As you know, last week I had the opportunity to go to New York to accept an industry award. Everything about the trip was supposed to be fairly mundane – fly in on Thursday, get a nice meal, wake up Friday and shake some hands at the award luncheon, and fly back to Atlanta Friday afternoon. That is – until my mother decided to text me some eerie news the night before my flight to NYC.
The article she shared referenced a terrorist organizations implied intent to do some sort of damage in New York City – where I would be right around that time. Not only that, but I stayed in Times Square and the ballroom where the ceremony was hosted was right in the heart of Times Square.
This brings me to an interesting dilemma… “The business of terror”. What if – for instance – the award ceremony I was at was canceled due to the idle threat? That would have only been one minor event out of hundreds (if not thousands) that likely would have suffered the same fate. At a tremendous sunk cost I’m sure (i.e. food, drinks, space, support, and all the other peripheral costs of events were already spent). Just my trip would have been about $1,000 down the drain, and I imagine there are probably a couple hundred thousand people in and around the area that would have the same fate. So what’s this all cost? Several hundred million dollars? A billion? I don’t have a solution for minimizing the business of terror (and the impact is has on all of our daily lives), but it’s an interesting conundrum nonetheless. Either way – terrorists are lame and we shouldn’t let them dictate our lives.
It is pretty crazy to think that we can get WiFi on airplanes. That being said – I think technology like this has advanced society’s expectations to a point where we are no longer rational consumers. For instance, I am on a transcon flight from SAN to JFK right now, and couldn’t be more upset with how spotty the GoGo In-Flight WiFi has been. Evolutions like this are often healthy, but it does still worry me that we’ve all gotten extremely complacent and are basically walking around with entitlement syndrome without even knowing it. So, being the entitled technology brat I am, I stated poking around google to see exactly why the GoGo’s of the world can’t “fix” this (what I perceive now to be major) problem.
And then I stumbled upon this article – talking exactly about this dilemma! It will be interesting, for sure, to see exactly how/when the premium in-flight internet options will become available. I know that I will be one of the many that anxiously await and embrace the evolution. Hopefully it comes soon!
This news will certainly rock the travel and loyalty industry, so I figured I’d share the news on here. In a deal valued at $12.2B, I was actually surprised at the price. Seems really low for a chain and loyalty brand/cult that is much stronger, especially at the premium luxury levels. I think SPG brass probably had deal fatigue by this point since they’ve effectively been on the market since earlier this year. Either way – it will be interesting to watch and see how the chains start to fold in together (crossover rewards, earning/redeeming points, loyalty tier matches, etc). Seems like the acquisition is pended for completion in mid-2016 with the operational merger and loyalty brand assimilation to follow shortly thereafter. Fingers crossed that this may mean something good not awful for SPG Platinums like me!
This will start a mini-series of (non-work) posts stemming from a recent trip to wine country. I’ll go over a little bit about my thoughts on Sonoma vs Napa (I’ll call this my “updated view” since I’ve already been to both before and reviewed them previously), and list some of my “must see” places and favorite vineyards. Some of the information will resemble a beginner’s guide to wine country, while other areas will dive deeper into trade secrets I’ve learned (mostly from the hundreds of dollars I’ve probably lost due to poor decisions) over the years. Hope you enjoy it!
As a teaser, here is a list of the wineries I was able to get to on this trip (pictures coming as well):
Chateau St Jean
*a lot of my “Sonoma” wineries aren’t really in or near Sonoma proper – but since they’re all Sonoma County, I’m going to count them as being Sonoma even if they’re really Dry Creek, Healdsburg, or some other town not named Sonoma
It’s been a while, I get it. I’d love to make excuses, but all I’ve got is some crappy explanations. The summer got entirely too busy at work and I spent my limited off-time traveling and generally recharging my batteries. Sorry for that. What I will offer, though, is that I’ve had some pretty cool escapades across the country and I’ll look to share some of those stories here. While they may not be directly related to Corporate America, they’re at least hopefully some good recommendations on where to go and what to do in some great destinations.
Up first, I’ll do an in-depth review of a recent trip to San Francisco and wine country. Stay tuned!
I know, I know… My blog has migrated nearly fully, now, to an ancillary travel blog under the guise of this otherwise great place where I will share all of my wisdom on who/what/when/where/how you can succeed in Corporate America. Sorry for that. I will get back to some real world opinions at some point. For now, though, it’s summer time. And I have the itch to travel.
Hence landing on this article the other day, and thinking I should share with you all… What are some of your hidden gems? I am a huge fan of the couple spots on the Yucatan that several bloggers shared here…
I saw a great piece today on How To Take Professional Travel Photos courtesy of Nomadic Matt. I figured it was a great way to start off the week, even for those of us who (sometimes) are stuck traveling for work rather than for pleasure!
I was pointed to a recent article the other day on the growing challenge of structuring elite programs for travel’s most loyal participants. The road warriors, the regional sales guys, the implementers of all things people, process, technology who can often spend day after day in some regional mecca the likes of Columbus (any of them really – not just Ohio) just to see themselves wake up in another. I found the article to be very accurate in describing the ways and the reasons that many of these companies (airlines especially) are migrating their program travel requirements to even higher heights, effectively creating a whole new level of travel “elites”. I liken them to “second world citizens” if you consider the true elites to be “first” and people with no affiliation/loyalty/recognition with the company to be “third”.
Candidly, I myself am currently Silver on Delta, trending towards Gold this year. Which brings up an interesting dilemma. How much is it worth to me and how differently may I be treated next year if I chase the next level of loyalty? I am of the opinion that, if you are traveling with any frequency (even once or twice a month) – the incremental amount you can (often creatively/cheaply) spend to get to a next tier is definitely worth it.
We struggled finding a place on Boca Paila for our final night (long story short – we extended our trip two days while we were there because we loved it so much – and the final night pretty much everywhere was sold out), so we opted for something in Tulum Centro: Livetulum. It was pretty reasonably priced and it put us closer to the main road to get back to CUN airport Sunday morning anyway.
Here’s the review:
Location: The location extremely convenient to the main road in/out of town. However, the hotel is situated on a fairly busy street that is fairly heavily trafficked by motorcycles and cars at all hours of the night.
Facilities: The facilities are surprisingly nice, considering it’s on a block that otherwise feels a little sketchy and abandoned.
Amenities: There aren’t too many amenities here, but I will say that having TV in the room was actually quite key for this stop (we didn’t have TV anywhere else), as we stayed here on the night of the “Fight of the Century” (Mayweather/Pacquiao), and Mexico apparently broadcast the fight for free on local television.
Staff: The staff was incredibly helpful. They even assisted with getting us a reservation at Cetli, which I thought was a very nice thing for them to do.
Rooms: The rooms are very spacious and clean (the hotel actually advertises itself more like condos than hotel rooms – which is accurate), and each have their own kitchenette and refrigerator (a huge plus that we didn’t have anywhere else). Also, our room happened to open up in the back right to the pool, where we had out own little cove for ease of access. All in all, I was pretty impressed considering I entered with average expectations.