The Latest on Loyalty

Ellen Neuborne

A new breed of loyalty marketing tactics recognizes that points and prizes are no longer enough to hook, reward, and retain customers

At the airport, American Airlines' elite AAdvantage members and other top customers are easy to spot. They're the ones with their own dedicated <-in area at the ticket counter and their own security screening lanes, where permitted by airport policy. They're the ones allowed to board first at the gate and even jump the line if general boarding has already begun. They're the travelers with PriorityAAccess privileges.

Lots of loyalty programs offer points and prizes; American Airlines PriorityAAccess privileges and services offer something less tangible but just as valuable: an experience. The goal of the program is “to expedite and smooth our customers' journey,” says Mark Mitchell, managing director of customer experience for the Fort Worth, Texas-based company.