News: Citadines Bayfront Nha Trang takes brand in Vietnam

News: Citadines Bayfront Nha Trang takes brand in Vietnam

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The Ascott has opened its first Citadines Apart’hotel in Vietnam and expanded its footprint to a key tourism hub, Nha Trang. Citadines Bayfront Nha Trang is the first international-class serviced residence in the coastal city.

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July 18, 2017 at 09:43AM

The Business of Loyalty: Alaska and American Drastically Reduce Their Frequent Flyer Partnership

The Business of Loyalty: Alaska and American Drastically Reduce Their Frequent Flyer Partnership

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Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines and American Airlines are cutting their lucrative reciprocal loyalty benefits. Alaska Airlines

Skift Take: In recent years, many Alaska Airlines frequent flyers liked to fly American, because they would receive loyalty benefits even when flying the competition. But starting next year, that perk will end, and that’s not great news for road warriors.

— Brian Sumers

Editor’s Note: Grant Martin, writer of the Skift Business of Loyalty newsletter, is on vacation. Today, airline business reporter Brian Sumers takes over, writing about how Alaska Airlines and American have cut many of their reciprocal loyalty benefits. 

When Alaska Airlines acquired Virgin America last year, regulators feared the combined entity might have too much power — not because it would be so large — but because of its commercial partnerships with American Airlines and Delta Air Lines.

But less than a year and a half later, that’s nearly moot. Having already cut its frequent flyer relationship with Delta, Alaska said earlier this month it is drastically reducing its collaboration with American. With the changes, Alaska and American will act more like competitors than partners.

Beginning in January, customers will only earn Alaska frequent flyer miles on American’s domestic flights if they book a codeshare through Alaska. While Alaska sells about 1,100 daily American flights on its website, most don’t touch California or Seattle — Alaska’s two most important markets. And American customers will only earn miles on Alaska flights if they book codeshare routes through American.

American and Alaska will also stop providing benefits for the other’s elite frequent flyers. They’ll lose priority boarding, free bags, and preferred seating.

Still, unlike Alaska and Delta, which cut ties completely in May, Alaska and American will retain a relationship. Perhaps most important, Alaska loyalists will still earn miles on American’s international routes regardless of how they book. Customers also may redeem miles for free flights on the other carrier, just like today.

It’s easy to see why American and Alaska made this decision. Until a year ago, Alaska was a small regional airline, not much threat to American. Alaska still isn’t huge — it’s the fifth-largest U.S. airline — but by buying Virgin America, it became a competitor on many nonstop and one-stop routes dominated by American, including New York to Los Angeles.

Now, whenever possible, American wants its frequent flyers to fly American. And Alaska feels the same way.

“This looks like a resetting of the relationship considering the new reality of a larger and more competitive Alaska,” Brett Snyder, an airline analyst who writes the blog, Crankyflier.com, wrote in a post.

However, he said, it might hurt both airlines since they could lose loyal customers to other carriers.

“The current Alaska loyalist who needs to fly outside of the West Coast frequently may be pushed into the arms of Delta because there aren’t mileage-earning opportunities with Alaska in as many places domestically anymore,” Snyder said.

Here are some other stories we’ve enjoyed recently about loyalty.

Delta Says Travelers Still Love Airline Credit Cards Even Though Miles Are Worth Less

Frequent flyers sometimes compare Delta Sky Miles to a third-world currency that loses its value constantly. But the airline said this week travelers still love the airline’s American Express branded credit cards. It expects sign-ups to reach an all-time high this year.

American Airlines Eliminates Codeshare Agreements with Qatar Airways and Etihad

Even as American’s relationship with Gulf carriers has deteriorated, the carrier kept codeshare agreements with Qatar and Etihad. That was helpful for American’s customers, who could buy a ticket on American and still fly a Gulf carrier for a leg or two. But American said this week it is canceling those codeshare deals.

United Has a New Way to Make Money From Overbooked Flights

For a true road warrior, there’s nothing worse than seeing a flight is sold-out. When you have to go to San Francisco tomorrow, you have to go. But United Airlines is using new technology to try to ensure this doesn’t happen. Essentially, if a flight sells out, United will consider trying to entice passengers on cheaper fares to take another flight, thus opening availability for more expensive tickets. It should be a win-win.

