US: Expedia Group has introduced a new loyalty program across its three travel brands for travellers to earn and use rewards on eligible flights, hotels, vacation homes, car rentals, cruises and activities.
One Key unifies the group’s three travel brands – Vrbo, Expedia, and Hotels.com – into one flexible loyalty program. It is currently available in the US and will roll out globally from next year.
The program will have more than 168 million members across the combined brands with membership divided into four tiers. Members will move up a tier by collecting trip elements worth USD $25 or more to qualify. Trip elements can include a flight, hotel room night, vacation rental night, cruise night, one-day car rental or round-trip transport (e.g. airport shuttles or transfers), or one activity ticket.
Membership tiers include:
• Blue – sign up for free
• Silver – five trip elements within a year
• Gold – 15 trip elements within a year
• Platinum – 30 trip elements within a year
In addition, the One Key program has a single rewards currency called OneKeyCash, which members earn when they travel and can use on future bookings in addition to the discounts and perks that the program offers.
Peter Kern, vice chairman and CEO, Expedia Group, said: “We’ve significantly increased the pace of innovation at Expedia Group over the past few years, allowing us to push the boundaries in tech, loyalty, and service. From our industry-leading advancements in AI and machine learning to our flexible new loyalty program, One Key, no company is doing more to put the traveler experience front and centre in everything we do.”
Jon Gieselman, president of Expedia Brands, added: “We designed One Key to reward every traveller – the road warriors, the frequent flyers, and the 83 per cent of travellers who only take a few trips a year and never really benefit from other loyalty program.
“By bringing together our three biggest travel brands into one program, travellers can easily earn rewards across our family of brands. So whether you fly, rent a car, stay at a hotel, or relax in a private vacation home, more travellers will have OneKeyCash in their ‘wallets’ to spend on their very next trip. It’s about making travel rewards simple for everyone, not just because it’s sunny, a Tuesday, and the planets are miraculously in alignment,” Gieselman said.
Earlier this year, Expedia Group launched a ChatGPT-powered trip planner. So far the app has only been available on iOS devices although in August, it will also be available on Android. New features will include:
• Activities recommended in the conversation will automatically save to Trip Planner
• Hotels recommended during a conversation will also features images, price ranges and reviews
• Expedia members will be able to revisit past conversations and continue these at any time, supported by suggested responses
Other new AI-powered tools include smart shopping for hotels on the Hotels.com app, featuring recommendations, comparisons and upsells, as well as streamlining the air credit redemption process.