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Below are 16 journal entries, after skipping by the 20 most recent ones recorded in The Corporate nomads of the world's LiveJournal:

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Saturday, May 7th, 2005
9:08 pm
[readherring]
Some thoughts on hotel elite memberships
This year, I'm platinum level on 3 hotel chains: Holiday Inn, Marriott, & Hilton.

Of the three, Holiday Inn gives away the best junk. I recently cashed in some points for my new iPod. Holiday Inn has also provided me with a mountain bike, a Bose[R] Wave Radio[TM], and a sleeping bag.*** Marriott and Hilton points are mainly tradable for hotel stays. Which is a bit like having a plate of free hot dogs be the grand prize for a hot dog eating contest.

Other than the 'giving of free crap', I haven't found much difference between platinum plans. They all give occasional upgrades to rooms. For the mid-range hotels that I stay at, this usually means that my upgraded room has the added convenience of a telephone in my bathroom. I think Hilton might be slightly better with the upgrades. I'm not sure - I'll have to be more diligent in counting phones in the future.

Marriott is good about giving me a free gift for each stay. This 'gift' consists of a bottle of spring water and a snack. Approximately 80% of the time, the snack is 2 Milano[TM] cookies. I usually tell the desk staff to give the cookies to housekeeping. I'm expensing all of my meals anyway, and it's tough enough to stick to a diet on the road. If Marriott really wanted to make a business traveler's day, they'd make their platinum gift a bottle of water and a phony $30 dinner receipt. Oh, yeah - I'd be up for that.

Anyone else have any observations on hotel elite plans they'd like to add - good, bad, or indifferent?


---------
*** Not terribly forward thinking of Holiday Inn to give out sleeping bags, I'm afraid. I mean, why would I need to stay in a hotel now that I've got a sleeping bag?
Thursday, May 5th, 2005
10:53 pm
[tassie_gal]
More signs you travel too much....
  1. You know every cell black spot on every main highway in the state.
  2. You know how long said black spots last.
  3. You get excited by the fact you awill be staying in a REAL hotel when you go overseas on holiday...
  4. that hotel is only a 4 star.
  5. not near any major shops.
  6. You know the relative prices of every major hotel chain in the state, and can speak confidently on their major properties
  7. You get excited by the fact your mileage allowance went up, and that means you can justify decent gas again.
  8. You dont blink when you get caught by a speed camera
  9. You cant remember which residence your car is registerd at.
  10. Driving 200kms round trip for  6 samples doesnt faze you in the slightest.
Tuesday, April 19th, 2005
8:13 pm
[readherring]
A snoring emergency
Man, there's always new experiences on the road. Monday night at a Marriott Courtyard, I tried to jack into the internet. Unfortunately, this downtown Courtyard was without DSL or WIFI, so I had to dust off the old modem port. There was a little difficulty connecting, but I eventually got on. Then the phone's line 2 rang. It was the front desk - they wanted to know why I called 9-1-1. I automatically apologized for my laptop.

Crap. Stupid modem line. I decided that checking my e-mail wasn't worth a fireman's axe through my door, so I unplugged and went to bed. At about 2:45 AM, I almost awoke, dimly aware that the phone was ringing again. Sometime later, I was dimly aware that someone was knocking on my door. Shortly after 3:00 AM, I did wake up for the phone. My room had called 9-1-1 again. Twice. I have no idea how that could've happened.The computer was unplugged and off. I told the front desk (kindly) that there was no emergency, and not to bug me. A short time later, I awoke to find hotel security keyed into my room. I guess the desk didn't have time to recall the response unit.

Weird, eh?
Wednesday, April 20th, 2005
3:34 am
[starlitsorcerer]
The Dirt
I just wanted to point out that you can get some interesting info on hotels and their companies from the Hotel_Workers LJ community. This is a discussion forum for people who work for all hotel chains in all departments. It's very candid.

x-posted to TravelTips
Monday, April 18th, 2005
11:40 pm
[starlitsorcerer]
Starwood Reservations
Hi, my name's Justin. I'm a call-handler at one of Starwood's NE CCC. I'm also a bit of a geek and really enjoy my job (and talking about it). I've been with Starwood for two years, and I'll probably be moving up to either Key Accounts ot Outbound Sales within a year.

Starwood owns Westin, Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton, W Hotels, St. Regis, Luxury Collection, and several time-shares and independants.

I can't help but feel that I can give helpful information for frequent travelers. I don't know much about other chains, though. Also, the information I can give is very limited, since I value my job. However, if I can aid anyone here (especially SPG members), I would be more than happy to do so.

