The rewards program has the potential to bring blockchain technology to more users as Lufthansa Group has about 36 million members in its regular Miles and More loyalty program.
Lufthansa Group, the parent company of airlines such as Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Swiss International Air Lines, Eurowings, Brussel Airlines and others, has announced the launch of a new NFT-based loyalty program. Eligible customers in the program will receive blockchain-based digital trading cards that they can use to unlock benefits.
The loyalty program is called Uptrip and is available on all of the group’s airlines. The trading cards will be thematic and based on destinations, aircraft used for travel, and even specific holidays. Users who manage to collect all the cards in a specific themed collection will be entitled to benefits such as free in-flight Wi-Fi, access to airport lounges, and redeemable airline miles.
There are over 400 trading cards and more than 20 collections with up to €3000 worth of rewards per user. Uptrip is based on the Ethereum scaling network Polygon and was soft-launched in March with 20,000 users taking part in that test version. According to the company, users have so far collected over 200,000 trading cards.
The rewards program has the potential to bring blockchain technology to more users as Lufthansa Group has about 36 million members in its regular Miles and More loyalty program. The Polygon network has been lauded for its faster and cheaper transactions compared to the Ethereum mainnet. This has drawn brands such as coffeehouse chain Starbucks – which also has an NFT-based rewards program – and Nike, McDonald’s, Reddit, and Coca-Cola which are also building on Polygon.
Legacy travel companies have in recent months been turning to blockchain technology for its decentralization and tokenization capabilities to address some of the travel industry’s issues and to enhance the customer experience. A report on global tourism by Statista estimates that the global travel and tourism industry accounted for about $5.8 billion of GDP in 2021. An industry of such magnitude requires a secure means of handling data, leading various airlines to look to blockchain technology.