Why loyalty is critical when traveling
Upon arriving at a Marriott property several guest are checking in as I walk by them toward a special carpet and velvet rope section Marriott Elite members. I’m greeted and thanked for being a loyal Marriott guest then awarded a free upgrade to an ocean view suite (I booked the most cost effective city view room). I’m also earning a 50% bonus on all points earned during this stay as well as 500 bonus points for being a platinum elite member in addition to a free cocktail or beverage of my choice because of my loyalty to Marriott. I’m also then informed that I’ll be staying on an Elite member floor and that there is an elite member lounge where I can enjoy cocktails in the evening with appetizers and that in the mornings I’ll be invited to have breakfast in the elite member lounge as well.
These perks and benefits are all FREE and are offered or provided because of the status level I have with this certain hotel brand. Travel companies reward customers for loyalty unlike any other industry. From hotel points & airline miles to car rental points if it’s travel related you should be earning something that you can cash in for free at a later date. I have accumulated millions of airline miles, hotel points, car rental points, and booking engine or agency points. These reward points & miles have afforded me the ability to travel all over the world for pennies on the dollar. For example trips like circumnavigating the globe by plane with stops in 6 countries during the christmas and new years holidays all for under $1500.00. It may seem unbelievable especially when I mentioned I stopped in Belgium, Netherlands, Turkey, Qatar, Dubai (for New Years), & china. I was able to keep my cost low and use the loyalty I had with certain airlines & hotels to reduce the cost of my trip.
Loyalty is key strategy to have when traveling because the benefits are so abundant. Often travelers will search for the best deal or lowest price, I disagree with that strategy. I will pay more to keep my brand loyalty. For example when I travel I never worry about baggage fees from airlines. With my loyalty I receive certain status benefits such as free checked bags. So let’s say you have 5 flights a year that’s 10 one ways and the baggage fee is $35.00, you just spent $350 on bags. Why not spend a few extra dollars on certain airlines and build the loyalty with them to gain access to benefits like free checked bags. Loyalty is a easy and simple way to get more out of your travel experiences. It helps make your travel experiences more pleasant overall, recently I was headed to the airport for an early morning flight and a friend remarked how energetic I was. I’m NOT a morning person however they realized I was headed to my zone, my space, my sanctuary. From free lounge access and breakfast & upgrades to first class or the frequent Yes Sir Mr. Robinson’s I hear. Loyalty has turned a period that many people dread flying or traveling to a destination into a period of time that I enjoy. Simply because travel companies realize the majority of their income comes from frequent travelers (80/20 principle 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your customers) and their loyalty can often make the difference for them to meet wall street projections and stay in the black.