For those still loyal to the travel industry, a new spate of partnerships will now make it easier to earn miles and points across airlines, hotels, and shared cars. And with zero barrier to entry, some passengers may find a windfall.
Travel Loyalty News
The Skift Business of Loyalty covers the world of hotel, airline, and other consumer loyalty programs in the travel industry. Read more coverage of loyalty here.
New loyalty partnerships fresh out of the oven are going to make it easier for frequent travelers to earn and spend points across the entire travel industry.
At the top of last week, Hilton and Lyft announced a new partnership that will allow shared car riders the ability to earn Hilton Honors points on each ride. Later in the year, it will also be possible to spend those points on Lyft rides, though it’s still not clear at what ratio.
In the airline space, Alaska and El Al also revealed a new loyalty scheme that will allow passengers on each carrier the ability to earn and spend award and elite miles on the other. That partnership comes on top of an extensive codeshare agreement already in place between the two carriers — operators that have always marched to a different beat in the loyalty game.
As if that weren’t enough news, the partnership that American Airlines and Hyatt Hotels forged earlier this year — one that will allow elite members to share benefits and earn points across brands — is now officially live.
It’s unfortunately true that fierce loyalty to an airline, hotel, or car program is quickly becoming a fool’s errand for many travelers; as Brett Snyder at The Cranky Flier put it, “It’s a purely transactional relationship from the [operator’s] perspective, and travelers should treat it as such.” But for those putting in the miles either way, participation in the partnerships is free, and it’s another vehicle in which to earn more points. Why not take advantage?
— Grant Martin, Business of Loyalty Editor
Skift Stories and More Expert Insight
Hilton and Lyft Launch Loyalty Partnership: Road warriors have a new partnership between Hilton and Lyft to look forward to. The hotel giant and its ridesharing partner are linking loyalty programs to allow Lyft passengers the ability to earn Hilton Honors points with every ride. Later in the year, it will also be possible to use Honors points to pay for shared car rides.
Alaska Airlines and El Al Team Up on Loyalty: Alaska is launching a loyalty partnership with yet another outlying international air carrier. At this rate, it doesn’t need to fully join an airline alliance.
Google Travel Is Now One Step Closer to One-Stop Shopping: If you’ve been waiting for the proverbial next shoe to drop when it comes to Google Travel putting all the pieces together, it just did.
Air Canada Bids $387 Million for Tour Operator Transat: Air Canada said it’s in exclusive talks to buy one of the country’s largest travel tour operators, Transat A.T., for about $387 million (C$520 million) amid a wave of consolidation in the Canadian airline industry.
India’s Low-Cost IndiGo Sets Its Long-Haul Sights on Europe: Low-cost airlines, the pioneers of brief discomfort at bargain prices, have struggled to master long-haul flights. Now one of the world’s most successful budget carriers is considering cut-price business class seats as a way into the Europe-Asia market.
Amazon Launches Flight Bookings in India in a Superapp Strategy: A shoe just dropped. Amazon is stepping into travel again. It may offer travel products in all sizes once it really gets going.
Jet Airways Executives Exit Amid Fading Hope for Comeback: Two top executives of Jet Airways resigned this week, further diminishing prospects for the grounded carrier that is desperately seeking $1.2 billion to fly again.
American and Hyatt Elites Now Get Reciprocal Benefits: Members can link their accounts now to begin taking advantage of benefits, which vary depending on your tier.
Grant Martin [firstname.lastname@example.org] curates the Skift Business of Loyalty newsletter. He is director of product marketing at TripActions. Skift emails the newsletter every Monday.
Photo credit: Hilton and Lyft's new partnership logo. A new spate of partnerships will now make it easier to earn miles and points across airlines, hotels, and shared cars. Hilton