Skift Take

The subscription experiment in travel is gaining momentum. Will company's ultimately make money on what in some cases are very low annual subscription prices? That's the plan.

Russia’s Aviasales, a travel search engine, is jumping on the travel subscription bandwagon, and will launch a subscription program November 1.

The commercial launch of Aviasales More will initially be available to subscribers in Russia and Belarus, a spokesperson said, adding that the announcement of the subscription plan’s debut is scheduled for Friday.

Skift learned of the program through a LinkedIn post from Alexandra Vukolova, head of new partnerships at Travel Audience. Aviasales said the price for an annual subscription is $20.

“The main promoted feature of this subscription is an opportunity to get real money back not credits/vouchers,” Vukolova wrote. “The cashback amount will be transferred to a member’s card and can be withdrawn at any moment.”

An Aviasales spokesperson provided some details about the program. Members would get up to 10 percent cash back on hotel bookings made through Booking.com. Users link off to a Booking.com page co-branded with Aviasales to book their stays.

Among around a dozen offers are cash back of up to 15 percent for travel insurance, transfers and guided tours.

The plan is also to give members of the subscription program access to curated content about thermal baths and indie shops in Budapest, for example.

There will also be priority concierge support for subscribers, a spokesperson said.

While the rollout is initially limited to customers in Russia and Belarus, Aviasales’ blueprint is to expand the program to other markets, as well.

Subscription plans have become a travel industry trend. Practitioners include eDreams Odigeo, Tripadvisor and Inspirato, among others.

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Tags: aviasales, booking.com, cashback, metasearch, russia, russian federation, subscriptions

Photo credit: Russia's Aviasales is launching a subscription program. Pictured is a Russian hotel. Alexxx Malev / Flickr

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