Current Events and Blog

22Apr 2018

Survey: Majority Of Americans Confused By Airline Frequent Flyer Programs – Forbes


It may be time to simplify travel reward programs.

A new study says that most Americans believe airline frequent flyer programs are confusing and that nearly half of Americans believe hotel loyalty programs are difficult to understand.

The study, released Monday by NextAdvisor, reveals that 54% of Americans surveyed find frequent flyer programs confusing, and 47% say hotel loyalty programs are difficult to understand. NextAdvisor provides independent reviews of online services for consumers and small businesses.

Frequent flyers who travel through U.S. airports, including Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (above), find airline frequent flyer programs difficult to understand. (Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg)

The study, which was done for NextAdvisor.com by YouGov, surveyed 2,232 adults online March 21-22.

The results also show that:

  • 35% of frequent flyer program members surveyed don’t know how many miles they have in their accounts.
  • 36% don’t know how to redeem their mileage rewards.
  • 47% of hotel loyalty program members surveyed don’t know their point totals.
  • 33%don’t know how to redeem their points.

“By not redeeming miles, rewards or loyalty points, consumers are literally leaving money on the table,” says NextAdvisor analyst Julie Myhre-Nunes. “That’s why it’s important to take the time to find the programs and credit cards that best suit your needs.”

The NextAdvisor study also shows that 44% of survey respondents find credit-card rewards difficult to understand and that 24% don’t know how to redeem the awards.

If travel-related loyalty programs are confusing, a cash-back credit card, “especially one that earns a flat cash-back rate like the Citi Double Cash Card or Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card, might be a simpler option to reap some rewards,” Myhre-Nunes says. “Bottom line: Spending a few minutes to better understand how reward programs work can truly pay off in the long run.”

Confusion about the rewards programs, NextAdvisor says, may be the reason why 40% of frequent flyer members surveyed and 42% of hotel program members surveyed have let miles or points expire. In comparison, 25% of credit card reward program users have let points expire.

Millennials (ages 18-37) are less likely to express confusion about frequent flyer miles, the NextAdvisor study finds. However, millennials are more likely to express confusion about credit card rewards than non-millennials, according to the study.

To alleviate some of the confusion about travel credit cards, NextAdvisor says, it recently released its 2018 Travel Rewards Credit Card Analysis. The study reviews 22 travel credit cards and specifies how much money consumers can expect to earn for every $100 spent with each card.

“>

It may be time to simplify travel reward programs.

A new study says that most Americans believe airline frequent flyer programs are confusing and that nearly half of Americans believe hotel loyalty programs are difficult to understand.

The study, released Monday by NextAdvisor, reveals that 54% of Americans surveyed find frequent flyer programs confusing, and 47% say hotel loyalty programs are difficult to understand. NextAdvisor provides independent reviews of online services for consumers and small businesses.

Frequent flyers who travel through U.S. airports, including Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (above), find airline frequent flyer programs difficult to understand. (Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg)

The study, which was done for NextAdvisor.com by YouGov, surveyed 2,232 adults online March 21-22.

The results also show that:

  • 35% of frequent flyer program members surveyed don’t know how many miles they have in their accounts.
  • 36% don’t know how to redeem their mileage rewards.
  • 47% of hotel loyalty program members surveyed don’t know their point totals.
  • 33%don’t know how to redeem their points.

“By not redeeming miles, rewards or loyalty points, consumers are literally leaving money on the table,” says NextAdvisor analyst Julie Myhre-Nunes. “That’s why it’s important to take the time to find the programs and credit cards that best suit your needs.”

The NextAdvisor study also shows that 44% of survey respondents find credit-card rewards difficult to understand and that 24% don’t know how to redeem the awards.

If travel-related loyalty programs are confusing, a cash-back credit card, “especially one that earns a flat cash-back rate like the Citi Double Cash Card or Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card, might be a simpler option to reap some rewards,” Myhre-Nunes says. “Bottom line: Spending a few minutes to better understand how reward programs work can truly pay off in the long run.”

Confusion about the rewards programs, NextAdvisor says, may be the reason why 40% of frequent flyer members surveyed and 42% of hotel program members surveyed have let miles or points expire. In comparison, 25% of credit card reward program users have let points expire.

Millennials (ages 18-37) are less likely to express confusion about frequent flyer miles, the NextAdvisor study finds. However, millennials are more likely to express confusion about credit card rewards than non-millennials, according to the study.

To alleviate some of the confusion about travel credit cards, NextAdvisor says, it recently released its 2018 Travel Rewards Credit Card Analysis. The study reviews 22 travel credit cards and specifies how much money consumers can expect to earn for every $100 spent with each card.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading
21Apr 2018

Marriott Rewards loyalty program merges with Starwood, Ritz-Carlton – USA TODAY


Autoplay

Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

Last SlideNext Slide

Marriott International’s new loyalty program has received mixed reviews from experts and consumers.

The new Marriott Rewards will merge with its counterpart programs at Ritz-Carlton and Starwood. Marriott purchased Starwood in 2016.

Starting in August, members will be able to merge points and book across the entire slate of its more than 6,500 properties at Marriott.com. Marriott now has 29 brands.

Marriott will post a redemption chart when the changes are officially made. The company says it will eliminate blackout dates for loyalty rewards.

Elite status will be standardized, with members reaching Silver after 10 nights, Gold after 25 nights, Platinum at 50 and Platinum Premier at 75. Guests who stay 100 nights and spend $20,000 will reach the ambassador program. Lifetime status members will retain those perks.

Starwood loyalty members have been waiting anxiously to hear about the changes. The Starwood Preferred Guest program was wildly popular, offering such perks as free breakfast and room upgrades.

“There’s been a lot of anxiety when you bring programs of these sizes together,” says David Flueck, senior vice president of global loyalty for Marriott. “The concern is that you will make the programs less rich. We’ve brought the best of our programs together.”

Flueck says on average members will earn 20% more points than they do now.

In August, SPG members will see their points balance triple, he says.

SPG, Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards members will all earn 10 points for every dollar spent at all brands except for Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites and Element. Members who stay at those brands will earn five points per every dollar spent.

In August, all members will also begin earning points for food and beverage purchases and qualifying incidentals, rather than just the room rate.

The breakfast offering for Platinum and Platinum Premier members will be expanded to 23 participating brands.

“Gold elite and platinum elite got easier to attain for Marriott rewards members,” Flueck says.

The program name will not change until next year.

Other changes coming this year include new co-branded credit cards by JPMorgan Chase and American Express.

On May 3, Chase will launch the new Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card, and in August, American Express will introduce the new Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card.

The new Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card will give members six Marriott Rewards points per dollar spent at participating hotels, two points per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases, and more.

The new Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card will offer members six points per dollar spent at participating hotels, three points per dollar spent on airfare and at U.S. restaurants, and two points per dollar spent on other eligible purchases.

“For most people, the new Marriott loyalty program will be better than the old options,” says Julian Kheel, a senior editor at The Points Guy. “There are a certain subset of customers who won’t be happy with the changes. Lower level SPG elites will lose some benefits like free breakfast and lounge access.”

Chekitan Dev, a professor at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, says the program will be less lucrative for Ritz-Carlton Rewards members because they will now be competing with millions of Marriott and SPG members for a limited number Ritz-Carlton nights.  

“The merged Marriott loyalty program is a mixed blessing for its members,” Dev says. “Whether the new program is better or worse in terms of its value will depend on the way it is structured. Starwood Preferred Guest Members are huge fans of the program, more so than Marriott Rewards members. So, Marriott would be well-served to make the new program as close to the Starwood program as possible.”

