Expedia Group debuts new loyalty program

Expedia Group has launched One Key, a new loyalty program that unifies the company's three flagship travel brands of Expedia, Hotels.com and Vrbo, and marks the first time a major online vacation rental platform will have a loyalty program.

One Key will let customers of each of the platforms earn and use rewards across Expedia Group’s marketplace of eligible flights, hotels, vacation homes, car rentals, cruises and activities. It is now live in the U.S. and will roll out globally starting in 2024.

"We've significantly increased the pace of innovation at Expedia Group over the past few years, allowing us to push the boundaries in tech, loyalty and service," Peter Kern, vice chairman and CEO, Expedia Group, said in a statement. 

The company’s combined loyalty programs have more than 168 million members and have provided more than $10 billion in travel savings to date, according to its internal figures. One Key members will get access to member prices on select flights, hotels, cruises, car rentals and activities.

"We designed One Key to reward every traveler, [including[ the 83 percent of travelers who only take a few trips a year and never really benefit from other loyalty programs," said Jon Gieselman, president of Expedia Brands. "By bringing together our three biggest travel brands into one program, travelers can easily earn rewards across our family of brands. ... It's about making travel rewards simple for everyone, not just because it's sunny, a Tuesday, and the planets are miraculously in alignment."

Artificial Intelligence

Expedia Group is leveraging AI to launch some new product features:

Conversational planning built with generative AI: Earlier this year, the company launched conversational trip planning powered by ChatGPT in the Expedia iOS app. Early next month, this will also be available on the Expedia Android app. New features include:

  • Activities recommended in the conversation will automatically save to Trip Planner alongside hotels, making it easier for members to stay organized, add more trip items and start looking into other aspects like availability.
  • Hotels recommended during a conversation will also feature images and more accurate details such as price ranges and reviews from travelers.
  • Expedia members will be able to go back and continue the same conversation at any time, start a new conversation by choosing one of the suggested prompts or respond throughout a conversation by choosing a suggested response.

Smart shopping: AI-powered technology on the Hotels.com app helps travelers compare and narrow down their hotel options through features like:

  • A new hotel comparison tool that travelers can use to compare prices, ratings and amenities for up to five properties.
  • AI-powered recommendations that suggest the best room type for travelers based on 40 factors such as who's traveling, where they're going and for how long.
  • An intuitive new way for travelers to personalize their stay with extras like breakfast, parking and refundability, with a clear understanding of how much more each costs.

Air credit redemption: Making it easier for travelers to shop and book a flight using their air credits, travelers can now log into their Expedia account to apply their air credit to an eligible flight.