CEO Blog

15 October 2018

Written by Ravindra Bhagwanani on . Posted in Archives

AF-Acc

Let’s recall the facts: Earlier this year when Air France was once again in big trouble because of its striking pilots, Accor was said to be considering taking a minority share in Air France, with access to Flying Blue at the heart of the motivation. A few weeks later, they understood that an ownership stake would create more difficulties for them than anything else (not related to the access to the Flying Blue data, but rather to the labour situation, which would have come as part of the package!) and they walked away from that idea – not casting the best light on Air France once again. Not amused by that behaviour, Air France forged a far-reaching partnership with hotel booking platform Booking.com – the enemy par excellence of Accor (and of all other major hotel chains) – in September. Now it was Accor’s turn not to be amused, and they replied in turn by introducing a mutual conversion partnership with the loyalty program of Eurostar, Club Eurostar. While Eurostar is obviously not as much a threat to Air France as Booking.com is to Accor, Accor stresses nevertheless that this partnership now allows Le Club Accorhotels members to redeem their points for “tickets and upgrades with no black-out dates or extra fees” – an obvious swipe at Flying Blue. While such battles are obviously amusing for observers, they also lead ultimately to advantages for program members. So by all means, please continue, Air France and Accor!