Also, any advice I give does not carry any type of authorization or official Starwood opinion. They are soley my opinions and possibly incorrect observations. Starwood Hotels and Resorts cannot be held accountable. Sorry, I'm just terrified that I may say something wrong and get sued or fired or something. >.<


Feel free to reply with any questions or complaints. I will try to help as best I can. ^.^
2:55 pm
[onebeatpoet]
yesterday's adventures in "where is my car, again?"
I spent most of Sunday morning running a errands (dry cleaning, laundry, haircut) so I could have the afternoon to skate at this killer little skate park about 15 miles from my hotel. Anyway when I left the hair salon I walked right up to a red car that for all I knew was mine and tried my key. Right about this time the girl who cut my hair comes running out of the salon screaming about my trying to steal her ride. I look up, realize this probably isn't the car I have this week and say "sorry about that, this looks just like the rental I thought I was driving." Then, realizing my car is on the other side of the parking lot, I walked away looking completely sheepish and totally embarrassed. One of these days I'll get it right.
Thursday, April 14th, 2005
10:45 pm
[tassie_gal]
Hi, Travel WAAAY to much for work. Lots of intrastate travel but I think I fit the bill.

If you have more frequent flier miles than Howard Hughes, this is your community. - not quite due to the fact the airlines dont want to schedule flights at times I need.

If you drive more miles in rentals than your own car, this is your community. - I drove 4000km in 2 months in my own car...thank goodness for mileage.
If you read the address on the hotel phone to remember where you are, this is your community. - Yup!
If the airport shuttlebus drivers know you by name, this is your community. - Not applicable
If your travel agent scatters rose petals at your feet, this is your community. - Getting taht way.....
If you carry your office with you, this is your community. - Laptop, 4 boxes worth of collection equipment, eskies and clothes.
If the hugeness of bath-sized soaps intimidates you, this is your community. - liquid soap is your friend.
If you remember where you parked but not what you parked, this is your community. - not applicable
If you've been in more hotel beds than Paris Hilton, this is your community. - mmhmm and you know you are a regular when you walk into a motel and the desk clerk asks you 1. How was the house move and then informs you that the rooms now have cable and that your favourite room service desert isnt avaliable because the supplier let them down.
Tuesday, April 12th, 2005
8:56 am
[readherring]
American Airlines, Part 2
I posted earlier about what a circus it was to check in to AA in Chicago. Normally, I'm not cranky enough to actually write a letter of complaint to an airline. Normally, I'm only cranky enough to think about writing a letter of complaint to an airline, then I amble off to a terminal bar and forget about it after a beer. But this situation was different - it happened way too early in the morning, and hence there was no beer. So I wrote a letter.

I just got the response back from AA. I'm impressed that they actually read through the letter and seem willing to make changes.

Their LetterCollapse )
Tuesday, April 5th, 2005
3:00 pm
[onebeatpoet]
newish
This is the perfect community for me. I travel about 11 of the year on business as a Marketing Expert for the multifamily and technology sectors. I am in a new city every few weeks and haven't seen my condo since October, 2004. I am rarely at home, hence the need for home-ownership, but I love my job and always wanted to be on the road. I have test-driven more worthless Avis rental cars, flown on more ridiculously overcroweded flights and stayed in a few thousand Hilton's over the past two years.

If you have more frequent flier miles than Howard Hughes, this is your community. - platinum medallion member doesn't even begin to describe it
If you drive more miles in rentals than your own car, this is your community. - I put exactly 12 miles on my car last year
If you read the address on the hotel phone to remember where you are, this is your community. - all the time
If the airport shuttlebus drivers know you by name, this is your community. - it's been known to happen
If your travel agent scatters rose petals at your feet, this is your community. - I am her favorite client
If you carry your office with you, this is your community. - 2 fifty lb suitcases and a rolling office...
If the hugeness of bath-sized soaps intimidates you, this is your community. - ha
If you remember where you parked but not what you parked, this is your community. - If I can't get a car with a key fob I am screwed
If you've been in more hotel beds than Paris Hilton, this is your community. - ain't that the truth
Sunday, March 27th, 2005
2:26 pm
[tangophantom]
I'm looking for some sort of gym membership where I can use gyms anywhere in the US. The larger the chain, and the later they stay open, the better. Hopefully I can use this whenever the hotel I'm in doesn't have a good gym and while I'm at home. Any suggestions? I'm currently researching Bally's, 24 hour fitness, and LA fitness.

