Milepoint’s tommy777, Tommy Danielsen, passed on my challenge to him over to Jeff Zidell of Hyatt Gold Passport.
And Jeff came through.
Jeff challenges Suzanne Rubin of American Airlines, David Oppenheim at United, and Lance Evans at MGM.
Can I read the tea leaves a bit here?
David Oppenheim, who manages United’s partnerships (including credit card co-brands), used to work at Boston Consulting Group where he did work for Jeff and Hyatt. Lance Evans makes sense, since Hyatt and MGM are partners.
Have Hyatt and American been spending more time together lately?
- Delta and Starwood are linked up now
- United and Marrott have a tie-in as well.
- That leaves American among the major airlines.
There’s not much reason for them to partner with IHG Rewards, since there’s no meaningful elite benefits to speak of to offer through the partnership.
Hilton makes the most sense for an American tie-in, among the chains that are left they have a global footprint while Hyatt is much smaller. Still, a Hilton-American partnership hasn’t happened. Hilton gives away their status like nothing as it is. And Hilton does still partner with Delta selectively, including occasional promotions that help in earning status miles with Skymiles through hotel stays.
Hyatt’s foot print seems too small, at about 500 hotels, for the world’s largest airline.
Still, it would be a really strong get for Jeff to put together a deal with American… where he did used to work…
Of course, it could just be that Tommy already challenged Jeff Foland and the person Jeff likely knows best there is David Oppenheim, there isn’t technically a Skymiles head at the moment (there’s a team approach on an interim basis), and that leaves Jeff’s counterpart at American.
Sometimes, too, an #icebucketchallenge is just an #icebucketchallenge. And there’s no use reading the ice cubes.