Airbnb seems increasingly focused on forming loyalty links with airlines, especially as the company prepares to branch out into other sectors of travel beyond just accommodations. Could an Airbnb loyalty program be far off?
Similar to those partnerships, Airbnb’s new loyalty link with Delta enables Delta SkyMiles members to earn miles on their Airbnb bookings worldwide when they book a listing via delta.com/Airbnb. It marks Airbnb’s largest U.S. airline partnership to date, and Delta is also serving as an official partner and sponsor of Airbnb’s upcoming Airbnb Open conference in Los Angeles later this month.
When Delta loyalty members book an Airbnb stay via Delta, they will receive 1 Delta Sky Miles mile for every $1 U.S. (or foreign equivalent) spent on qualifying stays. The partnership also encourages Delta passengers who have not stayed in an Airbnb before to do so by offering up to 1,000 bonus miles and a $25 Airbnb coupon code for a qualifying first stay for new Airbnb guests. Delta members who sign up to become new Airbnb hosts can also receive up to 25,000 bonus miles.
In a press statement, Delta vice president of customer engagement & loyalty Sandeep Dube said, “This industry leading partnership enables us to provide a unique benefit to our SkyMiles members, enabling us to reward them for their lifestyle choices through the SkyMiles loyalty program. This partnership brings together two innovative brands focused on delivering superior travel experiences across the globe to customers.”
As Skift has noted recently, there’s been increasing debate about the real value of belonging to airline loyalty programs at a time when airlines are increasingly making it more challenging for passengers to earn points, status, and free flights. Partnerships like this one, with Airbnb, seem to provide passengers more ways to earn loyalty points and increase brand loyalty.
However, these kinds of deals can also face scrutiny. When Qantas announced its own partnership with Airbnb last month, a local hotel and tourism industry group in Australia said it was a “slap in the face” for Qantas’ traditional hotel partners.
It’s likely Delta may face the same kind of turbulence from its own hotel partners, too.
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Photo credit: Delta Air Lines loyalty members can now earn SkyMiles points for booking stays on Airbnb or becoming an Airbnb host. Delta Air Lines / Delta Air Lines