Business Travel Management>
Navan's Airline Reward Program Integration

Fly Smarter With Navan's Airline Reward Program Integration

author two

Samantha Shankman

26 Feb 2024
7 minute read
2024 Guide to Airline Loyalty Programs: Boost Rewards with Navan

Improving corporate travel in 2024 begins by leveraging every available benefit to enhance the travel experience for business travelers.

One way to do that is through airline loyalty programs. Their continued evolution impacts how business travelers earn loyalty points, engage with frequent flier programs, and earn top-tier status. Yet even with the current shift toward rewarding customers who book directly, Navan ensures that frequent travelers can still accumulate points and enjoy perks — from onboard Wi-Fi to upgrades with their favorite airline rewards programs.

Understanding the Shift in Airline Loyalty Programs

Recent industry changes indicate a trend toward incentivizing direct bookings with miles and loyalty points. Major airlines, such as American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines, have adjusted their loyalty programs to prioritize spending over traditional mileage accumulation. This move is part of a broader strategy to reward high-spending customers and reflects the evolving nature of airline rewards programs.

As the airline industry adapts to the changing preferences of frequent travelers, its focus has shifted toward greater rewards for those who book directly with airlines, use their co-branded credit cards, and fly their partner airlines. This evolution is reflected in the perks, upgrades, and bonus miles offered to members of programs like Delta SkyMiles, United MileagePlus, American Airlines AAdvantage Program, and Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan.

These shifts can cause problems for companies. When business travelers book direct, the company loses insight and control. Tracking expenses, ensuring policy compliance, and getting accurate and consolidated data becomes much more difficult. 

Airline Loyalty Programs Evolve

Earlier this month, American Airlines announced that it will change eligibility on how customers earn miles and loyalty points for tickets issued starting May 1, 2024. To earn AAdvantage miles and reach status faster, travelers must either book on the American Airlines platform or with an New Distribution Capability-enabled partner like Navan.

Other recent changes include:

Delta SkyMiles

  • The program is transitioning to Medallion Qualification Dollars as the sole criteria for achieving status, which emphasizes spending over miles.
  • Delta has adjusted spending thresholds for 2024.

United MileagePlus

  • United is offering more perks for United MileagePlus credit card holders, by rewarding more Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) for greater spending and removing the 15,000 PQP cap.

Southwest Rapid Rewards

  • Southwest made earning A-List or A-List Preferred status easier by reducing the number of qualifying flights and points needed.
  • Adjustments include 20 qualifying flights (down from 25) or 35,000 tier-qualifying points to achieve A-List status, and 40 flights (down from 50) or 70,000 points for A-List Preferred.

Alaska Mileage Plan

  • Alaska continues to prioritize a mileage-based loyalty program, which is unique among the trend toward spending-based programs.
  • The airline removed minimum segment number requirements to achieve status, and made it easier to earn status by flying with any of Alaska’s 30 partner airlines.

Frontier Miles Program

  • Frontier introduced easier ways to earn miles by offering up to 20 miles per dollar spent.
  • The airline added some new tiers: Silver (10,000 miles), Gold (20,000 miles), Platinum (50,000 miles), and Diamond (100,000 miles).

Understanding the Landscape: Co-Branded Credit Cards and Airline Partnerships

Co-branded credit cards have become a cornerstone of airline loyalty programs. These cards facilitate earning miles and loyalty points on everyday purchases and offer exclusive perks such as free checked bags, priority check-in, and access to airport lounges across cities like New York. The Delta SkyMiles American Express Card and the United MileagePlus Chase Card are prime examples of how airlines leverage partnerships to enhance the travel experience for their elite-status members.

Navan Connect: Experience the Magic of Navan Expense with Your Current Corporate Card

Companies can now get the best of both worlds.

Navan Connect’s innovative card-link technology brings the magic of Navan Expense to companies with any enrolled corporate Mastercard® or Visa® card. Companies can keep their existing institutional corporate cards and banking relationships and the benefits that come with them, like rebates, cash back, loyalty points, and more.

At the same time, companies can access benefits like greater control, real-time spend visibility, and automated expense reporting that previously were only available by using Navan cards.

Airline alliances such as Star Alliance, Oneworld, and SkyTeam also play a crucial role in expanding the reach of airline loyalty programs. Members can earn and redeem miles across various airline partners, including Air France, British Airways, Qatar Airways, and KLM. Whether traveling to Canada, jetting off to Europe, or exploring destinations like Hawaii, this global network ensures that travelers can enjoy the benefits of a loyalty program, including award flights, upgrades to business class or first class, and seamless connections with partner airlines.

