What’s New on Hotel Engine? Platform Improvements from H2 2022
At Hotel Engine, we’re truly customer obsessed — which means that we’re always listening to our members’ feedback and making improvements to the platform to better meet their needs. In 2022, that meant more flexibility, more self-serve convenience and more support for the way we travel now, including the increasingly blurred lines between business and personal trips.
Let’s take a look back over the feature updates we implemented over the second half of 2022.
Expanding into Leisure Travel
One of our most exciting product enhancements from 2022 was the launch of personal accounts. By offering every existing Hotel Engine member the opportunity to create a personal account, we expanded access to the deep discounts and perks typically reserved for business travel.
Now, all Hotel Engine members can book leisure travel at our exclusively low rates while accessing all the other benefits we offer — like 24/7 Member Support, flexible bookings and the option to earn lucrative double rewards. Personal accounts are completely private and separate from business accounts, yet it’s quick and convenient to toggle back and forth.
Speaking of those double rewards, we also added the Marriott Bonvoy program to our list of hotel loyalty programs that integrate with Hotel Engine accounts. Whether traveling for business or pleasure, members can now earn Bonvoy points on all eligible bookings (in addition to other top programs like Hilton Honors and IHG Rewards).
One of the biggest concerns when it came to travel in 2022 was the need for flexibility. Business travelers’ timelines are constantly shifting, making it difficult to plan ahead accurately — and expensive to cancel reservations at the last minute. And with major disruptions to air travel and constantly fluctuating gas prices, leisure travelers were also looking for a booking solution that was ready for the unexpected.
We delivered by enhancing our Flex offering, making it a new industry leader in terms of flexible travel. When Flex is selected at booking, travelers can cancel their room up until noon the day of check-in or cut a trip short mid-stay and get refunded in travel credit for any unused nights. With Flex, travelers only pay for the nights they stay, and admins can easily keep track of Flex savings via the dashboard Trends page.
Sometimes, more time on-site is needed, so we also made bookings easier to extend. What was a manual process in the past — involving phone calls, rebooking and waiting on confirmation — can now be done directly from our app or website with a few clicks. Travelers simply select the reservation, tap “Book More Nights,” and the itinerary will extend instantly.
Easier Bleisure Booking
The final way that we offered more flexibility for our members was by building a solution to simplify “bleisure” trips — business trips that get extended into a personal vacation. By linking business and personal Hotel Engine accounts, we made it seamless to extend an existing reservation.
To turn a work trip into bleisure travel, users with an existing personal account can simply access their reservation, choose the option to extend their stay and toggle over to their personal account to complete the booking. The added nights are charged to the traveler’s personal credit card, and the new reservation is only visible to the traveler.
Bleisure support offers the perfect solution for a common headache experienced by travel admins — employees love bleisure as an opportunity to explore new destinations while saving money and time on travel, but reconciliation quickly gets complicated. Hotel Engine bleisure trip extensions are a win-win for travelers and businesses alike.
Looking Ahead in 2023
A new year is here, and our teams aren’t slowing down in the slightest. In the coming weeks, we’re excited to launch more great new features to continue improving the traveler experience. Stay tuned!
Audrey Fairbrother is the Content and SEO Manager at Hotel Engine. She spends her days writing about all things business travel, researching topics that are important to Hotel Engine’s audience and cultivating the company’s brand voice. When she’s not working, Audrey enjoys spending time with her family, and hiking in the nearby Rockies with her dog, Albie.