Travel News: December 14, 2017

Vienna, Austria

One-of-a-Kind Luxury Train Adds New Suites
Travel Pulse

There’s nothing like seeing the world from a luxury railcar, and the legendary train that does it best is getting a makeover.

Belmond will debut three new redesigned Grand Suites on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train in March, and the transformation is unique.

“This is a one-of-a-kind restoration project,” said Gary Franklin, managing director of trains and cruises for Belmond.


Rosewood launching lifestyle brand for business travelers
Travel Weekly

Rosewood Hotel Group next year plans to debut a lifestyle brand that will target business travelers.

The brand will be called Khos, and its hotels will be “designed specifically for the modern business traveler,” Rosewood said. The hotels will have public areas that can double up as work and social space, and will feature restaurants with communal tables.


Alexa’s hospitality skill: Hotel concierge
Travel Weekly

Are you looking for nightlife someplace you’re visiting for the first time? Need a restaurant recommendation? Maybe you’d just like some relaxing music.

If so, your next visit to a hotel could involve a conversation with a machine rather than a call to the front desk or the concierge.

Generally speaking, the machine in question will be Amazon’s digital personal assistant, the Echo, which users address as “Alexa.” The Echo is beginning to appear in some hotel rooms as part of an experiment in which hoteliers are attempting both to improve the guest experience and to streamline operations by automating common questions and requests, such as dining recommendations.


Lufthansa, Austrian and Swiss are among latest to tie miles to airfare
USA Today

More than ever, airline miles just aren’t what they used to be.

Most big U.S. airlines* have already stopped doling out frequent-flier miles based on the distance of a flight. Instead, they’ve moved to systems that offer miles (or points) based on the fare a flier has paid. The higher the fare, the more a traveler earns.

Now that trend is spreading in Europe, where the giant Lufthansa Group has become the latest to switch to such a scheme. The Lufthansa Group includes German carrier Lufthansa, but also several other large airline brands. Swiss, Austrian, Brussels and Eurowings are all part of the group.

Starting March 12, the carriers’ collective Miles & More frequent-flier program will move to a revenue-based system for awarding miles. Members of the program will receive a base of 4 miles per euro spent.

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By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer. Also follow Matt on Twitter, Facebook and

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