E2E 100: Collinson are celebrated in E2E Dynamic 100 track

by The Technical Blogs


With over 35 years of experience working in travel loyalty and benefits, providing enhanced travel experiences and tailored, engaging loyalty programmes, Collinson is a company that combines an entrepreneurial spirit with a razor-sharp focus on putting the customer at the heart of everything it does.

In 1987, ICLP was launched, and it soon became the world’s largest dedicated loyalty agency, working with many of the world’s leading airline and hospitality brands. Next came Priority Pass – the original and market leading airport lounge and experiences programme – born out of founder and chairman, Colin Evan’s desire to democratize the premium airport experience. Priority Pass now spans over 1,400 lounges and experiences in 650 airports across 145 countries.

These seeds form the foundation of what Collinson is today: a billion-pound success story for both British and family-run businesses, supporting over 30 million travellers across the globe and partnering with over 1,500 clients including the likes of American Express, easyJet, Revolut and LeShuttle, and giving back to charities like Save the Children and Coach Core. It is also one of the leading travel insurers in the UK.

Collinson stays agile in the face of change to deliver the highest quality travel experiences and loyalty programmes, as it intersects across a unique collection of verticals and proposition areas. Understanding the complex and interconnected world of travel loyalty and benefits, and always putting the customer first, have been driving forces behind its success. Through this unique lens, Collinson can meet both its clients’ and its customer’s needs, evolving its offering as customer demands shift.

This is how LoungeKey was born. The Collinson lounge brand, launched in 2014, was created to address the need for a flexible and digital B2B2C lounge access through a payment card and has since grown to be a leading airport lounge experiences brand in its own right.

When travel came grinding to a halt in early 2020, Collinson faced the greatest challenge in its history. Yet, with agility and resilience embedded in the fabric of the business, it was able to adapt to this adversity. Collinson led the way in advocating the use of Covid-19 testing to safely restore travel in a meaningful way – initially in the UK, and then across Asia and the US. Supporting the safe return of travel, it helped those who needed to travel during the pandemic to do so, safeguarding the business through a period of unprecedented turbulence and, more crucially, helping to breathe life into a beleaguered travel industry.

Now in 2023 the sector is back and more buoyant than ever – but this new era of travel looks different. Fuelled by an accelerated uptake of technology and digital tools, there is a shift in how the world travels, from less frequent trips with a higher spend, to an evolved and often hybrid approach to business travel. With this new and ever evolving landscape in mind, Collinson’s vision is to deliver the world’s most valued travel ecosystem, but this can’t be done alone in what is a very fragmented industry.

Success isn’t about just one player, but rather a willingness of organisations throughout the industry to work together, with the shared priority of putting the traveller and the experience front and centre. Collinson’s intersection between travellers and payment card loyalty – combined with its drive to add value for consumers and clients – makes it a front runner in leading the way for industry collaboration.

By continually partnering, investing, and innovating, the company is evolving its inventory choice and breadth, its proposition mix and service delivery capabilities. Partnerships with the likes of Salesforce have accelerated the company’s reach and proposition proficiency, whereas its relationship with Freshworks enhances its ability to service customers in more innovative and efficient ways. From a lounge inventory perspective, Collinson can also look to other Collinson Group businesses to grow the breadth of choice for their members, as sister-company Airport Dimensions continues to acquire and manage innovative and state of the art lounges and airport experiences across the world.

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Collinson is also investing strategically in emerging technologies, from AI to Web 3.0, to the metaverse, to blockchain, exploring how these innovations could power the future of ultra-personalised experiences. Working with data and insights, it can forge not only the right propositions for customers, but also deliver the best and most engaging experiences.

This level of transformation across the business cannot be successful without the right expertise to drive it forward. So, Collinson has filled 35 product and innovation roles this year, 21 being new hires, building a new team of experts on a mission to deliver seamless, travel experiences that meet consumers’ evolving needs and expectations, thereby helping to safeguard its future for the next 35 years.

Even in the midst of transformation, Collinson shows a dedication and willingness to invest. It has never lost sight of where it began and what it is at its core: a business run by family values and entrepreneurial spirit, dedicated to enabling clients to create meaningful travel experiences and more engaging loyalty programmes for their customers.

Collinson is part of the E2E Dynamic 100 Track. You can view the complete 100 track here.


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