15 Best Airline Affiliate Programs: Earn Sky High Commissions

The reasons that make people travel can be personal. But without a doubt, new travel experiences generate an exhilarating feeling.

Data indicates that an average American needs three vacations per year and the total travel spending is expected to touch USD 1.15 trillion in 2024 . The global airline industry is also expected to show a healthy growth rate in the coming years.

What makes the travel niche a great option for affiliate marketers is not just the numbers, but the variety it offers. Luxury trips, budget travel, event travel, adventure tourism, and more- there is a long list of options to match the preferences of a wide range of customers. 

No wonder travel is considered one of the best niches for affiliate marketing. So, monetizing your travel website or blog through airline affiliate programs is a great idea. For that, you need to pick the best airline affiliate programs that offer excellent returns.

To help you choose from the various options, we have explored 15 airline affiliate programs that tick the right boxes.

Skyscanner

Skyscanner is a trusted brand with an excellent geographic range.  Plus, it supports multiple languages. That allows you to direct a wide range of audiences to the Skyscanner site and earn on a pay-per-click basis.

The program works through the Impact.com network and your application will be moderated before approval. The high trust factor of the brand works in its favor and the commission rates are one of the best you will find.

Actually, the commission you get is the percentage of Skyscanner’s cut from a sale. The exact commission will vary, depending on the amount Skyscanner earns from advertisers. While the program works for all affiliates, it works best for travel websites that draw good traffic. Moreover, linking with Skyscanner can offer value to your audience which can raise your site’s trust factor.

Hawaiian Airlines

The 94-year-old carrier has been among the top performers among the nation’s carriers in terms of on-time performance. For travel bloggers specializing in the Hawaiian Islands and beyond, this affiliate program makes a lot of sense. You can join the program through the CJ Affiliate network.

The commission rates are on the lower side and depend on the value of the booking made. Beyond domestic and international flight bookings, you can also earn commissions from vacation packages. 

Adding creative banners and deep links showcasing the beauty of Hawaii can boost your web traffic. Just make sure that your content matches with the services provided before you join.

KAYAK

Founded in 2004, Kayak has emerged as a highly successful travel inquiry website and corporate travel booking platform. Beyond the in-house options, you can join their affiliate program through CJ Affiliate, TradeTracker, and FlexOffers.

The commission rates are excellent and are based on clicks for flights, hotels, cars, and holiday package bookings through your website. Since the site has multiple travel verticals, it is easier to integrate your content with the offerings. Beyond personal blogs, the program can also work for price comparison and cashback sites. 

Keep in mind that the commission rate may vary based on the country. On the downside, the minimum payment threshold is $500. So, to get monthly payments, you need to draw a high traffic volume.

Dollar Flight Club

The Dollar Flight Club offers a subscription-based travel service for finding the cheapest flight tickets. Besides, they have also launched a Room Service newsletter to help travelers pick the best hotels and resorts.

The commission rate is one of the highest you will earn- 40% for every premium member signup. Not to forget, you earn lifetime commissions from every membership renewal from your customers- a standout feature. The cookie duration is on the higher side too. 

In addition, you also get incentive bonuses and access to a library of DFC assets for use. You can join the program even if your site is not based in the US.

Keep in mind that Dollar Flight Club prefers partnering with travel sites that generate high-end content that aligns with their brand value. They are less likely to collaborate with small sites or influencers who work only through social media platforms.

Momondo

Operating in more than 30 countries, Momondo helps travelers to pick flights, hotels, and car rentals. Note that Momondo comes under Kayak’s portfolio. The site has started attracting high traffic with the number of visitors in January this year being 2.7M.

The affiliate program is for flight booking only and you get $0.65 per click on desktops and tablets and $0.45 per click on mobile searches. While these are not mind-blowing CPC rates, they are competitive for an airline affiliate program.

All in all, the program is a good fit for travel as well as lifestyle blogs. The best part of the affiliate program is it is accessible for small bloggers looking to start with affiliate marketing. Besides, the high growth trajectory of the brand makes it a promising program in the long run.

Qatar Airways

With strong profits and an expanding global network, Qatar Airways is a lucrative brand that you can associate with. This is a performance-based CPA program that is open to websites blogs, or online channels that generate good traffic. And promoting a world-class airline will boost your website’s credibility.

To start with, you will have to collaborate with one of the two affiliate marketing partners- Awin and FlexOffers. There will be a dedicated support team that will support you with display banners and text links. 