How Navan Integrates with Airline Loyalty Programs

Navan recognizes the value of airline loyalty programs for business travelers. By integrating these programs directly into its booking flow, Navan enables travelers to earn and redeem rewards for free flights, hotel stays, and car rentals.

Navan stands at the forefront of these industry changes by offering a tech-forward solution that seamlessly integrates with airline loyalty programs. With its NDC connections, Navan ensures business travelers can book flights while still earning the maximum number of miles and accessing the best fares.

These benefits can be helpful to more employees than ever. Navan’s data highlights a significant shift in business travel patterns, which has moved from individual journeys to more team-oriented travel. This evolution underscores the importance of loyalty programs as a critical perk for employees who, pre-pandemic, may not have traveled often.

Navan addresses the needs of a diverse workforce by integrating these programs into our travel management system, ensuring that all travelers can benefit from airline loyalty programs.

Corporate Travel Management with Navan

Navan’s platform, designed with the business traveler in mind, offers features that align with the needs of today’s corporate travel managers and HR leaders, such as:

  • Seamless loyalty integration: Navan users can link their airline loyalty programs directly within the app, ensuring that every business trip contributes to their mileage and status goals.
  • Enhanced travel experience: With Navan, travelers enjoy a streamlined booking process that recognizes their loyalty program memberships and automatically applies benefits and preferences.
  • Maximized rewards opportunities: By encouraging cost-effective travel decisions, Navan Rewards enables employees to earn personal travel rewards, further enhancing the value of staying within the company's travel policy.
  • Personalized travel options: AI-powered tools like Navan's hotel concierge, Ava, leverage loyalty program memberships to recommend accommodations that match individual preferences and company policies.
  • Triple-dip rewards: With Navan, travelers can earn rewards on both business and leisure travel and accumulate third-party loyalty points and miles.

Booking Flights and More with Navan Rewards

With Navan, booking flights and earning rewards is straightforward. Travelers can filter searches by loyalty program, see how many miles can be applied, and enjoy the perks of their elite status. The platform eliminates the need to review complicated reward charts when booking award travel. Travelers can see how to earn right on the platform. makes planning travel more efficient. Plus, there are no blackout dates with Navan Rewards!

The Navan Rewards program incentivizes cost-effective travel decisions. The more an employee saves on business travel expenses, the more rewards they earn for personal use. This system benefits the employee and contributes to significant savings for the company. By fully funding these rewards, Navan offers a robust solution to encourage travel policy compliance and maximize the benefits of airline loyalty programs.

Leveraging Airline Loyalty Programs for Business Success

In an era where the value of business travel is measured not just in cost savings but also in employee satisfaction and loyalty, Navan offers a solution that aligns with the goals of both companies and their traveling employees. The ability to earn and redeem miles, enjoy airline perks, and experience the benefits of elite status — all while booking through a centralized platform — represents a significant advantage for businesses looking to optimize their travel management strategies.

By integrating directly with airline loyalty programs and offering additional rewards through the Navan Rewards program, Navan helps companies encourage policy compliance and maximize cost savings. The platform’s user-friendly interface and comprehensive support for loyalty programs make it an invaluable tool for corporate travel managers aiming to provide the best travel options for their teams.

With airline loyalty programs in 2024 undergoing significant changes, Navan is an indispensable ally for corporate travel managers and HR leaders. Even with the shift toward direct booking incentives, employees can continue to accrue valuable miles and loyalty points through their preferred airline rewards programs.

Maximize Benefits with Navan Rewards

Navan travelers can now stack rewards earned for business hotels, personal hotels, and their favorite third-party loyalty programs in one platform. Simply link any preferred loyalty programs with Navan for the unique opportunity to triple-dip rewards:

  1. Earn Navan Rewards on business travel

  2. Earn Navan Rewards on leisure travel

  3. Earn third-party loyalty points and miles 

The Future of Business Travel with Navan

In 2024, airline loyalty programs continue to evolve, with a greater emphasis on spending, partnerships, and the seamless integration of rewards into every aspect of travel.

Navan remains committed to providing a travel management solution that supports the needs of modern businesses and travelers. Navan ensures that employees can maximize their travel benefits by integrating loyalty programs into our platform. That reinforces the value of business travel and contributes to a more satisfying and rewarding travel experience.

By supporting direct connections with airlines through NDC, providing access to a vast network of partner airlines, and offering an innovative rewards program, Navan ensures efficient and cost-effective corporate travel.

Whether you and your employees are frequent flyers with Delta SkyMiles, a business traveler leveraging United MileagePlus, or an adventurer exploring the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, Navan enhances your travel experience to maximize the benefits of the best airline rewards programs.

Explore the world of airline loyalty programs with Navan and turn every business trip into an opportunity for rewards. Watch a 2-minute demo with Navan today.

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