Orbitz adds LoungeBuddy passes and travel reimbursement to its rewards program
Orbitz Rewards introduces new airport perks and $50 credit towards everyday travel expenses to its Platinum status tier
From in-cabin pet fees to airport Wi-Fi and seat upgrades, online travel agency Orbitz is giving members of its long-standing loyalty program, Orbitz Rewards, more ways to save throughout their trip. Platinum members – those who have reached the program's highest tier – can now choose between free TSA Precheck or LoungeBuddy passes and earn $50 back on everyday travel expenses.
Platinum members currently receive a $50 reimbursement on baggage fees and get their TSA Precheck enrollment fee waived, an $85 value. Orbitz Rewards saved Platinum members nearly $300,000 via these benefits last year. With new Platinum benefits, members can choose between TSA Precheck or a $50 LoungeBuddy pass redeemable at more than 280 airport lounges worldwide. Additionally, Platinum members can be reimbursed up to $50 in Orbucks for travel-related expenses booked through the site, including baggage fees, in-flight or airport Wi-Fi, in-cabin pet fees, ground transportation, seat upgrades or activities. All reimbursements are credited as Orbucks and can be used on 350,000 hotels worldwide.
"In focus groups with our members, we kept hearing that they wanted more flexibility in the benefits and rewards earned through our program," says Holly Gillespie, Senior Director of Customer Loyalty at Orbitz brand. "With new Platinum benefits we're letting customers choose the rewards that are most valuable to them throughout their trip, whether that's Wi-Fi on the flight home or a free checked bag. It's the first test of many as we look to put more Orbucks in the hands of our members and engage with them in new ways."
Orbitz Rewards bills itself as the loyalty program for leisure travelers and is the only OTA rewards program that operates on an instant cash back model. Members earn Orbucks, equivalent to $1 USD, on airfare, hotels and packages booked through the site that can be immediately applied toward a hotel purchase at checkout. The earn percentage varies based on the line of business and booking device – flights and packages earn one percent back, hotels earn five percent when booked in the Orbitz mobile app – and members have the opportunity to earn extra Orbucks every month through special offers on air, hotel and vacation packages. Orbitz Rewards Visa card holders save the most and receive 10 percent in Orbucks on hotel bookings through the mobile app.
Compared with other popular OTA rewards programs, Orbitz Rewards is the easiest to attain top-tier status. Stay just 12 room nights to reach Platinum, versus 15 nights or 30 nights to achieve similar status at other booking sites. Additionally, there's no waiting to redeem Orbucks and save.
More than 8 million travelers are already enrolled in Orbitz Rewards in the U.S.