The importance of financial services to the travel industry cannot be overstated. Commercial and co-brand credit cards have helped both the travel suppliers (airlines, hotels), card companies (Visa, Amex), and issuing banks segment their common customers and understand consumer spending habits.
Member clubs such as the $9 Fare Club offered by Spirit Airlines or Amazon Prime can be an ingenious way for travel and non-travel brands to diversify their loyalty offerings and drive a different kind of added value than a traditional loyalty program might offer.
What led the airline industry to introduce the original “frequent flyer program” (FFP) concept? Remember, this was long before retailers popularized the “loyalty program” concept.
In the past ten years, services like Airbnb, Lyft and Uber have gone from being the cool/new “disruptors” to being the face of a new economy – a “sharing economy,” as it’s called.