ANC Considers Dropping Airline Loyalty Programs

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- ANC Rental Corp. announced it is now evaluating whether to end its participation in Airline loyalty programs.

ANC, parent to National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car, plans to meet with travel partners and commercial accounts over the next month. A decision is expected during the first quarter of 2003.

"Not all frequent flyer programs offer the marketing advantage they once did," said Michael Going, senior vice president of sales for ANC. "It is also apparent that the cost of the programs benefits the airlines, not the customer or the car rental industry due to the breakage component in unredeemed miles."

ANC's move comes on the heels of a similar decision by Hertz. But there will be one key difference, the company said.

"While we support the direction of the recent Hertz decision to improve margins," said Going, "we do not believe that a change forced on customers with no advance notice or informed discussion is an appropriate path. We will move to become competitive in programs that benefit our customers, while yielding an acceptable rate of return. We differ, though, in that our customers and business partners will be involved in our decision."

ANC will convene an advisory group to weigh the effects of such changes on its corporate travel partners. The advisory group will consist of representatives from various commercial travel accounts and airline partners.

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