In 1989, Omni Hotels became the first major hotel chain to shift the focus of its frequent traveler program – Select Guest – from an awards program to a guest recognition program. At the time, Select Guest members were given until August 1, 1990 to redeem their awards, and in the years hence very little has been heard from the program. Omni Hotels has now quietly re-launched the Select Guest program with the addition of some familiar mileage-earning benefits.
Actually, Select Guest has maintained a variety of benefits that members have continued to enjoy over the years (our personal favorite: members receive all of their personal preferences on every stay, including room type, pillow type and other amenities such as complimentary morning beverage service). Now, with the addition of American AAdvantage and Delta SkyMiles to the partner list, Select Guest members can also add 500 miles per stay to their frequent flyer account (with most business travel rates). Select Guest will also, on occasion, reward its most frequent guests with complimentary weekend nights at Omni Hotels, 50% off weekend nights, complimentary room upgrades and other pleasant surprises.
Even with these mileage-earning partnerships, Select Guest fits the mold of a Wyndham ByRequest-type program – both are smaller-chain loyalty programs that focus on perks, not points. These types of programs are doing well, and now even Fairmont Hotels is looking to join in. While Marriott, Hilton and Starwood are doing well with their respective programs, both Omni and Wyndham have created a buzz in the industry, and have demonstrated that there is more than one way to run a successful guest loyalty program.
Note: Members achieve the equivalent of Gold status after six stays, which allows them to earn 500 miles per stay for most leisure, government and group rates. Also, through Oct. 31, members of the AAdvantage or Delta SkyMiles frequent flyer programs can earn double bonus miles (1,000 miles) for stays at Omni.