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Etihad Guest offers more flexibility during COVID-19 pandemic

Etihad Guest offers more flexibility during COVID-19 pandemic
Etihad Guest offers more flexibility during COVID-19 pandemic
Written by Harry S. Johnson

Etihad Guest, the award-winning loyalty program of Etihad Airways,  concluded 2020 with a positive outlook following a series of corporate social responsibility activations and member initiatives. During 2020, the program and its members donated 48 million miles to support relief campaigns for COVID-19, Australia’s bushfires and the explosion in Beirut. In addition to this, multiple projects were launched to support and reward loyalty members globally.

Etihad Guest and its members donated 23 million miles to buy ventilators, masks and soaps for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, 22 million miles supported Australia’s bushfires which equated to feeding over 1,100 koalas for one year, and 3 million miles were used to support home renovations following the Beirut explosion, in addition to food, medical and hygiene supplies.

Throughout 2020, Etihad Guest continued its transformation journey to enhance its customer experience and as a result of the pandemic, evolved with the changing landscape. To recognize members who were unable to travel, Etihad Guest gifted monthly bonus Tier Miles to ensure guest statuses were not downgraded, reduced the tier requirements and provided various Tier Miles promotions. Expired miles were also reinstated, transferring to friends and family enabled and the GuestSeat change fee was removed.

The loyalty program of the airline also relaxed its mileage expiration policy – miles only expire after 18 months of inactivity and can be kept active by buying, earning, redeeming, or transferring miles.

Etihad Guest launched a mobile app allowing members to earn Etihad Guest Miles and Tier Miles with lifestyle partners. As a world first for airline frequent flyer programs, members can also redeem their miles in real time when they shop with over 650+ partners within Yas Mall, World Trade Centre Mall, Al Jimi Mall or at any of the theme parks or attractions on Yas Island.

Kim Hardaker, Head of Loyalty & Partnerships, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “Last year, Etihad Guest focused on delivering the greatest flexibility and support for members around the globe. The program expanded customer choice, connectivity, and convenience by growing its partnerships with Aldar, Miral, Majid Al Futtaim and ADNOC. This year, Etihad Guest will continue to leverage those partnerships and form new collaborations to provide our members with more benefits both on the ground and in the air.”

In June 2020, Etihad Guest asked members to nominate a friend to receive a gift through the ‘Moments of Thoughtfulness’ campaign. Over 8,000 members participated, and tailored gifts based on guests’ interests, Etihad Guest Miles, Tier and upgrade vouchers were distributed to over 3,000 ‘Your Special Guests’.

With over 7.2 million members and 150 partners including restaurants, hotels, car rental and retailers, Etihad Guest also won ‘Best Frequent-Flyer Prograe’ at the Business Traveler Middle East Awards 2020, cementing the quality and reliability of the airline’s loyalty program.