Train and plane rides can be the fun part of a trip. The roundtrip journey to the train station and airport can be a bigger challenge for those with kids, a lot of baggages or riding public transportation. One solution is for train operators and airlines to partner with rideshare providers to allow for easy pick up and drop off. Amtrak and Delta Air Lines are two examples integrating Lyft in the journey process.
The Lyft Connection With Delta And Amtrak
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines (“Delta”) based in Atlanta, United States was the first of the two to announce a partnership with Lyft in May 2017. Delta’s loyalty program SkyMiles® members can link their profile to Lyft and earn, at a minimum, of 1 SkyMiles for each US$1 spent on every eligible ride. Travellers taking Lyft to the airport would get 3 SkyMiles for each US$1 spent. This is the first time an airline provides bonus points on airport ride. Additionally, until August 31, 2017, new Lyft users will also get 2 US$10 ride credits.
“We’re thinking about our customers’ whole travel experience and it’s important that Delta customers are taken care of not just in the air, but on the ground,” said Sandeep Dube, Delta’s Vice President – Customer Engagement & Loyalty. “We want Delta customers to choose the brands that they love throughout their journey, and be rewarded for it because they are SkyMiles members. That’s why we’re excited we’ve found a good fit with Lyft.”
“We are proud to announce Delta as our newest strategic partner, an iconic brand in the transportation landscape,” said David Baga, Chief Business Officer at Lyft. “In working with the Delta team we discovered that our two companies share similar values, emphasizing customer focus and having employee-centric cultures. This first-of-its-kind partnership rewards our customers while providing them with a seamless end to end travel experience.”
It makes perfect sense that Amtrak would work with Lyft as the latter reaches 97% of the train riders. Starting in August 2017, all Amtrak customers can use its mobile application on the iOS and Android platforms to book Lyft rides directly. New Lyft users will receive US$5 off each of their first four rides by using the promo code AMTRAKLYFT. Unlike SkyMiles members, Amtrak’s Guest Rewards members will not earn points from Lyft rides at launch.
“We are focused on improving the customer experience, and this is one way we are working to make your entire journey as seamless and enjoyable as possible,” said Jason Molfetas, Executive Vice President for Marketing and Business Development for Amtrak.
“We’re looking forward to working with Amtrak. As a fixture of American travel, Amtrak makes it simple and convenient for passengers, something Lyft feels passionately about as well,” said David Baga, Chief Business Officer for Lyft, “Both companies have a long-standing commitment to supporting communities we serve and we’re excited to grow together.”
How Does It Work?
To earn miles on Delta, travellers would join accounts for both companies (use this link). Otherwise, they can order a Lyft ride directly from the Amtrak or Delta mobile applications. This makes journey planning more convenient.
Extra Benefit For Delta SkyMiles Members
If a Lyft ride is not available or priced too high, Delta’s SkyMiles members has an additional option to earn Starwood Preferred Guest’s Starpoints instead of award miles when using Uber. This is a unique benefit that is not available with other airlines.
While Lyft’s partnership with Amtrak is a first between itself and a rail / transit company in the United States, the ridesharing company had already formed working relationships with other airlines based in the United States. In all cases, points can be earned from rides but cannot be redeemed for them. Southwest Airlines is the lone exception where mobile application users cannot direct request a ride within.
Lyft’s U.S. Airline Partnerships
|Airline||Join Date||Earn Points From Rides||Redeem Points For Rides||Order Ride From Airline Mobile Application|
|jetBlue Airways||November 2016||Yes||No||Yes|
|Delta Air Lines||May 2017||Yes||No||Yes|
While Lyft only formed its first airline partnership in 2016, its chief rival Uber began the initiative three years with United Airlines. KLM is the only airline in the world where a traveller can also request an Uber ride airline’s website.
Uber’s Airline Partnerships
|Airline||Join Date||Earn Points From Rides||Redeem Points For Rides||Order Ride From Airline Mobile or Online|
|United Airlines||August 2014||Yes||No||Yes|
|American Airlines||February 2016||Yes||No||Yes|
|Jet Airways||March 2017||No||No||Yes|
With Lyft reaching 97% of Amtrak riders and available currently at 235+ airports in the United States including all of Delta’s domestic hubs, it made sense for the ridesharing company to work with the two major transport companies to bring seamless travel to more people and expand its reach. In a future post, we will explore other opportunities between ridesharing, transport and technology companies in the request to further simplify the travel process.