A 2013 study of airline loyalty programs has found that the programs are not very effective in retaining traveler loyalty and general travelers do not consider loyalty programs a very important criteria while choosing an airline.
The study, titled Rising above the Clouds: Charting a course for Renewed Airline Consumer Loyalty, by Deloitte found that nearly 44 percent of business travelers and 72 percent of high-frequency business travelers participate in two or more airline loyalty programs.
About two-thirds of respondents in the study were open to switching to a competing loyalty program even after achieving the highest status level in their current program.
Also, business travelers ranked loyalty programs as the 19th most important attribute out of 26 attribute choices when choosing an airline.
However, an encouraging finding of the study for the airlines is that the high-frequency travelers considered loyalty programs to be the second most important attribute – even more important than safety.