Customers such as Adam Jakowenko have mixed feelings about the changes.

“Overall it appears that Marriott tried to do their best to have a new program that would still work for most people,” he says. “Unfortunately they did make some negative changes that have impacted me directly.” 

For instance, he uses his SPG American Express card for everyday expenses. To maintain the same value, the earn rate would have to be three points per dollar, he says. But the new card only offers a two points per dollar rate for purchases other than staying at hotels, airfare and restaurants.

“What Marriot and Amex don’t seem to realize or care about is that they have removed any incentives to spend money on their cards, given this devaluation,” he says.

Marcus Beier of Port Charlotte, Fla., says he has had 597 SPG nights since 2009.

“This is not good for consumers, and it’s a smack to our face that it’s being packaged that way,” he says.

Albert Pitts of North Syracuse, N.Y., is taking a more wait-and-see approach.

“I’m hearing that it’s supposed to be easier,” to redeem points, he says. “So that’s what I’m hoping for.”

Autoplay

Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

Last SlideNext Slide

 

Read or Share this story: https://usat.ly/2vvmRfY

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading
21Apr 2018

Deadly engine blast on Southwest flight could shake any traveler but air travel has become remarkably safe – CNBC


The mid-air engine failure shortly into a Southwest Airlines flight from New York to Dallas this week may have shaken even seasoned travelers. A fan blade from one of the Boeing 737-700’s engine’s broke lose, sending shrapnel flying, while the plane was flying above 30,000 feet. One of its windows blew out, and a passenger was partially sucked out of the opening.

div > div.group > p:first-child”>

The passenger, Jennifer Riordan, a banking executive and mother of two, died.

Capt. Tammie Jo Shults, a former Navy fighter pilot, expertly guided the jet to an emergency landing in Philadelphia, bringing the plane down quickly to prevent further injuries after the cabin depressurized.

The some 20-minute ordeal was horrific, but fatal accidents have become exceedingly rare. Riordan’s death marked the first fatality from an accident aboard a U.S. airline since 2009, when a Colgan Air plane crashed near Buffalo, N.Y., killing 44 passengers and a person on the ground.

“Aviation makes driving look like an act of suicide,” said Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis at aviation analysis firm the Teal Group. The U.S. Department of Transportation last October said more than 37,000 people were killed on the country’s roads in 2016. Traffic deaths overall and pedestrian fatalities had each increased from a year earlier.

But plane crashes and fatal accident rates have declined, even as the number of flights and passengers have hit record highs, a trend industry analysts chalk up to higher safety standards, better maintenance, safer equipment and more training.

U.S. airlines have carried close to 7 billion people since the Colgan Air crash through this past January, on more than 80 million flights, according to the Department of Transportation. That was without a passenger death due to an accident or incident. (The figures do not include on-board passenger deaths due to health problems.)

Fatal crashes had been more common in previous decades, data from the National Transportation Safety Board show.

“Crashes were happening for every damn reason you could imagine,” said Kevin Michaels, managing director of AeroDynamic Advisory, an aviation consulting firm. “There were crashes all the time.”

But crashes have prompted changes in regulations and safety, although years often pass before the rules are introduced. More than four years after the crash Colgan Air Flight 3407, the Federal Aviation Administration announced an increase in the number flying hours required to fly for a commercial passenger or cargo airline as a first officer to 1,500 from 250 hours. A lack of pilot experience was cited in the crash.

In 1996, a fuel-tank explosion downed TWA Flight 800, a Boeing 747 bound for Paris from New York. All 230 people aboard were killed. Twelve years later, the FAA issued a requirement to install equipment that pumps nitrogen into fuel tanks to reduce oxygen and as a result, potential explosions.

The fatal engine failure aboard Southwest Flight 1380 on Tuesday, which came just days after a report on news program “60 Minutes” criticizing the safety record of budget carrier Allegiant Air, sparked some relatively quick action.

The engine’s manufacturer, CFM International, a joint venture of General Electric and France’s Safran Aircraft Engines, issued a service bulletin, calling for more stringent, ultrasonic checks of some CFM56-7B fan blades. The FAA made these checks mandatory for some engines shortly afterward in an “emergency” order, depending on how many times they’ve been used.

Southwest said its current maintenance program “meets or exceeds the requirements” set in the FAA’s emergency order, issued Friday.

The National Transportation Safety Board is in the early stages of its investigation of the incident but is focusing on how a fan blade of the engine, a type that powers more than 6,000 aircraft worldwide, broke off.

Other challenges for airlines and regulators remain, even though the number of fatal accidents had declined in recent years. One issue is preventing injuries, or even death.

Airlines have struggled to inform passengers of safety procedures. A photo from Flight 1380 showed passengers wearing oxygen masks over their mouths, but not their noses as flight attendants instruct. Emergency evacuations on other flights showed passengers stopping to reach for luggage or filming videos.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading
21Apr 2018

This Week In Credit Card News: Business Advantages To Going Cashless; Chevy Rolls Out In-Car Gas Pay – Forbes


Associated Press]

Certain Chevy cars now allow you to pay for gas from your car’s dashboard (Shutterstock)

Chevrolet And Shell Roll Out In-Car Fuel Payments

Chevrolet and Shell are doing their part to try and make refueling easier on drivers by introducing the first ever, in-car fuel payment system, rendering unnecessary the need to swipe a credit card or use your mobile device. The new feature will allow certain Chevy drivers to pay and earn rewards directly through the vehicle’s touchscreen when getting gas at participating Shell-branded stations. Drivers will simply press the Shell icon within the Marketplace app and select their preferred station location. After a few more taps on the touchscreen, a code will be generated that allows the user to activate a pump and start fueling. The fill-up is then automatically charged to the payment method on file. [Car Buzz]

Trust in Facebook Has Dropped By 66%

Facebook users’ confidence in the company has plunged by 66% as a result of revelations that data analysis firm Cambridge Analytica inappropriately acquired data on tens of millions of Facebook users. CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s public mea culpa during two days of congressional hearings last week did not change that. Only 28% of the Facebook users surveyed after Zuckerberg’s testimony last week believe the company is committed to privacy, down from a high of 79% just last year. [NBC News]

American Express Plenti Shopping Program Is Shuttering

American Express has decided to end its Plenti frequent shopper program. The company said that the Plenti program will cease to exist on July 10 when Plenti points will expire and they won’t be redeemable for rewards and other benefits. American Express had pitched Plenti in 2015 as a rewards program that would tie the consumer to retailers. Consumers would benefit by buying products at specific retailers and getting points they would redeem for rewards, and retailers would be able to attract frequent shoppers looking for those points. [Fortune]

“>

Small But Growing Number of Restaurants are Going Cashless

Forgoing cash means faster transactions. Many business owners would rather be cashless. Cash actually costs money: banks charge fees for cash deposits and to handle coins. If businesses take in enough cash to justify pickups by armored car services, that’s another cost. And restaurants can be a target for holdups. Counting and checking cash and preparing it for deposit takes up time a manager could spend with staff or customers. [Associated Press]

Certain Chevy cars now allow you to pay for gas from your car’s dashboard (Shutterstock)

Chevrolet And Shell Roll Out In-Car Fuel Payments

Chevrolet and Shell are doing their part to try and make refueling easier on drivers by introducing the first ever, in-car fuel payment system, rendering unnecessary the need to swipe a credit card or use your mobile device. The new feature will allow certain Chevy drivers to pay and earn rewards directly through the vehicle’s touchscreen when getting gas at participating Shell-branded stations. Drivers will simply press the Shell icon within the Marketplace app and select their preferred station location. After a few more taps on the touchscreen, a code will be generated that allows the user to activate a pump and start fueling. The fill-up is then automatically charged to the payment method on file. [Car Buzz]

