Retail points for frequent flyers

An interesting trend taking shape on airline and hotel sites is the practice of offering bonus miles or loyalty points for purchases other than travel. Courier news reports that United, American and Delta among others feature links for a multitude of brand retailers offering frequent-flier benefits to shoppers. Online miles malls and loyalty superstores are also being launched to develop this concept further. However, the retail points program is not without its stumbling blocks. While customers have an uncanny tendency to spend time on anything that has a high-perceived value to them, defining that value could be a challenge for companies other than the big brand etailers. Add to this that online travelers happen to be among the savviest shoppers. It’s not so much the time and effort to manage points as the outcome of that effort that matters to customers. Keeping it simple matters. But making it rewarding even more…

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Vijay Dandapani

Co-founder and president of a New York based hotel company for 24 years. Grew the firm to five hotels in Manhattan and also developed a greenfield project at MacArthur airport, New York. Speaker at numerous prestigious forums including Economy Hotels World Asia, Lodging Conference, NYU, Columbia University Real Estate Roundtable, Baruch College's Zicklin School and ALIS. President and ceo of New York City Hotel Association since January 2017.