Flying Blue, the Air France-KLM frequent flyer program, is introducing a new means of payment, allowing customers to choose to pay in miles at certain e-merchants.
The explosion of non-airline awards
Using miles to buy anything from an airline or its non-airline partners is nothing new, and has been a strong trend for several years.
This is because loyalty programs are increasingly lifestyle-oriented and open up to non-airline partners. Secondly, miles are a debt owed by the airline to its customers, and any opportunity is a good one to help customers spend them.
As a result, airlines have set up e-commerce sites where members of their loyalty programs can buy products from their partners, making the range of non-airline rewards beyond tickets ever wider.
Miles: a new means of payment
But there’s still room for improvement, if only because you have to go to a dedicated site, and not all customers have this reflex. So it’s not an extremely fluid shopping experience. In fact, this was our criticism of the recent partnership between Flying Blue and Amazon: you had to start from the Flying Blue site to go to Amazon, and the session was reset after each purchase. Not at all convenient.
The system proposed by Flying Blue, in partnership with Pointspay, is much more practical, as you can choose to pay with your miles at the time of payment, just as you choose to pay with your credit card.
It’s similar to what Pointspay has already set up with Emirates and Swiss.
The program will initially be launched in France and the Netherlands.
Flying Blue members will now be able to use their miles in a simple and transparent way at e-retailers without having to go through their Flying Blue account, making the experience much simpler than in the past.
What do you think? And will this encourage you to spend more of your miles? Tell us in the comments.