Rise of Social Loyalty Programmes.
By Web in Travel
Wednesday, 13th March 2013
BalticMiles Brainstorm recognised for innovation, Red Carpet Service from AirAsia X, real-time flight availability from Bangkok Airways, new airport for Medan.

Rise of social loyalty programmes BalticMiles Brainstorm recognised for innovation

4Hoteliers Image LibraryMulti-partner loyalty programme BalticMiles, owned by the Latvian airline airBaltic, has been recognised as one of the best loyalty programmes worldwide, winning the Loyalty 2013 award alongside Virgin America and Virgin Australia.

BalticMiles was honoured in the Technology and Innovation category for the launch of its crowdsourcing platform, BalticMiles Brainstorm, which enabled the best customer-created ideas to be implemented.

It is also the world's first loyalty programme to allow its members to determine their own rewards, many of which have been rolled out in a personalisation initiative via targeted video messages.

The BalticMiles Brainstorm programme has been conceptualised under the guidance of SimpliFlying, an aviation marketing strategy firm that has advised over 30 airlines and airports on customer engagement strategy, and actualised on Facebook in June 2012 through an application developed by NapkinLabs.

The trend of "social' loyalty" is set to grow as most travellers carry gadgets that allow them to engage in online advocacy in return for incentives, often linked to loyalty programmes.

"The BalticMiles award is testimony to the fact that in this age of the connected traveller, airlines must transform their social media relationships into real-world loyalty in order to stay relevant to the consumers," said Shashank Nigam, CEO of SimpliFlying.

Walk the Red Carpet with AirAsia X

4Hoteliers Image LibraryAirAsia X, the longhaul, low fare affiliate of the AirAsia group, is offering the special Red Carpet Service to its longhaul guests departing from Kuala Lumpur's Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT). Launched by budget carrier, AirAsia, in March last year it offers a more personalised check-in experience.

Guests of AirAsia X using this service have access to a dedicated check-in counter, priority baggage tagging and loading, usage of the Plaza Premium lounge at LCCT, fast track immigration, security clearance and priority boarding with buggy service to the bay (subject to aircraft parking bay distance). It also includes priority baggage delivery on arrival at destination.

They can either pre-book the service online for a RM100 (US$32), or at the airport for a walk-in rate of RM125. In the event of flight cancellation or delay guests are entitled to a full refund, or they may transfer the Red Carpet Service for their next available flight.

AirAsia X's CEO Azran Osman-Rani (pictured right) said the service option was an ancillary value to its longhaul and low fare service offerings.

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