BANGOR, Maine — Bangor International Airport has launched a passenger loyalty program to reward passengers with frequent flier miles when they spend money at the airport or other participating businesses.
Airport Director Tony Caruso and Jay Ellis, senior vice president of the Georgia-based Thanks Again rewards program, announced the partnership during a press conference at the airport Monday morning.
“We wanted to give back to those customers that utilize our airport,” Caruso said.
Thanks Again has more than 170 member airports across the nation and plans to spread into some Canadian airports next year, according to Ellis.
Participants register their debit and credit cards with Thanks Again, and whenever they use those cards to purchase food, magazines or souvenirs at one of Thanks Again’s partner airports the money they spend earns them rewards points. Even paying for parking earns miles.
There are three ways to join: Use your smartphone to scan the QR code that appears on Thanks Again advertisements at the airport; text “FLYBGR” to 82257; or visit www.thanksagain.com/BGR. There is no registration fee and sign-up takes less than three minutes, according to Ellis.
“We’re extremely happy to be partnering with Bangor,” Ellis said.
People who enroll in the first week get 250 miles off the bat for signing up, according to Ellis.
Four Bangor-area businesses — Miguel’s Mexican Restaurant, Hampden Country Club, as well as the airport’s Red Baron Lounge and coffee shop — already are listed as participating venues on Thanks Again’s website.
Caruso said the airport is working with other stores, restaurants and hotels to add more offerings, which would join the list of more than 25,000 businesses and merchants involved in the rewards program nationwide.
Portland International Jetport already takes part in the program, and the Thanks Again website lists dozens of participating businesses, ranging from spas and hotels to restaurants and shops, in the Portland area.
The airport’s marketing staff had researched loyalty programs for the past several months before settling on Thanks Again, according to Caruso.
Caruso said he believes the rewards program could be a new way to draw more passengers through BIA. He said it might also help prevent some of the “leakage” that the airport sees when people travel to Portland or Boston to catch flights rather than starting their journey in Bangor.