Choosing rewards program over spouse: not nice...WestJet expansin closer
Crazy item the other day in a press release from the Starwood hotel group.
They surveyed 9,900 global travelers about all sorts and came out with a finding that travel types are definitely married to thier frequent traveler programs. In fact, and this is pretty sad, they asked folks what they would take with them on the road if they could only take one item. The winning answer, with 73 per cent, was their benefits in a hotel loyalty/rewards program. Taking their spouse or partner only got 15 per cent of the vote, and taking their luggage got just 11 per cent. Well, I guess you can buy new clothes when you land in New York. And, yeah, I guess you could buy yourself some companionship, too. Although I don't recall seeing "escorts" in the miscellaneous category of things I can buy with my airline points. It would make for a colourful brochure, however, so maybe it's something Aeroplan could try...
I love hotel and reward points. At least I thought I did. But taking your points program over your spouse? I mean, isn't that why most of us collect points? So that we can bring our loved ones with us on a trip? Geez, folks. It's nearly Valentine's Day, and you answer a question like this?
I keep thinking maybe it's a joke, but I don't know - people are pretty sick these days.
The survey had some other good bits. Forty five per cent of respondents said they would pretend it was their honeymoon to try to get an upgraded hotel room or airplane seat. Twenty five per cent said they'd pretend they had a family emergency, and 20 per cent would pretend to be someone important. Twenty per cent? We ALL pretend to be someone important, don't we?
Another fun item found that 74 per cent of respondents said they'd take an extra trip to rack up miles or status in a loyalty program. Makes sense. Seventy three per cent of folks said they've taken extra business trips soley to add miles or status in a loyalty program.
Sportswriters are some of the worst at this sort of thing. And sports types in general. They're often called "Marriott whores" as Marriott used to - and maybe still does, I'm not sure - give substantial discounts to members of the Baseball Writers or Golf Writers of America, etc... Back in the 1980s, when the only Marriott in Toronto was out at the airport (hard to believe), there were major league baseball scouts who would stay out in Malton and drive down to Exhibition Stadium for ballgames just so they could stay at the Marriott and earn points.
That's not a bad thing if you're hoarding the points to take your wife on a trip to say, "Sorry I was away nine months of the year and left you with three kids during the coldest winter on record." But if you're just keeping them for yourself or simply because of the thrill of collecting points like George Clooney in "Up In the Air," that's pretty sad.
WEST JET REGIONAL AIRLINE A STEP CLOSER
WestJet officials will spend the next few months looking over planes, although it's suspected that right now they're leaning towards Bombardier. They've said they'll be buying 40 regional planes, all from the same company.
It'll take maybe another year before we see planes in the sky. But the new airline is likely to benefit smaller cities such as Sarnia and Kamloops, B.C.