HOTELS SPENDING BIG ON UPGRADES
In the wake of the economic crisis, struggling hotels across the country put off most upgrades and expansions, such as installing new carpeting, buying bigger television sets and renovating lobbies.
But with the economy rebounding, the nation’s hotels are expected to spend a record $6 billion this year, a 7 percent increase from 2013, according to a New York University study.
Hotel guests can expect the extra spending to go toward faster Internet speeds, new irons and coffee makers, redesigned lobbies, improved work spaces in rooms, larger and newer flat-screen televisions, improved fitness centers and “reconceptionalized restaurants,” the study said.
DATA BREACHES WORRY TRAVELERS
Following news that hackers stole credit card information from Target and Home Depot shoppers, it should be no surprise that frequent travelers worry that airlines and hotels may not be doing enough to secure their personal information.
Only 33 percent of frequent travelers believe their loyalty rewards information — credit card numbers, reward account data and travel itinerary — is secure with airlines and hotels, according to a survey of more than 1,000 frequent travelers.
The survey comes at a time when airlines and hotels are pushing hard to personalize their service, such as offering travel packages based on previous bookings. But the survey found that frequent travelers are nervous about the security of that information.
Most of the travelers surveyed (76 percent) said they worry about losing credit card numbers because of an online security breach and 15 percent fear losing loyalty points, according to the survey by Deloitte & Touche.
LAWMAKERS SUPPORT CELLPHONE BAN
If passengers can divert a commercial plane by feuding over reclining seats, imagine the squabbles that would erupt if fliers were allowed to make loud telephone calls while crammed together in an airline cabin.
That was one of the arguments more than 75 members of Congress made in a letter to the Federal Communications Commission and other federal regulators, urging the government to continue to ban voice calls on commercial flights.
The FCC took the first step toward allowing cellphone calls on planes in December when it began to consider adopting a rule to reverse its long-held ban on in-flight calls. The FCC finished accepting public comments on the proposed rule in February but has yet to schedule further hearings.
Even if the FCC adopts the proposed rule, each airline would have the choice to install the technology needed to allow cellphone calls that do not interrupt cellphone communications on the ground.
For the first time in more than two years, MIA will have domestic low-cost service when Denver-based Frontier Airlines sets up shop in December. The carrier, will launch nonstop flights from Miami to Denver, New York’s LaGuardia and Philadelphia starting Dec. 20 and Chicago O’Hare on March 2.
Spirit Airlines said it will begin daily service between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Cleveland Hopkins International Airport on Feb. 5.