Trust in Facebook Has Dropped By 66%

Facebook users’ confidence in the company has plunged by 66% as a result of revelations that data analysis firm Cambridge Analytica inappropriately acquired data on tens of millions of Facebook users. CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s public mea culpa during two days of congressional hearings last week did not change that. Only 28% of the Facebook users surveyed after Zuckerberg’s testimony last week believe the company is committed to privacy, down from a high of 79% just last year. [NBC News]

American Express Plenti Shopping Program Is Shuttering

American Express has decided to end its Plenti frequent shopper program. The company said that the Plenti program will cease to exist on July 10 when Plenti points will expire and they won’t be redeemable for rewards and other benefits. American Express had pitched Plenti in 2015 as a rewards program that would tie the consumer to retailers. Consumers would benefit by buying products at specific retailers and getting points they would redeem for rewards, and retailers would be able to attract frequent shoppers looking for those points. [Fortune]

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading
21Apr 2018

Marriott Rewards merger with Starwood, Ritz-Carlton programs brings mixed reviews – USA TODAY


Autoplay

Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

Last SlideNext Slide

Marriott International’s new loyalty program has received mixed reviews from experts and consumers.

The new Marriott Rewards will merge with its counterpart programs at Ritz-Carlton and Starwood. Marriott purchased Starwood in 2016.

Starting in August, members will be able to merge points and book across the entire slate of its more than 6,500 properties at Marriott.com. Marriott now has 29 brands.

Marriott will post a redemption chart when the changes are officially made. The company says it will eliminate blackout dates for loyalty rewards.

Elite status will be standardized, with members reaching Silver after 10 nights, Gold after 25 nights, Platinum at 50 and Platinum Premier at 75. Guests who stay 100 nights and spend $20,000 will reach the ambassador program. Lifetime status members will retain those perks.

Starwood loyalty members have been waiting anxiously to hear about the changes. The Starwood Preferred Guest program was wildly popular, offering such perks as free breakfast and room upgrades.

“There’s been a lot of anxiety when you bring programs of these sizes together,” says David Flueck, senior vice president of global loyalty for Marriott. “The concern is that you will make the programs less rich. We’ve brought the best of our programs together.”

Flueck says on average members will earn 20% more points than they do now.

In August, SPG members will see their points balance triple, he says.

SPG, Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards members will all earn 10 points for every dollar spent at all brands except for Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites and Element. Members who stay at those brands will earn five points per every dollar spent.

In August, all members will also begin earning points for food and beverage purchases and qualifying incidentals, rather than just the room rate.

The breakfast offering for Platinum and Platinum Premier members will be expanded to 23 participating brands.

“Gold elite and platinum elite got easier to attain for Marriott rewards members,” Flueck says.

The program name will not change until next year.

Other changes coming this year include new co-branded credit cards by JPMorgan Chase and American Express.

On May 3, Chase will launch the new Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card, and in August, American Express will introduce the new Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card.

The new Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card will give members six Marriott Rewards points per dollar spent at participating hotels, two points per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases, and more.

The new Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Luxury Card will offer members six points per dollar spent at participating hotels, three points per dollar spent on airfare and at U.S. restaurants, and two points per dollar spent on other eligible purchases.

“For most people, the new Marriott loyalty program will be better than the old options,” says Julian Kheel, a senior editor at The Points Guy. “There are a certain subset of customers who won’t be happy with the changes. Lower level SPG elites will lose some benefits like free breakfast and lounge access.”

Chekitan Dev, a professor at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, says the program will be less lucrative for Ritz-Carlton Rewards members because they will now be competing with millions of Marriott and SPG members for a limited number Ritz-Carlton nights.  

“The merged Marriott loyalty program is a mixed blessing for its members,” Dev says. “Whether the new program is better or worse in terms of its value will depend on the way it is structured. Starwood Preferred Guest Members are huge fans of the program, more so than Marriott Rewards members. So, Marriott would be well-served to make the new program as close to the Starwood program as possible.”

Customers such as Adam Jakowenko have mixed feelings about the changes.

“Overall it appears that Marriott tried to do their best to have a new program that would still work for most people,” he says. “Unfortunately they did make some negative changes that have impacted me directly.” 

For instance, he uses his SPG American Express card for everyday expenses. To maintain the same value, the earn rate would have to be three points per dollar, he says. But the new card only offers a two points per dollar rate for purchases other than staying at hotels, airfare and restaurants.

“What Marriot and Amex don’t seem to realize or care about is that they have removed any incentives to spend money on their cards, given this devaluation,” he says.

Marcus Beier of Port Charlotte, Fla., says he has had 597 SPG nights since 2009.

“This is not good for consumers, and it’s a smack to our face that it’s being packaged that way,” he says.

Albert Pitts of North Syracuse, N.Y., is taking a more wait-and-see approach.

“I’m hearing that it’s supposed to be easier,” to redeem points, he says. “So that’s what I’m hoping for.”

Autoplay

Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

Last SlideNext Slide

 

Read or Share this story: https://usat.ly/2vvmRfY

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading
21Apr 2018

Souvenir Secrets: Why You Buy Them And What Top Travel Execs Love Best – Forbes


<div _ngcontent-c20 innerhtml="

Photo credit: © Laura Manske

We all&nbsp;have&nbsp;carried souvenirs home from our travels. They are often trinkets, sometimes more meaningful takeaways and&nbsp;occasionally substantial investments. Our&nbsp;desire to garner&nbsp;mementos is strong.&nbsp;Souvenir, a sweet new&nbsp;book by Rolf Potts, is a little gem (easily tucked into a jacket pocket) filled with big insights&nbsp;— the newest in publisher Bloomsbury’s book series called Object Lessons, which&nbsp;delves into the hidden life of ordinary things. Souvenir&nbsp;explores our passions for such possessions and why we are compelled to&nbsp;transport items from one&nbsp;spot to another, reminding us of an inspired moment, locale, adventure, voyage, person, emotion. Even a rock or piece of driftwood can symbolize a personal on-the-go narrative. Souvenir‘s introduction, titled “An Embarrassment of Eiffel Towers,” is a delight to ponder, particularly&nbsp;for&nbsp;travelers like me, who have fallen in love with a&nbsp;faraway place&nbsp;so much so that accumulating a collection is a riveting recourse for keeping the away journey&nbsp;ever near.&nbsp;I own 11 decorative&nbsp;Eiffel Towers in varied sizes (from&nbsp;2 to&nbsp;17 inches tall) and materials (glass, wire, metal, porcelain), all of which are elegantly lined up in&nbsp;a row atop my piano. Each&nbsp;Lilliputian tower&nbsp;represents a visit to the City of Light.&nbsp;With glee, I anticipate adding another tower soon, thus beholding a dozen, after I&nbsp;touch down again in Paris later this&nbsp;spring. How many artsy Eiffel Towers do&nbsp;I need? That’s like&nbsp;wondering whether I&nbsp;will ever have&nbsp;enough experiences of Paris&nbsp;itself.&nbsp;Impossible,&nbsp;s’il vous plaît. Souvenirs&nbsp;recall a spell cast,&nbsp;a dazzling destination&nbsp;magic to which&nbsp;we have been drawn. A talisman welcomed home.

