US online travel agent Travelocity is launching its first customer loyalty programme by handing users points to redeem “VIP” access to offers and services.
The scheme is believed to be the first introduced by a major OTA in the US and could trigger a round of similar programmes across the sector as competition increases.
VIPs will have access dedicated promotions, advance notice of travel deals, discounts for airport shuttle and car hire, alongside use of a special customer service number manned by “seasoned agents”.
Travellers will only be able obtain VIP status by making five bookings in a 12-month period.
Points will accumulate with each subsequent purchase, such as three for every $1 spent on a flight-hotel package, flight, hotel or last-minute deal.
The UK has been slow to embrace the loyalty card scheme despite the popularity of the standalone air miles programme.
Chief marketing officer Jeffrey Glueck said: “As we strive to provide our customers with amazing travel experiences, we are also committed to thanking and rewarding our most loyal customers.
“Between our VIP program and the additional bonus provided by the Travelocity Rewards MasterCard for VIPs, our customers have the flexibility to tailor their travel plans while at the same time cashing in on great perks and rewards.”