Bad reviews net nicer hotels
Negative online reviews may have helped push U.S. hotel owners to invest a record $6.4 billion to upgrade their properties last year. Online complaints motivated owners to invest in carpet, high-speed Internet and remodeled lobbies, among other improvements, according to a report from New York University.
Los Angeles Times
Airline loses its CEO's bags
Alaska Airlines Chief Executive Bradley Tilden was visibly embarrassed when he attended an airline summit last week in Washington, D.C., and admitted on stage that Alaska Airlines misplaced his bag during his flight. The bag was delivered to him the next day. Tilden did not say whether he got a $25 credit or 2,500 miles. Los Angeles Times
JetBlue going farm-to-tray table
JetBlue Airways is opening its own "farm" at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. But the 24,000-square-foot space outside JFK's Terminal 5 is meant to educate travelers more than actually feed them. Eventually JetBlue would like to serve items grown there in terminal restaurants and even make some blue potato Terra Chips that are served on flights. Airports are concerned about anything that would attract wildlife, which means no tomatoes, corn, berries, seeds or sunflowers. So instead, JetBlue is focusing on potatoes, chives, basil and carrots. Jared Simon, senior director of marketing for the company, says right now they are growing Adirondack blue potatoes at JFK to raise awareness of farming. "Most people have probably not been to a potato farm," Simon said. "It's really about the education. There's such a desire from consumers to connect what they are eating with where it is from."
Deal of the week
Norway cruise comes with free hotel, upgrades
Hurtigruten is offering a free pre-cruise hotel stay and transfers on its six-day Southbound Coastal Voyage in Norway. The cruise from Kirkenes to Bergen starts at $872 per person double for an inside cabin (down from $1,759) and from $1,071 for an outside cabin, including taxes and port fees. Price includes transfers; one night at the Thon Hotel Kirkenes (or similar lodging) with breakfast; all onboard meals; entrance to the Hurtigruten Museum; and gratuities. Also receive a free upgrade to an outside cabin on select dates in October, November and December. Use promo code US15KKNPRESUMMER. Valid through Dec. 31. Info: 1-844-226-9848, hurtigruten.com/us.
It's time to book holiday flights
Haven't booked your winter holiday flights yet? Get to it. Fares can be expensive for travel during Christmas and New Year's, but if you're flexible, you can find deals. For the best deal, consider flying on the actual holiday: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Eve. Other days to try are Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the time when most kids are out of school on holiday break. This year, most students will have their final day of classes on Dec. 18 and return to school Jan. 4. Try to avoid travel on Saturdays and Sundays from December through Jan. 3, because in most cases, fares will be higher. One of the most expensive days to travel is Jan. 3, so steer clear if you can.
Dallas Morning News