Photo: Index Open

With a network of more than 4,100 hotels, Best Western is among the largest of the major hotel chains. But due to a combination of general corporate passivity and a conservative and underutilized loyalty program, the company gets less attention than other comparably scaled hotel groups.

This week's unveiling of GLo, a new, hip brand, should help the company garner a bigger share of the spotlight. According to Best Western, "Glo smashes the suburban cookie-cutter hotel mold with an iconic design and contemporary and energetic boutique brand, created for secondary, suburban and highway locations."

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United: Docked Planes (Photo: Shutterstock/Songquan Deng)

The friendly skies, it turns out, weren't so friendly after all.

Today, in full-page ads in a handful of major newspapers, United's new CEO, Oscar Munoz, admitted that "the journey hasn't always been smooth."

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Virgin America seating (Photo: Virgin America)

Can't live without your Netflix? If you're flying on Virgin America, you won't have to.

Through March 2, 2016, passengers on Virgin America's ViaSat Wi-Fi-equipped planes can enjoy no-cost streaming access to the entire Netflix library, including such popular shows as House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black.

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Woman shopping online with credit card (Photo: Index Open)

Much is made of the currency-like qualities of loyalty points. Just like dollars or yen, you can earn them, and you can spend them. They have value. And that value is subject to erosion, from inflation.

But just how far can the money-miles analogy be stretched before it breaks?

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Money: Stacked Credit Cards (Photo: Thinkstock/iStockphoto)

According to a new survey by LendingTree, fully 52 percent of Americans "are clueless about credit card rewards." Given the extent to which credit-card payments have displaced cash, that cluelessness translates into a tremendous amount of lost value.

A related finding: 20.3 percent of the survey respondents figured the value of their credit-card rewards was 0.5 percent or less, while only 6.5 percent thought they were getting rewards or rebates amounting to 2 percent or more of their charges.

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Delta aircraft on the ground and taking off (Photo: Delta)

Delta is rolling in dough, having racked up a net profit of $2.2 billion in the first half of 2015 alone. For shareholders, that has meant nice dividends and share buybacks. For customers, the benefit has taken the form of investment in new aircraft and upgrades. Not to be left out, the company's employees are getting their own spas at Atlanta, Detroit, and Salt Lake City, airports. And more significantly, they're getting a raise.

The new compensation package, which will affect most of Delta's 80,000 employees from December 1, will increase base pay by 14.5 percent and increase the company's 401(k) matching contribution from 5 percent to 6 percent.

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iPhone with Applications (Photo: Thinkstock/iStock)

You might think that smartphone apps were the booking option of choice for a majority of today's travelers. But for now at least, the chatter far exceeds the actual usage. ... read more»

Photo: St. Lucia Tourist Board

Enter the Us Weekly "St. Lucia Giveaway" sweepstakes by October 18 for a chance to win a five-night trip for two to St. Lucia, including hotel and a $1,000 voucher to cover airfare. ... read more»

Miles & Points (Photo: Shutterstock)

If it's a good deal (or a notably bad one), you can read all about it here, and plan your travel accordingly. ... read more»

Photo: Index Open

Starwood wants you to opt in to receive their promotional emails. And the company is offering 200 bonus Preferred Guest points to close the deal. Here's how it works:

  1. Log onto the Starwood site with your Preferred Guest credentials
  2. On the Dashboard page, look for the "Opt in and earn" link
  3. Click on "Update Your Account"


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