Mail Call September 2018

Sep 1, 2018
Magazine

Q&A WITH ANDREW RISCH, ADVERTISING COORDINATOR
September is here! The Global Traveler team is hard at work to bring you some amazing fall content. Moving forward into the final stretch of 2018, an important side note: We extended our GT Tested Reader Survey voting into September this year. If you have not already done so, make sure to cast your votes for your favorites in each category. Fall is the perfect time to curl up by the fire with your copy of Global Traveler.

Speaking of fall, what are some of your favorite autumn memories?

Email us: [email protected]

JULY Q&A WITH KAITLIND EYDELLOTH, ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE
In our July 2018 issue, Kaitlind Eydelloth discussed summer vacation memories, inspiring the question: When you think back on your childhood and your favorite trips, what destinations were most memorable to you?

Big family beach vacations were always the best childhood vacations. We would rent a big house for a week or two and the whole family would come down and spend a few days. It was like a rotating party house with the whole family every summer.
CHRISTINA WILLIAMSON, via email

SEAWEED SEES RED
In our Aug. 1 eFlyer USA newsletter, we discussed the slimy seaweed hitting Florida and invading some of the state’s most popular and touristed beaches. A few readers wrote in with a firsthand account.

We left Naples due to red tide and algae causing a lot of dead fish and turtles and respiratory problems for humans. Check out the Naples Daily News articles beginning July 31 and continuing into August. Sure wish it was the good seaweed.
DIANE HERRMANN, via email

The coastal seaweed is ruining my summer swimming. The lifeguard towers fly purple flags due to sea lice. Your article states the seaweed assists in the breeding of shrimp and fish but doesn’t mention the sea lice. When will this mess subside!?
MARILYN BIANCO, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

SOUTHWEST PEANUTS
In our Aug. 8 eFlyer USA newsletter, we discussed Southwest Airlines moving away from peanuts, as the snack has been officially removed from the airline menu for the first time in the history of the airline. This inspired a few readers to write in with a comment.

I am sad to see Southwest lose its iconic identity standard. Yet one more demonstration of the entire nation bowing to the perceived needs of a minuscule part of the population. As stated, less than 1 percent of the population is truly “allergic” to peanuts. Most who claim this allergy have never actually been tested for this condition. My grandson is highly allergic to peanuts. He has been tested, and it is his No. 1 allergy. While his allergy is strong, he has to actually eat the peanuts to have a reaction, as is the case with most people. His parents carry an EpiPen in case he does actually bite into a peanut butter sandwich or consume peanuts.

He is also extremely allergic to dog and cat hair and has a significant reaction when he comes in contact with it. Does that mean airlines will not allow emotional support animals to board if he is on the plane? How do they choose which passenger gets to stay on board in this situation?

The bottom line is all these accommodations for the smallest portion of our population [are] out of control, and the solution is really easy. Can’t be in the same place as a peanut? Don’t go to that place. Can’t fly without your emotional support animal? Don’t fly. It’s time to stop making the entire nation pay for the perceived or real issues of a small portion of our inhabitants.
VICKI SHARP, via email

Yes, I am sad about Southwest no longer serving peanuts on flights.
CHERISE MOORE, Santa Clarita, California

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR AND PUBLISHER
In our May 2018 issue, publisher and CEO Francis X. Gallagher wrote about using the Marriott App for check-in and his room key during an event at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown. The app seemed “cumbersome” and inefficient, inspiring a couple of readers to write in.

I read Global Traveler magazine every now and then when I am traveling and see the magazine at an airline lounge. I finally read the May 2018 issue and, sorry to say, I wasn’t pleased with the tone of the publisher’s letter.

To begin, I would like to address the issue you highlighted, and I agree with the other readers — the Hilton Digital Key goes a long way in ensuring a smooth, human-less interaction during the entire stay, including accessing the elevators, lounges and other public areas at a hotel. For a gregarious soul like myself, however, I would rather go up to the front desk, especially to secure an upgrade, as the digital key wouldn’t guarantee that. But in cases of long lines, it does come in handy. While SPG’s is a close equivalent, I agree Marriott’s will take some work to become as seamless (I’m not sure if they now use the same technology as SPG; I used SPG’s before the merger).

What disappointed me was the tone of the letter. It sounded more like a hotel review rather than a CEO’s letter. If you wanted to bring up this issue, maybe you could have mentioned it briefly and then directed readers to a hotel review page for more details. I am no Marriott fan, have been a Hilton loyalist for a long time, but the entire letter was about the malfunctioning of the digital key — I am not sure it was befitting a CEO’s letter. I hope you will take the feedback constructively.
NAMEESH ARORA, via email

I finally just got around to reading your always fascinating Letter from the Publisher (and entire issue) from May and wanted to both compliment you on your diplomacy in writing about your experience with Marriott’s app and keyless entry as well as add a few thoughts of my own.

My status with Marriott is Lifetime Platinum, which probably indicates I’m not a millennial, either! But like you, I embrace technology when it is done correctly. Unfortunately, I’m not seeing much of that with Marriott, for whom I have the highest regard, both with its app and even its website of late.

