United Arab Emirates flag-carrier Etihad has launched a new iPhone app that allows members to redeem loyalty points on the go.
The application is designed to be used by members of the Etihad Guest frequent flyer program, and allows users to redeem their points immediately from a catalogue of some 1,700 items available in the Etihad Reward Shop. It also enables members to download the latest promotions and view their account information using the iPhone. Etihad claims that it is the first application of its kind to offer real-time loyalty points redemption for users.
Apps offering management of reward programs are the natural evolution of simple "flight management" apps originally available for travellers. In a sign of the frequent flyer schemes' continuing appeal, Golden Globe-nominated Up In The Air premiered in the US in December and will hit global cinemas in January and February 2010. The film stars George Clooney as a frequent flier determined to collect ten million miles. In November 2009, Lufthansa launched Miles & More MemberScout, an iPhone-based social networking app to allow frequent flyers in its Miles & More program to meet and greet fellow members around their current location. Airline alliance OneWorld also released an app in November 2009 that allows flyers to browse flights within its network.