Meetings & Conventions: Planner's Portfolio September
By Sarah J.F. Braley
TRACKING MILES AND BAGGAGE
How to manage multiple mileage programs...Luggage shipping
Miles to go. Most business travelers are expected to take the
lowest fare, rather than choose their preferred airline or hotel.
Thus, they accumulate frequent-flyer miles for several carriers and
multiple hotel companies, not to mention credit-card points. How to
handle all of the bonuses?
Two pay services help travelers keep track of their virtual
earnings. Mileage Miner from MaxMiles (www.maxmiles.com)
automatically updates all account balances from airlines, hotels
and credit cards; analyzes current reward offers; searches for
missing credits; keeps track of expiration dates; and sends out
e-mail reports, which are also available online. The service is
offered free for a three-month trial period, after which it costs
$29.95 a year.
MileageManager (www.mileagemanager.com) is a less expensive option, at
$14.95 a year. Its offerings are similar to MileageMiner and
include automatic e-mail notifications about expiring miles or
award levels achieved.
To learn all you would want to know about various frequent-flyer
programs, visit WebFlyer (www.webflyer.com). The site has program news, reviews,
deals and links to all the major points programs, including
redemption services like ClickRewards (www.clickrewards.com).
FrequentFlier.com (www.frequentflier.com) houses a wealth of
information on how to choose a mileage program, how to enroll and
how to maximize your miles. The site also has a section on
credit-card points as well as an e-mail newsletter called the
To combine your miles and use them as partial payment for goods
and services online, check into MilePoint (www.milepoint.com). The
site’s partners include Continental, Delta and Northwest airlines,
American Express, Hilton and Marriott. Miles can be used for online
purchases at such sites as Amazon and Sky Mall.
Baggage burden. For travelers who need to
adhere to a stringent timetable, the convenience of carrying
luggage aboard can be outweighed by time-consuming luggage
screening. To resolve the dilemma, a number of travel suppliers
have partnered with shipping services to save hassle time for
Seabourn Cruise Line has paired with DHL Worldwide to create
Personal Valet luggage shipping. Guests’ baggage is picked up at
their homes and delivered to their suite aboard the ship.
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has teamed with Universal Express
Inc.’s Virtual Bellhop service. Fairmont guests call (800) 766-8535
to schedule a pickup for next-day or two-day delivery. Members of
the hotel company’s frequent-stay program, Fairmont President’s
Club, receive discounts of 10 to 20 percent.
Risk-taking gender. Think men are more
adventurous than women? Think again. According to the 2002
Yesawich, Pepperdine & Brown/Yankelovich Partners National
Travel Monitor, more women than men prefer new, different and
varied vacation experiences.
When asked what they were looking for in a leisure travel
experience, 86 percent of women chose “a place I have never visited
before,” compared with 77 percent of the men. More women also chose
“learning a new skill or activity” (43 percent to 30 percent) and,
strangely perhaps, “being able to gamble” (27 percent to 22
percent). Women also were more likely to look for the spa
experience (34 percent to 28 percent).
Fewer bumps. The U.S. Department of
Transportation reports that the 10 largest U.S. airlines have
reduced the number of people bumped from flights this year. During
the second quarter, .65 people were bumped per 10,000 passengers,
compared with .80 for the first quarter of the year and .88 for the
second quarter of 2001. The 10 airlines are Alaska, American,
American Eagle, America West, Continental, Delta, Northwest,
Southwest, United and US Airways.
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