Are airline loyalty programs in trouble? Perhaps. New research suggests that over 80% of frequent flyer members never actually earn enough miles to redeem a flight. And the 20% that do? The last thing many of them want is to set foot on another plane.

Simpliflying partnered with the UK’s Cranfield University to look at how frequent travelers (those who travel five or more times per year) are using social media, and what this might mean for the future of airline loyalty.

Key takeaways:

  • There are more airlines on Twitter than there are airlines with frequent flyer programs
  • Almost 90% of frequent flyers use Facebook regularly (compared with 37.7% for Twitter and 63% for LinkedIn), and over 65% Like at least one airline’s Page on Facebook
  • 72% of frequent flyers would join a social loyalty program

Judging by that data, it looks like social is not only the future of airline loyalty programs, but something that could easily regenerate the entire industry. And when that works out, look for other loyalty programs (supermarkets, gas stations, pharmacies etc) to quickly follow suit.

(Source: Simpliflying. Image credit: tovovan via Shutterstock.)