HB ON THE SCENE: Starwood Preferred Guest and Emirates Skywards Join Forces

NEW YORK—Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. and Emirates Airline have forged a new partnership providing reciprocal benefits to Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) and Emirates Skywards members. The program, Your World Rewards, begins Nov. 19 and allows SPG and Skywards elite members who register for the program to elevate their earnings and benefits when they fly with Emirates or stay with SPG participating hotels. The announcement was made at the Sheraton New York.  

With Your World Rewards, SPG and Emirates Skywards members will now earn in the air, on the ground and around the world. Elite SPG and Emirates Skywards members will receive rewards of each loyalty program. Skywards Gold and Platinum members will have the opportunity to upgrade their hotel experience, receiving exclusive benefits including access to SPG elite check-in, 4:00 p.m. late checkout and complimentary in-room Internet access. In turn, all SPG Platinum members will enjoy some of the advantages of Emirates Skywards elite, such as priority check-in and priority boarding when flying Emirates. Members will also receive complimentary e-gate access for flights in and out of Dubai.

Members will also earn bonus Starpoints when they fly with Emirates and bonus Skywards Miles when they stay with SPG, on top of their usual earnings. Elite SPG members will earn one Starpoint per dollar, in addition to Skywards Miles, for all eligible Emirates operated flights; and all Emirates Skywards Silver, Gold and Platinum members will earn the equivalent of one Mile per dollar, on top of Starpoints, for all eligible stays at Starwood hotels and resorts worldwide. Conversion rates will be adjusted for local currencies.

“The combination of Emirates’ growing global network, Starwood’s innovative take on hospitality and our top-rated loyalty programs allow us to recognize our most valuable customers with a heightened level of service and greater rewards wherever they travel—be it to one of our more than 140 destinations or at any of Starwood’s 1,200 hotels,” said Thierry Antinori, EVP and chief commercial officer of Emirates Airline. “This partnership unites two like-minded companies with complementary global footprints, putting more rewards on the map and taking our most loyal guests’ travel to new heights.”

“We are living in a new ‘Golden Age of Travel’ with more people from more places traveling than ever before,” said Mark Vondrasek, SVP, distribution, loyalty and partnership marketing at Starwood. “Your World Rewards allows us to cultivate even greater loyalty with travelers from the world’s fastest-growing travel markets. As Emirates increasingly connects East with West, and the emerging markets to the developed world, their reach dovetails perfectly with Starwood’s preeminent high-end, global footprint and our pipeline of new hotels, 75% of which will open in emerging markets.” 

According to Vondrasek, SPG membership has grown 400% in key emerging markets over the last five years.