Passengers disloyal to airline loyalty programs, survey finds

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Mileage programs are generally designed to entice frequent fliers to book most of their flights with a single airline.

The survey was conducted by accounting firm Deloitte.

The company said the results show airlines need to try to generate loyalty among air passengers in other ways beside mileage programs.

“Our findings suggest that an undifferentiated one-size-fits-all approach to loyalty improvement will seldom be fully successful because no two travel cohorts — and no two individual travelers — are identical in what matters to them in the air travel experience, airline loyalty programs, and the manner in which they prefer to engage and be engaged,” the company said.

“Yet, despite this outlook of concern — or perhaps because of it — airlines have a unique opportunity to distinguish their brands in an effort to build a truly loyal consumer base,” the company continued.

The survey found that loyalty programs were the 19th most important factor in the decision to purchase a flight to all airline passengers – both business and casual travelers.

Among just “high-frequency” business travelers, loyalty programs ranked second out of 26 possible factors.  

The full survey about airline mileage programs can be read here.