You Should Decline a Suite Upgrade When… Plus Discounts, Free Miles, and Great Food

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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. Yeah, and why no US cities on the street food list? SFO, AUS, and NYC all come to mind…

  2. @Gary, Gene:

    I don’t think there’s any debate that New York and maybe Austin meet or exceed Portland in overall quality of dining experience.

    However, Portland has way more street food options than either cities. Not only does Portland have a higher number of food carts/trucks than either city, the quality and inventiveness in Portland significantly tops either Austin or New York (I’ve spent significant time in all three cities and I find this to be fair). You can take a look here:

    So in the street food-only aspect of dining, I think including Portland but not Austin or New York is justifiable.

  3. The USA equivalent of the India Hotel Luxury Tax is the tax you sometimes have to pay in some states when you use a coupon. Like I’ve used $50 certificates and been charged tax on the $50 I didn’t actually spend. Heck, I’ve used grocery coupons and been taxed on the dollar I didn’t pay. Seems logical that taxes should be calculated on what you’ve actually paid, but maybe this isn’t so logical for the taxing authorities. 🙂

  4. Gary you should have this version of this post on the previous page instead of having to click through. It is already a summary. The summary on the main page is just one sentence.

  5. @ iahphx – that’s an interesting point, that I haven’t thought much about. I’ve never noticed it when I used a certificate – those must be treated as gift cards. When you’re at a grocery store, you pay tax on manufacturer’s coupons, but not store coupons. Man coupons are a rebate to you, the store is actually selling it at a higher price, but store coupons are really just a more complicated discount.
    Even though I feel like this makes perfect sense to me, since I am so used to it, it does sound pretty similar to the hotel tax scam in India (I still think it’s a scam). That would really put me off staying at a hotel there, unless it was on points. It’s not just that you should turn down an upgrade, you would still be paying tax on the rack rate, even if you actually got a nice discounted rate.

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