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Lufthansa Launches NFT-Based Loyalty Program for Gamified Travel Experience

Lufthansa's Uptrip app transforms boarding passes into NFTs that passengers can trade for miles, lounge access, and more, indicating growing industry interest in Web3 technology.

Fri, 01 Sep 2023, 11:15 am UTC

European airline powerhouse Lufthansa is venturing into the digital realm with its innovative loyalty program built around nonfungible tokens (NFTs). Through its newly introduced Uptrip mobile app, the airline aims to transform air travel into an engaging game, offering customers virtual trading cards that can be redeemed for miles, lounge access, and more. Operating on the Polygon Network, the program was unveiled on August 31.

The Uptrip app was developed by Lufthansa's tech-focused subsidiary, Lufthansa Innovation Hub, in collaboration with Miles & More, the frequent flyer initiative of the airline. Travelers have the ability to convert their boarding passes into NFTs by scanning them using the app. Once minted on the app, these NFTs can be stored in digital wallets. By collecting specific sets of these virtual cards, passengers can unlock various rewards, ranging from elevated frequent flyer statuses to flight upgrades.

Kristian Weymar, a senior executive at Lufthansa Innovation Hub, emphasized that the Uptrip program aims to bring cutting-edge Web3 technology within reach of everyday consumers. He acknowledged that although interest in Web3 is on the rise, the average customer has been somewhat hesitant to fully embrace it.

Christopher Siegloch, responsible for program development at Miles & More, revealed that Uptrip has already generated substantial excitement. According to the launch announcement, the app has attracted over 20,000 sign-ups and has minted upwards of 200,000 NFT trading cards.

This move aligns with Lufthansa's previous indication of interest in harnessing decentralized and token-based digital technologies for novel business ventures. Johannes Walter of Lufthansa Group publicly expressed this interest in an interview on May 12, stating that they are exploring how tokenization can offer new business models.

Lufthansa is not alone in the airline industry's exploration of NFTs and Web3 technology. Emirates, the premier airline of the United Arab Emirates, has already announced plans this year to adopt Bitcoin payments and introduce its own NFTs, underscoring a growing trend in the aviation sector toward embracing these emerging technologies.

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