Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 19, 2013 01:12 PM
At United Airlines, soon it will no longer be just the number of miles that passengers fly that helps boost their frequent-flyer standing but also how much they spend.
According to the Chicago Tribune, those who hope to qualify for the lowest elite tier of United's MileagePlus program will need to either fly 25,000 miles or 30 segments and spend a minimum of $2,500 on United tickets, extra-legroom upgrades, or on partner airlines, such as United Express or Panama’s Copa Airlines. Those with MileagePlus co-branded credit cards are out of luck. Spending on those won’t count toward the minimum levels needed. Neither will taxes, fees, and charges on your bill. Only base fares and fuel surcharges are part of the equation, the Wall Street Journal reports.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 18, 2013 12:46 PM
Marriott is going all-in on Millennials. The Bethesda, M.D.-based company is launching a new logo and tagline, "Travel Brilliantly" in its latest attempt to attract the growing market of young travellers looking for luxury at a value.
The international hotel chain recently announced it will bring its European hotel brand, AC Hotels by Marriott, to the States to attract younger business travelers, while it is also planning to introduce a Millennial-friendly hotel brand, Moxy, across Europe in a partnerhsip with IKEA.
What's in it for Marriott? According to the Washington Business Journal, “younger business travelers who make three or more business trips per year are a $35 billion market.” The chain hopes to attract the sought-after demo with a new, simplified "M" logo, a mobile app, offering different dining options, and allotting more open spaces in its hotels that can be used as public workspaces as well as streamlined rooms.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 5, 2013 01:18 PM
Plenty of airline passengers that flew United last summer don’t have kind things to say. When United combined its passenger reservation system with Continental after the merger, things went totally awry and employees of the airline apparently didn’t always handle the whole thing so well.
But this year? This year is going to be different. That’s the promise from Jeff Smisek, the chairman, president and CEO of United’s parent company, United Continental Holdings, Inc. He spoke to about 1,000 people who were attending the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce’s annual membership meeting, the Chicago Tribune reports.
"We’re a service business. We need to get you where you want to go, on time, with your underwear,” he said, the Tribune reports. He noted that United’s on-time performance was the best it has been in a decade in the first quarter and customer-satisfaction scores "have gone up by a factor of five from where they were a year ago."Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on May 30, 2013 11:41 AM
"United Airlines have many precedents of bullying Chinese passengers."
So reads a photo slug contained within a recent People's Daily report on how "UA refuses to apologize after insulting passengers." It's part of the newspaper's "The Dishonest Americans Series"—a title since removed—that is easily dismissed as just another of China state-run media's hatchet jobs targeted at foreign brands. (See, esp., Apple.) The piece ends without mincing any words: "Chinese passengers may choose not to consider UA. This probably is the best solution."
But the report—about United Airlines' culture of discriminating against Chinese passengers—hints at a deeper growing confrontation as China becomes the largest and most profitable tourist market in the world.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 28, 2013 12:39 PM
It’s not easy being a cruise passenger these days. Sure, you’ve got fabulous live shows to attend, shuffleboard aplenty, and heaping steam tables of food to consume, but you’ve also got to live with the possibility that a fire could break out and shut down the rest of your trip, or that the engines might fail and leave all the toilets not working properly for days.
Unfortunately for thousands of passengers, the above instances have already occured in a streak of accidents that have plagued the cruise industry over the last six months, affecting several of Carnival Cruise Lines ships and now Royal Caribbean. The incidents have surely affected the industry's latest numbers as potential customers have been deterred from traveling while loyal cruisers have opted out of their choice vacations. To help rebuild the industry’s fundamental base and hopefully encourage passengers to travel again, the industry’s trade group, Cruise Lines International Assn., has just adopted a passenger bill of rights, the Chicago Tribune reports.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 2, 2013 02:27 PM
In a world where an active NBA player has just come out, the Supreme Court is considering the merits of same-sex marriage, and the CEO of the world’s biggest coffee chain told a shareholder to take his money elsewhere if he couldn’t get behind the company’s support of gay rights, there are still plenty of brands that still avoid aligning with the LGBT community in any way.
United Airlines is not one of them. It has signed on as the official sponsor of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) global convention this weekend in Chicago. The two organizations have had a relationship for more than a decade.
"With more than 85,000 co-workers from around the world, United proudly celebrates the richness not just of our employees' diverse backgrounds, but our customers too,” said Dave Hilfman, United's senior vice president of worldwide sales, according to Chicago Business Journal. “As we say, 'diversity flies with us.'"Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 10, 2013 01:47 PM
Benjamin Franklin, Dr. J and the fictional Rocky Balboa have all resided in completely different versions of Philadelphia, but each showcases a different part of the City of Brotherly Love. Now, Philly’s tourism gurus are looking to showcase a slew of different views of the city to potential visitors by showcasing different neighborhoods.
It used to be that colonial-America relics, the Art Museum steps and images of soft pretzels and cheesesteaks were what sold Philly to outsiders, but consumers are a bit more discerning now, so Philly’s tourism board is using its varied neighborhoods to help draw people there. The city has launched its Philadelphia Neighborhoods site, which highlights 14 different areas of the city. According to a press release, the site features “600 new pages of content, photography, mapping, videos and a consumer-generated Instagram feed.”Continue reading...
brand take over
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 4, 2013 04:32 PM
Google has sold the rights to the eponymous Frommer's travel guidebook series… to Arthur Frommer, the creator of the brand. Frommer initially sold his rights to Simon & Schuster in 1977, and several brand changes later, Google snapped it up in 2012 amidst speculation that the search giant might fold it into Zagat, which they bought in 2011, with aspirations of owning the SEO on geo-location-travel.
Travel website Skift broke the news that Google would stop publishing print editions of several Frommer's series just seven months after it acquired Frommer’s from John Wiley & Sons for a rumored price of $25 million, however the sale of the naming rights will now allow Arthur Frommer to continue to publish print guide books and content on Frommers.com.
A Google spokesperson told Skift, “We’re focused on providing high-quality local information to help people quickly discover and share great places, like a nearby restaurant or the perfect vacation destination. That’s why we’ve spent the last several months integrating the travel content we acquired from Wiley into Google+ Local and our other Google services. We can confirm that we have returned the Frommer’s brand to its founder and are licensing certain travel content to him.”Continue reading...