From bit player to the market leader in 20 years. Marriott International is expected to announce in the coming days it plans to open 40 luxury hotels in 2018, a figure that will give it 422 luxury properties by the end of the year with some 200 more in the pipeline. The openings will include all of its luxury flags: The Ritz-Carlton, Ritz-Carlton Reserve, St. Regis, W Hotels, The Luxury Collection, EDITION, Bulgari and JW Marriott. The company does not include Autograph Collection, a mix of four-and-five-star independent hotels in its count. By early in the next decade, the Bethesda, MD based lodging company should have more than 600 luxury properties.
Powered by last year’s acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Marriott is creating significant space between it and the number two player, ambitious Paris-based AccorHotels, which counts about 275 luxury hotels after its acquisition of the Fairmont and Raffles brands. Four Seasons recently cracked the century mark in terms of locations for its deluxe hotels and resorts while Shangri-la is closing in on that target. Hyatt Hotels Corporation and Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. each have under 100 luxury properties across their various brands such as Grand Hyatt, Park Hyatt, Andaz, Conrad and Waldorf Astoria. And if IHG, whose InterContinental Hotels were often top in their cities back in the ‘60s and ‘70s, has a luxury strategy, they’ve yet to make it clear.
Basic economy tickets, the less expensive, no-frills tickets traditional airlines are selling to compete with discount carriers, are getting even more restrictive.
Delta Air Lines plans to start charging basic economy passengers checked baggage fees on flights to Europe. The airline plans to charge $60 for the first bag and $100 for the second bag, a change that will apply to tickets bought after Dec. 6 for flights departing April 10 and beyond.
Delta and other major airlines have long allowed at least one free checked bag on flights to Europe. That policy will remain for other types of tickets, the airline said. Checked baggage fees have been in place on domestic flights since 2008.
The Trump administration just spiked a plan that would have made it easier for travelers to find out more about airline fees and compare flight prices.
A statement from the Department of Transportation said that it was dropping Obama-era proposal—which was heralded by Democrats and consumer groups but fought by the airlines—because there was “limited public benefit.”
What exactly is the issue? Well, in the era of rampant airline fees, travelers are often puzzled by which carrier’s flight provides the best value. Even if one airline’s base flight price is the cheapest, by the time you add up the extra fees for services you want—checked baggage, seat reservations, and such—you might save money by booking with another airline with higher upfront prices but more amenities included with the ticket.
Disney has released new details and visuals on the gondolas that will connect some of its theme parks and hotels at Disney World.
The Orlando Sentinel reports information on the gondola system, called the Disney Skyliner, was released on the Disney parks blog.
One station will be at the International Gateway at Epcot. Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort will be the station that serves as hub for the system where guests can transfer.
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