The End Of Free Drinks In Las Vegas and China Is Paying People To Admit They Have Coronavirus

News notes from around the interweb:

  • The end of Las Vegas as we know it.

  • American Airlines flight attendants are unhappy with profit sharing payouts that are far below what their counterparts at Delta and Southwest receive and have made up bag tags to get out their message. These bag tags appear to me to violate section 8 of the new uniform and image standards in effect come March 2 when the airline launches its new uniforms.

    I fully expect that flight attendants will get in their new contract what mechanics received, sharing of 10% of the first $2.5 billion in profits and 20% after that. The problem is that American Airlines isn’t as profitable as competitors.

  • China paying people with coronavirus to go to the hospital – or to turn in people who are sick.

    According to an official Fangxian County notice, anyone who is sick and reports themselves to a hospital can expect to be paid.

    Patients who have a fever and turn themselves in will receive 1,000 yuan ($142).

    But officials and other interested parties are also being offered cash incentives if they catch anyone with a fever. For each person with a fever who is reported by an official or citizen, there is a reward of 500 yuan ($71).

  • At New York JFK the ‘runway’ is a fashion show

  • Most of these travel tips I agree with. Uber to the airport so you can work in the back seat. Get your dry cleaner to fold your shirts instead of putting them on a hanger, much better for packing. Don’t worry too much about wrinkling pants and jacket. Travel light, take non-stop flights, and earn elite status. And if you’ve never missed a flight you’re spending too much time in airports.

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, 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. Gary,

    Note that the end of “free drinks” (at least according to VV) is simply a move to drinks requiring a certain amount of coin in/table play before a comp drink is available. This is similar to how most VP comp drinks are given.

  2. End of free drinks…… Shouldn’t my $42+ resort fee include at least one tropical (watered-down, non-premium, all-mixer, ) drink? 🙁

  3. Vegas lost me after the 2008 financial/real estate collapse. I visited during that and instead of being welcomed for giving them business, it felt like I was being constantly harassed to give more. From cab drivers trying to take you for a ride, to people working in the casino, it just felt like hands were constantly out asking for me. I’ve been back once in 2011 during a road trip.

    I’m not much of a drinker so charging for drinks does not bother me but it is just another way to squeeze money out of the customer (resort fees, parking fees, charging for drinks, etc.). I’ll look forward to the next downturn in the economy.

  4. Profit sharing is tough to ramp up when 1)the competition is already so far ahead and 2)the local company culture is suffering so much. It’ll take years of concerted effort from both the company and from the employees to turn the AA ship around, years before any real benefit is seen in wallets. And we’ve already seen the misguided attempts to appease AA employees, the non-solicited raise several years ago did absolutely nothing. AA’s leadership and board need a major overhaul if AA hopes to right the ship.

  5. As someone that goes to Las Vegas 3-4 times a year and has probably 20 other casino trips I believe HanShotFirst is exactly right. For table game players and others expect drinks to flow. Slots have cut back on cocktail servers for years. Also could do like Trop in AC and have a light that shows when a drink can be ordered on a slot after a certain amount it f coin is played.

    Trust me casinos LOVE to give free drinks (if you are gambling for at least reasonable stakes) and in states where they don’t it is because of state laws prohibiting it – not the casinos. Drunk people gamble more, make more mistakes and generate a lot more income than the drinks cost.

    Also frankly I would take the word of a cocktail server on anything since all they hear is rumors. Let’s see if this actually happens and, if so, how it is implemented.

  6. Really simple. They’ll try to kill free drinks and then they’ll do the math. Did the rake from the slots drop when drinks got charged? Then expect them back. If not then they’ll keep doing it. They only do things if they can. They tried stopping smoking. See how that worked out.

  7. I know with video poker at the bars in vegas the bartenders only serve people who are continuously playing. I don’t know how many people sitting at slot machines are interested in free drinks. Seems like a lot of those people are zombies that will sit there all day playing slots regardless.

  8. Vegas really seems intent on killing off business through the death by a thousand cuts approach. Sure, not every player is profitable, but neither is every credit card customer. If the casino makes things sufficiently unenticing, they’re getting rid of the good with the bad. I already have cut down my work visits from annually a decade ago to once every few years. Meanwhile, comps are normally between tough and grueling to get rather than generous, where generous actually drives business. See Alaska Air frequent flyer program as an example. Then there’s removing free parking, substantially increased overall prices, ever worsening traffic, extortionate resort fees, and new higher taxes to pay for the football stadium that less than 1% of the visitors will attend. Individually, one of these is just an annoyance. Put together, it’s trying awfully hard to kill the golden goose. Long gone are the days when you could only gamble in the US in Nevada or Atlantic City. The irony is that with more competition, Las Vegas is continually destroying value for the people they purport to attract.

  9. The purpose of free drinks in casinos is to get you into a condition where you start gambling stupid and lose all your money. Free drinks should be advantageous to the casino.

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