Is Southwest Pulling A Fast One?, New & Improved Lounge, Negative Changes to Bonvoy + IHG, & More!

by joeheg

Happy Sunday to all of our travel friends, both near and far! Here are some articles we’ve read from other bloggers (and other sources) that we think you may like, as well, so we’re passing them along.

  • The Freddie Awards ceremony was last week. If you weren’t aware, the Freddies are awarded to the favorite airline and hotel loyalty programs. Ed from Pizza in Motion gives a recap of the winners, which included some names that were a bit unexpected this year.
  • Stephen from Frequent Miler details another change to the Marriott Bonvoy program. This one takes away an option that used to be available when booking award nights. Just another negative development, but fortunately for Marriott, their customers don’t seem to mind (and to understand this, please check out the above link about the Freddie Awards, hint, hint).
  • Yet another negative hotel program change was pointed out on Deals We Like. This one has to with the IHG hotels free night certificate you get from having one of the IHG credit cards. While the free night just needed to be booked before the expiration date, now you have to complete the stay before the certificate expires.
  • John from Loyalty Lobby writes about a Chicago hotel that uses robots to deliver items like extra towels or more soap to your room. You can summon them by talking to the Amazon Alexa device in the room. Around the same time, I saw a Facebook post from a friend who was staying at the Universal Orlando Adventura Hotel about their robot servant. I imagine requests for simple items will increase because people want the novelty of getting a robot delivery. However, not all things go to plan as my friend discovered: “Very disappointed that my request for toilet paper was fulfilled by a human woman and not the adorable hotel robot.”
  • Gary from View from the Wing shares a reader’s question asking if Southwest gives a worse boarding position to people they think will purchase an upgrade. I totally agree with Gary’s analysis that it’s unlikely the case and more probable that it was just a busy flight. Since Southwest doesn’t give seat assignments, you need to pick your seats carefully. Don’t let Sharon go first with the advice of, “Just pick out the first empty row,” or you’ll spend your whole flight with no window. IMG_6092.JPG
  • Seth from Wandering Aramean shared his experience booking an award with Delta SkyMiles for a flight on Korean Airlines. His first phone agent accused him of trying to “Frankenstein” the system but the second agent was more than happy to book the award for the minimum amount of miles possible. While his experience is a perfect example of why you should always HUCA (Hang Up Call Again) if you’re talking with someone who’s not very helpful or knowledgeable, there’s no guarantee you’ll ever get a phone agent who’s as willing to help as the Delta rep that he found.
  • Shawn from Miles to Memories provided a review of the new Club at LAS in Las Vegas airport. While we were unfortunate enough to experience their previous location, this new club looks as nice as The Club locations we’ve visited at Orlando airport.
  • Finally, Ben from One Mile at a Time wrote about the new program at Tampa Airport called TPA All Access. This allows visitors to clear airport security so they can visit airport dining locations. The program is limited to 25 people every Saturday from 8AM to 8PM. While programs like this are novel, I can’t see visiting the airport to see drink beers from Cigar City Brewing or to eat food from Columbia Restaurant and Mise en Place when it’s much more convenient to visit their original locations, in TAMPA!!!!!! You’re also able to visit Columbia Restaurant if you’re in Orlando, as we have a location here too! It’s one of our favorite places to eat outside the theme parks.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


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