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The Expedia Group travel online website plans to consolidate and expand its customer loyalty program across its brand portfolio.
According to the Seattle-based firm, the move will lead to “the most complete travel rewards in the industry,” discounts and flights for members, hotels, vacation rentals, car rentals, cruises and event rewards. and purchase. Expedia Group brands.
Affected travel brands include Expedia, Hotels.com, Orbitz, Travelocity and Vrbo.
This step, at the corporate level, solves the problem that plagues consumer loyalty efforts. Since American Airlines became the first major airline to implement a loyalty program in 1981, its AAdvantage frequent flight plan, travel suppliers, and others have launched many similar schemes to promote loyalty to their brands.
The problem is that while some consumers stick to a single airline, hotel chain, or car rental firm to collect bonus points, many will eventually sign up with multiple companies and many remain in the balance of competitive loyalty. applications.
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Nowadays, companies solve this in part by collaborating with compatible programs from other firms. Expedia Group uses the model in a wide range of sometimes competing brands that are members of more than 145 million loyalty programs.
“I have login and loyalty cards, which will not be needed anytime soon because I will benefit from renting a car, booking a flight, or booking a hotel room,” John Giselman said. President of Expedia Brands.
He noted that all four major programs available in Expedia Group brands will be added to the new global awards program. An exact launch date has not been set, but a company spokesman said it is expected to go on sale “next year.”
“Our loyalty program allows members to collect and purchase points on all brands of Expedia Group, even brands that previously did not have loyalty programs, such as Vrbo,” Gizelman said.
“A buyer can earn points to rent a vacation on Vrbo and buy it at Expedia car rental,” he added.
If you want to book a room on Hotels.com, the vacation you booked on Expedia six months ago will bring you a currency of loyalty, he said.
“It’s better for travelers, and there’s the added benefit of showing our partners’ inventory more accurately to new customers on future bookings, ”Dieselman said. “It’ll be simpler and more flexible.”
Membership in the Expedia Group “single and updated” loyalty program will be free.
New and existing members will have a “seamless” experience once the new app is launched, but current members will continue to use their original apps. According to Gieselman, some details of the new program, such as points payment and termination parameters, are still being resolved.
Expedia Group members plan to rely on existing software benefits such as pricing, premium increases, updates offered on thousands of properties around the world, and social services. (To date, the company says, deals made for its members and loyalty rewards in old programs have saved customers nearly $ 10 billion on travel.)
As the Kovid pandemic and locks forced many travelers to delay their plans until recently, Expedia Group is waiting for a flood of payments and speeding up customer service operations.
“There is no doubt that with the reopening of the world, there will be a rush to travel and take advantage of loyalty points,” Gizelman said. “We’ve added hundreds of agents to phones, provided a virtual agent, and developed a one-click cancellation tool.”
The main goal of the new integrated program is to teach Expedia Group customers the relationship between the company’s brands and how to use them, which “makes life easier for travelers”.
“Once upon a time, our brands were competing with each other in the market, and that was part of the strategy to some extent,” Dieselman said. “Now we are totally focused on the best results for our customers and bringing a more integrated experience across our brands.
“Loyalty is a big part of it and it’s a huge step towards that look.”
The Expedia Group brand family includes CarRentals.com, CheapTickets, 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.