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Seems that I end up whining about these Do Not Disturb signs at least once a year. I still cannot get it why housekeeping at some hotels has such a difficulty honoring them?

Whine Wednesdays Do Not Disturb

The other night, I was staying at the Marriott hotel in Santiago de Chile and this time the violator was not the maid but the housekeeping supervisor herself! [click to continue…]

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A LoyaltyLobby reader dropped me an email last week about prevalent issue that affects quite a few airline FAs among all the alliances that continue to refer to sparkling wine as champagne.

Sparkling (Whine) Wednesdays: Airlines Misrepresenting Sparkling Wine As Champagne A LoyaltyLobby reader dropped me an email last week about prevalent issue that affects quite a few airline FAs among all the alliances that continue to refer sparkling wine as champagne. Some airlines are too cheap to pay for the TAX/VAT and/or duty to serve champagne on the ground as a predeparture beverage (bonded inventory cannot be opened before door is closed) but still continue to call the stuff champagne. Here's the email from the reader: Why do flight attendants continually call it 'Champagne' when the label says nothing of the sort. In the case of the Delta One domestic (transcons) selection it's actually a decent Italian sparkling, but legally it's hardy Champagne. Nor does calling it Champagne help with setting brand expectations. Conclusion This is not just an issue with the US airlines, although some of them tried to have some sparkling wine (Iron Horse – cannot make this one up) stuff even on international business. There is nothing wrong serving sparkling wines, some better than cheapest champagnes, on business class but flight attendants shouldn't continuously misrepresent the product. As far as I can remember from my recent flights, both Iberia and Alitalia serve domestic sparkling wines on their business class. Although LAN (now LATAM) is based in Chile (important wine country), they serve French champagne.

Some airlines are too cheap to pay for the TAX/VAT and/or duty to serve champagne on the ground as a pre-departure beverage (bonded inventory cannot be opened before door is closed) but still continue to call the stuff champagne. [click to continue…]

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This week the Whine Wednesdays visits the premium boarding chaos apparently affecting some European airlines and flights.

Whine Wednesdays Boarding Chaos In Europe

Business class passengers and elite travelers usually board first (some airlines board families with children and wheelchair passengers before others) but it is impossible to get through the hoards of people if you haven’t positioned yourself an hour earlier in case of KLM! [click to continue…]

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This week’s Whine Wednesday is about “fake” Royal Ambassador upgrades at InterContinental branded hotels.

Whine Wednesdays Fake Upgrades

I have now come across two InterContinental hotels that have a special room category that is used “exclusively” for Royal Ambassador upgrades and is not even sold publicly. Perhaps these are just fake categories to fulfill the loyalty program upgrade requirements? [click to continue…]

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Have you ever been a hotel that doesn’t really fit the brand that it says on the outside? This week Whine Wednesdays revisits misbranded hotels.

Misbranded Hotels

When you choose a hotel brand it comes with certain promises and expected level of hardware and service. If I stay at a Holiday Inn Express hotel my expectations are much lower and thus it’s easier to meet compared to a stay at let’s say a Park Hyatt. [click to continue…]

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Today Whine Wednesday is about something that happens to innocent travelers every now and then: Scamming! One of the most notorious scam right now is the Bullet Scam at Manila International Airport.

MNL Bullet ScamThe process is that a piece of ammunition is planted into an innocent passengers carry on baggage around the security checkpoint who is then extorted for money and threatened with arrest. [click to continue…]

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It’s Whine Wednesday again and today we have a look on something that really bothers me when redeeming cash&points awards with many hotel chains: Service charges on award stays and using incorrect exchange rates for the cash portion.

WW Cash And PointsAll the hotel programs designate a certain amount of points for the redemption and then assign a value is US Dollar to it as well which will be converted into local currency for overseas stays. [click to continue…]

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A real pet peeve of mine when traveling in the Asia-Pacific region (especially Japan and Australia/NZ/South Pacific) is the super early check-out time mandated by many hotels, including some chains.

WW Check-Out TimeI encountered it just this week again in New Zealand where both the Crowne Plaza in the City as well as the Holiday Inn by the airport had a firm 11am checkout time. [click to continue…]