A tonne of innovation happens in the world of loyalty, and airlines usually need just that one thing for their loyalty programme to become the differentiating factor for their airline. For instance, at the start of Covid-19, Virgin Atlantic started offering tier credits for award flights on their flights, which partner Delta quickly copied.
Qatar Airways Privilege Club will credit points before you fly.
Qatar Airways is in a rush to overtake the other middle-eastern carriers as it is hungry for the same business. Last year, they transitioned to Avios as their loyalty currency (which you can even move between Qatar Airways and British Airways). Now, they have a potential industry first on their hand.
Passengers at all departure points, here on, will be rewarded Avios upon check-in, which will be credited up to 2 hours before the flight departure itself. The new feature works only if you are crediting miles to Qatar Airways Privilege Club and not if you put on any other loyalty programme in the ticket earning (even if it is British Airways or any other partner airline). You can even check in with your mobile phone or website, and you will still get your miles two hours before the flight.
Qatar Airways has described the whole process on its website.
What this opens up for you are the possibilities to earn and burn these Avios during your transit, such as requesting an upgrade on your flight or buying stuff from Qatar Duty-Free at the Hamad International Airport.
Qatar Airways members can earn and burn Avios at almost 200 outlets while transiting through Hamad International Airport.
Members of Qatar Airways Privilege Club (QRPC) will be able to collect and spend Avios at almost 200 outlets at Hamad International Airport (HIA) in partnership with Qatar Duty-Free (QDF).
You can earn one Avios per USD 1.37 (5 QAR/INR 110) spent at Doha Hamad Airport, while you can redeem one Avios for 0.65 US cents (approx INR 0.50) each toward a purchase at Doha Hamad Airport. The redemption option is valid at Qatar Duty-Free, located at Hamad International Airport’s departure and arrival halls and Oryx Galleria in Doha, Qatar, for all Privilege Club members.
Privilege Club members will also be able to enjoy discounts of up to 20% when using Avios to pay:
- Privilege Club Burgundy members will be given a 10% discount
- Privilege Club Silver members will be given a 15% discount
- Privilege Club Gold members will be given a 15% discount
- Privilege Club Platinum members will be given a 20% discount
There are a few exclusions for earning miles, though. Electronic products, gold, and tobacco products are excluded from earning Avios. Also, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Fendi, and Gucci stores are excluded from earning Avios. To spend your miles, you can use most outlets, except Wagamama, Burger King and some others. Also, members can only redeem with a membership card.
The Genius of the move
The process of redeeming points is not new; as with Emirates, you can also redeem Skywards at the airport before you fly at Dubai Duty-Free. But giving access to your miles, even before the flight takes off, is a different thought process. Admittedly, this is not for mileage maximisers.
But this is a masterstroke for those in the Loyalty Department who are thinking daily about growing the member base and engagement by getting members to make their first redemption. Also, the economics of this will not be crazy, and all of the moving parts (airline, loyalty, airport, retailer) are a part of the same group.
Not just that, imagine those who are travelling without any loyalty number on their tickets, now being told they can get miles if they signed up and put in their membership number before departure. It will also significantly increase the membership base in the long run, which provides Qatar Airways with another acquisition channel for repeat business.
Qatar Airways Privilege Club will offer you credit for your points even before your Qatar Airways journey starts, within 120 minutes of departure. Members can then redeem those Avios at nearly 200 outlets at Doha’s Hamad International Airport, from retail to food & beverage options.
This is a great move, purely for the out-of-the-box thinking and how it works for Qatar Airways as a group of companies. It should also bend the decision-making for new customers to enrol with QRPC rather than not take any miles.
What do you make of this new Qatar Airways Privilege Club feature and its collaboration with Qatar Duty-Free?
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