Marriott Quietly Removes Elite Benefits From Online Travel Agency Bookings

Hotel Danieli, a member of Marriott Bonvoy

Marriott quietly made a change that’s likely to have a big impact on frequent travelers. Loyalty program members will no longer have elite benefits on stays booked through online travel agencies (OTAs). Will all Marriott properties be enforcing this rule, or will it be selectively enforced? Are you willing to risk it?

Franklin Barbecue Review And Some Austin MegaDO Fun

Franklin BBQ was definitely a rare treat that I likely wouldn’t have gotten to enjoy had it not been for Austin MegaDO 3. While I wasn’t a huge fan of their brisket, the ribs and turkey were outstanding. Combine that with Hecke Vision at the Alamo Ritz Drafhouse and a party at LIVESTRONG headquarters and it was a memorable weekend.

Out A New Promo That Emphasizes Some Of My Thinking On Hotel Booking Channels

I was waiting for Hilton to announce their fall promo before I finished up my breakdown of all the fall hotel promos this week.  I didn’t think it was likely coming soon since they have a current promo that runs until the end of September.  Of course, shortly after I published my breakdown Hilton announced a promo, though I suspect there’s still more to come. Deals we Like has the scoop on the new Hilton offer for 1,000 bonus points when you book with their iPhone app.   Not too […]

It Pays To Keep An Eye On Fare Sales, Even If It’s Not The Airline You Want To Fly

Most people look for cheap flights by hunting on Expedia, Travelocity and the like.  If prices aren’t to your liking and you have time, you wait and check back periodically, hoping for something better.  There are some other tools people use frequently to help find cheap tickets.  But, largely, it’s a game of hunting for the right fare if you don’t buy tickets often. One good way to keep an eye out for low fares is to subscribe to newsletters from your favorite airline to know when they have a […]

It’s (Way Past) Time For Hotel Chains To Take More Control Of Their Inventory

Dear Hyatt (and Starwood, Marriott, Hilton, though I don’t value each of you as much as my Hyatt relationship), Why do you let the likes of Expedia control so much of your inventory? Sure, choice is good. And, there are plenty of infrequent travelers that use online travel agencies (OTAs) to figure out where they want to stay. But, really. I used to work in the hotel industry a mere 15-ish years ago. Back then we were concerned about people booking outside of our channels and paying outsized commissions. The […]

Points Hound Ups Its Game With A 500 Mile Bonus On All Bookings This Month

Points Hound is out with another valuable offer to win your business.  They’re awarding an additional 500 miles from your favorite airline program for each booking you make in the month of June.  And, that’s for any reservations in the future as long as you book by the end of June. Now’s a good time to book any hotel travel you were considering.     There are plenty of sites that offer bonuses and rebates for booking your hotel stays through them.  Points Hound is different in two ways.  First, […]

Save $50 On Travelocity Hotel Booking With Their Mobile App

Just saw this advertised at DFW airport. Essentially, you download the Travelocity mobile app and receive $50 off a hotel booking through Travelocity. There are a few terms and conditions to consider. First, this only appears to be valid for “Good Buy” offers, not all hotels and rates. Second, it needs to be a minimum of $150. I’m not a huge fan of Travelocity, or OTAs in general. If I were going to recommend one, I’d recommend PointsHound. But, $50 is still $50 if you’re looking for an affordable hotel […]

$300 Off On Travelocity Packages of $750 Or More

Courtesy of Mommy Points this morning, Travelocity’s Canadian website is offering a $300 discount on packages of $750 or more. As Mommy Points notes, I’m not sure who the code is/was intended for, so there’s some risk this doesn’t work.  Though, based on past “mistake offers” by Travelocity I would expect that if they were not going to honor this they would give you the option of a full refund. So, while there’s some risk here, there’s not much.  On this day after Christmas as you hunt for the perfect […]

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, […]

Frontier Changes: Sky Not Necessarily Falling

As reported by View From The Wing, Frontier is making some changes to it’s booking procedures. Going forward, unless people book on the Frontier website, they won’t be able to select seats ahead of time and they’ll earn half the miles. Since View From The Wing and MommyPoints have already discussed the obvious points here, I won’t go into a ton more detail on the changes (which are also pretty self-explanatory). Even though I’m a family traveler, I don’t think this move is as bad as View From the Wing […]