Half of Business Travelers Want to Avoid Human Interaction on the Road

It’s almost surprising the number is only half. In so many cases, technology — especially airline mobile apps — is so much more effective than human interaction.

U.S. Airlines Are Making Their VIP Lobbies Even More Posh

If you spend roughly $50,000 per year on United Airlines, do you know your reward? Among other things, you’ll have access to special customer service lobbies in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Newark.

Which Hotel Programs Offer Guaranteed Availability Benefits?

Skift hospitality editor Deanna Ting flagged this story from ThePointsGuy, which details some perks of various hotel loyalty programs.

Travel

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July 18, 2017 at 05:31AM

Cristina Henríquez Reads “Everything Is Far from Here”

Cristina Henríquez Reads “Everything Is Far from Here”

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The author Cristina Henríquez reads her short story “Everything Is Far from Here,” from the July 24, 2017, issue of The New Yorker magazine.

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July 18, 2017 at 05:03AM

Travelport helps passengers with mobile rebooking technology

Travelport helps passengers with mobile rebooking technology

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Travelport is claiming a first with the launch of Resolve, technology for airlines to help passengers with hotel rooms and flights during disruption.

According to a statement the Resolve product helps with the sourcing of hotel rooms, air re-booking and meal and transport requirements.

The mobile-based technology, being trialled with a “major US-based airline” is designed to get in touch with passengers when an itinerary changes so they can make local hotel arrangements via their mobile devices.

The service grew out of an idea that originated at the Travelport Labs accelerator.

In the statement, Derek Sharp, Travelport’s air commerce senior vice president and managing director, says:

“With a few simple touches on their mobile device, Travelport helps disrupted passengers to by-pass the frustration of hotel and meal voucher lines and quickly be on their way to a comfortable hotel room.”

The Resolve technology also provides airlines with data on irregular operations such as passenger status and provides them with an analysis of the real cost of disruption.

Further developments to come include predictive capabilities to help carriers recognise potential disruption situations and provide them with a view on local events which may mean limited hotel availability.

Travelport is not the only distribution player trying to address disruptions.

Amadeus has spoken in the past about using mobile devices to address disruption. Although it initially unveiled a mobile disruption companion in 2014, the service was subsequently shelved.

A white paper it published last year to stimulate discussion around disruption put an annual figure of about $60 billion as the cost to the industry.

Amadeus launched its Schedule Recovery technology for airlines in 2015 with Qantas as the launch customer.

The technology helps carriers analyse data during disruption and hopefully improve operations.

Swiss become a customer for the passenger recovery element of the technology last year.

Travel

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July 18, 2017 at 12:02AM

William Lescaze Townhouse in New York, New York

William Lescaze Townhouse in New York, New York

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Very different from its neighbor back in the '30s

In 1930s New York City, William Lescaze used the design for his own Modernist house, the first in the city, to demonstrate his ideas about function over style. In the process, he created a new architectural fashion in America.

One of the pioneers of American Modernism, Lescaze believed the design of a house could influence the health and happiness of the resident, and that houses had to meet the needs of the people they were built for.

In 1934, he took a pre-Civil War brownstone and overhauled it for his own purposes. He eliminated ornamentation with a flat, simple façade that had a curved, inset entryway.

His most significant innovation was his use of glass blocks for the façade and for skylights, having seen them used in Europe. The skylights, embedded in the concrete back patio, allowed natural light into his ground floor office.

The glass blocks that dominated the façade, alternating with gray stucco and ribbon windows, allowed tons of natural light into the simple, modern rooms of the residential floors without allowing passersby a clear, wide-open view of the residents’ private lives.

The glass block windows also obscured the view of the building across the street, which Lescaze did not want to have to look at, and were thick enough that they did not let much street noise in or increase the energy bill (his house was also the first residence in the city to have central air conditioning). It did not take long for the use of glass block windows to spread, since they solved so many problems of city life.

Travel

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July 17, 2017 at 10:06PM

William Lescaze Townhouse in New York, New York

William Lescaze Townhouse in New York, New York

http://ift.tt/2tz1rIv

Very different from its neighbor back in the '30s

In 1930s New York City, William Lescaze used the design for his own Modernist house, the first in the city, to demonstrate his ideas about function over style. In the process, he created a new architectural fashion in America.

