Data Shows The Least Popular Hotel Chains In America

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News and notes from around the interweb:

  • IHG Rewards Club has launched Fast Track to Platinum Status through December 2022 after just 5 nights in 90 days from registration.

  • The least popular hotel chain in America, according to data Super 8, followed by Days Inn and then La Quinta. For La Quinta they started with the furnishings – Southwestern was cheapest – and then picked a name to match…

  • American has increased the amount of time scheduled per flight in the past year. Schedules show flights ‘taking longer’ than they did a year ago, even with less air traffic slowing things down.

    American has purposefully run its business that way, keeping block time lower so that it could squeeze more flying out. But now, it has very clearly altered its strategy. Maybe it’s because the airline has more crew and airplanes sitting round, so they don’t need to do it. Or maybe they’re trying to mask operational issues. Regardless of the reason, this seems counterintuitive.

  • Payment processors like Paypal will have to do a whole lot more tax reporting on customers under the stimulus bill we had to pass before we could learning what was in it, for instance did you know states accepting part of their $350 billion in bailout funds are banned from lowering taxes?

    Beginning on January 1, 2022, third party payment processors will have to report any income for goods or services exceeding $600 during the calendar year on a form 1099-K. Previously, processors only had to report this income if it was BOTH: (a) $20,000 or more during the calendar year, and (b) 200 transactions or more. This allowed most smaller stuff (like Topcashback, Ebates, PFS, Swagbucks payments) to go unreported.

  • Online travel agency Kayak is opening a hotel next month, the Kayak Miami Beach. Odd. (HT: One Mile at a Time)

  • Sao Paulo-Guarulhos airport runway struck by lightning, leaves huge hole behind.

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Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Oddly, I’ve had an adequate stay at the LaQuintas that I’ve stayed in. I suppose the bar was low, and it was met.

  2. I actually stayed at a brand new La Quinta a few weeks ago (it was the only game in town). I was pleasantly surprised. Felt similar to a new Holiday Inn Express.

  3. @Gary – Is the tax lowering ban permanent, just this year, or something inbetween? I could see it making sense in not allowing a state to lower its own taxes to offset the federal gain, as the purpose of the funds is ostensibly plugging holes in state and local budgets. FWIW, the rumors I’ve read suggest that the Democrats learned after 2009 that part of the reason for the slow recovery was that government spending took years to get back to pre-recession levels, and that’s a huge factor in their push for plugging those holes this time around. They don’t want to lose another decade of economic growth because they went too small on stimulus.

  4. I used to stay at La Quinta whenever I traveled. Then Wyndham bought it and quality went down.

  5. Somehow you didn’t look at Best Western, which is one of the largest chains. I’m sure that would fight Super 8 and LaQuinta for the “top” spot

  6. @Gary: Did you see the follow-on article about the worst airlines in America? Southwest was ranked best (no surprise), followed by Delta. In the middle were Allegiant, Hawaiian and Spirit, surprisingly (at least to me) edging out Jet Blue and Frontier. At the bottom of the barrel was American, with United just slightly above it.

  7. And on the origin of the provision

    “Democrats slipped the new language into the legislation last week after several senators from the party’s moderate wing expressed concern that some states would seize on the opportunity to use emergency relief money to subsidize tax cuts. They worked with Senator Chuck Schumer, the majority leader, on language for the amendment, according to a Democratic Senate aide.

    Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, explained why he pushed for the language in a briefing this week, arguing that states should not be cutting taxes at a time when they need more money to combat the virus. He urged states to postpone their plans to cut taxes.

    “How in the world would you cut your revenue during a pandemic and still need dollars?” Mr. Manchin said.”

    Interesting constitutional question is whether under NFIB v. Sebelius the amounts some states stand to lose if they do not adopt Congress’ preferred tax policy is so great as to be commandeering the state legislature, my home state of Texas for instance would lose out on $16.5 billion against a $100 billion budget and the Court seemed to suggest that putting 10% of budget in jeopardy constituted

    “The threatened loss of over 10 percent of a State’s overall budget, in contrast, is economic dragooning that leaves the States with no real option but to acquiesce in the Medicaid expansion.”

    The explanation for why this is constitutionally problematic,

    “Spending Clause programs do not pose this danger when a State has a legitimate choice whether to accept the federal conditions in exchange for federal funds. In such a situation, state officials can fairly be held politically accountable for choosing to accept or refuse the federal offer. But when the State has no choice, the Federal Government can achieve its objectives without accountability, just as in New York and Printz. Indeed, this danger is heightened when Congress acts under the Spending Clause, because Congress can use that power to implement federal policy it could not impose directly under its enumerated powers.”

  8. I stayed at LaQuintas many time pre-merger and never had a problem. There no-fee pet policy was great. They were usually new and clean.

    I then stayed at the one at Phoenix Sky Harbor and it was a disaster.

    Where is Quality Inn and Econo Lodges on the list…


  9. @Alan Waite — I’ve seen MANY of those new La Quintas in the past year — they seem to be building them like crazy, and they do look nice (I haven’t yet stayed in one, largely because I’m not very active in the Wyndham Rewards program). I’ll have to book one sometime just out of curiosity.

    As far as the overall survey goes, I wouldn’t put much faith in it. Both Hyatt Houses and Homewood Suites scored low and, if you’ve ever stayed in one of these properties or noticed the tripadvisor/google reviews, these extended stay hotels tend to be decent and well liked. I would always pick a Homewood over a Hampton everything else being equal.

  10. Still no breakfast or even a cup of BREWED coffee for IHG members?
    When are they going to fit into the game?

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