I am writing you today from the beautiful Sarasota Ritz-Carlton Resort in sunny Sarasota, on the west coast (gulf) of Florida . Most people think of the Atlantic ocean cities of Miami and Fort Lauderdale when they mention Florida, however the western (gulf of Mexico) side of Florida has great cities, beaches, fishing and resorts as well. I am here in Sarasota attending a meeting of BCD Travel. Executive Travel is an affiliate of BCD Travel and we work together to assist customers who want to build global travel management solutions around the world. Our operations and technology team is with us this week as we review many of the best practices from around the world. The combined buying power of our group huddled together this week is over $20 Billion in annual travel purchasing. There is no company too big or too small for us to handle your travel management program.
SPG Rewards members can exhale as Marriott announces 3 to 1 point match –
This past week Marriott announced that their acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts had been finalized after an 11 month process of bidding and governmental approval were completed. Many Starwood (Westin, St. Regis, Sheraton, W Hotels, etc) customers are members of the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) loyalty program and have been worried to death that with the merger that Marriott would simply say that every SPG point was equal to only one Marriott Rewards point. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that now that the merger is complete that SPG members can link their SPG accounts to their Marriott Rewards accounts and transfer points between them using a ratio of 1 SPG point is worth 3 Marriott points. There was a big sigh of relief by many SPG members (including me) that this ratio (1 SPG point = 3 Marriott points) was roughly in line with how they should be treated. The good news is that linking of accounts will allow elite membership in one program to be matched by the other program. So if you are a Gold member of Marriott you will be Gold status in SPG. The programs will still be run separately for the next two years at which time the SPG program will go away and the Marriott brand will live on. If you want to link your SPG, Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards accounts visit members.marriott.com
New Marriott and Starwood merger will have 30 hotel brands with over 5700 hotels around the world –
I found a great article by Skift Magazine that provides the details of how 30 hotel brands with 5,700 hotels and 1.1 million rooms in more than 110 countries are different from each other. CLICK HERE to read this great article.
Don’t let hotels trick you to think you can only find their lowest rates at their web site –
Many hotels have launched aggressive advertising campaigns with the hope that they can get you to book directly on their web sites. Some of their advertising to their loyalty club members says one of the perks of joining a loyalty program is accessing lower member rates and when users book directly with the hotel they are guaranteed the lowest possible rates. These statements imply you can only get their lowest rates on their web sites. What the hotels are not telling you is that travel management companies like Executive Travel also have access and can make reservations for those exact same prices. Famous radio personality Paul Harvey used to say “Now you know the rest of the story”.
United Airlines generates $6.2 Billion in extra fees last year –
A new study by IdeaWorksCompany last week reported that United Airlines generated $6.2 billion in ancillary fees (money unrelated to ticket sales such as baggage fees, seat fees, etc) in 2015 making it the “King” of charging extra fees. United greatly outpaced both American ($4.7 Billion) and Delta ($3.8 Billion) in the fee game. Charging ancillary fees has been the major reason that airlines have been profitable the last few years. I think you can easily predict that airlines fees will be with us forever more. My only surprise is that Southwest Airlines continues to not charge fees for checking bags. I think they are leaving at least a billion dollars of lost revenue each year on the table by not charging to check bags. Maybe their fares are so high that they don’t need the extra money.?
Here are two amazing Caribbean resorts offering $500 resort credits this fall –
CLICK HERE to take a peek at these two luxury resort offerings for travel this fall. Call one of our friendly travel advisors to help your find the perfect vacation get-a-way at 402-435-8888.
Attend our FREE Travel Night featuring two amazing EUROPEAN RIVER CRUISE TOURS –
Please join our free and exciting Travel Night next Tuesday, October 4, at 6:30pm at the Piedmont Bistro, 1265 S Cotner Blvd, in Lincoln.
We will feature two of the greatest European River Cruises; our “Blue Danube Discovery” and “Romance of the Rhine”, departing next May and September. Space is limited, so pleased do not hesitate to contact us to reserve your seat next Tuesday night. Call 402-458-9845 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us how many are in your party. RSVP immediately. CLICK HERE to see the full brochure of the “Blue Danube Discovery” and CLICK HERE to see the details of our “Romance of the Rhine”. We are looking forward to seeing you!
Need information on any of the above?
Call our friendly travel advisors….
Lincoln – 402-435-8888 Toll-free 800-737-0582