Pooling Points: Driving Travel Loyalty Through Simplicity and Flexibility

Oct 18, 2013

JetBlue continues to garner positive attention with its customer service, terminal amenities and recent decision to end expiring points. Now the New York-based airline is trying something different with its TrueBlue Family Pooling Program. Billed as the first of its kind in the US airline industry, the program lets family members pool and share their points and miles – which I think is a smart move.

JetBlue defines a family as:

  • Two adults, up to five children, under age 21
  • Families can also include same-sex partners, or even two unrelated friends

This ultra-modern definition of what constitutes a family is bound to appeal to many travelers. Moreover, it’s likely to inspire changes in how multiple family members – biological or otherwise – use their co-branded credit cards to accumulate points. In fact, a change this simple might go a long way in driving loyalty any time of the year.

Other industries have also started offering the advantages of rewards pooling to their customers. This tactic, regardless of the industry, drives individual members’ engagement and customer goodwill by giving them more flexibility to use miles or points in ways that make sense and add value for them.

We enable points pooling for a number of our retail banking clients and have great success in driving increased engagement and higher levels of redemption for pooled groups. Case in point: Royal Bank of Canada, a Kobie client, allows its loyal customers to pool points not just with members of their household or close friends, but with any other RBC Rewards participants, similar to how Facebook and LinkedIn allow you to connect with virtually anyone.

Many airlines have already started launching special marketing campaigns in preparation for the family-travel season, so it will be interesting to see what additional loyalty ‘perks’ they come up with between now and next summer. Will they have discounted or free Wi-Fi? Reduced checked baggage fees? BOGO deals on certain routes?

Very soon, we’ll be compiling Kobie’s 2013 Travel Loyalty Scorecard so tell us if your travel brand is doing something very innovative to engage its members, not only for the big vacation seasons but year-round.  Share your comments below or email us at info@kobie.com.