Hotel Rewards Programs: The Best and the Rest
Wall Street Journal
But Marriott is better than most, and other chains offer good deals if you know how to play the game. The study found 54% higher loyalty-program payback on average from a stay at a Marriott hotel than from a stay at a Starwood property such as Sheraton. “Hotels value their currency—points—in a certain way, and Marriott has chosen to value its currency higher than the competition,” says Jay Sorensen, president of consulting firm IdeaWorks Co., which conducted the study.
This Hotel Company Is Best at Rewarding Loyal Customers
If you’re a loyal Marriott customer, pat yourself on the back. According to a new study from the consulting firm IdeaWorks, Marriott’s rewards program gives loyalty members the most generous payback for future room stays of any hotel company. The average return for money spent on Marriott is 9.4%, meaning that for every $100 spent with Marriott, a loyalty member can expect $9.40 worth of value toward a future stay.
European Legacy Airlines May Experience Ancillary Pains
Wall Street Journal
Lufthansa will become the first European legacy airline to unbundle services by introducing a three-tier fare system starting from October. This allows the company to compete more directly on the actual fare but also to charge more for non-ticket items like checked bags and seat booking. Such services incur minimal costs and therefore can add a very profitable revenue stream for airlines. So-called ancillary revenues jumped 21% in 2014 globally from a year earlier, according to industry consultant IdeaWorksCompany and online booking engine CarTrawler.
A defining moment for measuring ancillary revenue?
IdeaWorks has released a summary of its latest look at airline ancillary revenues, saying that it will change its definition to include fare families. The headline findings from 2014 come as little surprise – revenues are up, low-cost carriers are at the forefront but legacy airlines are catching up, Europe and US are the most active regions. The report, sponsored by CarTrawler, leads with the statement that “2014 Airline Ancillary Revenue Leaps to $38.1 Billion – Up Nearly 21% in a Year” – an impressive increase, although the $38.1 billion is based on financial filings from 63 airlines, whereas last year the total came from 59 airlines.
U.S. Airlines Lead the World in Ancillary Revenue as Total Tops $38 Billion in 2014
IdeaWorks Company has released the numbers on airline ancillary performance for 2014, which reveals airlines earned $38.1 billion dollars in ancillary revenue, compared to the $31.5 billion earned in 2013. The company’s report, sponsored once again this year by CarTrawler, considers the performance of 63 airlines around the world—both major flag carriers and low-cost—which disclose ancillary revenue in their financial reports.
Airlines Pocket a Record $38 Billion From Extra Fees
When something works — and works well — you stick with it. That’s the approach that airlines across the globe are taking, as a new report found ancillary fee revenue grew at a double-digit pace last year. In fact, despite grumblings from passengers about additional charges, revenue from checked bags, changed reservations and a host of other additional fees jumped nearly 21 percent to an all-time high of $38.1 billion, according the annual study by IdeaWorksCompany and CarTrawler.
Wall Street Journal
The Best and Worst Airline Rewards Programs for 2015
Travelers continue to be frustrated by the inability to cash in frequent-flier miles for popular flights. Seats are often limited or nonexistent, and airlines more often ask for huge numbers of miles above basic levels to get award tickets. But an annual study of award availability shows Southwest Airlines and JetBlue Airways, both of which have point-based loyalty programs instead of using miles as currency for award tickets, had ample availability compared with other airlines. . . “Frequent fliers are better served by reward programs at value-oriented airlines,” says Jay Sorensen, president of IdeaWorks, the consulting firm that conducted the study for the sixth straight year.
Wine, weddings and Hobbits! Wacky flyer rewards revealed
Most travelers feel lucky if they can swap their frequent flyer miles for first-class upgrades or a free flight. But a recent study found at least 160 airline frequent-flyer programs worldwide offering redemption options that are far more interesting, innovative and, at times, a bit wacky. Among other things, the study by research company IdeaWorks and tech company Switchfly found that El Al offers an inflight marriage proposal kit for $60 plus 120 travel points. If you let the airline know you plan to pop the question during the flight, a crew member will deliver a bottle of wine, wine glasses and chocolates when (or if) your proposal is accepted.
Business Travel News
ON THE SOAPBOX: Tony Tyler – IATA
The New Distribution Capability (NDC) will change the way air travel is retailed by giving travel agents and travel management companies (TMCs) the capability to access features and options typically available only on airline websites. The demand is clear: last year air travellers spent an estimated US$28.5bn on such things as on-board food and beverages, checked baggage, premium seat assignments, and early boarding, according to IdeaWorks Company and CarTrawler. Yet few of these ancillary products and services were purchased through travel agents or third party travel sites because they are not easily accessed by agents.
IATA opinion published in International Business Daily – China
Aviation Industry will Benefit from NDC – Commentary by Yanik Hoyles
Last year air travelers spent an estimated $28.5 billion on options such as onboard food and beverages, checked baggage, premium seat assignments, and early boarding, according to research by IdeaWorks Company and CarTrawler. Yet while an estimated 50% of airline tickets are sold via brick and mortar travel agencies and online travel sites, the vast majority of ancillary products and services are sold by airlines on their own websites, where customers are able to view detailed product information that may not always be easily accessible on systems used by agents.