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TAP Air Portugal Introduces New Changes to Loyalty Program

TAP Air Portugal is the first carrier to operator the brand new Airbus A330-900. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

Over the past several years TAP Air Portugal has come back to life. It’s bought new airplanes, revamped in-flight service and catering, built a new lounge in Lisbon and more. However, there was still the loyalty program which was less than stellar and often wasn’t very valuable to people in the U.S., a key market for the airline.

As the airline celebrates its 75th anniversary this month it is rolling out several new initiatives to its Miles & Go loyalty program to help grow its program in the United States beyond its current 280,000 U.S. members.

Status Match

One of the biggest things when it comes to changing loyalty programs is switching costs. Members have already invested their time and dollars into a program and changing programs to start from scratch generally stops people from jumping ship so quickly. Therefore, TAP will match status for silver and gold members of airlines around the world that don’t belong in Star Alliance. This allows members to quickly match to the program and receive status that they can extend through qualifying activity.

The next thing the airline is planning is to offer bonuses for new members who open accounts with them. Existing members also receive a bonus if they invite new members to join the program.

Bonuses on Purchased Miles

To help flyers quickly boost their mileage balances the airline miles for sale with a considerable bonus up to 5 times more miles than usual. Members who join the Club of TAP Miles & Go will also get triple points along with benefits that come with silver status in the program such as priority boarding, priority security, and access to TAP lounges.

When it comes to using miles, all redemptions follow TAP Air Portugal’s reward charts which sometimes can be higher than other airlines, however, the airline is offering a 25 percent discount on award redemptions on selected routes. This discount along with the ability to purchase miles for considerably cheaper than other airlines makes the program competitive enough to be considered an adequate place to store miles.

The airline really is getting its act together under the wing of David Neeleman, serial founder of airlines. In 2015 the airline operated just 16 flights across the Atlantic from two U.S. gateways, Newark Airport and Miami International. By this summer the airline will operate more than five times as many with 82 weekly roundtrips from nine gateways using a mix of Airbus A330neo and Airbus A321LR aircraft

Hemal Gosai

Author

  • Hemal Gosai

    Hemal took his first flight at four years old and has been an avgeek since then. When he isn't working as an analyst he's frequently found outside watching planes fly overhead or flying in them. His favorite plane is the 747-8i which Lufthansa thankfully flies to EWR allowing for some great spotting. He firmly believes that the best way to fly between JFK and BOS is via DFW and is always willing to go for that extra elite qualifying mile.

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