In the spirit of appreciating souvenirs, I reached out to leading&nbsp;travel company executives to&nbsp;discover which keepsakes they deem dear. Here, their fascinating and fun&nbsp;replies:

J. ALLEN SMITH, President and Chief Executive Officer of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts:

Best Souvenir&nbsp; “With four children, I tried to find souvenirs that would be meaningful to them. Ultimately, I settled on snow globes, something my youngest daughter adored. I gained an appreciation for the idiosyncratic expression of a place’s identity that was represented through a snow globe. Soon I was caught by the snow globe bug and loved the process of seeking out those that were unique and well-made (as there are many cheap ones). Perhaps my favorite&nbsp;is one I acquired in Abu Dhabi. While the merchant referred to it as a snow globe, it was in fact a sand globe. The glass sphere contained sand and depicted a desert scene with camels — naturally there was no water and no ‘snow’ when it was shaken!”

Cool Collection&nbsp; “Our snow globe collection is displayed on shelves in my daughter’s bedroom.”

Why Bring a Thing Home?&nbsp; “Given my very extensive travel, this is&nbsp;a way for me to share something about the places I’ve been and to facilitate a conversation with my children about what makes each location special.”

JASON MONTAGUE, President and Chief Executive Officer of Regent Seven Seas Cruises:

Best Souvenir&nbsp;&nbsp;“I purchased two Murano glass swans for my wife when we visited Venice for the first time. It was just the two of us in a private taxi traveling through the canals and over to the Venetian island of Murano, where we watched a master glass artist making his creations. Incredibly fascinating. Before we left the island, we searched through their store and found two perfect swans&nbsp;— a favorite of my wife —&nbsp;so that was an easy decision. They are displayed in the center of our house and they&nbsp;always bring a smile to my face. This souvenir&nbsp;takes me back to that first time we visited Venice. What a romantic place.”

Cool Collection&nbsp;&nbsp;“There isn’t one thing we look for. It doesn’t always have to be expensive. Our goal is to find something special just to us.”

Why Bring a Thing Home?&nbsp; “Traveling is an amazing experience. Part of that experience is in the memories you create. I find it rewarding to get something that serves as a wonderful reminder of all those memories. When I see them, it reminds me of times I had with my family and friends.”

BRETT TOLLMAN, Chief Executive Officer of The Travel Corporation:

Best Souvenir&nbsp;&nbsp;“An&nbsp;incredible Japanese kitchen knife that I bought in a small store in Tokyo, situated inside the large, open market there. I love cooking at home for family and friends, so&nbsp;the knife is a very practical souvenir for me, which I use often. It is a great souvenir because I had never seen one like it before; you can only buy it in Japan. Every time I pick it up, I am reminded of one of my favorite countries to visit.”

Cool Collection&nbsp;&nbsp;“I very much respect the importance of leaving a small footprint and recognizing and following local customs.&nbsp;During the more than 23 years that my wife and I have been married, we have always collected a small memento of each place we visit to enhance the fond memories. What we found easiest to collect have been innocuous stones or seashells that we’ve picked up&nbsp;on our travels. These we store carefully at home. Every stone or shell looks different…each of them represents a journey we took together where we met new people (some of whom have become life-long friends), created wonderful memories, tasted new foods, understood and embraced new cultures and all the other joys and benefits of travel. We have always been very careful to never take or remove anything that we weren’t meant to — or anything that would be disrespectful or inappropriate.”

Why Bring a Thing Home?&nbsp;&nbsp;“Buying souvenirs that are meaningful, useful and&nbsp;admired for their craftsmanship or artistic value recognizes and supports local artisans and craftspeople, which in turn also directly benefits their families. Paintings from indigenous people in Australia, New Zealand and Africa, beautiful sculptures, local books, paper goods, cooking ingredients and materials and clothing are things&nbsp;we curate and keep on display at home. I also love the opportunity to meet and speak with&nbsp;artisans and craftspeople, learning about them and how I can pay them to customize gifts that I bring home to others. For&nbsp;example, last year I went to Kenya with my family to build a school for the WE.org charity. I met some of the women from their enterprise, who do beautiful bead work. Subsequently, I sent them 10 pairs of Birkenstock sandals on which&nbsp;they created beautiful beadwork. Then I gave these sandals as holiday gifts to family and friends.”

RUDI SCHREINER, President, Co-Founder and Co-Owner of AmaWaterways:

Best Souvenir&nbsp; “One of my favorite souvenirs is a sunset watercolor painting of temples and pagodas that I bought from&nbsp;two young artists while visiting the ancient city of Bagan, Myanmar.&nbsp;I used to love to paint when I was younger, so I really enjoy buying paintings directly from local artists when traveling. Local art is one of the best ways to capture the vibrancy of the people and the country. With my wife,&nbsp;Kristin Karst [AmaWaterways Executive Vice President, Co-Founder, Co-Owner], we&nbsp;were in Bagan visiting some of the 2,229 remarkable temples and pagodas. I first spotted the painting for sale by two young artists while visiting one temple.&nbsp;Kristin and I both liked the painting very much, but I hesitated as we just didn’t have time to stop. We continued on our visit, but I kept thinking about the painting and regretted not buying it. Awhile later, after climbing a very narrow staircase to the top of yet another temple, to our surprise the smiling faces of the same two artists appeared with our much-admired painting in hand. After a very short price negotiation (they wanted $40, but Kristin only had $35 in cash), we happily concluded the sale and I thanked the young men for their pro-active salesmanship!”&nbsp; &nbsp;

Cool Collection&nbsp;&nbsp;The beauty of buying the work of local artists is that there is such a range of mediums — I never have to restrict myself to one type.&nbsp;The art is displayed throughout our home. I do change it up from time to time. I sometimes give&nbsp;artwork&nbsp;to my children, who share my love of art.

Why Bring a Thing Home?&nbsp; I don’t take a lot of photos when I travel, but I have a great visual memory and art seems to bring back so many vivid images. It really lets me relive the moments and the people I met along the way.”&nbsp;

ROELAND VOS, President and Chief Executive Officer of Belmond:

Best Souvenir&nbsp; “A well-thumbed, authentic Italian cookbook, found buried in a market stall in the&nbsp;center&nbsp;of Florence. It is a treasure trove of classic Italian recipes. Each meal created from it transports me back to the great culinary pleasures of Italy — what we at Belmond call the art of Savoir Vivre&nbsp;or Good Living.”

Cool Collection&nbsp; “Like travel, books can take you on a journey of exploration without limitation. I try to immerse myself in the local culture, history&nbsp;and&nbsp;cuisine of each place I visit&nbsp;— through reading books and, wherever possible, taking a cooking class to discover the most traditional food. I have quite a collection of cookbooks today.”

Why Bring a Thing Home?&nbsp;&nbsp;“I collect books, particularly cookbooks, because they help me to recreate&nbsp;wonderful food and&nbsp;remember exceptional travel experiences&nbsp;back home. And that is exactly what a souvenir should do.”

SHERWIN BANDA, President of&nbsp;African Travel Inc.:

Best Souvenir&nbsp;&nbsp;“A piece of traditional clothing from each destination that I visit.&nbsp;Traditional clothing is colorful and reflects the energy and tradition of each country. Africa is so vibrant and special.”

Cool Collection&nbsp;&nbsp;“I love to buy a gift for my son everywhere I travel. This is great enjoyment for me. He places the items in his room and has fantastic collections of stuffed animals, hand-crafted toys and hand-made musical instruments. He will learn about the history of the places as he gets older.”

Why Bring a Thing Home?&nbsp;&nbsp;“It&nbsp;is an incredible memory of the culture of the people and places.”

