Unlike most recent hotel-industry repricing exercises, which have resulted in devaluations of programs' point values, the upcoming Starwood changes are benign overall. ... read more»
When it comes to earning elite status, US Airways' Dividend Miles program has generally been one of the most liberal, allowing program members to earn elite-qualifying miles (EQMs) for non-travel activities and even to purchase EQMs or status outright.
Currently, for instance, program members can purchase enough miles to qualify for any of US Airways' four elite tiers, for between $249 (1,999 EQMs) and $3,999 (100,000 EQMs). ... read more»
"An important update from Club Carlson."
That was the subject line in today's mass email from Carlson. It likely sent chills up the spines of many loyalty-program aficionados, who know all too well that "update" is all too often code for devaluation.
And so it was with today's announcement, although much of the worst news wasn't even included in the email. ... read more»
Ever wonder how much a company's brand was worth?
Brand valuations are tricky, reflecting as they do not just a company's revenue-generating capability but also its hold on consumers' hearts and minds. How do you put a price on popularity?
No worries, there are companies whose business it is to round up the relevant data and assign values to companies' brands. One such company is Brand Finance, which this week published "Global 500 2014 - The World's Most Valuable Brands." ... read more»
This is the last article in a four-part series on Rick Steves' trip to the Holy Land.
Walking through the Hebron market, I dodged the head of a camel dangling from a chain. I love traveling through Palestine. It's filled with vivid memories and startling moments. I had no idea the people of Hebron had a taste for camel. But I was told that people here appreciate a nice fresh camel steak because of their Bedouin heritage. And the butcher shops seem to follow that Bedouin tradition: They butcher whatever they have to sell and it hangs on their front porch until it's all gone. ... read more»
Enter the Kona Brewing Company Plan Your Paradise sweepstakes by April 30, 2014 for a chance to win the grand prize: a trip for two to Hawaii, including air, five nights' hotel accommodations, and a $1,000 voucher for on-site activities.
To participate, provide the requested contact information on the sweepstakes landing page and press "Submit." Time required to enter: under 30 seconds. ... read more»
Capital One made major inroads into the travel-rewards universe with its 110,000-mile sign-up bonus for its Venture card launch in 2011. It was the richest bonus ever offered for a rewards card.
Capital One followed up with a similar promotion in 2012, although the bonus was slightly more modest, at 100,000 miles.
The company is making news again, albeit of a very different kind. This time it's the stick that's newsworthy, not the carrot. ... read more»
Say you buy a cheap economy ticket. But also say you're a bit on the large side or old enough that getting in and out of a sardine-can seat isn't as easy as it once was. So you'd really like to escape the cattle-car seat squeeze and lousy cabin service that come with that economy ticket. Unfortunately, at list prices, first-class and business-class tickets cost up to 20 times more than economy tickets—prices that are nonstarters for most travelers. Until recently, your only hopes for a comfortable seat were if you were at an exalted level in an airline's frequent-flyer program, if you had started with a full-fare economy ticket, or if you had enough miles or purchased certificates for an upgrade. But now, a handful of big airlines give you an additional option: Bid for available upgrades. ... read more»
Southwest Airlines announced it will start flying between Dallas/Love Field and 15 new destinations this fall, as soon as the law allows.
- On October 13, it will start linking Love Field with Baltimore, Denver, Las Vegas, Orlando, and Chicago.
- On November 2, it will add Atlanta, Nashville, Washington/Reagan National, Los Angeles, New York/La Guardia, Phoenix, San Diego, Santa Ana/Orange County, and Tampa.
- Southwest will announce specific schedules and fares in May. ... read more»