Catching up on things I enjoyed reading in the travel world:
Airline lounge employees in Miami stole over $1 Million from Swiss Air and well over $2 million in total. Hands down the best story of the week.
Stephanie Rosenbloom reports on the next wave of personalization in travel, hotels focusing on women without families looking to travel. Technology allows travel companies to dial-in so much more than they used to be able to and this makes a lot of sense. The Westin New York Grand Central, where I just stayed (I need to get that review done) put together a package called “Womanhood Redefined”:
Seemingly the first promotion from a major American hotel brand directed at women without children, it includes (from $234 a night) a consultation about healthful eating with the hotel’s executive chef, a 30-minute meeting with the hotel’s running expert (and workout clothes and shoes that they may borrow free of charge), a $25 food and drink credit, a 10 percent discount on classes at a nearby yoga studio, a Westin White Tea candle and a new book, “Otherhood: Modern Women Finding a New Kind of Happiness,” by Melanie Notkin. Ms. Notkin has received a good deal of media attention in recent years thanks to her focus on women without children and her involvement with marketing reports about their potential spending power.
The only bone I would pick with the direction of this package is that my wife and mother of 2 would absolutely enjoy a package like this!
I think it’s a great way to market to a different group of people. And, in a lot of ways, I don’t think packages like this drive incremental business for this exact experience but are more likely to raise someone’s awareness about a specific destination, whether they choose the Womanhood Redefined package or not.
It actually reminded me of a story from many years ago when I was in the hotel industry. The food & beverage team I was a part of came up with this package to try and drive more lunch business to an a la carte restaurant that was part of the hotel. They called the promotion the “Zero Calorie Lunch”. Guests would come to the hotel and be assigned a personal trainer for a 3o-minute workout where the trainer would estimate how many calories they burned. They would take that information to the restaurant and the chef would prepare a lunch equal to the calories they burned. Voila! Zero calorie lunch.
As I recall, the promo got picked up by some local media, might even have been the NY Times. If I remember correctly, the restaurant saw lunch traffic increase by a double-digit percentage. And, I think I also remember the number of folks who actually participated in the zero calorie lunch with a trainer and specially prepared meal. Zero.
The airline industry is suing the TSA. HT: Keri at Heels First Travel
Want a quick primer on what’s behind the numbers on your credit card? HT: daninstl on Milepoint
Cheap(er) travel in NYC, courtesy of Frugal Traveler at NY Times.
Mile and point junkies aren’t the only ones who find value in prepaid debit cards. A really interesting read about MoneyPak and why it’s getting harder to play the debit card game.
If you’re planning a trip to Milan, consider tacking on a stop in Bergamo. The Points Guy contributor Lori Zaino takes on a quick trip.
While we’re overseas, add this fun place to play if you’re a family traveling to Paris.
Miles From Blighty reports that Hyatt is adding another flag very close to LAX. This is appealing to me, in that although I liked the Hyatt Place LAX, I’d always prefer to be closer to the airport.