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In this new edition of our InsideTalk series, we interview Brede Huser – Managing Director of Norwegian Reward.
Brede Huser shares his view on the future of Norwegian Reward, as well as offering personal insight into how he got involved with Norwegian, before revealing his personal favorite feature of the Norwegian Reward loyalty programme. Read the full interview below:
Norwegian Reward has grown dramatically over the last 10 years. It is now the largest loyalty programme in Scandinavia and has ~1 million members in the UK alone. In this InsideTalk, we would like to focus mainly on your future plans for the programme. Before we get onto that though, could you tell us a little about yourself and how you got involved with Norwegian Reward?
I have been involved with Norwegian since the start of the (Boeing) 737 operation in 2002, holding different positions within the finance area. I joined Norwegian Reward in 2015 when the decision was made to ramp up the development of the program.
Norwegian Reward doesn’t offer traditional elite status tiers, what do you do instead to encourage customer loyalty?
Our Rewards are our equivalent to tiers. It gives more benefits for those who flies more often. After every 6 flight we give you a new Reward. Your first Reward is always a CashPoint boost, and after that you can chose the Reward you prefer. It can be an additional 2% CashPoint boost, Free Fast Track, free seat reservation or free baggage. Your Reward is always valid for the next 12 months and you can use it as many times as you like, which makes this a quite generous reward scheme and very attractive for frequent flyers. If you have flown at least 48 single flights the last 12 months, you would have unlimited free seat reservation, free baggage, free Fast Track and at least 12 % CashPoints earning on Low Fare tickets.
Is the plan to stick with the current system, or to move to a more traditional system of elite recognition as Norwegian Reward grows?
There are no immediate plans on offering traditional tiers, however we are soon launching two new Rewards – The 2018 Limited Edition Rewards. These are rewarding the most frequent flyers. We might change the rules on how to earn this Limited Edition Rewards slightly each year, but for 2018 it will be given to those who flies a minimum of 40 single flights (stop-overs counts) and earn a minimum of 3000 CashPoints. They will be rewarded with a free long-haul flight (roundtrip) including meals, seat reservation and baggage, even taxes and fees are included. The flights have a minimum of restrictions or black-out dates.
Norwegian as an airline is growing in the premium sector (with further plans to increase the size of the Premium cabins) and the Norwegian Reward programme has become more popular among business travellers. Have you considered opening your own lounges at hubs like Oslo, Copenhagen and London Gatwick?
No plan soon, however all our Premium tickets include lounge access. We also offer members (the chance) to buy lounge access through our partners Lounge Pass and No 1 Lounges with the opportunity to earn CashPoints in more than 400 lounges worldwide.
Norwegian differs from other airlines by not offering prioritised check-in and luggage handling. Is this a service that you might consider offering at some point, perhaps as a Reward, or as a part of the Flex tickets?
We are always looking for cost efficient methods to increase the service level to our customers throughout the customer journey. The focus will be on cost efficient digital solutions and not the traditional legacy solutions.
Some loyalty programmes offer award flights during the low season or low demand days for fewer Miles. Is it the plan to lower prices for Reward members exclusively during low season – so-called “Saver Awards”?
As a reward member you use CashPoints as cash. The earlier you book your tickets (or award flight if you prefer), the more value you will get of your CashPoints. Since we do not have any restrictions of CashPoints use, members will always be able to find a good deal when they would like to spend their CashPoints.
Lately, Norwegian Reward has introduced the opportunity to earn CashPoints for shopping at a range of online shops. Is this something you see expanding?
Yes, we will expand our partner network continuously, and give our members more chances to earn CashPoints even if they are not flying.
One of the most attractive features of Norwegian Reward for new members is its simplicity. What will you do in the future to maintain and improve that user-friendliness?
We do have some ideas for further development, and some of them will be launched in 2018. However, we also like to pay attention to feedback given by members and adjust our offerings according to members needs and wishes.
The final question: what’s your personal favourite feature of the Norwegian Reward programme and why?
CashPoints – they are easy to earn, and as a family we appreciate using them as payment for our summer vacation.
Thank you for your time.