CHRISTINE DUFFY, President of&nbsp;Carnival Cruise Line:

Best Souvenir&nbsp;&nbsp;”I collect Starbucks coffee mugs from around the world. I have approximately 50 mugs so far, but Starbucks has 94 different destination mugs so I still have a lot more to collect.&nbsp; Actually, I don’t drink coffee. I drink tea with milk — the British way&nbsp;— every morning from one of these mugs!&nbsp;I pick a mug based on my mood and the colors on the mug…some are sunny and bright like Miami and Los Angeles.”&nbsp;

Cool Collection&nbsp;&nbsp;”I keep my mugs in kitchen cabinets&nbsp;at my&nbsp;condo in Miami and my home in Philadelphia, but I display them on trays when entertaining. They are great for soups or for serving ice cream sundaes or other desserts. They stir up great conversations about my travels around the world.&nbsp;The mugs&nbsp;are stackable so they don’t take up too much room. Each one has a unique artist design that reflects the skyline or sights from a city or country. The inside of each mug is painted brightly in a different color.”

Why Bring a Thing Home?&nbsp;&nbsp;”When I travel for business, I don’t have time to shop for souvenirs. But I can always get to a Starbucks or find one at the airport on my way home.&nbsp;I collect these mugs as reminders of all the great places I have the privilege of visiting. I’ve also started getting them as gifts from my kids&nbsp;when they travel, which I love.”

CRAIG REID,&nbsp;President and Chief Executive Officer of Auberge Resorts Collection:

Best Souvenir&nbsp;&nbsp;“I love to pick up souvenirs on my travels. It’s hard to single out one as a favorite, as I love them all. I prefer to buy local art or crafts that speak to artisans’ creativity and the richness of the culture.”

Cool Collection&nbsp; &nbsp;”Among my most treasured pieces are Native American pottery from New Mexico, pottery from Mexico and wood carvings from Costa Rica and Nicaragua.”

Why Bring a Thing Home?&nbsp; “I am heading to Costa Rica in two weeks. I will be buying a hand-carved Boruca mask, about which I am extremely excited. I&nbsp;will visit the artist’s village. I love these masks because each is unique, expressive, beautiful and will no doubt provoke interest and questions by those who see it back home. Most important, it will be a reminder of everything that is so special about that region of the country.”

EDIE RODRIGUEZ,&nbsp;Americas Brand Chairman&nbsp;of Ponant Cruises:&nbsp;

Best Souvenir&nbsp; “The best souvenir from all of my travels was obtained more than 30 years ago on my first trip to Israel. It was (and still is) a granite tablet with The 10 Commandments on it&nbsp;— so special to me because it is simply the way I choose to live my life. I keep it on my kitchen counter and it is a daily reminder.”

Cool Collection&nbsp; “Chess sets that are unique to each country. My favorites are ones from Kenya and from Italy. I have a game room in my home. The chess sets are displayed in there, where they are always ready to be played.”

Why Bring a Thing Home?&nbsp; “Buying a souvenir means to me that I am carrying a memory home. It is in a physical form concurrent with the memories that are in my heart and mind: when and where I acquired that souvenir.&nbsp;The souvenirs always warm my heart and bring a smile to my face. Those memories are what I value the most.”

BETH NEUMANN, Chief Executive Officer of Starboard Cruise Services:

Best Souvenir&nbsp;&nbsp;”My favorite is a Cartier Ballon Bleu timepiece that I bought onboard an incredible new cruise ship in China. I had not purchased (or worn) a watch in&nbsp;more than&nbsp;10 years. The trip was fantastic. I was learning about China, spending time at the ship’s top restaurants and onboard entertainment with friends and colleagues. I walked into the ship’s Cartier boutique and immediately connected with the boutique manager. Not only was she in the know about the best experiences on the ship, but her passion for the art of Swiss watchmaking intrigued me. She invited me to a special intimate dinner celebrating Cartier and watchmaking, where I learned about&nbsp;its history and was even able to try using Swiss watchmaking tools myself, reassembling a watch. After that, I could not help but purchase a watch to commemorate my journey in China. Every time I look at&nbsp;it on my wrist (or am asked about it), I remember the joy of that trip! It also serves as an inspiration for what we do every day in our business.”

Cool Collection&nbsp; “I collect jewelry from everywhere I travel.&nbsp;Jewelry is a special memento that I can wear. Jewelry&nbsp;is also made by artisans; their stories about&nbsp;their inspirations connect me to the destinations. Jewelry is an art form that crosses cultures, yet evokes the essence of&nbsp;each culture. My purchases range from Bulgari in the Mediterranean, Tiffany in NY and John Hardy in Asia&nbsp;to local artisans in South America, Alaska and the Caribbean.”

Why Bring a Thing Home?&nbsp;&nbsp;A souvenir represents the memory and celebration of the experience. Each time I look at a piece of jewelry&nbsp;acquired on a trip, I bask in the joy of that vacation, the family and friends&nbsp;with whom I traveled, the fun, the celebration and the discovery of new people, places and things.”

“>

Photo credit: © Laura Manske

We all have carried souvenirs home from our travels. They are often trinkets, sometimes more meaningful takeaways and occasionally substantial investments. Our desire to garner mementos is strong. Souvenir, a sweet new book by Rolf Potts, is a little gem (easily tucked into a jacket pocket) filled with big insights — the newest in publisher Bloomsbury’s book series called Object Lessons, which delves into the hidden life of ordinary things. Souvenir explores our passions for such possessions and why we are compelled to transport items from one spot to another, reminding us of an inspired moment, locale, adventure, voyage, person, emotion. Even a rock or piece of driftwood can symbolize a personal on-the-go narrative. Souvenir‘s introduction, titled “An Embarrassment of Eiffel Towers,” is a delight to ponder, particularly for travelers like me, who have fallen in love with a faraway place so much so that accumulating a collection is a riveting recourse for keeping the away journey ever near. I own 11 decorative Eiffel Towers in varied sizes (from 2 to 17 inches tall) and materials (glass, wire, metal, porcelain), all of which are elegantly lined up in a row atop my piano. Each Lilliputian tower represents a visit to the City of Light. With glee, I anticipate adding another tower soon, thus beholding a dozen, after I touch down again in Paris later this spring. How many artsy Eiffel Towers do I need? That’s like wondering whether I will ever have enough experiences of Paris itself. Impossible, s’il vous plaît. Souvenirs recall a spell cast, a dazzling destination magic to which we have been drawn. A talisman welcomed home.

In the spirit of appreciating souvenirs, I reached out to leading travel company executives to discover which keepsakes they deem dear. Here, their fascinating and fun replies:

J. ALLEN SMITH, President and Chief Executive Officer of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts:

Best Souvenir  “With four children, I tried to find souvenirs that would be meaningful to them. Ultimately, I settled on snow globes, something my youngest daughter adored. I gained an appreciation for the idiosyncratic expression of a place’s identity that was represented through a snow globe. Soon I was caught by the snow globe bug and loved the process of seeking out those that were unique and well-made (as there are many cheap ones). Perhaps my favorite is one I acquired in Abu Dhabi. While the merchant referred to it as a snow globe, it was in fact a sand globe. The glass sphere contained sand and depicted a desert scene with camels — naturally there was no water and no ‘snow’ when it was shaken!”

Cool Collection  “Our snow globe collection is displayed on shelves in my daughter’s bedroom.”

Why Bring a Thing Home?  “Given my very extensive travel, this is a way for me to share something about the places I’ve been and to facilitate a conversation with my children about what makes each location special.”

