Marriott is ramping up their airline checkin stations quickly

marriott hotel
Jun 27 2006

Marriott is ramping up their checkin kiosks from 32 properties now to 150 within two weeks. All Marriott and Renaissance properties are targeted to have the machines by the end of September. The kiosks will have the functionality to print airline boarding passes, a nice feature indeed. Marriott is actually a bit behind the curve on this one, Hilton announced the capability of their kiosks to print boarding passes back in April, but Marriott looks like it will jump ahead of its competitors with the ubiquity of the feature across two of its brands within a few months. This is one of the easy no-brainers of the hotel industry. If done right the cost to set up the machines with internet connectivity and a printer should be low, and it’s a major convenience. But in…

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Politicians railing against the evil airlines

Pago Pago (American Samoa) is served by only one scheduled airline, Hawaiian.. and the Governor of American Samoa wants them to discontinue service.. because they refuse to offer DigE Players on their Pago Pago – Honolulu flights?In fairness, the Governor also complains about “high fares” and fare rules for Pago Pago flights that are more onerous than other Hawaiian Airlines destinations. But somehow I imagine that having the major competitor pull out of the market won’t help to lower fares. Demagoguery, American Samoa style.

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Up to 3000 bonus Starwood points for stays in Asia

Starwood is offering 500 bonus points for the first stay, 1000 for the second, and 1500 for the third at participating properties in Japan, Korea, and Guam from June 20 through August 20, 2006. Registration is required. Participating hotels include:Guam The Westin Resort – Tumon Japan Sheraton Sapporo Hotel – Sapporo The Westin Tokyo – Tokyo Le Meridien Grand Pacific Tokyo – Tokyo Le Meridien Pacific Tokyo – Tokyo Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel – Chiba Yokohama Bay Sheraton Hotel & Towers – Yokohama The Westin Nagoya Castle – Nagoya The Westin Osaka – Osaka The Westin Miyako Hotel Kyoto – Kyoto Kobe Bay Sheraton Hotel & Towers – Kobe The Westin Awaji Island Resort and Conference Center – Hyogo Sheraton Grande Ocean Resort – Miyazaki Korea The Westin Chosun, Busan – Busan Sheraton Grande…

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$149 Room Nights at the Bellagio

Bellagio has probably been surpassed by the Wynn, and it depending on the experience you’re after no Vegas hotel can really offer true luxury. Plus summertime can be brutal in Vegas (I’m still going myself in a few weeks). But if you do plan to go, these rates are pretty good — many weekdays from $149 between June and September.

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Unrelated observations

I’m sitting here in one of my absolute favorite hotels, the Westin Diplomat in Hollywood, Florida. I reviewed it extensively with photos this past September, so I’ll spare most of the details. This isn’t the highest-end property in South Florida — it’s not the Mandarin Oriental Miami or the Ritz-Carlton South Beach, for instance — though it’s more than nice and at a much better price point. What sets it apart is that there is no better property in the world for elite recognition. They upgrade platinums to suites consistently, and have even been known to let Platinum members know in advance when a suite upgrade might not be forthcoming. And those suites are large, with nice bathrooms, and wraparound balconies overlooking the ocean. It’s a very large hotel with nearly 1000 rooms but they…

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Coverage in the Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) runs its Blow Watch column today on film and airlines. View from the Wing gets top billing under travel: Which hotel hands out 1,000 American Airlines frequent-flier miles for each night you stay? And is it really possible to earn a free flight on Delta by drinking Coke? View from the Wing, a blog for airline passengers, solves these riddles and more. (Answers for those above: Hyatt hotels and yes.) Gary Leff’s brief, informative posts point readers to sometimes bewildering mileage promotions. In April, he wrote that fliers could score 25,000 Delta miles for signing up to Earthlink Voice, an Internet phone service. He also posts on how to rack up smaller amounts, like 4,000 United miles for signing up to Netflix, and 200 Northwest miles for taking an…

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Diners Club Updates

I just transferred 25,000 Diners Club Club Rewards points to British Airways, since they’re offering a 50% transfer bonus through the end of August. This let me top off for another international business class award, and will be paired with my last 60,000 Cathay Pacific Asia miles. Looking up the award I had forgotten that Diners Club is also offering a 50% bonus on transfers of Midwest Airlines miles through the end of August. Meanwhile, I still don’t know what will replace the Diners Club Restaurant Savings Program (really ‘iDine Prime’) once it ends July 12. This is a program that keeps losing value. They upped the foreign currency conversion fee, ended two billing cycles to pay, and lost the bulk of their US domestic airline mileage transfer partners. Now the Diners Club is going…

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