Airbnb has partnered with Qantas, giving the airline’s Frequent Flyer members the opportunity to earn points when they book accommodation through the portal.
The partnership could potentially boost the amount of traffic flowing through the portal, which currently offers accommodation listings in more than 34,000 cities and 191 countries.
Qantas' Frequent Flyer program has 11.4 million members and the new partnership with Airbnb will reward them with one Qantas Point for every dollar they spend on any of Airbnb’s 2.5 million accommodation listings.
CEO of Qantas Alan Joyce said the partnership was a good fit and enabled both brands to use technology to create great experiences for their customers.
“The way that people around the world plan, book and experience travel is changing rapidly with the digital revolution,”Joyce said.
“From creating Business class in the 1970s to introducing mobile technology to transform the check-in process in recent years, Qantas has always looked for ways to reinvent airline travel – just like Airbnb has done for accommodation. We’re really excited about the potential for this partnership.”
However; not everyone is happy.
Business Insider Australia reports that Australia’s peak accommodation organisation, Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) has called the Qantas partnership with Airbnb, “a slap in the face” to the sector.
Carol Giuseppi, TAA CEO said the national carrier made a decision to back an unregulated operator over more traditional partners.
“Qantas should understand the importance of working with partners who fully support and contribute to the tourism industry and meet all their regulatory requirements,” Giuseppi said.
“These unregulated short-term accommodation operators do not have in place the consumer safety and community amenity regulations and insurances that apply to regulated operators, nor do they pay the requisite fees and taxes," she said.
"This is why so many overseas jurisdictions are regulating to prevent even more non-resident apartments and houses being taken off the long-term rental market and sold as unregulated short-term accommodation.”
Airbnb CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky said the partnership affirms the portal's dominance.
“Our announcement today with Qantas highlights the rapidly growing movement towards the personalised and unique experiences available through the Airbnb community,” Mr Chesky said.
“People around the world are experiencing a different way to travel through Airbnb.
We’re focused on connecting people with the hospitality of locals, welcoming travellers into their communities so they can truly belong anywhere. There are just a handful of global brands who understand that travel is now changing for the better. Qantas is one of those brands.”