JASON MONTAGUE, President and Chief Executive Officer of Regent Seven Seas Cruises:

Best Souvenir  “I purchased two Murano glass swans for my wife when we visited Venice for the first time. It was just the two of us in a private taxi traveling through the canals and over to the Venetian island of Murano, where we watched a master glass artist making his creations. Incredibly fascinating. Before we left the island, we searched through their store and found two perfect swans — a favorite of my wife — so that was an easy decision. They are displayed in the center of our house and they always bring a smile to my face. This souvenir takes me back to that first time we visited Venice. What a romantic place.”

Cool Collection  “There isn’t one thing we look for. It doesn’t always have to be expensive. Our goal is to find something special just to us.”

Why Bring a Thing Home?  “Traveling is an amazing experience. Part of that experience is in the memories you create. I find it rewarding to get something that serves as a wonderful reminder of all those memories. When I see them, it reminds me of times I had with my family and friends.”

BRETT TOLLMAN, Chief Executive Officer of The Travel Corporation:

Best Souvenir  “An incredible Japanese kitchen knife that I bought in a small store in Tokyo, situated inside the large, open market there. I love cooking at home for family and friends, so the knife is a very practical souvenir for me, which I use often. It is a great souvenir because I had never seen one like it before; you can only buy it in Japan. Every time I pick it up, I am reminded of one of my favorite countries to visit.”

Cool Collection  “I very much respect the importance of leaving a small footprint and recognizing and following local customs. During the more than 23 years that my wife and I have been married, we have always collected a small memento of each place we visit to enhance the fond memories. What we found easiest to collect have been innocuous stones or seashells that we’ve picked up on our travels. These we store carefully at home. Every stone or shell looks different…each of them represents a journey we took together where we met new people (some of whom have become life-long friends), created wonderful memories, tasted new foods, understood and embraced new cultures and all the other joys and benefits of travel. We have always been very careful to never take or remove anything that we weren’t meant to — or anything that would be disrespectful or inappropriate.”

Why Bring a Thing Home?  “Buying souvenirs that are meaningful, useful and admired for their craftsmanship or artistic value recognizes and supports local artisans and craftspeople, which in turn also directly benefits their families. Paintings from indigenous people in Australia, New Zealand and Africa, beautiful sculptures, local books, paper goods, cooking ingredients and materials and clothing are things we curate and keep on display at home. I also love the opportunity to meet and speak with artisans and craftspeople, learning about them and how I can pay them to customize gifts that I bring home to others. For example, last year I went to Kenya with my family to build a school for the WE.org charity. I met some of the women from their enterprise, who do beautiful bead work. Subsequently, I sent them 10 pairs of Birkenstock sandals on which they created beautiful beadwork. Then I gave these sandals as holiday gifts to family and friends.”

RUDI SCHREINER, President, Co-Founder and Co-Owner of AmaWaterways:

Best Souvenir  “One of my favorite souvenirs is a sunset watercolor painting of temples and pagodas that I bought from two young artists while visiting the ancient city of Bagan, Myanmar. I used to love to paint when I was younger, so I really enjoy buying paintings directly from local artists when traveling. Local art is one of the best ways to capture the vibrancy of the people and the country. With my wife, Kristin Karst [AmaWaterways Executive Vice President, Co-Founder, Co-Owner], we were in Bagan visiting some of the 2,229 remarkable temples and pagodas. I first spotted the painting for sale by two young artists while visiting one temple. Kristin and I both liked the painting very much, but I hesitated as we just didn’t have time to stop. We continued on our visit, but I kept thinking about the painting and regretted not buying it. Awhile later, after climbing a very narrow staircase to the top of yet another temple, to our surprise the smiling faces of the same two artists appeared with our much-admired painting in hand. After a very short price negotiation (they wanted $40, but Kristin only had $35 in cash), we happily concluded the sale and I thanked the young men for their pro-active salesmanship!”   

Cool Collection  The beauty of buying the work of local artists is that there is such a range of mediums — I never have to restrict myself to one type. The art is displayed throughout our home. I do change it up from time to time. I sometimes give artwork to my children, who share my love of art.

Why Bring a Thing Home?  I don’t take a lot of photos when I travel, but I have a great visual memory and art seems to bring back so many vivid images. It really lets me relive the moments and the people I met along the way.” 

ROELAND VOS, President and Chief Executive Officer of Belmond:

Best Souvenir  “A well-thumbed, authentic Italian cookbook, found buried in a market stall in the center of Florence. It is a treasure trove of classic Italian recipes. Each meal created from it transports me back to the great culinary pleasures of Italy — what we at Belmond call the art of Savoir Vivre or Good Living.”

Cool Collection  “Like travel, books can take you on a journey of exploration without limitation. I try to immerse myself in the local culture, history and cuisine of each place I visit — through reading books and, wherever possible, taking a cooking class to discover the most traditional food. I have quite a collection of cookbooks today.”

Why Bring a Thing Home?  “I collect books, particularly cookbooks, because they help me to recreate wonderful food and remember exceptional travel experiences back home. And that is exactly what a souvenir should do.”

SHERWIN BANDA, President of African Travel Inc.:

Best Souvenir  “A piece of traditional clothing from each destination that I visit. Traditional clothing is colorful and reflects the energy and tradition of each country. Africa is so vibrant and special.”

Cool Collection  “I love to buy a gift for my son everywhere I travel. This is great enjoyment for me. He places the items in his room and has fantastic collections of stuffed animals, hand-crafted toys and hand-made musical instruments. He will learn about the history of the places as he gets older.”

Why Bring a Thing Home?  “It is an incredible memory of the culture of the people and places.”

CHRISTINE DUFFY, President of Carnival Cruise Line:

Best Souvenir  “I collect Starbucks coffee mugs from around the world. I have approximately 50 mugs so far, but Starbucks has 94 different destination mugs so I still have a lot more to collect.  Actually, I don’t drink coffee. I drink tea with milk — the British way — every morning from one of these mugs! I pick a mug based on my mood and the colors on the mug…some are sunny and bright like Miami and Los Angeles.” 

Cool Collection  “I keep my mugs in kitchen cabinets at my condo in Miami and my home in Philadelphia, but I display them on trays when entertaining. They are great for soups or for serving ice cream sundaes or other desserts. They stir up great conversations about my travels around the world. The mugs are stackable so they don’t take up too much room. Each one has a unique artist design that reflects the skyline or sights from a city or country. The inside of each mug is painted brightly in a different color.”

Why Bring a Thing Home?  “When I travel for business, I don’t have time to shop for souvenirs. But I can always get to a Starbucks or find one at the airport on my way home. I collect these mugs as reminders of all the great places I have the privilege of visiting. I’ve also started getting them as gifts from my kids when they travel, which I love.”

CRAIG REID, President and Chief Executive Officer of Auberge Resorts Collection:

Best Souvenir  “I love to pick up souvenirs on my travels. It’s hard to single out one as a favorite, as I love them all. I prefer to buy local art or crafts that speak to artisans’ creativity and the richness of the culture.”

Cool Collection   “Among my most treasured pieces are Native American pottery from New Mexico, pottery from Mexico and wood carvings from Costa Rica and Nicaragua.”

Why Bring a Thing Home?  “I am heading to Costa Rica in two weeks. I will be buying a hand-carved Boruca mask, about which I am extremely excited. I will visit the artist’s village. I love these masks because each is unique, expressive, beautiful and will no doubt provoke interest and questions by those who see it back home. Most important, it will be a reminder of everything that is so special about that region of the country.”

