Airlines and Hotels are Expanding Business Travel Programs

The hospitality industry is working diligently to create an enjoyable experience for business travelers by expanding their loyalty programs. Hotels and airlines are doing their best to make business travel cheaper, easier and even healthier. Aiming to alleviate long stressful flights, unfamiliar surroundings, and unhealthy food by offering healthier food choices and wellness centers to support health.
A recent article in says airlines are working on making booking and seating more convenient for business travelers and travel planners. Corporate travel managers have more control than before when they work with Southwest Airlines. The carrier has changed SWABIZ, its online booking tool, and Southwest employees are focused on bringing Heart and Hospitality to its customers.
American Airlines is increasing its staff by 50 percent to provide customers with an even more personalized service. Dedicated personnel will help the carrier deliver a consistent customer experience.
Meanwhile, Delta’s SkyBonus program and corporate agreement is offering greater benefits, awards, and discounts. Benefits will now include an automatic priority status for customers and SkyMile points for every dollar spent on airfares and upgrades.
And United Airlines’ Propel program is offering discounts from 2 percent to 6 percent for companies that spend at least $250,000 a year with them.
Hotels are improving their loyalty programs too.
Hotels know that just offering a loyalty program isn’t enough to gain participation, so now they’re increasing offerings for existing loyalty members. Best Western offers a 10% discount—nearly double what other programs offer—in all North American locations.
Online credibility is important too, so hotels are upping their social media game. Customers believe a positive social media presence is as important as positive online reviews. Both word of mouth and a healthy follower count are powerful tools to help increase business. Promoting offers on-line, sweepstakes and giveaways are key tools for luring potential guests.
Other hotels are relying on a personal touch to help with business. Allowing business travelers to create their own experiences, amenity offerings or the /check-out process are in the works, too. Text notifications are also helpful when dealing with tight schedules and hectic travel plans. Hotels have also found that business networking receptions are a great incentive to lure business travelers.
And still others are taking their after hours events to the next level: Some Courtyard by Marriott hotels are offering wine tastings in addition to the traditional room service. These gatherings are a way to network and offer a break from the workday.
As travel trends continue to reply on wellness and reviews on social media for growth and increased members in loyalty programs, offerings are becoming more creative. Taking mind, body and soul into consideration seem to be working for the hospitality industry as travels are becoming more health-focused during work and play.
Are you seeing some of these new perks in your travel loyalty programs? What can a hotel or airline do to earn your loyalty? Share your ideas on our Facebook page, or on our Twitter stream. You can also find us on our Instagram page at @TravelproIntl.
Photo credit: User: Mattes (Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)