Back to all posts
Nov 30, 2022

Who Pays Less For an Airline Ticket, The Frequent Flier or Grandma?

An unlimited wash program might be like some frequent flier rewards -- the least loyal user gets the lowest price!

Who Pays Less For an Airline Ticket, The Frequent Flier or Grandma?

An unlimited wash program might be like some frequent flier rewards -- the least loyal user gets the lowest price!

The real fact about some loyalty programs is that the frequent user - the most loyal customer - can wind up paying more than the occasional user. Take flying. Business travelers who are booking flights all the time frequently pay higher prices than the person in the next seat; perhaps a customer who shopped around for a low fare and booked months in advance.

Frequent fliers DO get lots of benefits; seat upgrades and discounts at partner companies, but the fact is they usually pay more for their seat than the passenger sitting next to them. And, when the “perks” have a high actual or perceived value, they can really create loyalty.

So the formula is: charge ‘regular price’ for the basic service (the airline ticket), and then reward frequent fliers with perks like seating upgrades to first class (when available), free meals and snacks, as well as benefits from partners; things that don’t cost much comparatively. An empty seat in first class that is awarded as an upgrade costs nothing and makes a great perk for a frequent flier.

In our industry, this would be like having your frequent washers purchasing a $14 wash and full price, and then getting free access to vacuum, pet wash, or other services. It is not giving away what matters most to your business – making everything you need to on the wash.

The airline example of grandma paying a lot less for a seat than the frequent flier is a good example to be thinking about in your car wash business. Take unlimited wash programs for example.

Frequently, they are rewarding customers who may not be your most loyal user. When a customer is washing relentlessly for one monthly fee, your profit margins can be severely diminished - and you'll be beating up your equipment as more and more washes are given away for what becomes a low, low average price-per-wash.