One in ten Indian consumers only book from airlines where they are a loyalty member
February 5th, 2024, Bhawna Singh

One in ten Indian consumers only book from airlines where they are a loyalty member

Air India Flying Returns is the most popular airline loyalty club, notably more among men than women

Latest YouGov Surveys research shows that more than half of urban Indians (54%) are a member of at least one airline loyalty program.

About a quarter (25%) are members of Air India Flying Returns – by far the most popular airline loyalty club – followed, at a distance, by Emirates Skywards (11%).

Foreign airline loyalty programs Qatar Airways Privilege Club (9%) and Singapore Airlines / Scoot KrisFlyer (8%) are as popular among consumers as are some domestic programs, namely Club Vistara by Vistara Airlines and SpiceClub by Spicejet (8% each).

The top three loyalty programs are notably more popular with men than women.

Among the age groups, Air India Flying Returns appears to be more popular among the millennials (at 29%) as compared to others but Emirates Skywards has a stronger resonance with GenZ (at 14%).

When asked about the top two benefits they most appreciate about being an airline loyalty club member, three in ten (29%) highlight being able to redeem their miles for discounted / free flights as a top perk.

About a quarter (26%) value airport lounge access as a top advantage followed by additional luggage allowance, hotel deals and dedicated customer service (at 18% each).

Seat upgrades (15%), cost-saving deals on retail purchases (13%), and priority boarding (13%) are next most popular advantages.

While airport lounge access is more important to men than women (29% vs 22%), dedicated customer service appeals more to women than men (20% vs 15%).

Finally, when airline loyalty program members were asked how they typically decide on international flight bookings, over a third (36%) said they start by searching for flights that fit their travel schedule and choose the most attractive option irrespective of their loyalty program membership.

However, a fifth (20%) look for airlines that fit their schedule but prioritise ones where they are loyalty members.

One in six (16%) start off by searching among airlines where they are a loyalty member – with 11% saying they will typically choose between flights offered by such airlines only.

Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provides quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This study was conducted online in January 2024, with a nationally representative sample of 1,002 adults (aged 18+ years) in India, using a questionnaire designed by YouGov. Data figures have been weighted by age, gender, and ethnicity to be representative of all adults in India (18 years or older). Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.