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South African Airways’ (SAA) long-established airline loyalty programme, SAA Voyager, has been given a boost through its recently announced partnership with Marriott Rewards, the world’s leading hotel loyalty programme.
Members of Marriott Rewards will now be able to choose to earn Voyager Miles for stays at more than 4,000 Marriott hotels across 17 distinctive global brands within the Marriott International group. “Since this includes stays at Protea Hotels in South Africa or in the seven other African countries where we have hotels, it’s a significant benefit for South African travellers,” explains Mark Satterfield, Chief Operating Officer for Marriott International, Middle East & Africa and Marriott International’s Business Leader for Protea Hotels. “Many South Africans who travel regularly, especially business travellers, have long been members of SAA Voyager so those who are also members of Marriott Rewards will now be able to maximise their Voyager earnings for doing something they do anyhow – stay in a hotel when they are away from home,” he continues.
So, for existing SAA Voyager members it makes great sense to join the Marriott Rewards programme if they would like to boost their Voyager Miles earnings through hotel stays.
Marriott Rewards members can also choose to redeem their Marriott Rewards points for SAA Voyager Miles, allowing them to use the points earned for hotel stays to select SAA flights when they travel. “This creates greater versatility for our members regarding how they use their points,” Satterfield explains.
From SAA’s point of view, the partnership with Marriott Rewards has the potential to open up an enormous new market: the 55 million members of the Rewards programme internationally. Through selecting to redeem their points in the form of Voyager Miles, these members could well become a new customer base for South Africa’s national carrier.
When members of the Marriott Rewards programme stay at a Protea Hotel, they will be able to earn one SAA Voyager Mile per US$1 spent at the hotel. In addition to earning points for their stays, Marriott Rewards members enjoy extra benefits, such as free Wi-Fi and mobile check-in through the Marriott Mobile app, as well as special deals only available when booking direct on a Marriott channel.