Cheap Flights To Brazil, Lenses For iPhones and Hilton Testing More New Fees

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.  Culled from over 100 blogs/authors I follow, 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.

Here’s what I’m reading about today:

Cheap Flights of The Day: Brazilian carrier Azul is offering fares around $550 to go to Iguazu Falls.

Some interesting route announcements this morning, including:

  • Air Canada is putting a 787-8 on the Vancouver-Newark route.
  • Alaska Airlines is killing LAX-Vancouver.  Interestingly, there was a lot more competition on this route than I thought.  AA has 2X (though they don’t serve Seattle, relying on Alaska for this), DL 2, Air Canada 5 and WestJet 2.  Also somewhat interesting, WestJet (the Canadian-based airline) has their code slapped on both Delta and American RJs flying the route.  I guess with the amount of frequency (and the fact that most of Alaska’s planes are larger than most of the RJs on the route and likely harder to fill).
  • American is switching their Chicago-Beijing service to a 787-8.  That’s good for fatigue, as I love the Dreamliner for long flights.  AA hasn’t had the Dreamliner that long (you can see their version here).  I wish they were swapping out one of the old 767s with angle-flat business class seats.

Hilton is testing a new way to increase revenue at some hotels (HT: Clint H.):

Under a new program called Little Extras Upgrade, Hilton’s DoubleTree hotels will offer guests who are staying in a standard room a package of extras such as snacks and drinks for an added cost of $25 to $35 a night, depending on the package.

The packages will include high-speed in-room Wi-Fi, snacks, candy, water, fruit, drink vouchers and an in-room premium coffee brewer. The food and drinks can be delivered to the room or guests can be given 24-hour access to a snack room.

This is not to be confused with Hilton’s effort to charge customers more if they want the option to cancel their reservation (ever).  I like this idea much more than a mandatory resort fee.  The problem is that a good chunk of resort fees aren’t ultimately paid for by the guests, they’re billed to their expense account or employer for corporate travel.  I don’t drink coffee, but I would imagine there are many people who feel like an in-room coffee maker is mandatory (paging Gary Leff….)

Need help from my readers.  I’ve been researching one of these lenses for my iPhone.  Anyone have experience with them?  Can a lens or two for my phone keep me from having to add a better camera for blog posts and Instagram pics?

Reading the tea leaves, it looks like American and Qantas are poised to add flight to their joint venture over the next few years should they get approved from the DOT.

2 helpful posts from TPG.  Is it worth it to use miles to book first class tickets to Hawaii?  Also, for Delta fans, does gifted medallion status count as MQMs earned?

This post appeared first on Pizza in Motion.

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