EDIE RODRIGUEZ, Americas Brand Chairman of Ponant Cruises: 

Best Souvenir  “The best souvenir from all of my travels was obtained more than 30 years ago on my first trip to Israel. It was (and still is) a granite tablet with The 10 Commandments on it — so special to me because it is simply the way I choose to live my life. I keep it on my kitchen counter and it is a daily reminder.”

Cool Collection  “Chess sets that are unique to each country. My favorites are ones from Kenya and from Italy. I have a game room in my home. The chess sets are displayed in there, where they are always ready to be played.”

Why Bring a Thing Home?  “Buying a souvenir means to me that I am carrying a memory home. It is in a physical form concurrent with the memories that are in my heart and mind: when and where I acquired that souvenir. The souvenirs always warm my heart and bring a smile to my face. Those memories are what I value the most.”

BETH NEUMANN, Chief Executive Officer of Starboard Cruise Services:

Best Souvenir  “My favorite is a Cartier Ballon Bleu timepiece that I bought onboard an incredible new cruise ship in China. I had not purchased (or worn) a watch in more than 10 years. The trip was fantastic. I was learning about China, spending time at the ship’s top restaurants and onboard entertainment with friends and colleagues. I walked into the ship’s Cartier boutique and immediately connected with the boutique manager. Not only was she in the know about the best experiences on the ship, but her passion for the art of Swiss watchmaking intrigued me. She invited me to a special intimate dinner celebrating Cartier and watchmaking, where I learned about its history and was even able to try using Swiss watchmaking tools myself, reassembling a watch. After that, I could not help but purchase a watch to commemorate my journey in China. Every time I look at it on my wrist (or am asked about it), I remember the joy of that trip! It also serves as an inspiration for what we do every day in our business.”

Cool Collection  “I collect jewelry from everywhere I travel. Jewelry is a special memento that I can wear. Jewelry is also made by artisans; their stories about their inspirations connect me to the destinations. Jewelry is an art form that crosses cultures, yet evokes the essence of each culture. My purchases range from Bulgari in the Mediterranean, Tiffany in NY and John Hardy in Asia to local artisans in South America, Alaska and the Caribbean.”

Why Bring a Thing Home?  A souvenir represents the memory and celebration of the experience. Each time I look at a piece of jewelry acquired on a trip, I bask in the joy of that vacation, the family and friends with whom I traveled, the fun, the celebration and the discovery of new people, places and things.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading
20Apr 2018

Frequent flyer should come down to earth – Financial Times


© Reuters

Forget conventional air travel; your writer Nick Remsen (Life & Arts, April 14/15) is surely on another planet if he thinks readers can afford to copy his “frequent flyer’s ultimate checklist”.

The total cost of his suggestions is £13,046! Does he live in the real world? Currently, Ryanair offers flights from London Stansted to Bremen for £4.99. Mr Remsen could make 2,614 of those journeys for the price of his self-pampering.

Leaf Kalfayan
London N7, UK

Copyright
The Financial Times Limited 2018. All rights reserved.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading
20Apr 2018

Whole Foods to Shutter Rewards Program Soon, but We Might Have Seen the Replacement – Cooking Light


The company will end its current program in two weeks—but there are indications about what the new Amazon-focused rewards program could look like.

Faithful customers may be disappointed to learn that Whole Foods has decided to terminate its current rewards program, announcing that all digital coupons and other rewards will be erased on May 2. But that doesn’t mean that Whole Foods won’t provide customers with a way to save money and earn rewards on their grocery purchases in the future.

What we do know is that Whole Foods won’t let you keep any of your earned rewards past May 2: “Any account benefits, including membership and/or unused rewards, will not roll into any future programs,” says a new FAQ page listed on Whole Foods’ website.

The national retailer is asking customers to “stay tuned” for new details regarding what will come after this rewards program is killed on May 2—but, as you might recall, a covert store display test took place in Austin that could provide some indications of how Amazon will structure a new rewards program.

We reported on the under-the-radar test where a local Whole Foods displayed banners teasing Prime-only benefits and discounts earlier this month, with signage promoting an extra 10 percent off sale items just for Prime members, plus additional discounts. The signs went up late one afternoon—causing a flurry of activity—before they were immediately taken down the following morning.

RELATED: Amazon’s Two-Day Delivery Is a Lie

We reached out to a Whole Foods representative based in Austin to comment, but they were unable to comment—we’re betting, though, that rumors of a new program targeted at Prime members might look exactly like this, and that Whole Foods let the cat out of the bag just a little too early.

In February, Amazon announced it would be giving its Visa rewards cardholders 5 percent back on every purchase made at the supermarket. And earlier this year, the e-commerce giant made headlines when it launched same-day, 2-hour delivery for Amazon Prime members in select Whole Foods markets.

While we might have to wait longer to know just what Amazon’s leader Jeff Bezos has up his sleeve, it won’t be too much longer—Amazon recently shared their plans with suppliers nationwide.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading
20Apr 2018

Learning About the Civil Rights Era Through Travel – New York Times


The Getaway

Learning About the Civil Rights Era Through Travel

History museums, attractions and destinations around the country are emphasizing the civil rights story in an age of renewed activism around race and equality.

Image
The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia is celebrating the 14th Amendment, which guarantees equal protection and was the legal basis of the civil rights campaign.CreditThe National Constitution Center

On assignment in Montgomery, Ala., recently, I toured the Rosa Park Museum with a capacity student crowd; sang “We Shall Overcome” in the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s former church with tour-goers from Ohio, California and China; and waited 10 minutes in line at the Southern Poverty Law Center museum to buy my souvenir water bottle (for a good cause).

My experience, it turns out, is indicative of the current excitement surrounding civil rights tourism in the United States 50 years after the assassination of the movement’s leader, Dr. King.

“It’s a part of American history, not just African-American history,” said Andrea Taylor, the chief executive of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham, Ala. “There seems to be a convergence of interest in telling a more complete version of American evolution to include communities of color and particularly African-American communities.”

The institute is part of the U.S. Civil Rights Trail, which launched in January, and identifies 110 locations associated with Civil Rights history in the 1950s and 60s across 14 states. They range from the F.W. Woolworth lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C., where peaceful protesters staged sit-ins, to the house of Daisy Bates, one of the original black students to desegregate Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas.

The trail is expected to draw five million visitors this year; those visitors will spend some $725 million on travel, according to Lee Sentell, the director of Alabama’s tourism department who oversees the trail.

“The whole purpose is to elevate this group of mostly modest locations, churches and schools where significant events in American history happened, that for the most part have not had a great deal of local support,” said Mr. Sentell.

On and off the trail, history museums, attractions and destinations around the country are emphasizing the civil rights story in an era of renewed activism around race and equality.

“We see parallels between what happened then and what’s happening now,” said Ms. Taylor. “People are looking for touchstones from history that give credibility and direction and momentum to their current activities.” The following trips and attractions bring the era to life.

Image
Woolworth on 5th in Nashville, Tenn.CreditNathan Zucker
Image

The Bethel A.M.E. Church, in Columbia, S.C., was the site of civil rights meetings in the 1960s.

Destinations and Day Trips

Eight South Carolina cities dot the official Civil Rights Trail, but the Green Book, a mobile travel guide to African-American cultural sites across the state, lists more than 300 entries. Originally a national guide to safe places for African Americans traveling between 1936 and 1966, the Green Book was revived in May 2017 as a mobile site (greenbookofsc.com) by the South Carolina African-American Heritage Commission. It identifies nationally or state-recognized historic places and is searchable via categories such as historic churches, cultural attractions and H.B.C.U.s, or historically black colleges and universities.

