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Airlines and hotels alike are realizing that a sustainable loyalty business needs to provide real value to consumers in how they can earn and redeem their miles and points. According to a global study conducted by Oracle, “consumers are selective when it comes to signing up for loyalty programs and look for real relevance.” Thirty percent of survey respondents said they rarely join loyalty programs, 46 percent only sign up to select relevant programs, and just 24 percent sign up to every loyalty program they’re offered.
For airlines and hotels, partnering together is one solution to make their programs more attractive, as those who fly and those who stay in hotels typically overlap. Earlier this year, American Airlines and Hyatt Hotels announced an expanded loyalty relationship to provide their elite members in both their AAdvantage and World of Hyatt loyalty programs with more ways to earn points and miles and up their status. The program officially launched in May 2019, and members can now link their accounts to start earning reciprocal points and miles on qualifying American flights and Hyatt hotel stays and experiences.
“Together with Hyatt, we’re further extending our commitment of care and listening to the wants and needs of our elite members. Through their feedback, we learned that an elevated airline and hotel partnership would enhance the travel experience both on the ground and in the air with more ways to earn and more benefits,” said Eduardo Marcos, managing director of AAdvantage Partner Marketing.
Through the program, AAdvantage Gold, Platinum, Platinum Pro, Executive Platinum, and ConciergeKey members will be able to earn one AAdvantage bonus mile for every eligible dollar spent at qualifying Hyatt properties, in addition to World of Hyatt points earned through Hyatt hotel stays. On top of earning more miles, American’s invitation-only ConciergeKey members will receive World of Hyatt Globalist status to further amplify their customer experience.
Meanwhile, World of Hyatt Discoverist, Explorist, and Globalist members will be able to earn one World of Hyatt bonus point for every eligible dollar spent on qualifying American flights, in addition to AAdvantage miles earned by flying on American.
Eligible Platinum, Platinum Pro, and Executive Platinum AAdvantage members and Explorist and Globalist World of Hyatt members may have opportunities to participate in limited-time elite status offers. These elite members may be able to immediately enjoy their new loyalty benefits in the partner program tier as they work to achieve elite status. World of Hyatt status benefits that AAdvantage elite members will have access to include a dedicated check-in area, late check-out upon request, room upgrades, and free premium internet. World of Hyatt elite members will have access to AAdvantage elite status benefits such as priority boarding, free checked bags, free preferred seats, and more.
The relative simplicity of this new program is likely to appeal to users. The J.D. Power 2018 Airline Loyalty Program Satisfaction study found that “airline loyalty program member satisfaction climbs 123 points (on a 1,000-point scale) when members understand how to redeem points and 131 points when they understand how to earn points.”
And according to a survey from corporate management tool Lola, 85 percent of travelers agreed that earning points they can use for personal trips is important. The fact that a business traveler with an elite AAdvantage status who flies with American on a work-related trip can likely apply his earned World of Hyatt points to a stay at a Hyatt property on a leisure trip will be an added bonus as well.