Dining Table and Sofas
The Radisson at LAX is changing to become a Hyatt. This adds to the Hyatt Place at El Segundo and the Hyatt House, both close to LAX.
Why am I excited?
Well it bring the Hyatt brand to the hotel that is closest to the airport, and indeed is within walking distance of most of the terminals (couple of roads to cross). It is becoming The Concourse Hotel at LAX.
The rates are not awful, although there is no Club Lounge.
The property is really well sound proofed and I really enjoyed a stay there 18 months ago.
There are shuttles, every 10 minutes.
The web site is here.
You can read my review from my visit here.
Having not been in the USA for some weeks I am unsure whether or not the current outbreak of Ebola is getting much attention there. In Europe it is making the mainstream news, and (as always) the BBC World Service has been covering it for some weeks.
Ebola is a viral infection whose symptoms typically result in death. Infection is passed by contact with bodily fluids, and is passed to humans from monkeys or fruit bats. It is believed that transmission by sexual contact is also possible between humans, although coming in to contact with bodily fluids of the infected is the most common cause. The death rate for those infected is between 50% and 90%.
The current outbreak is in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. So far over 1,200 people have contracted the disease (with about 600 deaths), with some of the transmissions being the result of local practises. These include the local population who will re-open body bags of those who die from the infection and are returned for burial. Doctors are sometimes refused admission to villages in the false belief that they are spreading the disease.
Mali and Ghana identified cases which later turned out to be wrong.
However, in recent weeks doctors treating those infected have themselves become infected. The BBC’s latest coverage is available here.
And why do I think this is a threat to worldwide aviation. Well, Nigeria now has its first case, reported on 25 July. The Liberian national arrived in Lagos on 20 July, already infected. He was hospitalised and later died of the disease. He arrived in Nigeria by air.
I suspect that if there are many more air passengers leaving the infected region and turning up all over the world with the disease we are going to start seeing restrictions on air travel. In a world so clearly connected together by airlines, action by governments will be swift if a case gets to Europe, Asia or the USA.
The image above? An electron micrograph of the Ebola Virus. (Wikipedia).
United has launched a new safety video which you can now watch on YouTube. It’s pretty good and features crew members in different worldwide locations. Keep watching at least until you get the Kangaroos!
Yes, United has Kangaroos in its safety video.
Honestly it’s not as funny as some of the Air New Zealand videos, but for United it’s got a sense of humour and for that we should all be thankful.
How many animals can you spot in the video – no prize I am afraid, but they do seem to have spent some money on it.
A reader emailed me this morning and asked this question:
In the US, it is best to avoid renting cars at airport locations, because of the extra airport taxes and fees.
Is this true in England also.
Is it cheaper to rent cars in London rather than at Heathrow?
Where would one rent a car in London, and be able to avoid the congestion charge?
As some of you may know I cannot drive, having never passed my test (stop laughing). I wanted to have a look though and so did a quick sample on Hertz rentals for a short period next month.
Interestingly the rental from Heathrow was substantially cheaper than the rental from Hertz’s Central London location.
I’ll have a look at other companies later in the week
I wrote earlier in the week about Hyatt launching ‘Double Points’ rates. You can read that post here.
There are also some property specific bonuses you might find useful, depending on travel plans:
Hyatt Place, Waikiki until 31 Oct.
Vienna, until 31 Aug.
Churchill, London until 31 Dec.
Greenwich until 31 Aug.
Place, Washington Capitol until 31 Dec
Place, Orlando Convention Centre and Universal until 31 Dec
Hangzhou until 31 Aug
Place, Miami Airport West
The Hyatt Regency Birmingham (USA) – The Wynfrey Hotel is offering Regency Club for $10 if you stay 2 nights – Sat, Sun, Mon or Tue.
Of the double points rate properties there is a fair list – all seem to end on 1 September 14, so I imagine Hyatt will be seeing if these rates delivered any revenue, although with so little push on them I doubt anyone noticed!
