The Hotelion

With efficient traveling, hotel & deal analysis, and economic perspectives, Daniel makes your travel money go farther.

Robots & AI – 7 Ways Machines will Revolutionize Travel

Premise This article from Tech magazine CIO, titled “7 ways AI will revolutionize business travel”, provides some cursory overview about how automation and computerized technology will aid in the business aspect of travel. As you may well know, the rapidly shifting economic landscape is increasingly becoming mechanized, to minimize or even eliminate human aspect and human error. Perhaps it can avoid fiascos (United PR) or help improve overall experience. Artificial Intelligence is the future, and I cannot wait to welcome our mechanized overlords.   AI, Robot Below are the potential impacts that AI could drive in travel, specifically business...

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Airline Upgrades: Free, Cheap, or Paid? How do you get them?

Premise I’ve been wrestling with this conundrum ever since I saw empty, upgraded / First Class seats on a previous Virgin America flight. This post will attempt to lay out the business strategies of both parties involved in the upgrade process: airlines and consumers. Does it make financial sense to upgrade for free, or at a discounted rate? Perhaps not at all? I have seen some instances, even within carriers, that gate agents bump up people to nicer seats free of charge, or offer upgrades at a fixed price. I have also seen agents leave those seats bare when...

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Board with a Selfie? No More Passports? Learn more!

Premise Biometrics have come a long way, to make the airline process both more complex (looking at you TSA) and easier. Now, there’s a new step: Jetblue will be the first airline connecting with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) and their facial recognition to board passengers at gates. Read on for more!   What are the changes? No more paper or electronic boarding pass! Simply take a photo with the camera (actual camera, not a selfie), where CBP will match your photo to their database. This “selfie boarding” system verifies flight details and will notify travelers when cleared....

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New Sprint & American Airlines Offer – 25,000 AAdvantage Miles® & $400 Bonus!

Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by CJ Affiliate’s VIP Content Service. While this was a sponsored opportunity from Sprint, all content and opinions expressed here are my own. Premise Sprint, second in a nationwide network performance report, has a new promotion. This offer is available for new Sprint customers, or those who switch to Sprint by the deadline. You could earn up to 25,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® miles, which would be good for a round-trip domestic ticket! More details, terms, and information below!   Up To 25,000 AAdvantage® Miles Per the Sprint website, you can earn up to...

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Points, Points, Points: How Much Are They Worth?

Premise I consistently get asked about point valuations from friends and colleagues, on how much they are worth, and if a sale or a redemption is a good value. Additionally, sometimes people ask to purchase my points, and so I’m thinking about the perennial question about value. For this article, the terms points and miles are interchangeable – due to all the transfer options, and the fact that miles are simply airline points. I am inspired by a friend offering me what I considered below market rate for points. How much are points worth?   IT DEPENDS The answer...

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Restaurant & Food Review: W New York – Times Square

This is a second review of the W New York Times Square – full hotel review and first post here. This one provides an in-depth look at the food and gym of the hotel.   Eating Highlights: W New York – Times Square Finally, I was able to take advantage of a longer, less-hurried stay at the W New York Times Square, and enjoy their breakfast options. I also sampled their restaurant fare, and particularly enjoyed the chips & guacamole at Dos Caminos. Service as a whole was mediocre. Blue Fin: Breakfast & more Breakfast I had breakfast daily...

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3 Top Tips for Mystery Shopping Optimization

Premise I’ve gotten a lot of positive responses and inquires to learn more about mystery shopping. So, here are my three top tips for optimizing your experience. They all center around being informed, with a solid understanding of your preferences and wants, as well as the different type of mystery shopping companies you can work for.   Do your Mystery Shopping research! This means between mystery shopping companies, and the opportunities for each. Perhaps one doesn’t have a lot of opportunity for you to earn, or has requirements you do not fit. Understand the various business models discussed before....

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Two Nightmare 24 Hour Lost Passport Emergencies!

Premise If you’re at all absentminded like me, at some point you’ll forget your passport one way or another, right before an international trip. But fear not! Even nightmares sometimes have happy-ish endings, and valuable lessons to teach. Here are my two lost passport nightmares, which ended positively and led to a lot of stressing and freaking out in the brief twenty-four hour periods. Fortunately, having the knowledge and resources necessary truly help.   Why is There No TSA Pre-Check…Oh…Nuts. Toronto Forgetfulness I had gone to visit the lady in New Jersey, from my base in upstate New York,...

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Trump Taj Mahal, Atlantic City, Sold for Pennies on the Dollar!

Premise Ah, Atlantic City, how far you have fallen. Due to a confluence of factors, including the rapid expansion of legalized gaming in the East Coast & Midwest, Atlantic City has struggled to attract business and tourism dollars. Last October, the Trump Taj Mahal closed due to owner Carl Icahn’s inability to settle with workers unions over benefits and pensions, and mounting losses. He then put it for sale, open to various interested parties.   Sale & Next Steps Once dubbed the “eighth wonder of the world” by Trump during the opening, the recently-shuttered casino was sold for just...

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Caught While Climbing Everest Illegally: Don’t Complain About Being A Criminal

Premise A South African man, after being caught climbing Mount Everest without a permit, is playing the victim and asking for forgiveness in dealing with Nepali authorities. His trip, documented heavily on social media, is gaining support and encouragement from people around the world, who are conveniently ignoring the fact that he broke the law and will not get away with it.   Climber Argument Ryan Sean Davy did not have the funds for a solo climbing permit, costing £8,500 and climbed anyway, knowing he’d be declined a permit due to his lack of previous experience. According to Davy, he...

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