If an airline doesn’t fly to a city, it’s at an obvious disadvantage to an airline that does. But what if you’re able to partner with another airline that flies there and can sell their flight through your website as if it was your own? You might be able to keep the sale, even if you don’t keep all of the money from the ticket.
This occasionally happened in the US, most recently with the agreement between American and JetBlue and previously with airlines partnering with Alaska Airlines (until Alaska started to move into their markets). It’s a common occurrence with international flights, where codeshares can significantly increase a single carrier’s destinations through their website. For instance, I was able to book a flight on Expedia from London to Salzburg from AirBerlin with one segment on BA and the other on (the now gone) AirBerlin.
If airlines can increase sales through their website by selling flights from other airlines, why not hotels? The larger brands like IHG, Marriott and Hilton don’t need this because of their worldwide footprint, but many smaller chains could benefit from selling hotel rooms in locations where they don’t have a presence.
That’s exactly what Lowes Hotels and Omni Hotels are going to try to do.
Here’s how the partnership is described on the Lowes Hotels website, along with a list of the Omni Hotels involved in the program.
Partnerships are in our DNA at Loews Hotels and that’s why we are aligning with Omni to offer both of our guests additional destinations to visit. Check out Omni locations, where there isn’t a Loews Hotel in market, book a room and receive that exceptional service just as you would staying at Loews.
While Lowes and Omni have some great hotel properties, their respective geographic scopes are rather limited. With this agreement, if you’re looking for a hotel in a city where one brand doesn’t have any hotels, your search will show you a hotel from the other chain and allow you to book it right there.
While partnering with each other, the Lowes and Omni plan on maintaining their own visual identities, loyalty programs, pricing and availability.
Until now, smaller hotel chains depended on their own identity to draw customers along with capturing sales from OTAs. This is the first move we’ve seen from hotels to try to combine forces to combat the larger chains with far more hotels to offer guests. For now, they’re focused on leisure travelers but they hope to soon offer a cross-marketing program to event planners and business guests. We’ll have to wait and see how this turns out.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary