Qantas’s 11.4 million frequent flyer members have a new option for earning points for their travels through a partnership with Airbnb.
The arrangement enables Qantas’s frequent flyers to earn one point for every dollar they spend on an Airbnb booking made through the airline’s website.
To celebrate the tie-up, the airline replaced the “A” in the Qantas logo on the fuselage of a Boeing 737-800 with the Airbnb logo for a promotional photo.
It is the latest effort from the airline to expand the range of points-earnings options for its growing membership base in areas such as health insurance and movie tickets, as well as a push towards more data analytics.
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said technology platforms such as Airbnb were being increasingly used by all sorts of travellers.
“The way that people around the world plan, book and experience travel is changing rapidly with the digital revolution,” Joyce said in a statement on Tuesday.
“We know many of our customers are just as likely to arrange an Airbnb as they are to book a hotel, and we wanted to recognise and reward them for that.
Airbnb co-founder and chief executive Brian Chesky said people were seeking more “personalised and unique experiences” when they travel.
“We’re focused on connecting people with the hospitality of locals, welcoming travellers into their communities so they can truly belong anywhere,” Chesky said.
“There are just a handful of global brands who understand that travel is now changing for the better. Qantas is one of those brands.”
Airbnb said it had about 2.5 million accommodation listings across 191 countries.
Qantas has also published a couple of promotional videos on its YouTube channel:
The Qantas initiative followed Virgin Australia’s launch of its Velocity Live hub in partnership with the owner of Ticketek where its frequent flyers can earn points for concert tickets and other events.
Qantas’s Loyalty division reported a 9.8 per cent improvement in underlying earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) to $346 million in 2015/16.
At Virgin, Velocity Frequent Flyer posted underlying EBIT of $139.7 million in 2015/16, up 72 per cent from the prior corresponding period.
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