Meetings & Conventions Checklist

The topic of tipping is often a subject of travelers’ conversations. We all have our opinions and our habits on how we tip, who we tip and how much we tip.
Just think about the last time you were out to dinner with friends and everyone got separate checks — ever taken a glance at what Read More…

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I recently posted the TripAdvisor list of Top 25 hotels. Now comes a similar list from U.S. News & World Report. Actually the latter is much more detailed, breaking down the best of the top hotels in North American countries and many international cities. They even include a list of best hotel brands.

Many people are interested in the ranking of best hotels in the U.S. so that’s a good place to begin. They even offer a link to find the best in each state.


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PEKWhen most people think of Beijing and airports, their first thought is Beijing Capital International (PEK). Much less well known is Beijing Nanyuan Airport (NAY), a domestic airport serving only China United Airlines. According to this article, the Chinese capital will be adding a third airport. Set to begin operations in 2018, planners are including a 41-mile Read More…

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It seemed to take forever but the arcane federal law known as the Wright Amendment finally arrived at death’s door last year. As predicted, this has proved to be a windfall for Dallas Love Field (DAL). How much of a windfall? The numbers are impressive.

Air traffic at DAL is exploding and it is not just because it is the home of Southwest Airlines. While the carrier is increasing flights at a healthy pace, so are other airlines. For example, United Airlines traffic was up Read More…

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This is going to be a painful year for hotel room rate increases. A few weeks ago I said

“The average daily rate for hotels increased over 4% each of the past three years. Freitag expects the increase in 2015 to be higher, about 5%. My projection is this will be a bit property-specific but I expect some to raise their rates 6% or more if they have had exceptional occupancy this year, more so if pre-bookings are high.”

Now according to this article, it looks like some cities are already Read More…

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GunAs I mentioned early last month, TSA was well on their way to set a record year for seizing carry-on guns from passengers. Well, they did it in style.

The final number for 2014 was 2,212 guns, an increase of more than 20% from the previous year and almost three times the number from only Read More…

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TripAdvisorAs they do every year, TripAdvisor presented their list of the Top 25 hotels in the world. With such outstanding competition, it shouldn’t be a surprise that only a couple Four Seasons properties made the list, none of them in the U.S. Indeed, the only American property to make the list is The Langham in Chicago

However, if you are interested in seeing only the Top 25 hotels in the U.S., TripAdvisor is happy to accommodate you as well.

And I just added a whole lot of properties to my bucket list.

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Seems this subject about Marriott blocking Wi-Fi at a Nashville hotel has been beaten to death but Marriott chose to drag it out. Instead of admitting it was aMarriott logo mistake and wouldn’t let it happen again, the hotel chain went on the offensive asking the FCC for guidance. Well, really more like protection for their scheme.

It took months but no doubt after enduring horrible PR and seeing meeting planners book events at properties other than Marriott, the hotel caved and began allowing Wi-Fi other than the hotel’s version a couple weeks ago pending the outcome from this ‘guidance’ they wanted from the FCC. They just got their guidance with the agency responding fairly quickly, saying…

“The Communications Act prohibits anyone from … interfering with authorized radio communications, including Wi-Fi,” said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in a statement. “Marriott’s request seeking the FCC’s blessing to block guests’ use of non-Marriott networks is contrary to this basic principle.”

In other words, it was a mistake the first time, trying it again will cost a lot more than the original $600,000 fine. Wi-Fi, at least on the ground, is meant to be open and available to everyone.

Posted by Carol Margolis | One Comment

Hotel TowelsIn a very strange survey from Germany, they found that those with higher education were actually more likely to steal items from hotel rooms. The devil, however, was in the details.

Of these ‘stolen’ items, 69% were actually bathroom amenities like soap, shampoo, and other hygiene products. More surprising was that 1.3 million towels were stolen. Most surprising, only 9% of thefts were committed by those with a high school education. Room telephones and televisions each represent 2% of items stolen from a room.

I don’t know, does higher education make us smarter or bolder?


Posted by Carol Margolis | 3 Comments

United Airlines 2I can kind of understand this lawsuit and no doubt many who have purchased multiple airline tickets at one time will at least feel some sympathy. Seems this tourist from Illinois purchased three one-way tickets to Orlando from United Airlines. If he had purchased the three tickets separately, he claims the total airfare would have been lower. As I said, there are many travelers who can relate to this.

This class action lawsuit has only one plaintiff at the moment but if you are interested, I am sure his lawyer would be happy to add your name to the class action list.


Posted by Carol Margolis | One Comment

Last week the city of New York filed a lawsuit against a Manhattan apartment building claiming it was operating as a hotel. The city filed this against Metro Apartments for a few reasons. First, they claimed there were safety code violations. Second, they noted that the building was not up to hotel safety standards. Third, not stated but clearly implied, the apartment building failed to pay the required taxes for a building operating as a hotel. According to the article, the city is asking for a court order stopping the short-term rentals and the city wants more than $500,000 in damages.

Metro Apartments is certainly not doing anything to help their case when their own website hold itself out as a short-term rental. They even offer free coffee in the lobby as well as complimentary luggage storage, something not typically found – or even needed – in apartment buildings. In addition, they are ranked #30 of #185 in New York City on the TripAdvisor website, not a well known site when someone is looking for an apartment to live in. They can also be found on Expedia, Kayak, and Hotels.com.

While Airbnb is not mentioned in this lawsuit, it is nevertheless part of the continuing battle between the city and the properties that hold themselves out as short-term apartment rentals without meeting the city’s demands for hotel safety code as well as paying the additional fees and taxes.

This case seems like low hanging fruit for NYC but no doubt Airbnb will be watching the outcome carefully.

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