Between credit card pitches and requests for tips, the process of monetizing the airline cabin is starting to wear on frequent flyers.
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Any traveler who has flown on American or United in the last year has probably noticed an uptick in disruptive pitches for airline co-branded credit cards. Last summer, despite tepid feedback from American passengers, United committed to start pitching its new Explorer card to its own cohort of entrapped customers.
Now the pandering has moved to other parts of the cabin. Frontier flight attendants have been soliciting tips from passengers on in-flight purchases for quite some time, but earlier this year, it expanded the program to better reward individual sellers.
Crews are also taking the process into their own hands and changing the trajectory of the pitch. Several reports on social media share that captains and first officers on American are now making announcements on behalf of flight attendants while last week, a blogger on Boarding Area documented a credit card pitch that was flat-out wrong.
It’s tough to measure the negative effect on loyalty when one can look at the hard numbers of tips and credit card referrals and point to success. But eventually, the nonstop pandering is going to erode the loyalty of even the most patient customers — and as apex.aero points out, passengers are already taking note.
— Grant Martin, Business of Loyalty Editor
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Skift Business of Loyalty Editor Grant Martin [[email protected]] curates the Skift Business of Loyalty newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Monday.
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Photo credit: United's PS service based out of Newark. United / United Airlines