Travel may be winding down for the year, but it was a very newsworthy week around Prior2Boarding. I found several interesting stories around the site.
Dominik of Travelling the World has been the featured blogger at Boarding Area this week and has had some great posts about his international travels. One in particular hit home with me – getting SSSS on a boarding pass. It was also an “aha” moment for me as I went through a handful of SSSS trips this summer after a trip to Istanbul. I was convinced it had something to do with Turkey but now I realize it was because I was on a one-way ticket going home as I flew Lufthansa there, but flew British Airways home. I’m somehow happier knowing that now.
A lot of bloggers posted about the Kimpton acquisition by IHG. Point Princess was the first. I know many are upset but this news. I haven’t done much with Kimpton – as most of my travel is business and rarely in central business districts where Kimpton hotels predominantly are, the program has not made a lot of sense for me. But now that they are part of IHG, I might be more likely to stay at one if the programs ever merge. I still have some orphaned points from back when I had Ambassador status so I could see this in my future.
The Winglet was first to report that American would start allowing passengers to hold fares for more than 24 hours. I frequently hold fares while I wait on my clients to figure out their plans. Because my firm pays for most travel (its included in our proposal quotes), its to my benefit to not ticket until I have solid confirmation, but sometimes fares can go up in the short time period. I can see myself using this regularly.
Flymiler covered the news that Fodors named Cleveland one of the top 25 places to visit in 2015. I’m not too surprised at this – I have worked a couple of projects in the Cleveland area over the last year and I enjoyed my visits which included great food and friendly people. Heck, you might even get this guy as your Uber driver.
Sometimes the truth hurts – and Efficient Asian Man had no trouble this week calling it as he sees it, in this case the “truth” that many travel bloggers don’t travel that much. I concur – it makes me laugh sometimes myself. I am careful to stay out of the water on topics I know little about and the reality is that no one can be an expert on everything but some folks are great at rewriting press releases or reblogging the work of others. It’s important to know the various blogs/bloggers and what they know – Are they business travelers? Leisure travelers? Do they primarily mileage run? Fly mistake fares? Focus on aspirational redemptions? Push credit cards? I think all the blogs have something interesting to offer, but most have an area of expertise so its reader beware.
Kathy at Will Run for Miles and I had a quite spirited debate this week after she posted about a new Uber hack. I have a lot of respect for Kathy, but I disagreed with her suggestion that this was a great app. After a bit of back and forth, we agreed that there are a couple of different use scenarios for this and that the ethics might vary depending on use. For Kathy living in NYC, having an app that shows the nearest place she can walk to request an Uber without paying the surge fee is a reasonable use. But for users in larger towns who are purposely dropping pins in a different location and then requesting that the driver pick them up in the surge zone can cross the ethical line, particularly when the driver is not compensated for his/her time or mileage for the reroute (and that’s not even considering whether they should be entitled to the surge fare or not). 73% of my readers agreed that this was fraud. Boarding Area sites The Gate and View From The Wing weighed in too.
Tune in next week for more interesting posts – or read them yourself each day – at Prior2Boarding.