At first look, the commission rate is not impressive. But keep in mind that Qatar Airways is a premium airline and earned the world’s-best tag multiple times. So the average ticket prices are on the higher side. That makes it possible to earn a respectable amount even with lower click rates. However, this may not work in your favor if your audience does not prefer expensive options. 

CheapTickets.com

Being a part of the Expedia group, CheapTickets is a reputed name in the travel industry. Beyond booking flight tickets, you can also promote stays, car rentals, vacation packages, and event tickets through the site.

Unlike other affiliate programs, CheapTickets offers a flat commission of $2 per flight ticket booked through your website. For other services, the commission rates can vary between 1% to 5%. That said, we wish the cookie duration was longer than 7 days.

While a fixed commission rate can help you earn a steady income, it may not be the best option for encouraging ticket sales from low-cost airlines. Quite simply, customers may not prefer the addition of a high commission to the value of a cheap ticket and head to the official site.

Kiwi.com

Even though Kiwi.com is a recent entrant in the metasearch engine pool, its affiliate program is worth a closer look. The site specializes in connecting carriers to provide the best travel options through a process called virtual interlining.

We like the simplified program structure that offers a flat rate of 3% on all types of sales. On top of that, there are performance-based bonuses. You will also get dedicated support along with marketing tools like brandable widgets and deep links by using the brand’s Tequila platform.

Kiwi.com has earned mixed customer reviews, but its user-friendly interface is a big plus for driving high conversion rates. Overall, it is an easy program to recommend for all types of marketers.

Going.com

Going.com is the rebranded version of Scotts’ Cheap Flights, a site that not only helps travelers find cheap flights but also minimizes travel time. Basically, it is an email subscription service with free and paid versions. It offers amazing budget-friendly options based on chosen travel destinations.

The fact that the site has around two million active members indicates its popularity. It also offers various promotional materials for affiliates. Another great feature is detailed reports that provide insights and help you crank up your marketing strategy.

The commission structure is simple but the flat rate is not the best you will get. Also, the short cookie duration is a bit of a bummer. On the plus side, the membership fees are cheap, which will help draw more traffic. 

Emirates US Airline

Emirates is counted among the largest airlines in the world and has a solid reputation for high-quality service and luxury. In 2022, it won five global and regional awards based on professional audits and passenger feedback.

The affiliate program is available through multiple networks like CJ, Admitad, and Skimlinks. Among these, the Admitad network has a global reach and a longer cookie duration of 365 days. The commission rates between 1.25% and 2.5% of the net ticket fare are competitive and the exact amount depends on the route.

In addition, you will get support from an affiliate manager along with real-time tracking and reporting facilities. Considering the rich legacy and reputation of the Emirates, there is no reason not to count this affiliate program among the top ones. However, Emirates may not be the most budget-friendly option. So, picking it may limit the choice range for your audience.

Air France

Air France is a part of the Air France–KLM Group and a leading global airline. It operates across the globe in over 200 international destinations with a fleet of over 500 aircraft.

The program is offered through the Trade Tracker affiliate marketing platform. The exact commission rates are not disclosed but they are based on actual ticket sales. As expected, the rates vary as per the type of ticket booked. 

You can track your earnings through a dashboard that delivers detailed analytics. There are tools to support your marketing initiatives and deep links to direct customers to specific offers. Besides, promoting a recognizable brand with a wide range of destinations will help you reach out to a larger customer base.

KLM

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines was acquired by Air France in 2004, and presently, it operates in routes across 78 countries worldwide. The affiliate program is open to apps, blogs, or websites, but not for travel agency websites.  

The commission rates are modest- 1% for medium-haul bookings and 1.5% for long-haul bookings. The 30-day cookie lifetime is on par with the other programs. You will get country-specific support in the form of link generators, widgets, campaigns, and a global tracking solution. In other words, you can earn booking commissions made in any other country. Plus, the program has a reputation for making prompt payments.

While KLM is a reputed brand, its affiliate program may not be the best option when you are offering a single option to your audience. You may think of combining it with the Air France program to increase conversions.

JustFly

If you are looking to offer the lowest airfares to your audience, the JustFly affiliate program is a good choice. The brand collaborates with more than 400 airlines and also offers other services like hotel reservations and car rentals. 

JustFly has developed a good reputation through its excellent customer service and is on a positive growth trajectory. What makes this program a lucrative option is the flat commission rate. Moreover, the cookie lifetime is generous compared to most other programs.

The program is open to all creators with a love for travel. The only thing is that your content should match the brand’s vision. And, you will need an active Instagram and/or TikTok account to apply. Marketing help from a competent affiliate team is also available.