In New Orleans, a new section of Press Street is being renamed after Homer Plessy, the early Civil Rights activist whose case for riding in a whites-only train car led to the Supreme Court’s “separate but equal” ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896.The New Orleans Civil Rights Movement Tourfrom Tours by Judy follows the story from slave auction sites in the French Quarter to the cemetery where Mr. Plessy is buried and weaves in stories of Canal Street sit-ins demanding equal treatment at lunch counters and in shops.

Roughly midway between Memphis, Tenn.,and Birmingham, Ala., Tupelo, Miss., isn’t on the new Civil Rights Trail, but has its own heritage trail that identifies Civil War and Civil Rights sights as well as those related to the indigenous Chickasaw Nation. Though Tupelo is perhaps best known as the birthplace of Elvis Presley, its historical markers identify the site of the Woolworth lunch counter where protests occurred, the Spring Hill Missionary Baptist Church, which served as a gathering place for Civil Rights activists, and the 1964 March of Discontent over voter registration and minority hiring.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading
20Apr 2018

Using Qantas frequent flyer points to book Fiji Airways flights – Australian Business Traveller


Using your Qantas Frequent Flyer points to book journeys with Fiji Airways presents some fantastic options for travellers not just venturing to the likes of Nadi and Suva, but also jetting onwards to Honolulu, Los Angeles or San Francisco.

Play your cards right – or rather, your points – and you could even wind up enjoying a day in Fiji on your way to the United States, for no extra points than you’d need for a non-stop US-bound flight with Qantas.

Here’s what you need to know to turn your Qantas Points into a business class ticket with Fiji Airways.

Booking Fiji Airways flights with Qantas Points: key routes

Out of Australia, Fiji Airways offers non-stop flights to Nadi from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide, and from Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington in New Zealand. Additionally, Fiji Airways runs direct flights to Suva, the Fiji national capital, from Sydney and Auckland.

But there’s more to Fiji Airways’ network than only flying to Fiji – the airline also flies from Nadi to Honolulu, Los Angeles and San Francisco, which you can book in connection with a flight from Australia or New Zealand, or book as an onward journey after enjoying some Fiji Time.

Fiji Airways also offers flights between Fiji and many other Pacific Island nations, plus Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo (Narita), although the latter are less practical for Australians travelling using points given the number of direct flights available from the same cities Fiji Airways serves.

Booking Fiji Airways flights with Qantas Points: how many points you’ll need

The great thing about Fiji Airways’ partnership with Qantas is that the number of points needed to book a Fiji Airways flight is the same as to book a Qantas flight of the same length – so even though Qantas doesn’t fly to Fiji, the overall rates are more favourable than with many of Qantas’ other partners.

Here’s what you’d need for a one-way ticket in both business class and economy: for a return trip, double these figures:

To/from Fiji (one-way) Business class Economy
Sydney (to Nadi & Suva)
Brisbane
Auckland (to Nadi & Suva)
Christchurch
Wellington
36,000 Qantas Points 18,000 Qantas Points
Melbourne
Adelaide
50,000 Qantas Points 22,500 Qantas Points

Want to fly onwards from Australia/NZ to Los Angeles or San Francisco via Nadi as part of a connecting journey? Here’s how many points you’ll need in total for your booking, provided you spend less than 24 hours on the ground in Fiji in between:

To/from LAX/SFO (one-way) Business class Economy
Sydney
Melbourne
Brisbane
Adelaide
Christchurch
Wellington
96,000 Qantas Points 45,000 Qantas Points
Auckland
84,000 Qantas Points 40,000 Qantas Points

Here’s how that looks for Australia/NZ to Honolulu via Nadi:

To/from Honolulu (one-way) Business class Economy
Sydney
Melbourne
Brisbane
Christchurch
72,000 Qantas Points 35,000 Qantas Points
Adelaide
84,000 Qantas Points 40,000 Qantas Points
Auckland
Wellington
60,000 Qantas Points 28,000 Qantas Points

You may notice that the rates above for travel between Australia and the USA are exactly the same as flying on a non-stop Qantas flight between the two countries – 96,000 Qantas Points for Sydney-Nadi-LAX in business class, for example, which is the same as to book Sydney-LA non-stop with Qantas.

This booking strategy gives you the opportunity to spend a little time in Fiji without burning any extra points, but if you do break your journey in Fiji and spend several days there, you’ll be up for the points for two separate itineraries – Australia to Fiji, and then Fiji to USA.

For reference, here’s how many points are needed to fly between Nadi and the United States, one-way.

From Nadi to (one-way) Business class Economy
Los Angeles
San Francisco
72,000 Qantas Points 35,000 Qantas Points
Honolulu
50,000 Qantas Points 22,500 Qantas Points

So, if you flew from Sydney to Nadi in business class, took a break in Fiji and then flew onward to Los Angeles at a later date, you’d be up for 36,000 Qantas Points (Sydney-Nadi), plus 72,000 Qantas Points (Nadi-LAX), for a total of 108,000 Qantas Points.

If you kept your time in Nadi to under 24 hours instead, you’d only need 96,000 Qantas Points: a saving of 12,000 points.

As with all frequent flyer reward bookings, taxes, fees and surcharges are levied in addition to the points needed and vary from route to route, but they’ll be made known during the booking process.

Booking Fiji Airways flights with Qantas Points: making that booking

Fiji Airways reward flights can be booked via the Qantas website, so there’s no need to call.

Booking non-stop flights is straightforward – as you would for any other frequent flyer booking, key in the route you’d like to take, being sure to select the “Use points – Classic Flight Rewards only” option at the top:

You’ll see your options on the next screen, and on the date we searched, we found availability on both the morning flight and the evening departure:

If you’re flexible on timing, also take note that Fiji Airways uses both Boeing 737s and Airbus A330s on Australian flights, namely to Sydney – the former being fitted with standard reclining business class seats…

… but the latter offering angled-flat beds, which can be more comfortable on evening flights:

AusBT review: Fiji Airways’ Airbus A330 business class

You can see which aircraft type is operating each flight by tapping or hovering your mouse over the flight number:

Once you’ve chosen your flight, just follow the steps to complete your booking.

However, you’ll often need to follow a different process for booking multi-city flights, such as Sydney to San Francisco via Nadi, because Fiji Airways flights rarely appear when searching for journeys between Australia and other destinations.

Here’s the trick: at the beginning of the booking process, instead of plugging in ‘Sydney to San Francisco’, look for the “Multi-City” button instead, and click that to get started:

On the next screen, you can key in each leg separately for a manual search, even if you’re seeking to transit Fiji rather than stop over. Just be sure to choose “Use points – Classic Flight Rewards only”. For example:

At first, you’ll see the flight options available between Sydney and Nadi – select your preferred option for this leg…

… and proceed to the next page, where you’ll see your Nadi-SFO flight options:

At the bottom of the same screen, you’ll see the total number of points needed for your itinerary – in this case, it’s 96,000 for business class, because we’re spending less than 24 hours on the ground in between…

… and on the next screen, you’ll have a chance to double-check your flights before finalising your booking.

Even though a swifter connection was possible than the one we selected – FJ910 from Sydney to Nadi, arriving early evening ahead of the San Francisco flight – choosing that earlier departure on the same day doesn’t require any extra points, but does give you 11 hours on the ground and plenty of sunlight, so you could head into town and relax by the pool or at the beach, before your onward flight later that night.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading