6 July is when the fun hits the fan– Expedia’s One Key rewards program is coming to topple the First World achievements of many of us BoardingArea readers. Bid adieu to those 11th night bonuses of hotels.com, and whatever the heck Expedient.com offered.
As I mentioned earlier this year, Expedia is rearing its own version of Cerberus so as to allow award redemptions on hotels.com, expedia.com, and even vrbo.com. (which specializes in vacation homes; I’ve never them either)
In order to do that, the points accruals will be significantly lessened, while the ways of getting points — that is, OneKey Cash — is diversified. According to travelweekly.com, “trip elements” will include not just hotel and vacation rental stays, but also flights and rental car days:
Blue status – four (4) trip elements
Silver status – five (5) to fourteen (14) trip elements
Gold status – fifteen (15) to twenty-nine (29) trip elements
Platinum status – ≥ thirty (30) trip elements
A goal of the One Key reward program, according to Expedia’s c-suite, is to encourage infrequent travelers to link up. Hence, some modicum of status after four trip elements.
After three of ~100-150 hotel nights on hotels.com (save for 2020, and periodic booking.com reservations) I’ve got some elements for the One Key rewards program to chew on- Sulfur Chromium Uranium your new disloyalty scheme. For starters, I’ve never used expedia.com or vrbo.com.
But here’s the real beauty; Expedia is flipping the bird right back at the anti-One Key faction. How? Hotels.com is flat-out saying that anyone who doesn’t want to stick with them through the transition should up and delete their account!
Like I alluded to in April, my travel loyalty is back on the auction block. Agoda’s UI recounts Japanese variety shows, wherein characters and images erupt on screen all of the time, booking.com has awful customer service, and priceline stopped drawing my attention when they got rid of the name-your-own-price diversion. Although I just started using China’s trip.com for bookings within/originating in China, they are every bit as international as other OTAs. However, I don’t want to see how their customer service is, should an issue arise.
If you’re about to suggest signing up with individual hotel companies, such as IHG or Accor, let me halt you right there. For me, hotels are mostly just places to crash and to write. Whereas I wouldn’t turn down a stay at a nice place, consider that no matter where I’m staying, the night was a success if I’ve woken up.
Are you wondering with which OTA to book for your next adventures? Join the club.