Partnerships between airlines and hotels are not new, but two marquee brands have come together. Both Marriott and Singapore Airlines hope to benefit from each other’s loyal customers.
The business of loyalty rests on making customers’ lives easier so that they come back for more. Partnerships help a lot and airlines and hospitals are a natural fit.
Marriott and Singapore Airlines have unveiled a new partnership that gives Bonvoy and KrisFlyer members more ways to maximize benefits.
Effective immediately, eligible members of the two programs will receive a status match to a comparable tier in the other program. Both have also launched an accelerated path to earn higher elite status.
For instance, those with Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite, Titanium Elite or Ambassador Elite status can earn KrisFlyer Gold status (equivalent to Star Alliance Gold) by flying just four revenue flights on Singapore Airlines in any cabin. That’s significantly lower than the requirement to earn 50,000 elite miles in a year.
Similarly, members of Singapore Airlines’ Solitaire PPS Club, PPS Club and KrisFlyer Elite Gold can qualify for Marriott’s Platinum Elite status by staying with participating properties for just 10 nights (instead of the usual fifty). It’s a significant reduction to bring in new customers for Marriott International properties.
Here is a summary of the benefits being offered by both sides.
- Status Match: Members will be able to enjoy elite status matches according to the elite tiers of both programs. Solitaire PPS Club, PPS Club, and KrisFlyer Elite Gold members will receive a status match to Marriott Bonvoy Gold. Marriott Bonvoy Platinum, Titanium, and Ambassador members will receive a status match to the KrisFlyer Elite Silver tier.
- Accelerated Pathways to Higher Membership Tiers: Eligible Marriott Bonvoy members can accelerate the upgrade of their KrisFlyer membership to higher tiers by completing as few as two to four flights with SIA within a six-month period. Similarly, eligible KrisFlyer members can achieve accelerated status matches with Marriott Bonvoy by staying three to 10 nights at any participating Marriott Bonvoy portfolio of hotels within a span of six months.
Marriott International had over 177 million Marriott Bonvoy members as of year-end 2022 and nearly 8,700 properties around the globe that participate in the program. KrisFlyer is dominant in Singapore, but is a prominent airline program with a member base of over 7.5 members.
The partnership is not exclusive from either side: Marriott Bonvoy and its predecessors, Starwood Preferred Guest and Marriott Rewards were among the first to create such partnerships in the hospitality industry.
Marriott Rewards partnered with United Mileage Plus back in 2013 to launch the Rewards Plus program, where Marriott elites could access United’s elite status.
Similarly, United’s elite members could access Marriott’s elite benefits. Starwood (now merged into Marriott) also signed a similar partnership with Emirates in 2014 called Your World Rewards. Both these partnerships still exist.
Singapore Airlines also partners with luxury hotel chain Shangri-La as a part of the Infinite Journeys partnership, where Singapore Airlines and Shangri-La offer benefits and shortcuts to earn status for each other’s customer base.
Nowadays, airlines and hotel chains frequently collaborate to grow their loyal member base and increase business. Accor’s ALL loyalty program collaborates with Qantas Frequent Flyer, Qatar Airways Privilege Club and Air France/KLM’s Flying Blue programs.
At the same time, World of Hyatt has partnered with American Airlines AAdvantage. In India, Club Vistara and ITC Hotels’ Green Club also tried a similar collaboration for a limited time.
The thought process is simple. Frequent flyers and hotel guests have preferences built over time, and there is no reason for them to change their airline or hospitality chain as they would have to earn status all over again. With these collaborations, the hotel chain usually hopes the airline customer will try them out and switch. Similarly, the airline hopes the customer would earn status on their airline (via a shortcut) and stay.