If you look at the loyalty programs of a range of companies, there will be a range of approaches to managing the economics of those programs. Some companies focus on keeping the programs cost neutral (or in some cases profit centres) while others treat their loyalty programs as investments in their customer assets.
Our view has remained consistent, that loyalty programs need to focus business impact first -- rather than constantly being measured according a profit centre mindset. So did Qantas get it right when it adjusted its loyalty programs redemption rates based on carbon tax changes? On the surface, it looks like a shortsighted decision and it reveals a reluctant commitment to the loyalty program by the airline.