Expedia Group consolidates loyalty programs across brands to expand benefits

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Expedia Group, an online travel powerhouse, plans to consolidate and expand its customer loyalty program offerings across its brand portfolio.

According to the Seattle-based company, the move offers “the industry’s most complete travel rewards,” membership discounts and rewards and redemptions for flights, hotels, vacation rentals, car rentals, cruises and all other activities. . It is done. Expedia Group Brand.

Affected travel brands include Expedia, Hotels.com, Orbitz, Travelocity and Vrbo.

The move addresses issues that have affected consumer loyalty efforts at the enterprise level. Since American Airlines became the first major company to implement a loyalty program in 1981, AAdvantage’s mileage plans, travel agencies and others have launched a number of similar schemes to promote consumer loyalty to the brand. I did

The problem is that while some consumers stick to one airline, hotel chain, or car rental company and earn points, many others become multiple companies over time. Sign up with lots of competitive loyalty and end up with a very low point balance. program.

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Today, companies often deal with this by partly partnering with other companies’ compatible programs. Expedia Group has applied this model to a large number of competing brands, with a total of more than 145 million loyalty program members.

“I have a lot of logins and loyalty cards, but I don’t need them anytime soon because I have the benefits of renting a car, booking a flight, booking a hotel room, and more,” said John Giselman. President of Expedia Brands.

All four current flagships of the Expedia Group brand will participate in the all-new Global Rewards Program. An exact launch date hasn’t been set, but a company spokesperson said it plans to launch “during the next year.”

“Our loyalty program gives members the opportunity to earn and redeem points for all Expedia Group brands, including brands like Vrbo that previously did not have a loyalty program,” said Giselman. I have.

For example, customers can earn points on Vrbo Vacation Rentals and redeem them at Expedia Car Rentals.

If you booked a room on Hotels.com, they said that you earned loyalty currency for the vacation package you booked on Expedia six months ago.

“This is better for travelers and has the added benefit of making our partner list more visible to new customers for future bookings,” Gigelmann said. “It will be simpler and more flexible.”

Membership in what Expedia Group calls an “integrated and advanced” loyalty program is free.

New and existing members will experience a “seamless” experience when the new program launches, while current members will continue to use the original program. According to Giselman, the details of the new program, such as point redemption and termination parameters, are still hashed.

Expedia Group plans to further enhance the benefits of existing programs, including member pricing, reward boosters, upgrades, and social features offered at thousands of facilities worldwide. (So ​​far, according to the company, rewards for loyalty in member-only transactions and legacy programs have saved customers nearly $10 billion in travel.)

The COVID pandemic and lockdown forced many travelers to postpone their plans until recently, and Expedia Group expected to reimburse large amounts and strengthened its customer service operations to handle this.

“As the world reopens, there is no doubt that travel and point use will skyrocket,” Giselmann said. “We’ve added hundreds of agents to phones, deployed virtual agents, and developed a one-click cancellation tool.”

The main goal of the new integration program is to educate Expedia Group customers about the relationships between their brands and how to leverage them. It “makes the life of the traveler easier”.

“There was a time when our brands competed with each other in the market, which was part of our strategy to some extent,” Giselmann said. “We are now fully focused on the best results for our customers, delivering a more integrated experience across the brand.

“Loyalty is a big part of it and there’s a huge leap in that vision.”

Expedia Group brand families include CarRentals.com, CheapTicket, ebookers, Egencia, Expedia, Expedia Cruises, Expedia Group Media Solutions, Expedia Local Expert, Expedia Partner Solutions, Hotels.com, Hotwire.com, Orbitz, Travelocity, Trivago, Vrbo . And Votif.

SourceLink Expedia Group consolidates loyalty programs across brands to expand benefits

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