Wyndham Hotels Loses Legal Battle With Feds Over Lax Security Practices

Wyndham Hotels Loses Legal Battle With Feds Over Lax Security Practices

If a consumer-facing company, like say a massive hotel chain, touts its dedication to the security of customer information and then does something to repeatedly put that information at risk — like storing unencrypted credit card data on barely secure networks — can they be forced to share some of the blame when hundreds of thousands of credit card numbers are stolen? The hotel chain says that would be blaming the victim, but a federal appeals court has affirmed the Federal Trade Commission’s authority to go after businesses that fail to live up to their security promises. [More]

(Mike Mozart)

Company Fined $750K For Blocking WiFi Hotspots At Convention Centers

In Section 333 of the Communications Act, it states that “No person shall willfully or maliciously interfere with or cause interference” with any licensed or authorized radio communications. But a company that provides Internet service for hotels and convention centers around the country has admitted to deliberately preventing people from using their own, legal hotspots to go online. [More]

Hotel Industry Comes Out Against Merger Of Expedia & Orbitz

Hotel Industry Comes Out Against Merger Of Expedia & Orbitz

You might think of Expedia, Hotels.com, Hotwire, Travelocity, and Trivago as competitors in the online travel-booking business, but most people probably don’t know that all of these brands fall under the Expedia Inc. ownership umbrella. And so will Orbitz if the pending $1.6 billion merger of the two companies is approved. The leading hotel industry trade group says that this consolidation has gone too far. [More]

Don’t Expect An End To Sketchy Hotel Resort Fees Anytime Soon

Don’t Expect An End To Sketchy Hotel Resort Fees Anytime Soon

In 2012, it looked like the Federal Trade Commission might finally be cracking down on hotel “resort fees,” mandatory surcharges added above the listed price of some hotel rooms. At the time, the agency sent warnings to 22 different hotel operators warning them that they weren’t doing enough to disclose these fees, but no legal actions have been taken since, in spite of the fact that some popular tourist destinations are hiding their resort fees until the final payment screen. And judging by the FTC’s latest response to these concerns, you probably shouldn’t expect this to change in the near future. [More]

Airbnb To Get Serious About Attracting Business Travelers

Airbnb To Get Serious About Attracting Business Travelers

In some cities, it’s much less expensive to find a room on Airbnb than it would be to rent out a hotel room. Yet most business travelers still choose to stay in traditional hotels, partly because their employer won’t allow them to or because they think they will have difficulty expensing the rental. After a year of seeing growth in this area, Airbnb is launching an improved experience for business travelers in the hopes of getting some of that sweet expense account money. [More]

(Larry Smith)

Should Hotels Be Required To Include Mandatory “Resort Fees” In Published Room Rates?

In order to minimize surprise when it comes time to pay, airlines in the U.S. now need to include all mandatory fees in their published airfares, but the same isn’t true for hotels. Many destinations now tack on so-called “resort fees” that claim to cover things like access to in-hotel gyms and pools, but which are mandatory for all guests whether you use those amenities or not. Even though these required add-on charges can significantly increase a guest’s total bill, hotels do not have to include the fee in their listed rates. [More]

Supreme Court: L.A. Hotel Owners Can’t Be Forced To Turn Over Guest Info Without A Warrant

Supreme Court: L.A. Hotel Owners Can’t Be Forced To Turn Over Guest Info Without A Warrant

Should the police, without a warrant, be able to walk into a hotel and get the names, addresses, license plate numbers, and other information about any guest who stayed there in the last three months? And should hotel owners face criminal charges if they fail to comply? The City of Los Angeles thinks so, but this morning the Supreme Court disagreed. [More]

(genetic.drift)

Some Marriott Hotels Will Offer Guests Access To Netflix On Room TVs

Because not everyone wants to watch programming on a laptop or tablet while they’re away from home, Marriott Hotels has partnered with Netflix to offer access to the streaming service on room TVs to guests staying at certain Marriott locations. [More]

