The Best of the Rest is my effort to summarize all the travel/miles & points stories that interested me on a daily basis but didn’t have time to write about in length. On a daily basis, I try to keep track of roughly 100 different blogs that have interesting things for you and I to learn from. Some are passed along without comment, while I add my analysis to others. This is your shortcut to find out what’s going on in the travel world without having to read dozens of travel blogs to get all the best info.
American Airlines and Qantas are teaming up on new service to Sydney! View From The Wing has the scoop on new service out of both LAX and San Francisco. That bodes really well for those of us trying to use our AAdvantage miles to get to Oz!
Is the airline industry going to require you to start carrying on a smaller suitcase? I’m generally not in favor of this, since it doesn’t actually reflect the size of bag that will fit in overhead bins. I carry a Briggs & Riley bag, and since the rails are on the outside, it comes in at 22 inches, so would never fit these requirements. My bag fits in every mainline jet overhead bin. The only ones it consistently doesn’t fit in are the smaller 50-set regional jets, where even a bag a half-inch smaller wouldn’t fit. Defining a standard for bags smaller than the bins will allow just strikes me as something a bloated government bureaucracy would do.
An internal memo on the United Airlines soda can incident. The Forward Cabin offers his thoughts on it. I’m still left crying a bit of BS here. Quoting from the memo, in part:
A female guest, wearing a hijab, asked for an unopened can of Diet Coke and was told that it was not allowed “because the unopened can could be used as a weapon.”
….Our flight attendant sincerely apologized to the passenger and in most cases that would have been the end of the story. But in today’s social media world, it only took hours for an isolated comment to be turned into a media firestorm.
….While we respect United’s position in this matter, we continue to support our flight attendant. When someone makes a mistake, they should admit their error, express genuine remorse, and offer a sincere apology. Our flight attendant (and the company) has done that. For our part, we are obligated to respond with forgiveness.
Okay, if the flight attendant really did make the comment about an unopened can being used as a weapon and then handed another passenger a full, unopened can, that should be cause for concern. It’s noted in Jamie’s post that he heard someone say that the flight attendant didn’t give them the whole can because of inventory levels of soda on the flight. I think if that were the case, it would have come out in this memo.
I think it’s clear that if any of the comments made by the flight attendant are true, forgiveness might not be the best first course of action. I have no issue with forgiveness, but some amount of counseling/training for the employee need to be a part of the solution, since if the person truly made any of these comments from the standpoint of their personal views, forgiveness isn’t something I’d be offering.
The Points Guy has the scoop on two solid business class fare sales, one for tickets from the US to Brazil for less than $1200, and another really strong one for fares around $1500 in business class to Europe.
Delta eliminates the ability to mix cabins on award tickets (coach in one direction, business or first in the other). Except, not really. Well, kind of. Delta, feh.
Hilton HHonors says it won’t honor elite benefits on 3rd party bookings. I’m not a frequent guest at Hilton, and while One Mile at a Time’s report may make it less likely that some folks will stay with Hilton in the future, I just think they’re trying to solve the right problem with the wrong solution. OTAs (online travel agencies) that charge a significant commission to the hotel chains are a very real drain on profitability. But, I think any solution requires (at a bare minimum) a carrot if there’s going to be a stick as well. Hyatt had a benefit last year called My Elite Rate, which gave preferential rates to elite members who booked directly with Hyatt. I really liked the idea as a general concept. Take some of the money you save from not paying an OTA and use it to create incentives for your customers.
Get a $10 Amazon gift card for $.99. Lather, rinse, repeat. Thanks, Doctor of Credit.
I leave you with potato chip marketing courtesy of my recent trip to China. Apparently, a regional brand called Potato Wish has a calendar of attractive women to tout their chips. Alas, it appears to have sold out months ago.
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