How Hotels Try To Fake You Out To Get You To Make A Reservation (And How You Can Combat It)

Hotels are in the business of getting people to stay at their properties overnight. One way for them to do this is to present themselves in a way that makes them look as appealing as possible. Unfortunately, that sometimes means making themselves look not a whole lot like their respective realities.

Oyster.com is a hotel review and booking website that does things a little differently than Tripadvisor and Hotels.com. They’ve been around for about a decade and don’t amass reviews from former hotel guests who may or may not be telling the truth. Instead, they have a staff of full-time professional reviewers who stay in these hotels incognito. These reviewers also personally photograph the hotels, in order to show what they really look like, instead of using the stylized promo shots that are sent to them.

The differences between the reviewers’ photos and the promo shots have sometimes been so ridiculous that Oyster has periodically posted “Photo Fakeouts,” to show its readers the differences between the two. Here are a few of those photos, as well as ways to you not be faked out when looking for a hotel.

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Credit Cards Are Adding Cell Phone Coverage But Benefits Aren’t All The Same

It used to be that just one or two of my credit cards offered any type of coverage for cell phones. When phones were less expensive and U.S. mobile providers were subsidizing the full cost, having insurance on your phone wasn’t viewed as being important. Now that more popular phones cost around or over the $1,000 range, and repair prices vary from $100 for a cracked screen to several hundred dollars for more severe damage, having a policy where you only need to pay a $50 deductible is an appealing option.

Customers were paying for their own coverage but the banks saw an opportunity to differentiate their product by offering Cell Phone Protection as a perk of their cards. Offering this benefit requires paying your cell phone bill with that card, so for the bank this is an excellent way for them to get you to put your recurring cell phone bill onto their card for month after month.

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How’d An X-Wing Fighter Show Up On FlightAware?

I’m a big fan of FlightAware. It’s one of the seven travel apps you need to have when traveling. It’s also the app I use to spy on family and friends when they’re traveling.

So the last thing I’m expecting to see when I pull up FlightAware is an X-Wing on the map.

Screen Shot 2019-11-11 at 10.43.37 PM

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My Friend Is Staying In A Hotel That Has A Great Sense Of Humor

A lot of my friends say they like to live vicariously through my travels. That’s a pretty cool thing to hear but even cooler is when I get to live vicariously through someone else’s travels. I’m doing that right now.

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