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Loyalty Programs Among Hotels and Airlines Attract Travelers

by Lux Joseph 21. April 2015

 

Now we all know that hotels seek to give their customers the best in customer satisfaction. As one enjoys their visit and the services offered, one is more inclined to return to that hotel, even prioritize it over many others. Yet hotels strive for more than just excellent services in order to win over the hearts of their customers, such as hotel-loyalty plans. This actually ends up being extremely important, as it increases each customer’s experience and satisfaction with that brand. Thus, like all things, hotels seek to improve and strive to be the best they can be in this regard

 J.D Powers took a survey of the change in satisfaction with different Hotel Loyalty and Rewards and it turned out that Hilton HHonors and Delta Privileges ended up being a tie for highest ranked satisfaction in their programs. To start, this survey looks at many different part of these loyalty plans, such as how easy it is to redeem points, how easily can one earn points, customer service, and even the rewards themselves. After looking into all of this, J.D. Powers was able to find that the overall satisfaction with these programs had increased from 676 in 2014 to 701 in 2015, along a 1000 point scale. The satisfaction score for Delta and Hilton HHonors both ended up being 727.

As the study was going on, several observations were made. For one, it turned out that reviews, awards, and online ratings seemed to help drive the satisfaction of these programs for its members as opposed to just word of mouth. What also aided in the growth of members satisfaction was the ability to earn points from purchases of goods and services. Yet one big factor which even helped people decide which program to sign up with was the convenience of the location compared to where these members planned on going.

It’s not hard to see why Delta was tied for first in ultimate membership satisfaction. For simply being a member, one earns the benefits of priority check in and wait list, express checkout, and free high-speed internet access with one’s stay. Yet the benefits continue to grow as one’s membership increases, including getting up to $500 credit for platinum plus members to spend on guest rooms, events, meetings, and dining.

Hilton has its own set of rewards as well, which was ranked equal to Delta, including complimentary access to fitness and health centers, every fifth night free, having a second guest stay free (assuming you’re a diamond member), and much more.

The loyalty rewards program has certainly boosted the overall amount of satisfaction that hotel program members have toward the brand they are loyal to, so if you aren’t part of one of these, it may be a good idea to change that quite soon, so long as you do your homework in what works best for you. We recommend speaking with your travel agent to ensure you are enrolled in all the programs available to you as a traveler. Our escorts are constantly flying to different parts around the world and those mileage points on preferred carriers can add up to a complimentary ticket, gift cards, and other great perks that the travel partners use to keep you coming back to their hotel/airline for future travel.

 

Hotel Rewards Programs Sources:

http://www.hotelsmag.com/Industry/News/Details/57626

http://hhonors3.hilton.com/en/explore/benefits/index.html

https://www.deltahotels.com/Delta-Privilege/Member-Benefits

Luxury Living: The Most Expensive Cities in the World

by Lux Joseph 2. April 2015

For the most part, we all enjoy traveling; whether that involves venturing into an unknown part of our surroundings or setting course for a foreign and mysterious country altogether, people like to travel. Yet there is always that one place that is just so great we often take the time to sit back and wonder how wonderful it would be if we had actually lived there. What would it take to live there comfortably and could it actually happen? Well, if you were thinking of living in one of the cities about to be mentioned, you’d better talk those plans over with your wallet.

The Economist Intelligence Unit came out with a survey listing the top ten most expensive cities in the world, and for those of you wondering, New York was 26th on the list. In fact New York is set as the base standard that other cities are compared to. At the very top of that list is Singapore in Asia. Singapore is a stand-alone city-state and because of this, it has to gain its resources, including electricity and water, from other neighboring countries. This can get very expensive, leading to higher utility cost. The transportation costs are also close to triple what it takes to get around NY. Not to mention the higher grocery prices and clothing prices, which is 50% more than that of New York. With all that to keep in mind, it’s no wonder why Singapore made top of the list two years in a row.

