Air France-KLM joins online travel reward service
Members of Flying Blue will now be able to fully utilise their air and hotel loyalty points to use.San Francisco – Online reward-management service Points.com said Thursday that Air France-KLM has joined the website devoted to putting trillions of remaining air and hotel loyalty points to use.
Members of the Air France-KLM frequent flyer programme, Flying Blue, will be able to buy miles or points so people can top off to levels required to qualify for free travel, according to Points International chief executive Rob MacLean.
"Our new partnership with Flying Blue adds another key international partner – and the largest loyalty program in Europe – to our roster," said MacLean.
"Maybe you don't have quite enough miles to take your family to Paris but now you could buy those extra miles."
Toronto-based Points launched the online service in 2000 as a way to unlock reward points stored in loyalty programs for anything from Starbucks Coffee to hotel stays or airline travel, according to MacLean.
"Hundreds of millions of consumers participate in these programs but didn't have tools to better manage them," MacLean said.
"We've seen consumers do cool things like take frequent flier miles and convert them to money on their Starbucks card."
Points cited industry estimates that there are from 14 to 20 million unclaimed airline travel miles and hotel stay points in loyalty accounts, half of them locked away because balances are less than needed to claim awards.
US airline Continental last week was the most recent addition to a Global Points Exchange that allows users swap or sell unused travel credits with rates set by buyers and sellers.
The exchange opens options, such as serving as a gift registry where, for example, people could contribute points newlyweds could use for honeymoon travel.
Air France-KLM is not among the exchange's 13 members but Points is working to win them and others into the fold, according to MacLean.
Points.com's exchange roster includes reward programmes at Intercontinental Hotel Group and American, Alaska, Delta and Airtran airlines.
Points reports having about 2.5 million members, which MacLean described as the "tip of the iceberg".
AFP / Expatica