Happy Sunday to all of our travel friends, both near and far! Here are some articles we’ve read from other bloggers (and other sources) that we think you may like, as well, so we’re passing them along.
Hooray for the weekend! We hope you have been enjoying yours. Here are some travel articles we’ve recently seen that we think you may like.
Happy Sunday, y’all! Sharon and I have come across a lot of interesting travel-related articles this week – here are some of our favorites.
- Gary from View from the Wing writes about how United wants to undo the decision to move out of JFK airport and only have flights to New York from their Newark hub. Admittedly, that decision ended up costing them money in the long run. This is a perfect example of what can happen when you run a company by how things look on spreadsheets. While a decision may look good on paper, when you put it into practice the damage caused by the ripples end up making you regret your decision and it’s not always easy to fix damage that’s already done.
- Kimpton hotels are now folded into the IHG hotels portfolio and their Karma Rewards program is no more. However, they were able to keep many things from the old program alive. One of those is the “Secret Password” which Loyalty Lobby was nice enough to share with everyone. When you tell the password to the front desk, you’ll get a special gift, which is different depending on the hotel where you are staying.
- Walt Disney World gave everyone a first look at their upcoming Star Wars themed lands at Disneyland and Walt Disney World and it sounds pretty darn amazing.
- Ken Storey from the Orlando Weekly gave a nice overview of everything we know about the heavily rumored Star Trek park at Universal Orlando. I highly question if a Star Trek themed park could usurp what’s coming up in Star Wars land, but hey, competition is always great for the theme park guest experience 😉
- Ed from Pizza in Motion writes about how Hyatt has apparently decided not to remove a customer friendly benefit. They’ve stopped a pilot program to charge for breakfast at Hyatt Place hotels, keeping it as a free benefit included with your stay. Hint: Maybe United can take a lesson about how spending a little more money is worth it to keep your customers happy.
- Reselling items is one way that those in the points and miles community use to earn large balances in their accounts (and possibly make a profit if they’re really good at it). There are dangers in this as Miles to Memories found out when trying to get rid of a pair of Justin Timberlake tickets.
- I love checking for AMEX offers but often I’ll see others post about deals that aren’t available to me. Nick from Frequent Miler found out that AMEX will set your offers to where you are at the time. So if you’re out of town, check the AMEX app for offers and you might get in on a good deal that you otherwise would miss out on.
- Every time Marriott announces details about the combination of Starwood Preferred Guest and Marriott Rewards there are plenty of people going through the details. Many SPG platinum members were happy Marriott announced that Platinum members would get free breakfast at hotels, including the previously excluded Courtyard brand. Lucky from One Mile at a Time writes about how people quickly noticed that breakfast isn’t included at Courtyards on the newly released list but instead you’ll get a $10 credit per day for up to two people. I was thinking about this but then realized that we don’t have status, so what difference does it make to us? Then I remembered that Sharon might have Marriott Platinum status next year, so it does matter to us. Finally, I stopped worrying because we don’t like eating hotel breakfasts anyway and might get more out of a $10 credit we can use to buy waters, coffee or a drink at the bar.
- Finally, if you write several posts about a trip to Japan, I’m probably going to read them all. This week, Gary from View From the Wing shared his trip on the Narita Express train, review of the Park Hyatt Tokyo and detailed reports about his visits to three of the best sushi establishments in Tokyo.
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Concierge services. I just don’t get the appeal. Maybe it’s because I’m someone who enjoys obsessively planning my trips and doesn’t need someone to tell me where to go or what to see. I also think it’s because there have been times I’ve asked them for help and the advice I received was mediocre at best. I’m not saying they’re not useful, just that the service is so inconsistent that having a “concierge desk” at your hotel really doesn’t mean anything anymore. Oftentimes what’s called a concierge is just a customer service agent standing at a different desk. I stayed at a hotel in London where the concierge just sold overpriced theater tickets to the tour groups who were staying there (Note from Sharon: Joe won’t give the hotel’s name but I have no shame. It’s the Holiday Inn Kensington Forum. DO NOT STAY THERE. It’s awful. How it gets 3.5 and 4 stars is BEYOND ME, unless they’re paying people to give them good reviews. The WiFi was slow as molasses, the rooms were last updated in 1972, the TV was about 12″ big, and the staff were no help for anything. It is an AWFUL hotel!). And don’t get me started about Las Vegas, where the “concierge” desk was the place you signed up for a tour of a timeshare to get free show tickets, and that was not the service I was looking for.
However, over the years, I’ve found that if a hotel has a Concierge, and I mean a true Concierge, that can add value to a stay more than any suite upgrade or free breakfast ever will. Continue reading “Having A Great Hotel Concierge Spoiled Me Forever”
NOTE: The offer for two free nights is no longer available. Clicking on the link will take you to the current public offer.
News started to filter out this week that Chase was going to change the sign up bonus for the Hyatt Credit Card. The current offer is:
Earn 2 free nights at any Hyatt hotel or resort worldwide after you spend $2,000 on purchases with the Hyatt Credit Card in the first 3 months from account opening.
Before applying, remember the following disclaimer:
This product is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of this credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of this credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months.
This sign up bonus is extremely valuable because it’s good at any Hyatt. You can read posts online of how people have stayed at the Park Hyatt in Sydney (it overlooks the Sydney Opera House), or the Park Hyatt Tokyo (it was featured in the film “Lost in Translation”) or the mega-Instagrammable Park Hyatt Maldives. You know, that place with those bungalows that stretch out into the never-ending blue sea.
If you were dreaming of a trip like that, you need to act NOW!!!!