Hotels by Wyndham
Wyndham Hotel Group is bringing its economy and midscale brands together with one of the largest name changes in the history of the hospitality industry. At least a dozen brands will add the “by Wyndham” suffix to their names in a move aimed at uniting hoteliers under a common mission and improving brand awareness. The 12 brands include Super 8, Days Inn, Howard Johnson, Travelodge, AmericInn, Baymont and Ramada. The Wingate, Microtel, Hawthorn Suites and TRYP brands already feature the “by Wyndham” tag. In total, 7,074 properties worldwide will undergo the name change. The new brand names and logos were introduced April 16 across Wyndham’s digital placements, including brand websites, mobile sites and third-party listings.
A ship-shape bargain
Cunard has launched a Spring Sales Event for bookings made by April 30. The promotion applies to select sailings in 2018 and 2019. For example, the transatlantic cruise on the Queen Mary 2 departing New York for Southampton, England, on June 10 starts at $1,399 per person double for an inside cabin. Add $77 in port charges. Also, book a Princess Grill or Queens Grill suite and receive complimentary drinks and paid gratuities. Info: 1-800-728-6273; cunard.com/cruise-deals/sale.
FAA orders inspections
The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered inspections on engine fan blades like the one that snapped off a Southwest Airlines plane, leading to the death of a passenger. The announcement comes nearly a year after the engine’s manufacturer recommended the additional inspections on many Boeing 737s. An engine on a Southwest plane blew apart on Tuesday, showering the aircraft with debris and shattering a window. A woman sitting next to the window was partially blown out and died of her injuries. The incident broke a string of eight straight years without a fatal accident involving a U.S. airliner.
Don’t name your own price
Priceline has eliminated its Name Your Own Price feature for rental cars, after 20 years of service. The tool joins Name Your Own Price flights, which the travel site jettisoned in 2016. As a replacement, Priceline is touting its Express Deals. Whereas NYOP kept you in the dark about the rental company until after you committed, travelers will know a few details about their purchase in advance, such as price, car type and a list of possible rental car brands. The company said the savings are comparable — up to 40 percent off. Priceline is still operating Name Your Own Price for hotels.
Keeping tabs on rewards
Credit card companies keep upping their travel-reward offerings to lure new customers. MagnifyMoney.com has a new study that shows the average number of points given in introductory offers is slightly higher than 40,000 in 2018 — more than double what was given 10 years ago. But annual fees charged for many cards are also on the rise. In 2008, the average fee was $74. Now it’s $120. Hotel-branded cards tend to offer more points than airline-branded, but the redemption value per point tends to be lower. In 2018, the average introductory bonus for hotel cards is 60,000, while airline cards’ offers average slightly more than 37,000.