Thursday, June 24, 2010

Today's WSJ on travel

You know you're traveling when stories such as this and this and this catch your eye, all in today's WSJ. (Hotels & Twitter, volcano & other travel disruptions, and a new low for airline fees.)

If I have a complaint with a hotel I prefer to make it directly so #1 isn't likely to affect me. It's rare because I spend little time in the room so why do I need a view, although it's nice? But it's odd too -- this is the second of two recent stays at a Hyatt and this time I definitely received better treatment -- including a room with a "panoramic view"; the only one this side of the hall. I don't remember when I previously stayed at a Hyatt though I did get membership in their program in 2003; I don't think I've earned any status with them. Mostly I stay in Hilton chain hotels (mostly week-long stays in the Hampton Inn next to the BACnet committee's spring meetings), though I'm going to burn a surprising percentage of years of HHonor points next month for a two-night stay in my hometown.

I'd never considered before what is in travel insurance plans. If I were flying on my own dime to Europe these days I would consider it. When Honeywell is paying, they call the shots.

But the airlines charging fees (that people are buying, says the article) to use preferred security lanes and boarding first; that could backfire hard. The airlines are trying to keep their elites flying with them after elite status is earned, instead of earning elite on a second airline later in the year. But with these fees, you're better off in two elite programs. Or in a program where there are no such fees.

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