It’s interesting (though not surprising) that beyond the traditional “alliances,” we’re seeing a lot more partnerships in the airline and hotel industry nowadays. And in particular that we’re seeing close partnerships between the airline and hotel industry as well.
For example, in early 2013, Delta and Starwood introduced Crossover Rewards, whereby under certain circumstances members receive reciprocal benefits and points when traveling with the partner airline or hotel.
When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. An airline’s best customers are potentially a hotel chain’s best customers, so why not link up with a partnership? United and Marriott clearly thought it was a good idea, because they introduced RewardsPlus a few months later.
Well, it seems like this Starwood airline partnership might soon extend beyond Delta.
Reader Jonathan sent me a screenshot he took yesterday of the SPG Platinum Member Benefits page, which in part read as follows:
Everything looks as you’d expect, except for the new Starwood & Emirates Your World Rewards partnership, which is described as follows:
New! Your World Rewards with SPG and Emirates Skywards: Register to earn one Starpoint per dollar on eligible Emirates flights. Plus, enjoy elite in-airport benefits, including priority check-in, priority boarding and complimentary e-gate access (visit emirates.com for details).
Now, I suspect this was published prematurely, since it has since been pulled from spg.com.
It’s an interesting partnership for sure, and I suspect one Delta is fine with, since the two airlines don’t compete much.. Starwood elite members earn one Starpoint per dollar spent on Emirates, plus priority check-in, boarding, and e-gate access.
Since this was only published accidentally, we don’t yet know what Skywards members will receive when staying at Starwood properties, though my guess is that the benefits will be similar to what Delta offers through Crossover Rewards:
SkyMiles Diamond, Platinum, Gold and Silver Medallion® members earn 1 mile for every dollar spent on eligible room rates at over 1,100 Starwood hotels and resorts globally. Plus, SkyMiles Diamond and Platinum Medallion members receive additional SPG benefits at Starwood hotels and resorts — 4 p.m. late checkout, access to the SPG elite check-in line, complimentary in-room Internet access and an upgrade to an enhanced room at check-in, when available.
Or maybe Starwood elite members will receive complimentary onboard showers, to make Emirates flights feel more like hotels. 😉
Definitely a smart partnership, in my opinion, and I’ll post again once the partnership goes live. Personally these types of partnerships don’t impact my loyalty, as I don’t think the benefits are rich enough in and of themselves to change consumer behavior. However, there’s no denying that a little bit of “prompting” will cause some people to change their travel patterns.
How do you feel about these types of partnerships, and do they impact your travel choices?