in a net benefit to the airlines.

In addition to cost management, setting the correct level at which customers can redeem their points or miles is vital to this strategy. Too high a level creates the perception among customers that the rewards are unattainable; too low and the costs for the programme operator become unmanageable.

James Berry says: “Traditional rewards programmes are not necessarily designed to accommodate the changing needs of customers as it takes too long to build up enough points. Commercial results from reward programmes are increasingly under scrutiny and just doing the same thing will not help drive incremental profitability, nor will it tackle the problem of unused points.

“The advent of an on- demand, application centric world has also created a step change in customer behaviour and demands, both in terms of what they want and when they want it. Rewards that are more instant and appealing, such as high quality electrical goods, can effectively lift the perceived value of the reward currency, making it much more attractive to programme members. In a recent survey* we conducted, 79% of people who travel more than 7 times per year want non-travel related rewards*. Clearly if we’ve got over 14 trillion points unused out there something’s not working as well as it could and we think this type of approach could make all the difference.

One of the key challenges the travel sector faces in responding to these consumer demands is the legacy systems the industry has to contend with, so they cannot always deliver enhanced customer experiences in a speedy manner. The need to find technology partners that can offer market ready technologies with scalability to accommodate loyalty programmes as they evolve is critical.”

The introduction of IFRIC 13 in 2008, the international accounting standard which requires companies to reflect unspent loyalty currency as a liability in their accounts, has intensified the need to reduce the volume of unused air miles or points, and continues to significantly impact the commercials of low redemption rates within loyalty programmes.

James recommends, “Keep away from quick fix solutions that don’t differentiate you from the masses and use the options available to partner with others to create a platform for change”.

Copies of a supporting white paper, Investing in Rewards – Turning Your programme into profit, are available on request.

Collinson Latitude’s iRedeem is an online redemption platform used by a wide range of blue chip companies internationally including major airlines. Built on leading e-commerce technology with a network of global partners, iRedeem adds value to customer relationships, drives customer retention and differentiates loyalty programmes. A client’s own inventory can be incorporated to provide greater redemption choice and reduce distressed inventory.

  • Omnibus survey conducted by Aurora from 13-10th September 2012 of a UK nationally representative sample of 1,000 people.

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Notes to Editors:
Collinson Latitude - Creating profitable customers for life                                            
Collinson Latitude is part of the Collinson Group, a privately owned global organisation with over 25 years' experience in membership, loyalty and marketing services. The Group is responsible for programmes such as Priority Pass and the top insurance brand, Columbus Direct.

Collinson Latitude (, is a leading technology provider of products that deliver enhancements for reward and loyalty programmes and incremental revenues for brands.

The company’s innovative products deliver relevant and rewarding customer experiences by adding value and choice to memberships and loyalty. Focusing on the travel, financial services, telecommunication and retail industries, Collinson Latitude provides companies with the tools to reach their full profit potential through products that generate and sustain active, loyal and profitable customers for life.

Collinson Latitude’s products can be deployed rapidly and configured to individual requirements, drawing on the company’s proprietary technology and extensive global partner network.

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Louise Naqvi
Collinson Latitude Ltd
0207 422 4465
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