Carnegie Mellon University

Integrated Innovation Institute

Engineering + Design + Business

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Emirates Moments

How can loyalty programs extend beyond miles?

For 37 years, the airline industry has provided frequent flyer programs that reward passengers with mileage or points based on distance traveled or price paid. While there are co-branded credit cards with sign-up bonuses and loyalty rewards, airlines do not generally reward customers for their experience beyond the miles they travel.

The structure of these standard programs is very finite, limiting leisure travelers who would like to engage but don't feel inspired or motivated by acquiring miles or credit card points. As a result, many customers don't feel compelled to continue with any one program, leading the majority of travelers--both leisure and business--to participate in multiple programs, with very little loyalty to a singular brand.

The Solution

Emirates Moments transforms mileage-based loyalty rewards to a system of tracking time--literally each moment--spent and enjoyed with Emirates. Skywards members can earn minutes, not only based on their flight times, but seamlessly throughout their entire travel experience with Emirates, with the goal of associating the Emirates brand with travel itself.

Blue Pass
The RFID-connected passport holder ensures that Emirates is rewarding passengers at various check-in stations in the airport.


Check in
Passengers can earn and track their rewards in real-time through the Emirates app.

In addition to expanding opportunities to earn rewards, the solution increases opportunities to redeem rewards as well, both by allocating rewards to accounts instantly (versus at the end of a round-trip flight, or after completing all connecting flights one-way), and by integrating with planned Emirates partnerships that will make “micro-rewards” available for redemption at relatively lower currency amounts.