Andaz New York #1 for 2010?...Canada fails consumers...Jim's deals of the day
I've heard of the New Year's baby. But apparently there's a bit of a contest to be the first hotel to open in New York in the New Year.
Andaz Wall Street makes its Big Apple debut January 11 and they say they think they'll be the first new guy in town for 2010. In a press release, officials said they "can't wait for the artisanal Gimme! Coffee and complimentary mini-bars, wireless internet, local calls, and wine on arrival. It’s the little things, isn’t it?"
Quite often it IS the little things, like a well-placed power outlet with lots of places to plug in your laptop and iPod and cellphone. Or nicer shampoo than the chains. But it's also often the big things, too; a nice lobby, quiet rooms, a nice, new, king-size bed or a shower head like the one Kramer loved in a favourite Seinfeld episode. My wife tells me she was at a Residence Inn near Cleveland recently (lucky her, eh?) and that when she walked into the lobby there was a large refrigerator where you could grab a cold beer or three and take them to your room, as well as a place to buy frozen, microwave dinners. Not quite Wolfgang Puck or Mark McEwan, but if it's late at night and you're a businesswoman or man and don't feel like dragging yourself out to the nearest Chili's or TGIF's it sounds pretty darn good.
Wait a minute, did I hear "complimentary mini-bar" at the Andaz? Suddenly I feel the need for a trip to New York on Jan. 11
CANADA NOT FOLLOWING U.S. LEADERSHIP
You might have read in this space yesterday how the U.S. is bringing in legislation that would force airlines to let people off a plane if they're stranded on a tarmac for more than three hours. Seems perfectly sensible. Especially since the rules will include exemptions for security, safety or "certain airport operating situations," according to a report from Reuters.
That sounds perfectly fair. We know airlines sometimes get screwed, and pardon my Belgian, by weather or airport issues beyond their control. This legislation takes that into account. But of course the folks in Ottawa don't appear likely to stand up to their good buddies in the airline industry, the same buddies that they speak to on a regular basis whenever there's anything the industry might not like.
The head of the Canadian Airlines Council of Canada told the Globe and Mail there's no push for similar legislation north of the border.
"It seems rather arbitrary," said George Petsikas, the president of the CACC. "Is this the right way to respond to the problem? I think we have to be a little more flexible. There is no discretion given to the pilot and flight crew."
Petsikas said the CACC's members have made a commitment to letting passengers off a stranded airliner after a 90-minute delay, subject to the approval of the pilot and flight crew and circumstances permitting, he said.
Good. But not good enough. It's time the elected Tory government put the interest of consumers (you know, VOTERS) ahead of big business. Not that we'd expect that sort of thing from PM Stephen Harper.
JIM'S DEALS OF THE DAY