A year ago, low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines made its debut in the American Customer Satisfaction Index with a thud, coming in dead last among airlines in the annual survey. But even with a 15% improvement over last year’s score, Spirit still couldn’t escape the cellar. [More]
Soon, every time you step out of the shower and onto a bath mat to towel off at a Marriott hotel in the U.S., all that fabric you touch will have been made in America. The hotel company says it’s the first in the hospitality industry to move to exclusively U.S.- made towels and bath mats in all its 3,000 U.S. locations. [More]
Just like airlines, hotels charge customers an array of fees for everything from WiFi access, minibar usage, premium coffee, and other little extras. Instead of surprising guests with these costs when they check in (or, even worse, when they go to pay their bill at checkout), one hotel company is experimenting with packages of add-ons that customers can select when they check in. [More]
Two months ago, reports from banks indicated that there may have been a credit card breach from the payment systems in on-site stores, coffee shops, and restaurants in Hilton-owned hotels. Reservation and payment systems for hotel rooms were not affected. Hilton confirmed the breach late yesterday, warning customers who had used payment cards to check their statements. [More]
Another company is learning about the fine points of Section 333 of the Communications Act, which prohibits willful interference with any licensed or authorized radio communications. This time, it’s the folks who provided the Baltimore Convention Center’s in-house WiFi service who were caught by the FCC trying to block individual WiFi hotspot users from going online. Meanwhile, Hilton is also being slapped with a proposed fine for its failure to comply with an investigation into its alleged hotspot blocking. [More]
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]
Hotel wifi really sucks sometimes: it can be expensive, insecure, and slow all at once. When there’s a convention in town, the network’s so overloaded you can’t connect at all. So travelers bring their own mobile hotspots. It’s a win for the consumer, but not for the hotel that suddenly loses the ability to charge you more fees. And that’s the core issue behind a regulatory fight that has hotels and tech firms arguing over what consumers are allowed to do.
Consumers used to having the ability to make hotel cancellations the day of arrival for free had better get their wallets out next time they try to do so at Hilton or Marriott hotels. The two chains are apparently taking a lesson from the airline industry and implementing a fee for last-minute reservation cancellations. [More]
While we hear almost daily reports of retailers having their payment systems hacked and customer records stolen, it looks like cybercriminals are increasingly realizing they can turn a profit by stealing assets many consumers treat as an afterthought — loyalty rewards. [More]
For years, some have accused America’s largest hotel chains of colluding with travel booking sites like Travelocity, Expedia, Orbitz, and Priceline to make sure that the room rates offered to consumers on these sites are the same. This practice, claimed plaintiffs in various lawsuits, effectively allowed the hotel chains to determine their own prices and kept the booking sites from competing against each other; meaning consumers could be paying more than they should. But a U.S. District Court judge feels differently. [More]
The crime wave carrying off the world’s comfort food by the truckload is only continuing and escalating. From maple syrup in Québec and Maine to Nutella in Germany and soup in Florida, criminals are carrying off many of our tastiest and most comforting foods. Now, criminals in New Jersey have made off with an entire refrigerated shipping container of hamburger patties. Not the burgers!
Many hotels have rather strict cancellation policies, which is understandable since it’s bad for business if people book rooms and then fail to show up. What’s not so understandable is a hotel that decides it has a strict cancellation policy after it’s allowed a guest to cancel and provided her with a cancellation number. [More]
A class-action lawsuit filed yesterday in a U.S. District Court in California alleges that the biggest names in online travel — Priceline, Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Hotels.com — and some of the world’s largest hotel chains — Hilton, Starwood, Marriott, Intercontinental, among others — conspired together so that the “best price guarantee” you often see when booking a room online is in actuality just a number set by the hotel operators.
A man has decided to turn a minor annoyance, getting a newspaper at your hotel room door and getting charged for it, into a class action lawsuit.
No person in their right mind should ever long for the ’70s. In case, they do, however, we offer as counter-argument this incredibly weird Hilton ad, which features a magician, a Scott Bakula impersonator, and a bunch of hotel maids dressed in what later became the Munchkin costumes for a community theater production of “The Wizard of Oz.”
Due to the nature of Craig’s work, he spends about half of his nights sleeping in hotels. If you’re a hotel chain, he’s the kind of customer you would want to work hard to keep. However, Hilton doesn’t think so: since his work didn’t bring him near any Hilton properties in the last year, they canceled his rewards account and purged all 323,000 of his HHonors points.
Older stairwells were apparently not designed to handle the massive boxsprings that come with today’s double beds. When Sarah ordered a mattress set from Hampton Inn, she didn’t realize this, and ran up against a no-return policy and an inexplicable $500 markup for a split boxspring.