Earlier I wrote about whether American appears to be taking the best approach in integrating airlines first as part of its merger with US Airways and only then evaluating whether to make a shift similar to United and Delta in terms of awarding miles on the basis of money spent on tickets rather than miles flown.
In making the case that American should be moving quickly on IT investments (that he suggests would be in the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars!), he suggests that American needs to do this to keep up with joint business venture partner British Airways.
If anyone reading this were CEO for the day would you not have the topic on your plate right now? Or would you rather in two years, when you decide to move to a revenue-based program because your major European partner British Airways is doing so, spend a few hundred million dollars to redo the database and technologies?
Just as a I was wrong recently to predict that British Airways would necessarily follow Iberia’s lead how it structures its frequent flyer program — and Iberia and British Airways are co-owned by IAG and share a single rewards currency that can be transferred back and forth — I think it’s pretty clear that it’s possible to be joint venture partners across the Atlantic. American and British Airways have quite different programs now. Virgin Atlantic and its 49% owner Delta have very different programs as well.
Nonetheless, Randy seems to be suggesting that British Airways is making big database investments which wold support a revenue-based program and that they could be headed in that direction.
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