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MONDAY BUSINESS : TRAVEL BRIEFCASE

Discounted rate is most used hotel promotion, survey says

August 06, 2012|Hugo Martin
  • A new American Airlines service will get your luggage delivered to a location within 40 miles of the destination airport. It costs a minimum of $29.95 for one bag, $39.95 for two bags and $49.95 for three to 10 bags. Above, travelers with luggage wait outside Terminal 6 at Los Angeles International Airport last year.
A new American Airlines service will get your luggage delivered to a location… (Mariah Tauger, Los Angeles…)

What are the marketing gimmicks used most widely by hotel operators to attract guests?

Room discounts, followed by free Wi-Fi and other amenities.

A survey of more than 25,000 hotel owners and managers in North America by the travel website TripAdvisor found that discounted rooms were offered by 58% of U.S. hotels surveyed. It was 63% in Mexico and 53% in Canada.

"Regionally, it seems that the industry tends to use some of the same methods of attracting travelers," TripAdvisor spokesman Kevin Carter said.

The next most popular incentive was "special amenities," as the survey put it, naming free Wi-Fi as an example. In the U.S., 44% of hotels offered the amenities to guests. Perhaps the most alluring promotion for travelers is a free night's stay -- only 14% of hotels in the U.S. offered that, compared with 34% in Canada.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday, August 14, 2012 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 News Desk 2 inches; 107 words Type of Material: Correction
Baggage delivery: An item in the Travel Briefcase column in the Aug. 6 Section A about an offer by American Airlines to deliver luggage to a customer's home, office or hotel said the service was available at about 200 airports in the U.S., including Bob Hope Airport in Burbank. American stopped serving Bob Hope in February, but the service provided by Bags VIP is offered at the airport through other airlines, including JetBlue and US Airways. Another item in the column about hotel promotions cited a survey of 25,000 hotel owners and managers in North America. In fact, the survey questioned 25,000 hotel owners and managers worldwide.

Other incentives offered by U.S. hotels included free parking (31%) and free newspapers (20%).

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American offers luggage delivery

Starting Monday, American Airlines will offer to deliver your luggage direct to your home, office or hotel so you can skip the baggage carousel.

Of course, it costs extra.

The new service will cost a minimum of $29.95 for one bag, $39.95 for two bags and $49.95 for three to 10 bags.

That will get your luggage delivered to a location within 40 miles of the destination airport. But if the final destination for your bags is farther, you pay an extra $1 per mile.

The charges will be on top of the usual checked bag fee of $25 for the first bag, $35 for the second and $150 for additional luggage.

American is partnering with Bags VIP Luggage Delivery for the service.

Here's how it works: You order the service online when you book a flight and drop off your luggage at the airport ticket counter. When you get to your destination, you skip the carousel and your luggage is delivered to the address you designated.

The service will be offered at about 200 airports across the country, including Los Angeles International Airport, Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana and Ontario International Airport.

"We think this service will be especially valuable to families traveling with children as well as our business travelers who need to go straight to a meeting or into the office," said David Vance, the airline's managing director for customer operations planning.

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Airline upgrades meals for a fee

US Airways is giving passengers in the economy section on some routes the chance to eat like the well-heeled folks in the front of the plane.

Last week, the Tempe, Ariz., airline began to offer economy passengers traveling to Europe, the Middle East and South America the choice to upgrade their meals for an extra charge of $19.95 per meal.

A sample premium meal: citrus-marinated chicken skewers on Mediterranean orzo topped with mango chutney, served with lavosh crackers, shrimp cocktail, grilled vegetables and creme brulee cheesecake with fresh berries.

Vegetarians can order portobello tortellini marinated in sun-dried tomato pesto, served with caprese salad, lavosh crackers, hummus, baba ganoush and cheesecake with berries.

The premium meals are served with wine.

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hugo.martin@latimes.com

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