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Accor Combines Its Loyalty Programs and the Traveler Comes Out Ahead

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Recently Accor redesigned its loyalty program to differentiate itself from its competitors,. Each of its branded hotels had its own program. Spanning so many levels of hotel service--luxury (Sofitel), upscale (Pullman MGallery), midscale (Novotel, Mercure, Suitehotel), and economy (Ibis, All Seasons, Motel6)-- Accor wanted a more focused approach, so all the individual programs were consolidated into their new A/Club.

Like other hotel loyalty programs, every time you stay in an Accor property, you earn points. The more nights you stay, the more points you accumulate, the more free nights you earn. In that, Accor is similar to the award programs offered by its competitors, InterContinental, Starwood, Hilton, and Marriott.

What's different about A/Club is Accor uses its loyalty program to encourage their customers to spend as much time as possible inside their properties. If you belong to A/Club and stay at the Sofitel Paris Le Faubourg , for example, you earn points for every…

A Trifecta Win at London's Heathrow Aiport

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Recently I had the opportunity to experience the unique partnership between British Airways, Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport, and Sofitel's new London-Heathrow Hotel.

When I flew to Heathrow from Los Angeles. I booked an overnight flight. British Airways offers its Club World (business class) passengers a reclining seat with a privacy partition. After a full-course meal, I turned the seat into a bed, enjoyed a night-cap, turned off the light, and went to sleep. When we landed at Heathrow, I was refreshed by a good night's sleep and a proper English breakfast of a sausage roll and tea.

British Airways is the exclusive tenant of Heathrow's Terminal 5. In designing the terminal, BA wanted to create a flagship experience that would highlight the English tradition of service and comfort. The opening of the terminal complimented upgrades in the long-haul British Airways fleet.

Terminal 5's opening in March, 2008 was marred by numerous, widely publicized problems. Designed to be …