Priority Pass

Priority Pass provides access to more than 1300 airport lounges from across the world. Once you become a member, you can also receive other benefits beyond lounges in selected airports.

The program offers an impressive commission rate of 10% for every membership sold through you. Since the membership fees are between $99 and $429 you can generate a respectable income from high conversion rates. The affiliate network platform for Priority Pass in the US is AWIN and you will get promotional materials like banners from them.

If you have a website that promotes luxury travel or assists frequent travelers, this is a program worth joining. Moreover, Priority Pass can be a great add-on program for your blog if you are already promoting an airline.

Omio

Omio is a comprehensive travel platform that allows travelers to find and compare flights, trains, buses, flights, and ferry transportation options. The wide range of services makes their program a good option for attracting audiences from all categories. The sleek interface of the Omio app and seamless user experience have helped the brand earn plenty of positive reviews.

While the commission rates will not blow you away, they are not too bad either. However, you will need to track the data to find out which service drives maximum conversion for you.

The program is open for website and app owners, as well as online travel agents. Also, Omio provides you with access to its extensive media library. You can choose marketing tools that best meet your needs from there. 

With that said, Omio has a limited range than some other brands when it comes to flight bookings. If selling flight tickets is your priority, there are better options.

Choosing the Best Airline Affiliate Programs

If you are not familiar with affiliate marketing, you may wonder, is affiliate marketing legit?

The answer is yes, it is. But to make it work, you need to pick the right programs. Here is a look at some of the points to check out while picking airline affiliate programs.

Commission Rate

The most powerful incentive for promoting a brand is the commission it offers. Commission rates can vary from 1.5% to 20% or more, depending on the sales value. Some companies may offer flat commission rates. 

While higher commissions are attractive, you should look at the bigger picture. Compare commissions with conversion rates to find out what works best for you.

More often than not, choosing a high-selling product with a lower commission rate can deliver more returns. That makes it important to consider the average order rate along with the commission rate for cost-per-sale (CPS) compensation models.

Note that some airlines offer monthly payments to affiliates while others have a minimum threshold amount you need to cross. It is best not to choose an affiliate program where the process of withdrawing money is lengthy.

Cookie Duration 

Cookie duration is the period for which the customer’s visit to the company website is tracked starting from the first click. As an affiliate, you are eligible to earn a commission for any sale generated during this period. 

Quite simply, the longer the cookie duration, the better it is for you. Once the time is up, you will earn no more rewards. A cookie lifetime of 30 days is a common offering from most airline affiliate programs. Anything less than that may not work in your favor in most scenarios.

Average Order Value 

The average order value (AOV) directly impacts the amount of money that reaches your pocket from an affiliate program. The higher the order value, the more return you get from an affiliate program. Remember, when you pick a program with a flat commission rate, the potential of earning more from higher AOV is lost.

Beyond that, AOV is an excellent indicator of the customer’s purchasing trends and behavior. Based on these data, you can evaluate your content marketing strategy. Low AOV might be an indicator that the products are too expensive or not in line with the customer’s preferences. Use the right affiliate marketing tools for data interpretation to help you take the right marketing steps.

Recurring Commissions 

Picking an affiliate program that offers a recurring commission is a great way to earn passive income. In this case, besides earning the one-time commission, you get paid each time the same customer buys a product through your link.

This allows your affiliate revenue to compound, even if you generate fewer new leads. But do not expect a lifetime of commissions. In most cases, the program caps out within a year. Unfortunately, most airline affiliate programs do not offer recurring commissions.

Niche Alignment 

It is important to understand the exact needs of your target audience and choose an affiliate program to match it. Choosing niche-specific affiliate programs for precise audience targeting will help you raise your affiliate earnings.

You need to take a close look at your customer base and choose the travel solutions that they are looking for. A good starting point will be to check out the affiliate programs your competition is using.

For example, if you are running a food blog, you can focus on culinary travel tours and promote an airline affiliate program. However, if your niche is beauty and skin care, even a massive following will not increase conversion rates through a travel-based program.

Final Thoughts

That brings us to the end of this list of 15 best airline affiliate programs. The truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to choosing a program that is right for you. If you are just starting, here are some affiliate programs for beginners you can check out.

Start by developing the right travel content platform that offers value to the audience. After that, it might be a good idea to link with multiple affiliate programs to extend your reach to diverse audience groups. Combining airline affiliate programs with other travel affiliate programs can be a good idea.

No matter the airline affiliate program that you pick, it is important to do your research. Pick brands that have a solid reputation and are transparent in terms of terms and conditions.

Good luck! 

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