Last February I created a table showing which airlines partner with each of the ten major global hotel loyalty programs. This table has been updated to show airline partners as of August 22, 2012.
The table has 69 frequent flyer programs including a few other loyalty schemes like Air Miles, Amtrak and MultiPlus, a Brazilian loyalty program.
There are 40 frequent flyer programs associated with the global alliances of OneWorld, SkyTeam and Star Alliance.
The table indicates airline partners of each hotel loyalty program. Most airline partnerships mean frequent flyer miles or points can be earned for hotel stays instead of hotel loyalty points.
Hilton HHonors allows members to earn both points and miles for the same hotel stay. The table shows that Hilton HHonors with 61 airline partners out of 69 listed is the top hotel loyalty program for airline partnerships and earning miles. The poor points-to-miles exchange rate with HHonors makes earning points on hotel stays the better earn rate for many travelers.
Some airline partnerships allow hotel points to be transferred into frequent flyer miles. Transferring hotel points to airline miles tends to be more restrictive for some hotel programs than earning miles directly from hotel stays instead of points .
For example, Starwood Preferred Guest allows SPG members to earn frequent flyer points with Southwest Airlines through its SPG Airline Direct Deposit program, however, the transfer of Starpoints into Southwest Rapid Rewards points is not permitted.
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Green cell = new airline frequent flyer program since Feb 2012.
Red cell = dropped airline frequent flyer program since Feb 2012.
Yellow cell = airline only partners with this one hotel loyalty program.
Orange cell = Marriott Rewards is the only US based program that does not partner with American Airlines.
Hilton HHonors is leading program for airline miles from hotel stays
Hilton has an expansive list of airline partners. HHonors Points & Miles is the industry leading model for earning miles from hotel stays. All HHonors airline partners are eligible for earning Points & Fixed Miles for Hilton brand hotel stays. Airline programs marked with an asterisk also participate in HHonors Points & Variable Miles earning.
Frequent guests with short stays at Hilton can rack up big miles as long as you avoid Hampton Inn, Home2Suites and Homewood Suites where the fixed miles earned are severely limited.
You need to actively manage your HHonors earning preference to take advantage of points and fixed or variable miles to improve earning at different Hilton brands.
Hyatt Gold Passport drops several major airline partners in 2012
Hyatt has most dropped several airline partners in 2012 including Air Canada Aeroplan, Alaska Mileage Plan, Frontier Airlines and US Airways. That is a big hit for North America travelers.
Hyatt Gold Passport added Hawaiian Miles, so there is some consolation.
Hyatt also dropped Mexicana Airlines.
Hasn’t Mexicana’s frequent flyer program been in a coma for the past several years? I am amazed any hotel program still partners with the airline. Hyatt dropped them. Hilton and SPG are the last two holdouts.
I have 50,000+ miles stranded in one of those Frecuenta vaults without access to a key to unlock a flight award in quite some time. Holding on to those Mexicana miles since 2002 was as sensible as holding RIM stock shares.
Starwood Preferred Guest Airline Direct Deposit
SPG offers the option of Airline Direct Deposit where starpoints are automatically transferred into airline miles. This is the better earning option for United Mileage Plus miles where earning 20,000 Starpoints converts to 20,000 United miles compared to earning only 12,500 United miles in a points-to-miles transfer.
Southwest Airlines earns 600 points per stay and probably not such a good deal on expensive stays.
Southwest Airlines and Choice Privileges
Choice Privileges has a better points to miles transfer rate with Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards at 1,000 Choice points = 300 Rapid Rewards points compared to 1,000 Choice points = 200 miles with other airlines.
Choice Hotel stays earn Southwest Rapid Rewards at rate of 600 points per stay compared to 250 miles per stay with most airline partners. Best Western stays also earn 600 Southwest points per stay in lieu of hotel points. Most airline partners, except Miles & More earn 250 miles per stay.
Best Western hotel stays earn 500 miles per stay with Miles & More. Other frequent flyer programs only earn 250 miles per Best Western stay.
Miles & More
Miles & More frequent flyer program is often listed as Lufthansa, yet represents many European airlines including Lufthansa, Austrian, LOT Polish, Swiss, Brussels and other regional airline partners like Adria, Croatia Airlines and LuxAir.
Airline Global Alliances
Global airline alliances like OneWorld, SkyTeam and Star Alliance mean miles in one airline member can be used for flights with other airline members in the alliance. Most airlines also have additional airline partners outside the alliance for more miles redemption opportunities. Of the 69 frequent flyer programs in my table, 40 are tied to one of the three major global alliances.
There are 69 airline loyalty programs listed on this table. There are over 100 airlines for redeeming miles for award tickets through these 69 programs.
- Spirit Airlines only partners with Choice Hotels.
- Air Tran A+ no longer partners with any major hotel chain after IHG Priority Club partnership ended in 2012. I will delete this airline for the next update if no new hotel partnerships form.
As I updated this table from one I created in February 2012 I noticed a couple of errors from the February table with missing airline partners.
This is a massive amount of data. Please comment below if you see an error and I will correct the table.
Loyalty Traveler post link: http://loyaltytraveler.boardingarea.com/2012/08/22/10-hotel-programs-69-airline-partners-table/
Ric Garrido, writer and content owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. You can follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.