One of the pioneers of American Modernism, Lescaze believed the design of a house could influence the health and happiness of the resident, and that houses had to meet the needs of the people they were built for.

In 1934, he took a pre-Civil War brownstone and overhauled it for his own purposes. He eliminated ornamentation with a flat, simple façade that had a curved, inset entryway.

His most significant innovation was his use of glass blocks for the façade and for skylights, having seen them used in Europe. The skylights, embedded in the concrete back patio, allowed natural light into his ground floor office.

The glass blocks that dominated the façade, alternating with gray stucco and ribbon windows, allowed tons of natural light into the simple, modern rooms of the residential floors without allowing passersby a clear, wide-open view of the residents’ private lives.

The glass block windows also obscured the view of the building across the street, which Lescaze did not want to have to look at, and were thick enough that they did not let much street noise in or increase the energy bill (his house was also the first residence in the city to have central air conditioning). It did not take long for the use of glass block windows to spread, since they solved so many problems of city life.

Travel

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July 17, 2017 at 10:01PM

A Pricing Sheet for My Data

A Pricing Sheet for My Data

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Are you a corporation or governmental subcommittee looking to purchase
the data of a brown man in his mid-twenties with negative net worth and
suspicious-looking stubble? Who isn’t! Below is an à-la-carte menu of my
digital life, at prices so low you won’t believe they were determined
using a sliding scale of embarrassment.

Google search history: $1.00 or whatever you’re willing to pay for
something you probably already own

Incognito Google search history: $10.00 (if search conducted while
clothed); $20.00 (if in a state of undress); $1,000.00 (if in my
parents’ house and in a state of undress)

Amazon purchase made on my family’s shared Prime account: $15.00

Amazon purchase made on my personal, non-Prime account: $50.00

Amazon purchase mistakenly made on my family’s account instead of my
personal account and that happens to be a custom Nicolas Cage
pillowcase:
$100.00

YouTube video: $10.00 (if watched); $20.00 (if watched because
YouTube automatically plays one thing after another and I didn’t have
anything else to do several days in a row); $1,000.00 (if watched
because I sometimes believe the Illuminati exists)

Vitriolic YouTube comment I wasn’t going to post but then realized I
was on YouTube, so did:
$5,000.00

EBay bids on what appeared to be a legitimate miniature giraffe: $1.00 more than my winning bid and/or a giraffe of any size

Black-and-white illustration of a door that makes me seriously
consider starting a Tumblr but can’t quite get me to start a Tumblr:
$10.00 or $100.00, depending on whether or not you really think the door
is an apt metaphor for something

Heated live-chat correspondences with Cheryl, a Bank of America
representative, about the validity of an overdraft fee from 2014:
$33.50 or cost of said overdraft fee (adjusted for inflation)

AOL Instant Messenger away message from 2003: $10.00 (if I don’t
visibly cringe after reading it); $100.00 (if, after visibly cringing, I
wonder why my parents didn’t sell thirteen-year-old Zain to the circus)

Dog GIF saved to my desktop during a regular weekend: $10.00 per
dozen

Dog GIF saved to my desktop during a post-breakup weekend: $10.00
per thousand

A Rickroll: $10.00 (if victim); $20.00 (if perpetrator); $1,000.00
(if both)

Site visited in search of the perfect moisturizer: $10.00

Site visited on the dark Web in search of the perfect moisturizer:$100.00

Tweet draft about Jennifer Lopez being my “skinspiration”: $200.00

E-mail from a close friend or family member that I’ve responded to
with the help of a therapist:
$5.00

E-mail from a close friend or family member that I’ve ignored with the
help of a therapist:
$500.00 or one hour of out-of-network therapy

Sober Seamless order made before 8:00 P.M. that I fell asleep for: $100.00

Drunken Seamless order made after 12:00 A.M. that I wouldn’t let
myself fall asleep for:
$1,000.00 (if I tried using utensils);
$1,500.00 (if I gave up on utensils and used my hands); $3,000.00 (if I
used chopsticks to eat hummus)

Facebook message from my aunt that mentions Prophet Muhammad: $5,000.00

Facebook message from my aunt that includes the phrase “American
President Donald Trump”:
$10,000.00 or the retainer fees of a defense
attorney related to Johnnie Cochran

Archived LiveJournal entry: Not for sale (unless offer includes time
machine)

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July 17, 2017 at 09:14PM

Mike the Headless Chicken in Fruita, Colorado

Mike the Headless Chicken in Fruita, Colorado

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Mike the Headless Chicken and his head

Mike the chicken was not even six months old when he got his head cut off, and almost two years old when he died.

