Ebookers signs RBS deal

Ebookers will be the power behind a new loyalty scheme offered to NatWest customers, as part of a partnership between the online travel agency and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Under the agreement, RBS customers (including those who bank with RBS subsidiaries NatWest and Coutts) will be able to redeem points accrued under the bank’s loyalty scheme to buy holidays, according to Ebookers managing director Alan Josephs.

Customers can spend their points on Ebookers by accessing a link on the bank’s website.

The scheme launched offline in July and is scheduled to go live sometime early next year, with the aim of launching in the first quarter, says Josephs.

The RBS-Ebookers alliance follows the launch of Ebookers’ redesigned website and the migration on to its new technology platform, which was designed for all Orbitz Worldwide brands.

Since completing the migration last month, Ebookers has tripled its hotel inventory, and added new features such as user reviews (though the reviews are vetted by a team at Orbitz, so people cannot post reviews themselves directly on to the site).

The new Ebookers home page has done away with the old central search and booking engine in favour of a two-window view containing search tools on the left and offers on the right. There is also a sizeable boost to the number of images on the site and improved user functionalities, such as the ability to sort by hotel name and address, maps, and a My Trips and My Accounts section.

The new technology platform is now being introduced to each country market across Europe, with Ireland the next country to see changes to the Ebookers site.

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