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Is it time for Air India and Vistara to share loyalty benefits?

Updated: Nov 1, 2023. Manprit.
Is it time for Air India and Vistara to share loyalty benefits? - Cover Image
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When it comes to the merger of Air India and Vistara, it may still be too early to tell. However, I strongly believe that the time has come for these two airlines to start sharing loyalty benefits.

The extent to which Air India’s Flying Returns and Vistara’s Club Vistara can collaborate on loyalty benefits will depend on various factors. Here are some common ways in which this partnership could unfold:

  • Earn and burn: Ability to earn and redeem Club Vistara points on Air India flights, and vice versa. The freedom to choose across both airlines would make loyalty rewards even more enticing.

  • Status benefits: Elite members of both programs could enjoy elite privileges such as extra baggage allowance, priority check-in, and access to lounges. This cross-airline perk would enhance the travel experience for loyal customers. Vistara already has this kind of an arrangement with Singapore Airlines.

  • Points transfer: How about the ability to transfer points between both programs? This flexibility would allow members to maximize their rewards and create a seamless travel experience.

Solving Club Vistara’s Voucher Frustration

Vistara is known for its impeccable service, guests-friendly policies, and a customer care team that goes above and beyond. However, there is one aspect that has caused frustration among loyalists – expiring flight vouchers with limited availability.

What if these vouchers could be used on Air India flights? This game-changing partnership would provide an alternative for using those unused vouchers, ensuring that loyal customers get the most out of their rewards.

But why share benefits when they are going to merge anyway?

You might wonder why it is necessary for both airlines to share rewards if they are merging in the future. Well, there are a few reasons to consider.

Firstly, the merger process may take some time to finalize. Even when it does, it would be a forced change. Sharing of benefits is optional. Members can choose whether to utilize these benefits for not.

Secondly, many Vistara loyalists are uncertain about the merger and not particularly excited about it. By sharing benefits, both airlines can address these concerns and build a stronger relationship with frequent flyers.

Now, let’s explore the three major benefits that this collaboration would bring to both airlines:

  1. Expanding options: Currently, Indigo is often the preferred choice for Vistara loyalists when there are no Vistara flights available on their desired routes. However, by sharing benefits, Air India could become a close second for these customers, providing them with more options and flexibility.

  2. International considerations: For international routes where Vistara doesn’t operate flights, loyalists tend to pick international airlines that align with their expectations and preferences. However, if Air India were to offer shared loyalty benefits, it would immediately become a contender in their decision-making process.

  3. A soft landing: Last but certainly not the least, sharing loyalty benefits is a choice that allows frequent flyers of both programs to warm up to both brands without any compulsion. This gradual introduction would make the eventual merger more acceptable and ensure a smoother transition for loyal customers – like a soft landing into the new merged Air India.


While a full merger between Air India and Vistara may still be on the horizon, there is no reason why these two airlines cannot start reaping the rewards of collaboration now.

By sharing loyalty benefits, they can enhance their offerings and create an even better experience for their valued customers. The possibilities are endless – let’s see what unfolds!

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