As part of a series of updates unveiled at last week’s Expedia Group Explore partner event, the online travel giant revealed additional details about its unified loyalty program, first announced last September.

Called One Key, the program will allow loyalty members to earn and burn points in all Expedia Group‘s brands, such as Expedia, Vrbo, and Travelocity, for every travel product, including air, hotel, holiday rental, car and cruise.

The redesigned scheme – allowing a passenger to earn points from a stay at Vrbo, for example, to use later on an Expedia flight – is designed to create connectivity between all Expedia Group brands as well as establish long-term customer loyalty.

“The industry has trained passengers to look for the lowest price. We are trying to build support here to create long-term customer loyalty to make people come back, so their first thought is to come to one of our brands because of the benefits we offer, ”said John Giselman, President of Expedia Brands.

“[Expedia Group] brands have competed in the past. Travelers do not understand that we are a family of brands. That connection is our superpower. “

United universe

According to Gieselman, Expedia Group’s loyalty programs have 154 million members and add about two million each month. “To put this in perspective, if you add all our members to the awards, we will be the ninth largest country in the world in terms of population,” he said.

“It is [currently] in four programs, each with different currencies, different advantages, different mechanics of the awards “, he continues, noting that some brands such as Vrbo and Travelocity do not currently have loyalty programs.

“This is confusing, restrictive and not in the interests of passengers.”

By combining programs under One Key, travelers can earn more by accessing rewards throughout the Expedia Group’s portfolio, while partners can see more than just winnings (members with high value loyal customers book 15 times more than non-loyal customers. loyal), but also increased brand loyalty.

Gieselman says Expedia Group will be “deliberate” to move people from existing loyalty programs to the new One Key currency. “Yes, [points] they need to be re-evaluated because there are different values ​​in all our different programs, ”he said.

“We will migrate people in a way that adds value to them. No one has to worry about their points. They are our most loyal customers and we will do what is right for the customer. ”

Although he declined to go into more detail on how the points would be revalued, Gieselman said the first priority was to attract people to the new platform, which will launch next year.

From a marketing standpoint, although the average consumer may not realize that brands like Vrbo, and Travelocity are part of the Expedia Group family, Gieselman says the company has already started sending link messages, citing its latest Super Bowl ads as an example.

For Peter Kern of Expedia Group, the vice president and CEO likened his family of brands to the Marvel universe. “We don’t want to fight over the last passenger,” he said. “We do better if we help each other.”

* The presence of reporters at the event was supported by Expedia Group.

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