A bit about me: I help install wireless networks in hotels. 37 states visited last year, usually staying at one location/hotel per week. I also find it cheaper to rent a car when I'm 'home' that to make payments for a car to sit in my driveway. And I also hate it when every single hotel employee is forced to be nice to me.
7:19 am
[readherring]
Travelocookies
Hmmm, Spybot Search & Destroy just found three Travelocity tracking cookies on my system. Anyone know anything about tracking cookies?
Monday, March 21st, 2005
11:11 am
[rjshook]
My name is rjshook and I am a road whore.
Greetings, I saw a promo for this community so I thought I would join. I work as a field engineering building power plants for a company we have all heard of. I have spent about 20 days in my apartment in the last 2 years. I rent a car from Hertz 300+ days a year. I regularly refer to my hotel as home. I tend to stay in one place for a while so my airline status is not what I wish it was though.

If you have more frequent flier miles than Howard Hughes, this is your community. -unfortunately not.
If you drive more miles in rentals than your own car, this is your community. - I don't own my own car.
If you read the address on the hotel phone to remember where you are, this is your community. -I think I've done that.
If the airport shuttlebus drivers know you by name, this is your community. - I wish I traveled to places with airports big enough to need shuttle busses.
If your travel agent scatters rose petals at your feet, this is your community. - Travel agent? I wish I had that luxury.
If you carry your office with you, this is your community. - My office? I wish that was all. My life is more like it.
If the hugeness of bath-sized soaps intimidates you, this is your community. - That's funny
If you remember where you parked but not what you parked, this is your community. - Yep, although it is currently easier because all I get from Bari Hertz is a silver Ford Focus C-Max
If you've been in more hotel beds than Paris Hilton, this is your community. - without a doubt.
Monday, March 14th, 2005
11:52 pm
[readherring]
If you can't rate any part of your stay as "Super-Excellent" we consider that an aggregious failure.
Urgh. Why are chain hotel workers forced to be so cloyingly nice to guests? Does anyone really like that? Just once, I'd like to have a Marriott Desk Clerk call me a rat bastard and throw key cards at my head upon check-in. It'd be a nice change.
Tuesday, March 15th, 2005
9:26 am
[hulahoopalex]
Hi
Hey,
Obviously I'm not a member here, but I thought, after reading your bio that I'd put a post in about Orbitz. I don't know if you guys are Maddox fans or read his site, but a couple of years ago he was ripped off pretty badly by Orbitz, http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=orbitz_blows Anyway, I read through everything not taking it very seriously until I read the email they sent out sharing Maddox's information with everyone who emailed them regarding Maddox's site.
I, personally, found it pretty unethical. Airlines and other businesses aren't allowed, as far as I knew, to divulge information about their customers. I just thought some of you guys might find it interesting. I did, I'd never heard of Orbitz, I live in Australia, but if I were to get the chance I wouldn't be flying with them just because I wouldn't be able to trust their confidentiality.
Anyway, that's all.
Have fun :)

Current Mood: bouncy
Saturday, March 12th, 2005
8:19 pm
[readherring]
American Airlines - Chicago O'Hare
Please help the American Airlines agents at Chicago O'Hare. They are working at the ticketing counter version of purgatory right now.

Some insane manager has set up the check-in area in the most chaotic manner imaginable: There are no signs anywhere to instruct passengers where to go; agents are expected to shout instructions but are lost in the confusion. Self check-in terminals are clustered in tight semicircles of 10 or more, which don't allow room for passengers with luggage to access them. All of the counters are roped off - passengers need special permission to be let past the barrier ropes.

This makes for an ugly experience for passengers, and a nightmare for the agents who are trying to check them in. If you've recently been through the Chicago experience, please consider sending a note of complaint to AA's corporate office:

American Airlines Inc.
Greg Clark - Managing Director
Customer Relations Department
P.O. Box 619612 / MD 2400
DFW Intl Airport, TX 75261-9612


Complaints by customers always carry more weight than complaints from employees. Your crankiness can help save someone else from theirs.
8:04 pm
[readherring]
Philadelphia - US Airways
A quick tip -

If you're flying US Airways out of Philadelphia and the TSA security lines are backed up into the breezeways of terminals A, B, or C, don't worry. Just check your bags in, run back outside, and take a shuttle bus to terminal F. Any shuttle bus will do - the hotel & rental car drivers are generally happy to give you a lift. (Even happier if you slip 'em a buck) There's almost never a line at F, and once you're past security, you can take another free shuttle back to Terminal C.
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