Welcome to my weekly miles and points roundup plus other travel news from the blogosphere. Here are some topics:
- What frequent-flyer schemes mean to airlines’ financial well-being (the answer is: everything!)
- New Google Flights price tracking feature
- Marriott settles the resort fee lawsuit
- An easy way to book rentals on Vacasa
- New 25% transfer bonus to Avianca LifeMiles
- 10 travel myths debunked
- And more!
To access publications hidden behind the paywall, I have three words for you: Firefox. Bypass. Paywalls. Seriously, no need for any kind of trickery (beyond that 🙂 ).
Let me start with this Economist article, which, I believe, is a must for anyone interested in loyalty programs regardless of the level of their involvement in the “hobby”: Frequent-flyer schemes provide airlines with a lifeline. And here is another one by The Wall Street Journal: “Airlines Are Rewriting the Rules on Frequent-Flier Programs—Again.”
Here is a great summation by Miles to Memories: Airlines and Airports Ranked by On-Time Arrival Performance.
Another Miles to Memories piece on American cutting routes across the U.S. 18 routes are cut from JFK and LGA, ouch!
Many bloggers have written on the new Google Flights price tracking feature, but I read it at God Save the Points first.
This is huge, IMHO: Marriott settles the resort fee lawsuit, by Travel Weekly. Resort fees, not unlike airlines’ so-called fuel surcharges, are simply a legalized scam. It’s a brazen attempt to camouflage a higher price so it doesn’t appear at the beginning of the price search (or ever). Now the settlement is forcing Marriott to disclose all mandatory fees on the first page of its booking site.
Under the settlement, Marriott has committed to implementing a transparent system for disclosure of mandatory fees, including resort fees, as part of the total price of a hotel stay, theoretically making it easier for consumers to compare prices across multiple hotels.
Among other provisions, the agreement requires Marriott to prominently disclose the total price of a hotel stay, including room rate and all other mandatory fees, on the first page of its booking website as part of the total room rate.
Of course, it’s just one consumer victory in one state (Pennsylvania), but there are similar lawsuits filed in other states, so hopefully this shameful anti-consumer behavior will stop one day (and I hope other BS fees, like “destination charges,” or “urban” or “amenity” or “facility fees” are next). Facility fees? Really?
For those salivating over using Wyndham points on the vacation rental site Vacasa, here is a booking guide from Travel With Grant.
This is an interesting exposé: Marriott Homes & Villas Isn’t A Real Homesharing Service (And How To Redeem Cheaper), by VFTW.
Matthew from Live and Let’s Fly is wondering whether “hotels (and restaurants) are now using the ‘be kind’ card as a joker to evade accountability.” Well, they certainly are, no doubt about that. Although, to be fair, that “customer’s always right” thingy is a dumb and ridiculous cliché that has no bearing in the real world. Disagree? Well then, find me just ONE retail, hotel or restaurant worker who can’t recite a few horror stories about some customers they’ve had the “pleasure” to serve.
Hilton opens its third hotel in French Polynesia, by TPG. It looks like an interesting and historic property, although would you fly to Tahiti to stay in Papeete? Maybe in transit to one of the more desirable islands.
This is really, and I mean really disturbing news: Amazon UK is blocking Visa credit cards from January 19, by Bloomberg. That might be just an opening salvo to get a more favorable treatment from Visa, which has been partially confirmed by Visa’s CEO according to this article by Financial Times. However, Amazon had already added a surcharge for Visa cards in Singapore and Australia. Some experts believe it’s only a matter of time before the Swipe Battle Royale is reignited here in the U.S.
And it’s back! 25% transfer bonus to LifeMiles from Citi, Capital One & Brex, by Frequent Miler.
I’ve somehow missed the news about Chase Sapphire lounges. Turns out they’re planning to open yet another lounge at San Diego airport (SAN) in 2023. Their first three lounges at LGA, BOS, and Hong Kong (HKG) are slated to open sometime in 2022. By TPG.
Miles to Memories reports issues with the Capital One Venture X portal.
Dave from MilesTalk is speculating about the rumor of an upcoming premium Chase Ink Business charge card. Here at Lazy Traveler’s, we (and by “we” I mean “I”) love to speculate about all kinds of stuff, so here goes. Although the real question is whether I should wait before filling up my last personal 5/24 slot…
If you’re interested in the Southwest Companion certificate, as well as the 100,000-point welcome bonus, you might want to apply now, by Running With Miles.
The U.S. may soon offer booster shots to every adult, by the NYT. I got my booster at the beginning of November (my second jab was on March 8). I have to admit, it was the worst of the three for me in terms of side effects, although my other family members didn’t find it any different from the second shot. Still, two days later I was perfectly fine, and the booster gave me peace of mind during my 3-day stay in Denver because, guess what, there were enough people in and out of the conference hotel who treated the face-covering warnings merely as a suggestion. Get it if you can!
Covid’s on the rise in the UK and many parts of Europe: How the UK became the sick man of European tourism, by CNN.
Here’s a fresh view on things: Travel Without Flying, by Miles to Memories. As for me, I was happy to squeeze into my Delta Economy Seat after a 20-month hiatus.
God Save the Points debunks 10 travel myths. I may not agree with everything, but most of those needed to be debunked. And I totally agree with Gilbert on this:
There’s a never ending supply of tourist mistakes around the world, but being a snob is one of the biggest. Some places, no matter how touristy, are worth visiting even if just for the view, the scent, the history or the waves.
- All Trails, Crypto Mania, Venture X Card, Athens Marathon
- Google Flights, Tesla Founders, Best Inventions, Frequent Flier Programs Evolve
- Tesla Had 5 Founders. Why Did Only Two Get Really Rich?
- The real life Forrest Gump: why did Rob Pope run across the US five times?
- Aaron Rodgers Didn’t Just Lie
I just have to quote a small paragraph from this article because it wouldn’t be easy to find a better simile to describe the sick and convoluted “logic” of anti-vaxxers.
Yes, some people who have been vaccinated have also caught it, but a lot fewer of them than the unvaccinated, and their symptoms are generally more mild. His [Aaron Rodgers’] logic is like someone having a debt of $50,000 and a friend offers to give them a gift of $40,000. But they complain that it isn’t the full amount so they aren’t accepting the gift.
And now just for fun
No videos this time. Enjoy!