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Lufthansa, Europe’s second-largest airline, is soaring into the digital stratosphere with their groundbreaking NFT loyalty program. Using the Uptrip mobile app, travelers can scan their boarding passes to collect NFT trading cards, which can be redeemed for airline miles, business perks, and other travel rewards. It’s not just a loyalty program; it’s a revolution in the skies!
The Tech Behind the Trend: Polygon’s Blockchain
If you’re wondering what’s fueling this high-flying venture, look no further than Polygon’s proof-of-stake blockchain technology. This isn’t just a flash in the pan; it’s a meticulously planned initiative by Lufthansa’s digital innovation unit, the Lufthansa Innovation Hub, in collaboration with their frequent flyer program, Miles & More. Since its soft launch in Spring 2023, Uptrip has already garnered over 20,000 registered users and issued more than 200,000 NFT trading cards. And that’s just the beginning: Uptrip is gearing up to launch a marketplace later this year.
Etihad Airways Joins the NFT Jetstream: Horizon Club Takes Off
Not to be outdone, Etihad Airways is also making waves in the NFT space with its Horizon Club loyalty program. Set to launch in September, Horizon Club will allow members to stake their NFTs to earn Etihad Guest Miles, which can be redeemed for flights, upgrades, and other exclusive perks. The program even includes a 12-month Etihad Guest Silver Tier Status, a 25% boost in earning miles, and a fast-track from Silver to Gold Tier status. At the core of this initiative is the EY-ZERO1 collection, a series of NFTs featuring 3D models of aircraft, offering a host of benefits to its holders. This makes Etihad another key player in the evolving landscape of NFT-based loyalty programs in the airline industry.
The Future of NFTs in Air Travel: Sustainability and Viability
While the buzz around Uptrip and its NFT program is palpable, it raises the question: Is this a sustainable model for the long term? Kristian Weymar, who heads up new business at Lufthansa Innovation Hub, believes that Uptrip is tapping into the zeitgeist of Web3 technologies. However, the airline is also aware of the challenges and questions surrounding the adoption of such advanced tech. The goal is to make this new technology accessible and enjoyable, without overwhelming consumers who may be new to the world of NFTs and blockchain.
So, there you have it! Lufthansa’s Uptrip and Etihad’s Horizon Club are not just loyalty programs; they’re a glimpse into the future of air travel and digital technology. Will you be hopping on this digital jetstream? Let us know your thoughts!