Airline Frequent Flier Miles vs. Hotel Loyalty Schemes

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  • PrakashMehta

    Irrespective of the booking channel one earns airline miles/status but hotel points/status come through only when booked directly with them. Why this disconnect on how one earns Airline miles vs. Hotel Loyalty Points?

    If a hotel wants to get my custom, wouldn’t it be better for it to give loyalty points for all stays irrespective of the booking channel so that I would consider them over others?

    Between loyalty programs and better prices, I pick better prices. But if I was earning points/status on these cheaper prices, I would consider that chain over others.

    Thoughts from the forum?


    The aggregator sites like expedia reportedly charge the hotels 20-25%. The hotel benefits are living in that space, as are the 10%+ cashback deals you often see. The fees they charge the airlines are considerably less, cant find as well a quoted figure but the sense seems to be <5%. Airlines do get you for booking outside their ticketing system or via travel agencies; in the shape of restricted changes rules and sometimes higher change fees.


    There is virtually no commission at all on flight sales these days, which is why most agencies now add booking fees. The airlines are not worse off so they don’t care about how you book.

    The airlines played hardball when Expedia etc first appeared and won. The hotels caved in, gave up huge margins and now struggle to get them back – although Marriott has just signed a new Expedia / deal which is apparently on far tighter margins.

    Remember that has a good loyalty scheme of its own – a free night for every 10 nights you book, based on the average price paid – which is on top of what you get using a cashback portal to book or BA e-store / Virgin Shops Away. A lot of people prefer this to using the hotel schemes, as covers the full market and you never have to compromise on location or hotel quality to get a reward from your stay. Staying loyal to Hilton, IHG etc often requires compromise.

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