Airline company Lufthansa is venturing into the world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) by introducing a new loyalty program. The program, launched on the Polygon Network, aims to improve the airline experience by allowing passengers to turn their trips into NFTs that unlock rewards, including miles and business lounge vouchers.
Lufthansa Unveiles Uptrip NFT Loyalty Program
In a Thursday blog post, Lufthansa, one of Europe’s largest airline groups, announced the launch of Uptrip, a mobile app for its NFT loyalty program. The company said that Lufthansa Innovation Hub developed the mobile application in collaboration with Miles & More, the airlines’ frequent flyer program.
Passengers can use the app to scan their boarding passes and exchange them for NFT trading cards. Users must connect their crypto wallets within the app to mint and transfer their Uptrip NFTs to participate. By completing specific NFT collections, passengers become eligible for rewards such as flight upgrades, airport lounge access, frequent flyer status, or award miles.
Uptrip is early and follows a minimum-viable product (MVP) approach. This means the app will continue to be developed and improved based on user feedback and emerging innovations.
Since its soft launch in the spring of 2023, more than 20,000 users have registered, with over 200,000 trading cards already issued. “We are delighted to see so much interest in Uptrip,” Christopher Siegloch, head of program development at Miles & More, commented.
“Gamification elements introduce participants to Web3 technologies such as NFTs in a fun way. Furthermore, we have managed to transfer the enthusiasm for collecting that people know from trading card booklets into a digital space.”
In the next phase, Uptrip plans to launch a marketplace in the year’s second half. While customers can already exchange and sell their NFTs on marketplaces, the Uptrip platform will offer unique features and promotions tailored to its NFTs. Additionally, Lufthansa has plans to expand the range of available rewards.
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Lufthansa Interested in Integrating Web3 into Its Business
Lufthansa has been keen on integrating Web3 technologies into its business. Earlier this year, the company became among the early adopters of the Camino Network, a blockchain platform specifically designed for the travel industry.
At the time, Johannes Walter, head of channel partners at Lufthansa Group, said that “decentralization and tokenization” would create opportunities for new business models and relationships. He added that the company aims to comprehensively understand the market and create sustainable value for customers and partners.
Likewise, Kristian Weymar, an executive at Lufthansa Innovation Hub, said in the blog post that while Web3, the decentralized web, is still in its early stages, there is a growing curiosity among its potential users. He emphasized that the Uptrip project aims to bridge the gap and make Web3 accessible to Lufthansa’s customers.
“Web3 is in an early stage of development. Curiosity is high. But, we also encounter questions and hesitation – which is where Uptrip hits a nerve. We make it possible for people to access this new technology.”
It is worth noting that Uptrip has tapped the Polygon proof-of-stake blockchain protocol to run the NFT program. Polygon is a sidechain or scaling tool for the Ethereum blockchain, allowing for speedy transactions and low fees.
Aside from Lufthansa, some other players in the airline industry have also explored opportunities in the Web3 space. Last year, Emirates, the largest airline company in the United Arab Emirates, revealed plans to accept Bitcoin payments and launch NFTs.
Utility NFTs Continue to Find Popularity
Web3 projects have incorporated NFTs as an essential ecosystem component to represent ownership of unique digital assets like art or collectibles. However, there has also been a growing trend toward utility NFTs, which provide additional functionalities or benefits to holders.
Utility NFTs can be used for numerous purposes. For instance, utility NFTs in gaming can be used to reward players with access to in-game events, while music utility NFTs can reward holders with in-person meet and greets or backstage access at live events.
Owners of utility NFTs can benefit from their digital assets in several ways. For one, these NFTs can offer access to exclusive content and experiences. Moreover, they can act as passive income sources, rewarding token holders with music royalties, cryptocurrency, and new NFTs.
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About the author
Ruholamin Haqshanas is an accomplished crypto and finance journalist with over two years of experience writing in the field. He has a solid grasp of various segments of the FinTech space, including the decentralized iteration of financial systems (DeFi), and the emerging market for non-fungible tokens (NFTs). He is an active user of digital assets for remittances.