News Notes For Thursday, October 25th

More Hyatt growth.  They’ve announced a new Hyatt Place in Times Square.  And, they’re adding another Park Hyatt, this time in Qingdao, China.

The TSA kinda screwed up in a pretty meaningful way in terms of randomizing security.  Wandering Aramean details how they could have avoided the problem.

Mommy Points has a humorous but very useful post about the aftermath of no Grand Slam promo this year.  I’m sorry to say it’s gone as well.  Last year was my first year participating and it was an easy 100K miles.

And, finally, View From the Wing discusses Delta’s slow but steady pace towards a revenue-based loyalty program.  Delta is disguising this currently as reduced earnings on fares purchased from certain portals, such as Travelocity and Expedia.  I don’t personally use a booking portal, choosing instead to book directly with the airline.  But, millions of people do (though a lot less now based on the recent earnings of Orbitz, etc).  And, while I wrote last week that a revenue-based program could be good for me, this is going to hurt Delta frequent fliers in the near term.

My guess is that most people holding any sort of real status with Delta will figure this out pretty quickly and start booking on Delta’s site, but that means losing out on potential benefits offered by those third-party booking engines as well as the short term pain of not earning full points on a flight due to not knowing about the new changes.

I’d say shame on Delta, which is a common refrain for me since I’m not a big fan of their mileage program.  But, I can’t honestly blame any airline or hotel for building a new business model that brings customers back to their sites.  For decades, the airlines had to contend with travel agency booking fees.  That shifted somewhat by creating websites that they could drive their customers to.  Travelocity and the like help customers and may increase customer bookings.  But, the average person is a lot more used to dealing with the internet for their daily consumer needs.  I’d prefer the airlines and hotels design great functional sites to consume their product on, so there’s a carrot and a stick for motivation.  But, this really isn’t a big shock to me.

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