What Are the Benefits of Business Frequent Flyer Loyalty Programmes?
When it comes to finding flights and accommodation, frequent business flyers’ priorities differ from those of leisure travellers. As you well know if you’re responsible for booking your company’s business travel, you’re much more likely to stay loyal to an organisation that offers a first-rate and reliable service, as opposed to leisure travellers, who often place price and convenience above comfort and refinement.
Given the amount of time some of your colleagues likely spend in transit, you could benefit from a variety of loyalty programmes that reward frequent flyers for their repeat custom.
By collecting points with specific airlines, hotels, and hospitality businesses (such as restaurants and coffee shops), those travelling for business can unlock a range of rewards and bonuses not enjoyed by the ordinary traveller. A little loyalty can go a long way.
The question is, are business frequent flyer loyalty programmes really worth your while? And what kind of benefits can you expect when returning to the same brand again and again? In this guide, I take a closer look at business frequent flyer programmes and demonstrate how to make them work — not just for your colleagues flying but for the whole office.
What are business frequent flyer loyalty programmes?
Most major airlines offer a frequent flyer loyalty programme specifically for businesses. These let business travellers accrue points and air miles each time they book.
The great thing about airline loyalty points is that they can tot up quickly if you travel with the same airline regularly enough, giving you access to deals, discounts, and special services that can make frequent air travel more comfortable and affordable.
What are the benefits of business frequent flyer loyalty programmes?
By collecting loyalty points with a single airline, business travellers can benefit from a range of perks and rewards. While I can’t speak for every airline loyalty scheme, here are some of the benefits you can enjoy with Lufthansa Group’s PartnerPlusBenefit:
- Simultaneous collection of personal air miles and corporate BenefitPoints
- Free flights
- Company cashback
- Flight cabin upgrades
- Global hotel card vouchers
- Excess baggage
- Discounted parking at selected airports
- A new coffee machine or other office gadgets for you and your team to enjoy
These are just some of the benefits you can expect when your business joins an airline loyalty programme and accrues points on frequent flights.
The majority of travel loyalty programmes work on a tiered system, meaning you’ll unlock rewards and benefits the more you use a specific service. So, the more loyalty you show, the more you’ll benefit in the long-term.
If you’re looking to book business travel on a tight budget then read our article to discover some handy tips on saving money.
What the experts say
If you’re still on the fence about joining any business travel loyalty programme, let’s defer to the experts. I spoke to a couple of travel specialists about their experience of using loyalty programmes and whether or not they think they’re worth it.
Becky Moore - Global Grasshopper
“I personally think travel loyalty cards are great, especially for air miles. Although I tend to fly on multiple airlines, I try to pick a ‘dominant’ operator that I fly the most with and then really focus on that loyalty programme. I then sign up for the alerts with this airline, so I can receive all the extra bonuses and ‘mile specials’ on offer.”
“If you’re into these kind of loyalty programmes, I would advise you to never fly without collecting those air miles; they’ll soon build up and then you can reap the rewards!”
Claudia Tavani - My Adventures Across the World
“I am a huge fan of airline loyalty programmes, and in the course of my travel life I have benefited from them greatly. I typically use the points I accumulate to book award flights that have taken me literally around the world, to places like Cuba, Sri Lanka, India, or even just to nearby Rome.
“Additionally, miles typically have a long expiry date, so you do eventually manage to accumulate enough for an award flight. Nowadays, a lot of credit cards are connected to airline loyalty programmes so literally every penny spent can go into accumulating miles; just one more reason to join!”
David Chappie, Group Event Director at the Business Travel Show
“With travel programmes becoming more focused on the traveller and their needs, loyalty programmes are a great way of securing some additional savings and benefits for travellers in managed travel programmes. Travel buyers have sometimes been reluctant to let travellers use their own points, but their journeys will feel so much smoother with the perks that come with reaching a certain status, such as speedy boarding, lounge access, or Wi-Fi.
“If a buyer has signed a preferred carrier, then a loyalty programme could also be a way of influencing travellers to book with that carrier. Also, it’s an opportunity to give the travellers something for themselves, using the airline for work but perhaps sometimes using the points and benefits for their own holidays or purchases.”
“Both airline and hotel loyalty programmes have more onus placed on improving traveller experience as opposed to simply winning repeat bookings.”
Flights sorted - what about accommodation? Find out why your business should also join a hotel loyalty programme.
Remember that a lot of rewards schemes are tiered, so you’ll need to earn points through frequent-flyer miles or repeat bookings before you can start reaping the rewards.
That said, with efficient point management and timely use of rewards, business frequent flyer loyalty programmes can offer many benefits to business travellers and the rest of the office, from discounts on the cost of business flights to a brand new coffee machine your whole team can enjoy.
Looking to book business flights but can’t remember if you’ve covered all the steps? Download our handy checklist to make sure you don’t miss anything out.