Loyal hotel customers would give up spouse, keep loyalty program, if given choice

Relationships with hotel loyalty programs run deep, often causing members to lie, cheat or pose as someone else to get ahead says a new survey by Starwood Preferred Guest.

Honeymoon“? “Emergency“? Respondents would try subterfuge to get upgrades and were not above telling little white lies to get a better hotel room or a hotel/airline travel upgrade” Starwood said in TravelAgent. Nearly half of respondents claimed they would pretend it was their honeymoon to get an upgrade. 25 percent would pretend they had a family emergency and 20 percent would pretend to be someone important.

The idea that travelers are “married to their frequent traveler programs” may not be a stretch either with 73 percent of those responding to the January survey choosing loyalty program benefits over a spouse if they could take just one on the road.Starwood polled nearly 10,000 adults around the world who travel more than 25 times a year and had some surprising findings.

  • In a travel emergency, 70 percent said that their elite status in a hotel loyalty rewards program would be handier than their smartphone, tablet or even their personal assistant.
  • Seventy-six percent said they felt their status in a hotel loyalty program would last longer than their marriage or current job.
  • Losing their status in a hotel loyalty program (65 percent) scares respondents more than lost luggage (12 percent) or missing a flight (11 percent).
  • Half of respondents said they consider hotel loyalty programs most important, followed by credit-card (19 percent) and airline loyalty programs (13 percent).

The survey was conducted for Starwood Preferred Guest 9,900 adults across the globe who travel 25 times or more per year. Interviews were conducted between January 1st and January 9th, 2012.

Flickr photo by UggBoy♥UggGirl