One of the nice things about the travel industry is that, when there aren’t any great mileage promotions, there’s always something interesting going on. Or, in this case, a bunch of something interestings…
You Can Travel Like a Millennial (But Do You Want To?)
I’ll say up front that I’m not a Millennial. I haven’t quite reached the point where I’m yelling at the kids whose baseballs end up in my yard, but there’s definitely potential.
And I still like my creature comforts, which is why I don’t understand some of the “innovations” that hotels are making (Marriott, please put desks back in the room. Thank you.). But change is inevitable, as is evidenced by this New York Times article:
Hotels are concluding that millennial travelers want three things: customized experiences, digital convenience and relevant information on social media.
Call it Canopy by Hilton, Moxy by Marriott or Element by Starwood, traditional hotel chains are catering to the tastes of young adults who have never known a world without the Internet. Even Best Western, known for its budget hotels, has announced plans for a new brand called GLo, which will offer lower-priced small rooms and free high-speed Internet.
We’re seeing an increase in lobby space, less interaction with employees and “cozier” rooms, but I’m not seeing anything that actually enhances the in-hotel experience. They are, however, more opportunities to buy things easily:
Aloft features free Wi-Fi, areas for working poolside or in the bar, and even a robotic bellhop that appeals to tech-savvy millennials, he said. Now, guests who are too busy to talk to a human can order from an emoji room-service menu by texting a string of emoji with their last name and room number to Aloft TiGi (which stands for Text it. Get it.).
Now, there’s no question that the younger generation uses social media at a higher rate than their elders, but really, saying that Aloft hotels are built the way they are because Starwood “see[s] Millennial travelers more as explorers than tourists” has the same credibility as saying that they aren’t going to wash your sheets because they are concerned about the environment.
I have no problem with hotels trying to maximize their profits, but if they were so concerned about keeping people “connected,” the in-room wireless would be free (and would work) at all hotels and I wouldn’t have to figure out how to use Emojis to order a Caesar Salad. With Airbnb truly changing the way that Millennials travel, I hope that the hotels come up with something better than marketing ploys.
Gather Ye Belongings While Ye May…
Do you usually ignore those announcements from the flight attendants after you land? Too busy managing your luggage or your kids? Well, this article about airport theft might make you think differently.
While the vast majority of airline employees are honest and will return the iPhone that falls out of your pocket, the path of least resistance is to assume that if you leave something behind, you probably won’t get it back. But no, your children won’t fit in the seatback pocket. Why do you ask?
How Does Your Airline Rank?
And, of course, there’s yet another Airline Quality Ranking, although this survey, which is done annually, is generally reputable.
No surprise, the last-place “winner” is ultra-low-cost carrier Spirit. While the ticket prices are low, the list of ancillary fees is endless and their completion factor, on-time ranking and customer complaint rates are all among the worst in the industry. #1 on the list, yet again, is Virgin America, which may not exist in a year or so. JetBlue, Delta, Hawaiian and Alaska round out the top 5. In particular, kudos to Delta, which is the only network carrier at the top. Given the complexity of their flight operations and number of planes that they fly, finishing third is quite an achievement.
The most interesting fact: Spirit Airlines, the worst-reviewed of the group, is also the fastest growing. Regardless of the on-board service, there has been significant demand for its product around the country. Apparently, low fares offset a lot of sins.Want to subscribe? Just enter your email in the box above (and to the right) and click on the confirmation. GMailers, check your Social or Promotions boxes!
Follow me on Twitter @FFMiles101 or share with the Facebook button below.
And finally, you can apply for credit cards through the Credit Cards for Charity link above. All card proceeds are donated to charity, so please do well by doing good!