[Roundup] Hotels Figuring Out How To Bring Back Buffets

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • Will Southwest Airlines Lose That Lovin’ Feelin’? Texas Monthly, I argue no.

  • Marriott’s data breach fine reduced by 80%

    Between April 2015 and May 2016, the attackers quietly created database dumps “with a view to exfiltrating all the data contained” at once, as the ICO summarised it. They finally tripped an alarm in September 2018, four years after first entry, after running a count on a table named “Guest_Master_profile” containing card data, which flagged up on the IBM Guardium product that was deployed to highlight up any suspicious database operations.

    Accenture, which was monitoring Guardium, told Marriott what it had seen. The resulting probe revealed that Accenture staffers’ own credentials had been compromised in July 2018 and were being used by the attackers.

    By October 2018, Marriott had also realised that a separate group of attackers had managed to deploy in-memory malware across payment terminals at eight hotels the ICO declined to identify beyond saying they were not located in the European Economic Area, therefore falling outside its regulatory remit.

  • All items covered. Buffets aren’t gone in the Covid era.

  • SkyWest, regional carrier for the major airlines, announced it is earning a profit. It received $438 million in payroll support from the CARES Act, and would receive even more subsidies in another payroll bailout. Why?

  • Why airlines are rolling back middle seat blocking And by the way adding flights as customers buy up all the seats on a capped flight is more expensive without the federal government picking up payroll. In the long run of course airlines can’t make money selling only two thirds of their seats.

    “When no one is flying, and airlines aren’t hitting the sales cap anyway, they can promote blocked middle seats easily…But as travel slowly recovers, there are more and more flights on which it costs airlines real money in lost sales.

About Gary Leff

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. Buffets will come back when people finally stop thinking that touch surfaces are a substantial risk for spreading coronavirus.

    Its like we have to take back all of the advice that came out in March. Wash hands, of course, but stop fetishizing over it. And control the virus at its entry and exit points – mostly the mouth and nose, not tongs at a buffet.

  2. You can learn a lot about a person by the way they behave at buffets. Many people are bereft of the manners/protocols that make the buffet safe/enjoyable for others: they pick up items with their fingers ( sometimes putting them back), touch their faces, lick their fingers, eat/drink standing at the buffet with crumbs and dribbles flying, talk on phones while getting food.
    All manner of grossness. I wouldn’t be confident that these offenders ( most of whom are male, millennial, look-at-me types) will change…after all, their compliance with masks/social distancing has been questionable if not lamentable.

  3. At the Marriott Al Forsan, in Abu Dhabi, the breakfast buffet was back in full when I visited in September. But it was NOT self-service. Rather, all stations were staffed, and the staff would assemble your plate for you. It worked quite well. And maybe it led to less consumption, as I may have been too embarrassed to return for another round of pastries!

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