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Hilton and Uber Step Up Partner Efforts

By Steve Anderson
March 31, 2016

A section of economics deals with things called “complementary goods.” Those things that are often bought alongside each other, and though have separate uses, help deliver sales of different products. Razor handles and razor blades are good examples of complementary goods. Hotel stays and rental cars might be consider complementary as well, and demonstrating this point is an expanded partnership between Uber and Hilton Worldwide.

Hilton HHonors members can now, thanks to the expanded partnership, order an Uber ride directly from the Hilton HHonors app itself. Meanwhile, from the Uber app, users can view hotel stay information and even check in remotely by some reports, while heading to the hotel in the Uber ride. A user that selects a reservation reminder time will even have the Uber app set the appropriate hotel as a recommended destination as the reminder time draws near. Then, just to round it out, the guest can not only use the app to check into the hotel, but can also select an available room and get a key for that room sent digitally to the device doing the checking in.

As great as it is, this new idea is just part of a string that have previously emerged from the partnership. Before, the partnership yielded tools like Ride Reminder and Local Scene, which have been used fairly extensively by some reports. Local Scene alone was one of the top features of the entire Hilton HHonors app, and in 58 percent of cases, guests that set a reminder set an additional reminder later.

Uber's head of travel partnerships, Jonathan DiOrio, commented “We are always looking for ways to make the travel experience better, and are happy to have found such a strong, inventive partner in Hilton. Following the success of Local Scene and Ride Reminder, we are taking an additional step forward in our integration by offering guests access to their stay details while they are in an Uber.”

Like peanut butter and jelly, those who are staying in a hotel will often need a ride while there, and so the two functions go together well. It's not universal, of course; it's entirely possible to eat peanut butter without jelly and vice versa, but the two have been shown to work so well together in general that it's hard to separate them. That makes for an opportunity not only for Hilton and Uber, but for other ride sharing arrangements to connect directly to hotels and offer up a similar service. After all, people don't just stay at Hilton hotels; they stay in Holiday Inns and Hampton Inns and a host of others; surely people need that same ride component that Uber offers regardless of the hotel brand.

Hilton and Uber is likely to be parroted frequently in the months ahead, especially as the summer travel season gets closer. There's a lot of opportunity afoot, and it will be interesting to see just who jumps on it. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle

Contributing Writer

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