US Major Airlines Receive More Than $25 Billion in Ancillary Revenue from Co-Branded Cards

Jan 23, 2024

CarTrawler sponsored research reveals US major airlines netted 32% of global ancillary revenue and nearly 68% of frequent flyer and commission-based revenue.

Dublin, Ireland & Shorewood, Wisconsin, 23 January 2024:  Following further analysis on the 2023 CarTrawler Worldwide Estimate of Ancillary Revenue, IdeaWorksCompany found that US major airlines, defined as Alaska, American, Delta, Hawaiian, Southwest, and United, achieved ancillary revenue results far above their estimated 24% global traffic share. This is largely due to the outsize share of frequent flyer cash from their co-branded credit card programs.  Traditional airlines, the largest category by number, came in at $42 billion, while low cost carriers (both categories) posted combined ancillary revenue of $38.1 billion, which represents a 2nd place position.

North America is a key market for CarTrawler and we’ve seen first-hand the impressive strides that US airlines have made in realizing the potential of ancillary revenue opportunities. The research clearly shows that initiatives such as frequent flyer benefits, co-branded credit cards and enhanced choices in accommodation and car rental are resonating with consumers.

Our airline partners are prioritising increasing the engagement of their loyalty programme members by providing more ways to earn and spend airline miles. Customers are looking for more choices to spend their miles to gain value. We are working with global airlines and car rental suppliers to create unique car rental offers to engage users as well as allowing customers to pay for their rental with miles and cash.

Aileen McCormack, Chief Commercial Officer at CarTrawler


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