It appears that American Airlines has run out of letters to describe its aircraft.
For some months, in fact since they arrived in the fleet, American has been using the 32B designator to indicate their Airbus 321 aircraft that ply between New York JFK and San Francisco or LA. Case in point is a future flight I’ll be taking around my birthday:
However, recently AA has started making schedule changes to bring in to service their two class, no flat seating, Airbus 321 planes on other routes. Confusingly they are using the same 32B designator for these. As this example for another trip shows:
Just to add to the uncertainty, the AA web site makes no mention of the two-class A321. Showing only the three class version:
An easy check is to look at the First Class cabin. This is the new A321, 2 class service (note Row 1 is back):
This is the 3 class version’s First Class cabin:
This is the Coach cabin of the 3 class version:
and the Coach cabin of the 2 class version:
It’s not really too problematic as long as you don’t expect a nice flat bed on the non-transcon route!
Hyatt has quietly launched Double Points promo rates at some properties for the summer.
A random example – Hyatt Place Birmingham USA gives three rates.
$119 – Standard Rate
$129 – Movie Rate (movie, popcorn & 2 sodas included)
$131 – Double Points rate
The Double Points rate is applied to all spend during your stay. For this stay (assuming no additional spend):
$131 * 5 points = 655 points
So for $12 you can earn an extra 655 points at least. Pretty good value in my view.
For a Diamond the stay can be quite lucrative:
655 * 1.3 (incl 30% bonus) + 500 amenity bonus + 655 for double points = 2006 points.
Full rate details:
Double Hyatt Gold Passport points on all eligible purchases during your stay: – Book between 10APR14-01SEP14 for travel between 10APR14-01SEP14 – Must be a Hyatt Gold Passport member and request points for the stay – Not valid on charges associated with group or catering events
Special Offer Code is 2XPTS
Corporate Rate is 66935
The first of the coffins belonging to victims of MH17 returned to the Netherlands yesterday so that they can be identified and returned to loved ones.
In the antithesis of the way the bodies were handled in the disputed area of the Ukraine, the Dutch and Australian governments brought the bodies back with a high level of ceremony, almost as if the person in the coffin was a beloved relative of everyone there.
More extraordinary in my view were the scenes of ordinary people lining the motorway from the airfield, lining the sides of the roads and on over passes, several people deep in places as the coffins passed. The cars and trucks on the other side of the road just coming to halt, unprompted and unasked, and displaying their respect.
The Dutch taught us what respect looked like yesterday. (0:36)
Just had a new flash that the BBC is reporting a plane crash in Taiwan.
UPDATE – Sky News is reporting a TransAsia plane has crashed killing 51 people in the Penghu Islands off the western coast of Taiwan.
They say it was flying a domestic service.
BBC report indicates a lower number of dead:
A plane has crashed after a failed emergency landing in Taiwan, killing more than 40 people, local officials say.
Aviation officials said flight GE222 aborted its initial landing and then crashed, local media reported.
A number of Hyatt’s Diamond members report on Flyertalk they have received an offer from Hyatt to give them a Hyatt Concierge. This produced a lot of consternation as many of the most established Diamond’s already have a Personal/Private Line agent who handles their requests.
However, the Head of Gold Passport has stepped in and explained that the programme is in test and that members will have the chance to shape how it moves forward. You can read his post here.
So, whilst I have not been offered this new service (frankly I am happy with my Private Line Agent), if you have I would strongly suggest you initiate the service and see what it can do for you in different circumstances – rewards, flight cancellations, dinner reservations and local activities spring to mind.
Let me know how you get on if you are in the test group.
Heathrow Airport have put up a web site explaining more about their plans to build a third runway. You can visit the web site here.
There is an interesting image of where they propose to put the new runway and how it connects with current airport. It appears to straddle the M25 which will be interesting. There is a feedback form for comments.