Ryan Carrigg of the Compete Web site researched frequent flyer program Web sites during December 2008. He cites Delta as having the greatest online presence, compared to Northwest, US Airways, Continental, American, Southwest and United. Delta attracted nearly a million unique visitors and had the highest number of visitors to their award content at 20 percent. Delta’s merger partner Northwest came in second with 17 percent, followed by US Airways and Continental with a tie at 12 percent. The other airlines, American, Southwest and United, all garnered less than 10 percent.
But Carrigg states that Northwest and Southwest were the most effective at creating loyalty amongst site visitors clicking on award content because they handed out more award tickets. Northwest WorldPerks members redeemed 79 percent of award bookings while Southwest Rapid Rewards members redeemed 77 percent of award bookings, followed by American at 52 percent, US Airways at 46 percent, United and Continental at 40 percent and Delta, bringing up the rear at 29 percent.
Carrigg points out that, “Delta and NWA appear to have all the right ingredients for an effective combined offering. Both sites effectively drive traffic to their respective [awards] pages. Delta, however, lags behind NWA at creating loyalty amongst this audience. By folding both companies’ routes, programs, and other perks together, the combined entity has an opportunity to resonate with [flyers] like never before.”
Carrigg has an interesting take on the information, but we would want to delve further into the numbers and look at the months leading up to the announced merger with Delta and Northwest. There might have been a different picture before WorldPerks members started spending their miles in anticipation of the merger.