Another city on the list is Seoul, South Korea. While Seoul ties with Singapore when it comes to clothing expenses, what make this city really difficult to live in are the high prices for everyday food items. Fashion you could go on without, but food happens to be a pretty important part of our everyday life. Using the dollar to show the difference, a single kg loaf of bread in Singapore would go for roughly $3.50, while the same loaf of bread would cost an average of $13.00 in Seoul. This alone sets Seoul up for being a really expensive place and maybe even difficult place to live in. If you can’t afford to eat then you might as well not worry too much about the other necessities either. When CME has done transports to Seoul, the escorts have experienced and can relate to this cost difference when it comes to getting a meal before their transport.  

Standing on its own when representing Europe, Paris is the only European country to make it into the top ten list. With its generally high living expenses all around, the only thing you can look forward to are the relatively cheaper prices of alcohol and tobacco, and while that’s a lot of people’s dreams, it would be ideal if you at least had an apartment to enjoy such luxuries in. When it comes to arranging accommodations in Paris, hotels are priced relatively well compared to other areas of the world. Of course seasons depict different rates, but CME definitely sees a significant increase in costs when it comes to ground transportation. A sedan transfer in Germany that would be $125 could be more than double in Paris.

Others on the list included Osio, Zurich, Sydney, Melbourne, Geneva, Copenhagen, and Hong Kong (Which was tied with Seoul). If you’re really considering a move to one of these cities, it’s highly recommended that you consult your financial advisor to make sure that your bank can take the amount of pressure being placed on your funds. Otherwise, just enjoy your stay and let it be a happy memory that you can cherish in your comforts of your affordable abode. 

At CME, our nurses and physicians travel to all points of the world. They use currencies from dollars to pounds to euros to yen depending on their destinations. Of course anywhere you travel do will encounter tourist traps with inflated prices, but as you venture out to local areas you soon find out why some of these cities are recognized as some of the most expensive cities in the world.

Sources: 

http://www.ctvnews.ca/business/singapore-most-expensive-city-for-living-seoul-most-expensive-for-food-1.2263545#

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/04/most-expensive-cities-world_n_6793688.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/news/article-2977215/World-s-expensive-cities-revealed-Singapore-tops-charts-again.html

 

Landslide Volcanic Eruptions in Costa Rica

by Lux Joseph 23. March 2015

Costa Rica is normally a hot spot for tourism, with it’s tropical weather and lovely tourist destinations, but if you were thinking of going there on vacation any time soon, you might want to travel with caution. Approximately 43 miles east of San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, is a slumbering giant, the volcano Turrialba. Or at least it was sleeping. Recently, on Thursday, March 12th, this massive volcano awoke with an eruption of smoke and ash that spewed up to a height of one kilometer (around 3,280 ft) into the air from the top of the volcano.

This latest eruption has been Turrialba’s largest in two decades, with the last eruption having been in 2010. Four explosions were heard as the volcano spit out large plumes of ash. Those living close to the volcano were evacuated, as the main roads and four schools in close proximity where closed. The ash traveled out, reaching as far as San Jose itself, including the Tobias Bolanos airport. The ash made the runways slick and even interfered with visibility, leading to the temporary closing of the airport and over 100 delayed flights. Even the President of Costa Rica, Luis G. Solis was forced to cancel his diplomatic trip to Europe. Thankfully, the airport crew were able to clear out most of the ash next day, allowing the airport to reopen.

Although things seemed to calm down in the following days, the last explosion happening roughly around 8:00pm on March 13th, experts from the the National Seismological Network and the Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica continue to monitor the surrounding area, observing the seismic activity still occurring in the volcano. From their observations they’ve found that seismic activity is still occurring and while it seems that Turrialba may go back into a dormant state, they’re keeping on guard for any sudden changes. Costa Rica is currently in Yellow alert, ready to respond if needed, and tourist are restricted from entering the national park.

CME recently moved two patients out of San Jose, Costa Rica shortly after the explosion on the 13th. In situations like these, our safety and operations team do everything possible to ensure the safety of not only our patients, but our escorts is number one priority. When traveling via commercial airline or any aircraft, there is no telling what mother nature will present to us, but we do our best to be proactice and anticipate situations to the best of our ability.


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