The Virgin Group joins the bandwagon of creating a loyalty management company today. They have decided as a group, to launch a loyalty program across the group. This Virgin-wide loyalty programme intends to offer unique and differentiated reward opportunities, to reward customer loyalty across Virgin-branded companies. This new loyalty programme will offer members the chance to earn and spend ‘miles’, the currency of Virgin Atlantic’s frequent flyer programme, across a range of products and services.
A new company, Virgin Group Loyalty Company (VGLC), will be established to own and manage this Virgin loyalty programme. Virgin Red, an existing loyalty start-up within the Virgin Group, will also be integrated into the group-wide loyalty programme, as the Virgin Group brings reward across the Virgin family together into a single company. VGLC will launch in 2019 and will be owned by Virgin Group and Delta Air Lines.
Flying Club will continue as the frequent flyer programme for Virgin Atlantic’s customers and will continue to use miles as its currency. Flying Club members will continue to earn Tier Points and earn and spend miles across Virgin Atlantic, Delta and a range of airline and other partners as they do today. In the future, Flying Club members can look forward to an expanded range of valuable ways to earn and spend miles that will be powered by the new Virgin loyalty programme.
Andrew Swaffield has been appointed as CEO to lead VGLC. Andrew was previously Chief Executive of Avios and oversaw its creation, and most recently was CEO of the Monarch group. Prior to that, he spent 17 years with British Airways and 10 years with Thomas Cook.
Although this looks like a good thing to happen for Virgin Group, I wonder what it has in store for Virgin Atlantic. Nowhere stated, but does this mean Virgin Atlantic moves towards a revenue-based redemption? After all, when you want to integrate it with redemptions for music and trains, what else is the common minimum.
It’s also interesting to see how much stake Delta takes in this new company. They’ve been one of the biggest loyalty programs globally, and yeah, they know a thing or few about loyalty. But does that mean the UK will be subject to revenue based redemptions and missing award charts? We don’t know yet.
What do you think of this new move by Virgin Group to merge their loyalty programs into one? What are your delights and your suspicions?