Emirates and The Entertainer devise subscription model for trip-planning app

Dubai-based loyalty and engagements specialist The Entertainer has developed a trip-planning and in-destination discounts app for members of the Emirates loyalty scheme, Skywards.

The app – branded as Emirates Skywards Go – operates on a subscription model, of sorts.  Members of the Skywards scheme need to pay 6,700 points to unlock the app for a month, at which point they have access to itinerary planning features and also a range of two-for-one discounts at restaurants, bars and spas in 20 cities worldwide.

The Entertainer negotiates these deals directly with the merchants. The offers are distributed across its B2C site and also via a range of providers with whom it works as a B2B partner. The Emirates Skywards Go app is a white-labelled version of the core Entertainer product, branded as Emirates.

The app will also sell tours and activities in 160 destinations. Some are contracted by the Entertainer with the majority pulled in via third party aggregators. The tours are bought using credit or debit cards rather than by redeeming points.

By developing a model where people “pay” to access a trip-planning itinerary management tool, the partnership has addressed the biggest headwind in the sector by finding a way to monetize it. Whether or not people are paying for the tools, or simply for the discounts, is almost a moot point. What is important here is the placing a monetary value – albeit frequent flyer points – on a trip planning tool.

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