Air Miles & Expedia Launch New Partnership

Since acquiring Air Miles earlier this year, BMO has promised a number of improvements to the program to maintain its longevity.

Recently, BMO launched a new booking platform alongside a rather lucrative offer to boost your Air Miles balance, and has also stated its intent to abolish the distinction between Cash and Dream Miles.

In the latest development, BMO has announced that as of October 18, 2023, Air Miles has launched a new partnership with Expedia.

Air Miles Launches New Partnership with Expedia

Air Miles and Expedia have launched a new partnership, through which collectors will have access to hotels and vacation rentals offered through the Expedia platform.

Right now, the specific details of the partnership are vague, with the Expedia group stating that Air Miles members will gain access to its 700,000 hotel and vacation rental properties worldwide.

We further know that the partnership will be directly integrated into Expedia’s relaunched travel booking platforms, which saw extensive updates and facelifts across all of the conglomerate’s subsidiaries, such as Hotels.com, earlier this year.

Furthermore, there was no mention of being able to earn or redeem Air Miles for flights on the Expedia platform. Therefore, that particular capacity may remain in-house on the Air Miles website.

BMO has made it clear that this is not to be the final step towards rejuvenating the Air Miles program, and that the bank is continuing to work to find meaningful ways for collectors to earn and redeem miles.

At this time, it’s not clear if there will be any interaction between the Expedia Group’s in-house travel loyalty program OneKey and the Air Miles ecosystem.

This is particularly interesting as Expedia’s OneKey program was launched simultaneously with platform tech updates in Summer 2023, which will gradually replace beloved programs such as the Hotels.com stamps program.

More details of the new partnership between Air Miles and Expedia will follow in the near future.

Is Air Miles Taking Flight Again?

When Air Miles’s former parent company headed for bankruptcy earlier this year, the loyalty program was suffering from an all-time low of consumer confidence.

After acquiring Air Miles, BMO knew that there was a strong need to restore consumer confidence in the program. The bank made a number of promises to collectors, and with recent improvements to its platform and some relatively lucrative offers, BMO appears to be making good on its promise.

It seems that the partnership with Expedia is part of a strategy to integrate Air Miles with platforms that many Canadians already use.

This means that the new partnership could be a good way for the brand to rebuild both its ubiquity and image simultaneously, by being seen as a useful way to engage with the program for hotel stays and vacation rentals.

The benefits and drawbacks of Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) like Expedia can be debated, since OTAs aren’t known to provide customers with the best support, but they do provide a one-stop shop to book any travel service imaginable.

This new partnership is a step in the right direction for Air Miles, since it makes Air Miles accessible via a platform many average Canadians use every day. If collectors have frequent and positive engagements with the platform, it could go a long way towards restoring confidence in the program.

Indeed, a partnership with Expedia is a much more tangible and viable alternative to previously announced partnerships, such as when Air Miles announced plans to join the metaverse.

We’ll certainly be keeping an eye on what else BMO has in store for collectors, and hopefully the upward trajectory continues.

Conclusion

Air Miles and Expedia have launched a partnership to help collectors access over 700,000 hotel and vacation rental properties offered by the Expedia Group.

While details on the specifics of earning or redeeming points are known at this point, it certainly marks another step in the right direction for Air Miles.

With a new travel platform, lucrative offers, and meaningful partnerships, it appears that Air Miles may indeed be taking flight once again.



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