Air India Introduces Enhancements To Flying Returns Program

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Summary

  • Tata’s Air India revamp includes new Airbus and Boeing orders.
  • Enhanced Flying Returns program to be rolled out & system upgrade on April 3.
  • Air India focusing on frequent flyers’ perks to ensure loyal customer base.

Under Tata’s reinstated ownership of Air India, the group began drastically revamping the airline. Notably, it now operates the Airbus A350 and has made a large-scale order for the widebody. The airline also ordered six Boeing 777Xs. However, it will be long before passengers can experience the full extent of the renewed Air India experience. The carrier will be, however, able to enjoy some of the enhancements coming to the Indian flag carrier’s frequent flyer program, Flying Returns.

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The airline’s revised Airbus order looks quite different now.

According to airline loyalty specialist Loyalty Lobby, the airline reportedly sent an email stating that it is rolling out an “enhancement” to its Flying Returns program on April 3 that will apply to flights taken the day before (April 2).

Air-India-Flying-Returns-Reimagined

Photo : Air India

The email also suggested the airline will perform a system upgrade on the night of April 2.

If you are an Air India Flying Returns account holder, please note that if your account was between April at 21:00 Hrs to 23:59 Hrs IST, it is expected as the airline was reprograming the interface ahead of the relaunch.

Along with this email, the loyalty specialist website also reported that the airline sent the following two images :

While not much is known about the perks, earning miles through daily purchases is increasingly common. Through partnerships with credit card companies like Amex, other airlines like British Airways, Delta, or even Air France-KLM allow their frequent flyers to generate miles without flying. The most intriguing poster is the one that mentions being treated like a star. Would it mean getting access to private shows such as concerts? Does it mean a revamp of their priority boarding protocol? There are only four days left until the entire world finds out.

Frequent Flyers: the most valuable passengers.

Seeing that Air India is revamping its Flying Returns program is great news for the full-service carrier. This is because frequent flyers play an essential role in its business. Those customers have chosen to favor an airline over its competitors and, on average, would fly at least once a month. They are considered loyal returning customers. By ensuring they get the best possible treatment, airlines ensure they keep returning.

Air India A350

Photo: Eurospot

Most airlines give select status holders perks such as priority boarding, lounge access, or complimentary upgrades. Others occasionally get more creative by generating a sensation of exclusivity, as SAS did with its destination unknown campaign, offering a free flight to a handful of lucky customers to a destination they will only discover on the day.

Bottom line

Air India is making a strategic move by upgrading the perks of its frequent flyer program. From a communications perspective, the announcement is brilliant. The airline generates anticipation by not leaking any perks until the announcement date but instead posting teaser images. More people will talk about Flying Rewards, potentially generating new accounts and paving the way for a renewed loyal customer base, which is ideal for an airline in the process of a bottom-up revamp.



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