Beyond the velvet rope? (lolololori)

NYC Hotel Bar: Dress Code Should Not Have Been Enforced Against Navy Officer In Uniform

It’s understandable that some establishments use a dress code to maintain a certain atmosphere, but one New York City hotel is now apologizing after an employee enforced a strict set of clothing rules for the hotel’s popular rooftop bar, reportedly refusing to allow a Navy officer in because she was in uniform. [More]

(Margalit Francus)

Police: Hard Rock Hotel Guest Used Ice Machine As Toilet

The thing about hotel rooms? They contain all the facilities people have at home — a bed for sleeping, a closet for your clothes, a bathroom with a sink, shower and toilet for hygiene maintenance — meaning you don’t need to go looking elsewhere when nature calls. Unfortunately for fellow guests at one Hard Rock Hotel, someone allegedly went rogue in that last area. [More]

Amazon Launches Hotel Booking Business With Local Getaways In Mind

Amazon Launches Hotel Booking Business With Local Getaways In Mind

For those looking to escape the daily grind but perhaps still stick close to home, Amazon is launching a new hotel booking service called Destinations, which seeks to pair locals up with a getaway nearby at select hotels. [More]

(Adam Fagen)

Could A JetBlue Hotel Be Part Of Your Future Travel Plans?

Forget about the Marriott, Hilton or any other number of hotel chains scattered around U.S. airports, the next big name in lodging could be an airline. JetBlue Airways is reportedly in advanced negations to turn a landmark terminal at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport into a hotel. [More]

(Adam Fagen)

The Boutique Hotel You Stayed At Was Probably Owned By A Mega-Hotel Chain

At one time, booking a hotel room for the night meant picking between one of about two dozen or so brands: Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, Best Western, Comfort Inn, just to name a few. Today, consumers have more than 113 brands owned by the 10 largest hotel chains in the U.S. to choose from, and the long list of options doesn’t appear to be shrinking anytime soon. [More]

(CleantheWorld.org)

Someone’s Actually Doing Something Good With Leftover Hotel Soaps

Because no one wants to arrive in their hotel room and find used soap awaiting them in the shower, guests are always given a fresh bar upon checking in. While many of those partially used bars surely end up wasted in the trash, one non-profit group is collecting a bunch of leftover hotel soaps to help people in need. [More]

(WHJG.com)

Florida Hotel Wakes Up Spring Breakers By Blasting ‘Lion King’ Theme Every Morning

There’s more than one way to wake a slumbering college student after a night spent drinking Jell-O shots and vigorously grinding all up on each other in the sweaty ritual booze mess that is known as Spring Break, but blasting loud music from an animated Disney movie is much nicer than getting a firehose involved, I suppose. [More]

(catastrophegirl)

EPA: Vacationing Family “Seriously Exposed” To Toxic Pesticide While Staying In Luxury Condo

When you’re staying in a fancy, luxurious vacation condominium at a Caribbean resort, there’s a certain expectation that your health won’t be seriously threatened. But the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says members of a Delaware family have become seriously ill after their $800-per-night condo at a resort in the U.S Virgin Islands was possibly fumigated using toxic pesticides normally found in industrial farming. [More]

(Adam Fagen)

Hilton HHonors Site Flaw Exposed All Accounts To Potential Hijacking

Following a report of a spike in hijacked accounts, Hilton recently asked its HHonors Awards members to change their passwords — offering them 1,000 bonus points if they did so before April 1. But cybersecurity experts say that hackers didn’t actually need passwords to take control of other folks’ HHonors accounts. [More]

Ritz-Carlton Investigated For Adding Surcharge During Basketball Tournament

Ritz-Carlton Investigated For Adding Surcharge During Basketball Tournament

In late February, the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, the oldest African-American athletic conference in the U.S., held its annual basketball tournament in Charlotte, where visitors to the Ritz-Carlton found that they were being subject to an automatic 15% “CIAA Service” surcharge on their bills at the lobby bar. [More]