Meeting Mentor Magazine

December 2018

Strategic Agreements

Uber and Hotels Get Close
Through Mobile App Integration

Pushing for a “seamless experience,” major hotel chains are betting on strategic agreements with Uber that connect hotel loyalty members and guests with the destination — from departure to arrival and back again.

Hilton Worldwide’s existing program with Uber allowed Hilton HHonors members to place Uber “Ride Reminders” through their Hilton reservation e-mails from smartphones or online in advance of their stay, receiving automated notification on the day of travel. In addition, hotel guests could access Uber-curated “Local Scene” information — top restaurants and nightlife venues in 20 cities — right on the Hilton Honors app.

Expanding the partnership and making the process even more seamless, Hilton HHonors members can order an Uber ride directly from the HHonors app, while Uber riders can view their hotel stay information — and check-in — through the Uber app as they travel to their hotel. Hilton is promoting the expanded partnership though email communications, social media and a web landing page.

To access the integrated features, guests must have both the Hilton HHonors and Uber apps, and a current hotel reservation under their HHonors account. A guest or meeting attendee who isn’t an existing HHonors member can enroll for free.

More than 65,000 guests engaged with the feature within the first two months of the announcement, reported Rich DiStefano, senior director of mobile products at Hilton, and the “Local Scene” feature drove 80 percent of Uber’s new customers in the top five U.S. markets: New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta and Dallas.

Hyatt was early on this scene in 2014, when it integrated Uber into the hotel’s mobile app, connecting all guests (not just loyalty members) with transportation on demand in more than 100 cities around the world. The Uber button under the My Reservations section of the app appears from day of check-in to end of stay. In use, it shows available transportation options, projected wait times and estimated prices. First-time Uber users will need to complete a simplified sign-up process. Hyatt is pleased with the results to date, and the hotel company “is committed to testing new experiences that help us extend experiences that care for our guests,” said a spokesperson.

InterContinental Hotels Groups collaboration with Uber enables anyone traveling within the U.S. to sign up as a new Uber rider and earn IHG Rewards Club points, as well as a discount off their first ride. Travelers also can request an Uber ride from the IHG app (through the Uber API). A feature added earlier this year also allows travelers to set Uber “ride reminders.” — Maxine Golding

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About ConferenceDirect
ConferenceDirect is a global meetings solutions company offering site selection/contract negotiation, conference management, housing & registration services, mobile app technology and strategic meetings management solutions. It provides expertise to 2,500 corporations and associations through our 325 Associates globally. www.conferencedirect.com

About MeetingMentor
MeetingMentor, the leading publication for senior meeting planners, is circulated to the clients, prospects and sales associates of ConferenceDirect, which books more than 3.87 million room nights. www.meetingmentormag.com

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