Airlines Shift Strategies To Woo Millennials With Travel Perks

Airline perks could include more millennial-friendly offerings in the near future, like e-book and virtual exercise subscriptions, along with more adaptable ways to redeem air miles and book flights, The Wall Street Journal reports. According to the report, the shake-up comes from airlines catering to younger customers who are more likely to fly after the pandemic eventually winds down.”

Today’s customers will likely be looking for benefits like quick, flexible ways to redeem and spend air miles, as opposed to the predictable ways to accrue them as previous generations did. Younger users also care more about the perks that come with cards and tend to want “instant gratification,” said Sidharth Krishna, head of loyalty and co-brand at Spirit Airlines Inc. 

On Jan. 21, Spirit updated its frequent-flier program to include more of an emphasis on how much members spend as opposed to how far they travel. Members will be able to earn credits from not only buying flights, but also purchasing upgrades for baggage and seat selections. Also, the new strategy aims to help customers accrue points faster and attain new status levels in the program, which will then bring them better perks. The new improvements also come with a “points pooling” program, which will allow premium members using Spirit credit cards to combine and share points with up to eight friends or family members.

Before the pandemic, millennials were the largest generation of fliers, with 25 percent of the 4.3 billion passengers flying in 2018 globally, WSJ reports.

In January, PYMNTS reported on the ways in which travel loyalty rewards programs are evolving with the pandemic, noting that the pent-up demand for travel could lead to a deluge of new benefits, including innovative perks, status matching or discounted prices, which are all potentials reasons for a traveler to switch programs. Other options might include gift cards or digital payment innovations, which have been invaluable during the pandemic.