The acquisition would make sense for Priceline, which currently does not have a loyalty program like the other major online travel agencies, analysts said Thursday. A persistent challenge for travel bookers is to get return customers, who are notoriously fickle about where they book as they search for better deals. "The acquisition will allow Priceline to enter loyalty marketing with a compelling, relevant product," said Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst with Atmosphere Research Group. "For example, Priceline could potentially offer 'bonus points' for booking hotels via Priceline Group websites. Plus, this will allow Priceline to gather additional data and potentially use that in other areas of its business." Douglas Quinby, vice president of research for travel research firm PhoCusWright, said Priceline, which operates its namesake agency and among others, is the only major agency with no loyalty program. "RocketMiles is essentially a hotel online travel agency with an interesting and unique approach to loyalty," Quinby said. "The acquisition suggests Priceline is looking closely at how to introduce new features to drive loyalty and customer retention." Get the full story at the Chicago Tribune