The Airline-Hotel Partnership That Defies Expectations

Starwood and Delta introduced a pretty significant new partnership two years ago. It was a close relationship with bonus points-earning and some reciprocal status recognition. United and Marriott slid in behind them.

I’ve expected, at some level, a tie-up with Hilton. Marriott and Starwood were taken. United and Delta were taken. Who was still free on the dance card?

While I’d love to see American and Hyatt, Hyatt’s footprint doesn’t seem large enough for such a relationship with the world’s largest airline. And IHG doesn’t make sense either, since their program has no meaningful elite benefits to start with. American and Hilton are the two big players left on stage.

And yet that hasn’t happened.

Instead, we still see unique Hilton-Delta promotions running, despite the close relationship that Delta has with Starwood.

Delta has been nearly absent from the promotions game for the past two years. They’ve come in with London promotions when others were bonusing it. But their focus has been heavily on their transition to becoming revenue-based.

So it’s somewhat surprising to see Delta promotions. And Delta promotions with Hilton especially. And yet they’re back with another Hilton promotion that helps earn elite status, even.

Register and earn 250 elite qualifying miles on Delta plus double miles when you complete a two-night Hilton HHonors stay by December 20, 2014.

You have to choose Delta as your double dip earning partner with Hilton, and you can earn up to 10,000 elite qualifying miles with the bonus.

I keep expecting the Delta-Starwood marriage to become more exclusive… and not to see elite qualifying mileage earning offers from Delta. And yet here we are.

(HT: Loyalty Lobby)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Wow, I’m suprised you took a break from the constant CC pushing to write something semi-interesting (even though you ‘hat tipped’ it from Loyalty Lobby).

    I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s post, which I’m guessing will be ‘The Top 5 Credit Cards for People Who Like Burritos’.

  2. Wow Tyler. I’m surprised you took a break from your busy Friday evening to write such a vitriolic post that is not even close to semi-interesting.

    Thanks Gary.

  3. From AA today, I received a Hilton offer — 25k miles and Hilton Gold status after four stays by the end of the year. Was it heavily targeted?

  4. FYI, I just got an email from American Airlines for an interesting cross AA-HH promo offering 25,000 AAdvantage miles AND Hilton Gold status for completing 4 Hilton stays by Dec. 31, 2014.

    Am on the fence and weighing it as I have no Hilton stays coming up, but am certainly intrigued.

  5. The Virgin Atlantic promo of stay at 5 Hilton brands, get 15,000 Virgin Flying Club Miles was great … that’s what I got and registered.

  6. 10,000 MQMs / 250 MQMs per 2 night stay = 80 nights at a Hilton between Oct 6 and Dec 20, which is not possible.

    So how do they have a “10,000 MQM max”?

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