Some Airlines Now Rewarding Passengers For Using Airbnb

Image courtesy of Rachel

It’s not uncommon for an airline to partner with hotel chains to earn and/or use rewards points, but now some carriers are looking at the growing sharing economy and seeing potential for rewards partnerships.

Qantas and Virgin Atlantic recently upped their frequent flyer games by incorporating Airbnb stays into their Qantas Point and Elevate programs, Quartz reports.

Qantas announced the addition on Tuesday, noting that it would reward passengers who choose not to stay at traditional hotels, but at short-term rentals through Airbnb.

Passengers will earn one Qantas Point for every $1 Australian they spend — that equates to one point for every $.76 U.S. — on Airbnb.

Under the program, it will likely take passengers a bit of time to acquire enough points to earn a free flight: Quartz notes that a free one-way trip from Sydney to San Francisco in economy Qantas requires 45,000 points.

While Qantas claims it’s the first airline to team up with Airbnb on its frequent flyer program, Virgin Atlantic previously incorporated the short-term rental program into its Elevate program.

The airline allows Evaluate frequent flyer members to earn one point for every $1 spent when booking through the carrier’s site. Virgin Atlantic also allows passengers to earn 20,000 points if they sign up as a host on the site and complete five hosting nights.

While the customer base for Qantas and Virgin Atlantic may be smaller in the U.S., carriers’ willingness to work with the short-term rental company could mean other, domestic carriers aren’t far behind.

Airlines are now rewarding flyers for Airbnb stays [Quartz]