As an example, a few days ago I wanted to check my Rewards (I go back to when it was called Honored Guest and soon will learn a third program name) account for a free night certificate deposited as part of the Chase-issued credit card, not to make reservations but to look at the expiration date and place it on my calendar. Simple, right? No, not anymore.

I’m pretty good around websites and the internet and have taught others while being responsible for the upkeep and use of several people’s devices. Clearly, I’m not IT, but a site like Marriott.com shouldn’t be designed only for people with degrees from MIT.

It took ages, clicking everywhere and often needing to re-enter my username and password, before I finally found what I was seeking.

Along the same lines, the remodeled rooms themselves are disappointing. No drawers at all. I realize millennials might travel with less baggage, but profiling aside, where are guests supposed to empty their suitcases? Are we to leave them on the floor, since there aren’t luggage racks unless you request one? The small closet door serves also as the bathroom door. Clever, but it means if you are traveling with someone, when you close the bathroom door the closet is open. Worse, if that other person is in the closet, opening the door could easily result in a jammed finger or hand. This is a major lawsuit in the making.

I’ve heard through several managers in various properties that others are complaining, which, along with your documented points about the app and keyless entry, leads me to wonder what is going on. Has Marriott bitten off too much with the Starwood merger? Is it trying to be too hip and not your father’s Marriott?

Thanks for reading and again, great publication. I read every page, every article, every word and always come away far better for it.
JIM SEIFERT, via email

DELTA, DELTA, DELTA
In our June 25 This Month in Aviation with Harriet Baskas newsletter, Baskas discussed airlines, new routes and airports, with two individual articles both mentioning Delta Air Lines: One depicts new routes and the rise in North American airline satisfaction among passengers, and the other details Delta’s animal policy. A couple of readers wrote in with a comment.

Delta’s still missing the boat by not buying the Boeing 777-300ELR or the Boeing 787-9. Unfortunately, it has chosen Airbus aircraft for its long-haul fleet. I advise people to avoid Delta on the routes where they fly the Airbus equipment overseas.
MICHAEL GREEN, via email

We don’t have pit bulls, but we do travel with our emotional service animal toy poodles. Delta needs to get a grip and use some common sense. We don’t have anything against pit bulls. It is all in how they are brought up, just like most dogs.
T. COUCH, via email

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Barrio Alto district in Lisbon, Portugal. Photo: Giuseppemasci | Dreamstime.com

Feature
Sep 15, 2019

Hotel Barrio Alto Opens in Former Lisbon Palace

Two years ago, an 18th-century palace in the center of Lisbon closed for construction — the building is ready to re-open as a luxury boutique hotel.

To New Heights

United Airlines announces a number of new routes.

© Ukrphoto | Dreamstime.com

News
Sep 15, 2019

Cunard Launches Exclusive Musical

Cunard premiered the musical Top Hat aboard Queen Victoria last week. Next week, the musical premieres aboard Queen Elizabeth. The musical is slated to appear exclusively on Cunard ships for the next four years.

Lufthansa. Photo: Alexander Efisko | Dreamstime.com

Feature
Sep 15, 2019

Lufthansa Launches Innovative Carbon Offset Program

Lufthansa is starting an innovative new carbon offset program, Compensaid, which will allow customers to purchase CO2 neutral aviation fuels. The platform allows customers to replace the fossil fuel of their flights with sustainable aviation fuel.

© GNTO

The Island of the Knights

Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.

Desert. Photo: Galyna Andrushko | Dreamstime.com

Daily
Sep 15, 2019

Shop New Desert-Inspired Capsule Collection From The Luxury Collection

The Luxury Collection again teamed with artist Sofía Sanchez de Beta to unveil an exclusive capsule collection, this time with 54 pieces inspired by the Arabian Desert and Emirati culture. The ready-to-wear line includes an array of separates created with Dubai’s climate in mind, such as lightweight blouses and tunics, flowing jumpsuits, long skirts and dresses.

LG Pay. Photo: Piotr Swat | Dreamstime.com

LG Pay

Feature
Sep 14, 2019

Hawaiian Airlines. Photo: Ajdibilio | Dreamstime.com

© Brett Critchley | Dreamstime.com

Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas. Photo: Jason P Ross | Dreamstime.com

Santa Monica, California. Photo: Tupungato | Dreamstime.com

© GNTO

The Island of the Knights

Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.

Google Search. Photo: Viorel Dudau | Dreamstime.com

Feature
Sep 13, 2019

Google Expands Price Comparison Tool

Google announced last month it added additional features to its price comparison tool. The tool helps users plan trips and compare rates. The new features include one that shows whether the price of a planned flight plus accommodations is low, average or high.

© VanderWolfImages | Dreamstime.com

News
Sep 13, 2019

Singapore Airlines Begins Non-Stop Service Between Singapore, Seattle

Singapore Airlines launched its non-stop service between Singapore (SIN) and Seattle (SEA), Sept. 3. Seattle is Singapore Airlines’ fourth U.S. destination following Los Angeles (LAX), New York (EWR) and San Francisco (SFO) to receive non-stop service to and from Singapore.