Has TSA PreCheck reached a tipping point?

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On Monday I was flying from Minneapolis to Lincoln and when I arrived at the airport to go through the security checkpoint I noticed a shocking thing. The regular line for security was only 6 people long and the TSA PreCheck line was 30 people long. As many of you may know the TSA PreCheck line is supposed to be an expedited express lane that traveler’s pay $85 for the right to speed through the security line. It would appear that there are so many people that have purchased TSA PreCheck that the advantages promised may in the future quickly disappear.

I’m starting to think about converting to a cash-back credit card as airlines jack around with point values –

Have you noticed how rapidly the major airlines are making it much harder and more expensive to redeem airline frequent flyer miles for free tickets? Delta has been the most obvious as they have devalued their Skymiles points to the point where it can take 640,000 miles for a roundtrip business class ticket to Europe. American Airlines, however, appears to be the most reasonable for their customers to redeem miles as they required only 115,000 miles roundtrip for a business class ticket for a recent trip. If AA follows the path of DL it will be time for all of us to say goodbye to airline-sponsored credit cards and replace them with cash-back cards.

I love Uber prices, I hate Uber wait times –

Sunday afternoon I flew to Minneapolis for a meeting and when I arrived at the airport I walked toward the Uber loading area. On my way up the escalator, I noticed a whole line of taxi cabs. I know that sometimes it can take 10 minutes to wait for an Uber so I decided to jump in a cab. When I arrived at the hotel the taxi fare was $42.  On my way back to the airport Monday I pressed my Uber app and the fare to the airport was only $28. The driver was there in just minutes. When Uber is on time (less than 5-minute wait)  I love it as it saves me about 50% on the cost of a taxi. When I have to wait more than 5 minutes for Uber I often just grab the taxi and pay a bit more. I guess you would call me a “convenience buyer”.

Hotel resort fees are getting pressure to go away –

Hotels have rapidly adopted adding $25 to $75 a day resort fees on top of the published room rates in many destinations. They do this to hide the total cost of your stay and to get around paying commissions to agents and taxes to governments. To put it bluntly, hotels that charge these resort fees are not being ethical with their customers. For many years I have blasted hotels for doing this. Now the big online travel websites are starting to push back with those hotels by charging them commissions on the resort fees they charge customers. It will be interesting to see if they have enough power to make hotels treat people with honesty and integrity again.

You may soon see robot bartenders in hotels –

One of the most expensive costs for hotels is the cost of providing services for their customers in a smaller, limited service hotel, (like Courtyard by Marriott). New robotic technology is allowing for cost savings programs that will allow hotels in the future to be able to provide bar service without an attendant. I can see that people who want a drink are able to use a kiosk to punch in their drink order and the robot does the rest. This would cut a lot of cost for hotels and yet still provide a service for their customers. CLICK HERE to read a great article about this idea.

Final Call for the Greatest Tour to Israel and Jordan! – 

We have a few open spots left on our once-in-a-lifetime journey to Israel and Jordan this September 11-22. An unforgettable trip is ahead of us, an incredible pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and an adventure into Biblical history with lifelong memories to bring back home. CLICK HERE to see the detailed tour program. Call or email Beth today at our friendly group department, 402-435-8888 or GroupDepartment@executivetravel.com. Do not hesitate!

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