Author: Dan Keeler
Hunt: Legacy airlines lock in
Hunt’s rewards system is simple: For every 10 round trips purchased on Silverjet, members receive a free round-trip ticket, which they can use at any time without the usual blackout restrictions of many frequent flyer programs. "The key difference with our program is that members are signed up as a company, not as individuals," Hunt says. "Once the collective employees of an organization complete 10 round-trip flights on Silverjet, the company is given a complimentary ticket that can be utilized by any employee."
Hunt sees his program as being based on the same model as the coffee shop loyalty card. "I wanted it to be simple. The idea came from my own experience as a business traveler and dealing with the unnecessary complexities of frequent flier programs. With the ever-increasing amount of points or miles required to receive any sort of benefits, coupled with the growing number of blackout dates and other various restrictions, it baffled me how travelers could receive any actual rewards from these schemes."
So far the response has been enthusiastic. Having launched without much of a fanfare in November 2007, Silverjet’s loyalty program already has more than 900 corporate members. With corporations on both sides of the Atlantic looking to wring more value out of their travel budgets, Hunt’s maverick scheme could well mark the beginning of a trend".