Hello from San Diego

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I am writing to you this week from sunny San Diego, California. This is my second week in San Diego as we had a company meeting here last week and this week I am at a Travelport conference. San Diego is a great place for meetings. The downtown is rather compact and easy to walk almost anywhere. The airport is only a mile from the downtown with easy transfers. The hotels are very good and pretty reasonably priced most of the time. There is so much to do here, including SeaWorld, the world-famous San Diego Zoo, amazing golfing, San Diego Harbor Cruise, deep-sea fishing, swimming, the beach, plus you are just a few miles from Tijuana, Mexico. This place is fun.

83% of our readers say they would fly on the Boeing 737 MAX within 6 months of when it returns to service –

This surprised me a little. I had heard many people say they would not fly on the airplane even when it returns to service. I for one think the Boeing 737 MAX will be the safest plane in the sky when it returns. They have checked and double-checked everything. Boeing and the FAA are betting their whole future on this plane flying safely into the future. As I said last week, I hope to volunteer to be on a test flight for AA or UA in the coming weeks.

Have you ever tried playing airline seat assignment roulette? – 

I refuse to pay extra for those roomier seats with extra legroom offered by the airlines under the brands of Economy Plus (UA), Main Cabin Extra (AA), and Comfort+ (DL). So here is what I do to bag those seats without paying for them. The majority of people are like me and don’t want to pay an extra $50 for that extra legroom so they go online in advance and select seat assignments for those seats in the back of the plane that don’t cost extra. I simply wait until the last few days (or even hours) before the flight and all the “no fee” seats are taken. This leaves the airline to assign me a seat from one of the remaining “extra legroom” seats. If the plane is not full there are sometimes full rows empty that I can stretch out in. This works well when traveling as an individual but is not as easy when traveling as a couple or family. You also risk getting stuck in a middle seat if the plane is full. I have used this technique dozens of times and have been a happy camper every time.

Have you noticed how new buildings are getting rid of men’s and women’s restrooms – 

Many of the new hotels, restaurants, and lounges I visit are replacing men’s and women’s bathrooms with unisex bathrooms. I actually really like this idea as it makes all the restrooms much larger. One restaurant I was in had 6 individual rooms that are used on a first-come-first-served basis. I actually think this makes the wait times much less. I think guys like this new idea, however, I have heard from several women who say they don’t like sharing with men who they say are so messy (and leave the lid up).

Something tells me there are too many new hotels being built –

As an active real estate investor I have been amazed at all the hotel properties I have seen coming up for auction recently. In many primary and secondary cities, there have been dozens upon dozens of new hotels built in the last 5 years.  I think in many markets that we have hit the tipping point where supply is exceeding demand. This means that in some cities you will see pressure on rates to stay level or rise a few dollars while in some super competitive cities rates may actually go down next year.  I think pricing pressure will be most acute in the 3-star hotel category as that seems to be the area with the most new hotels being built.

 

Join our amazing Passion Play tour next June – book today!

We have secured 20 tickets to the unique Passion Play, June 3-13, 2020, and we still have space available. Join us on a once-in-a-lifetime journey which takes place only every 10 years. We start in Munich, then swing by Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castle in Neuschwanstein on our way to Oberammergau in the alpine region of Upper Bavaria to attend the world-renowned Passion Play. Our next stop is Salzburg with its “Sound of Music” traditions, Vienna with its palaces and stunning Lippizan horses at the Spanish Riding School, and finally fairy tale Prague, where we end our journey. This trip is ideal for anyone who wishes to hit some of the most spectacular cities and sites in Europe. Call or email our friendly Group Department and Beth today, (402) 858-0033, GroupDepartment@executivetravel.com. Do not hesitate – this is one of my favorite trips. CLICK HERE for full details.

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