The chicken was to be dinner one night in September 1945, in Fruita, Colorado, but after his beheading he just couldn’t sit still. He walked around trying to preen, peck, and crow, the last of which usually resulted in a gurgling sound.

To try to figure out what had gone wrong (or right, for Mike), the headless chicken was taken to the University of Utah for tests. Attempts at the university to replicate the fate of Mike were fruitless. Many chickens died. But Mike lived on. Apparently his neck had been cut in exactly the right place. 

One modern-day chicken expert theorizes that pretty much all Mike lost to the ax was his face. The blade missed his jugular vein, which, along with a timely blood clot, is why he didn’t bleed to death. The reason he kept moving is that the majority of the bird brain is in the very backs of the head, where basic and motor functions are controlled. This is why chickens other than Mike have been known to run around with their heads cut off. Mike still had 80 percent of his brain, and his neurons were still active and receiving oxygen.

Miracle Mike the Headless Chicken, as he came to be known, toured the country for 18 months after that fateful night. At 25 cents per peek, he brought his owners a lot of money. He was fed a mixture of milk and water with an eyedropper, as well as small kernels of corn that were put down his throat.

His throat also had to be cleaned every so often to prevent mucus buildup, and one night in Phoenix, Arizona, Mike choked to death on a piece of corn. His owners had left the syringe they used to clean his throat at the sideshow Mike had been part of the day before and were unable to help him. Mike’s body has never been found.

There is a sculpture of Mike on the corner of Aspen and Mulberry Streets in Fruita, which also honors him with an annual “Mike the Headless Chicken Festival,” usually in May or June. Attendees can participate in events like the “5K Run Like a Headless Chicken Race” and “Pin the Head on the Chicken.”

Travel

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July 17, 2017 at 09:09PM

Mike the Headless Chicken in Fruita, Colorado

Mike the Headless Chicken in Fruita, Colorado

http://ift.tt/2tjMPBn

Mike the Headless Chicken and his head

Mike the chicken was not even six months old when he got his head cut off, and almost two years old when he died.

The chicken was to be dinner one night in September 1945, in Fruita, Colorado, but after his beheading he just couldn’t sit still. He walked around trying to preen, peck, and crow, the last of which usually resulted in a gurgling sound.

To try to figure out what had gone wrong (or right, for Mike), the headless chicken was taken to the University of Utah for tests. Attempts at the university to replicate the fate of Mike were fruitless. Many chickens died. But Mike lived on. Apparently his neck had been cut in exactly the right place. 

One modern-day chicken expert theorizes that pretty much all Mike lost to the ax was his face. The blade missed his jugular vein, which, along with a timely blood clot, is why he didn’t bleed to death. The reason he kept moving is that the majority of the bird brain is in the very backs of the head, where basic and motor functions are controlled. This is why chickens other than Mike have been known to run around with their heads cut off. Mike still had 80 percent of his brain, and his neurons were still active and receiving oxygen.

Miracle Mike the Headless Chicken, as he came to be known, toured the country for 18 months after that fateful night. At 25 cents per peek, he brought his owners a lot of money. He was fed a mixture of milk and water with an eyedropper, as well as small kernels of corn that were put down his throat.

His throat also had to be cleaned every so often to prevent mucus buildup, and one night in Phoenix, Arizona, Mike choked to death on a piece of corn. His owners had left the syringe they used to clean his throat at the sideshow Mike had been part of the day before and were unable to help him. Mike’s body has never been found.

There is a sculpture of Mike on the corner of Aspen and Mulberry Streets in Fruita, which also honors him with an annual “Mike the Headless Chicken Festival,” usually in May or June. Attendees can participate in events like the “5K Run Like a Headless Chicken Race” and “Pin the Head on the Chicken.”

Travel

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July 17, 2017 at 09:05PM