What’s the difference between a fee for a service and a discount for not using it?
Not much but semantics. The hotel industry is moving toward a la carte room cleaning options, and it hardly matters whether we get a discount for opting out of housekeeping or pay a fee for opting in. The bottom line is the same.
Would you accept a $5 daily credit to do without housekeeping services during your next hotel stay?
Starwood Hotels reports that 8.5 percent of its guests choose to forego housekeeping in exchange for a $5 credit to hotel restaurants or 500 points in the loyalty program for each night, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Hotels are promoting this option as ecologically friendly because towels and linens don’t get washed and vacuum cleaners don’t get used. It’s also economically friendly — for the hotel — because housekeepers don’t get paid. The article cites an estimate that it costs a luxury hotel $22 a day to clean a room.
So I’m not particularly inclined to take the bait on this one. I think I’d rather have the room cleaned and keep the housekeepers employed.
I also can’t help wondering how long it will be before this option becomes a perk and hotels start charging a cleaning fee.
I wrote this summer about the Bixi public bicycle rental program in Montreal. The New York Times has a piece about problems, particularly vandalism, with a similar program in Paris. The Times reports that nearly 80 percent of the Velib bikes in Paris have been stolen or damaged.
Southwest Airlines is flying a jet refurbished with lightweight, recycled cabin materials from Dallas to Seattle today.
The Boeing 737, which Southwest calls its “green plane,” is 520 pounds lighter than the airline’s standard jet. It doesn’t sound like much — the equivalent of just a few hefty passengers — but it will save 10,000 gallons of fuel a year, and cause a corresponding drop in carbon emissions, Southwest CEO Gary Kelly announced at the airline’s Media Day in Dallas.
A fin whale impaled on the prow of the Sapphire Princess had been dead for five to seven days before the cruise ship hit it, the Vancouver Province reports.
The whale was pinned to the ship when it docked in Vancouver last month.
A juvenile fin whale was found dead last week on the bow of a cargo ship in the Port of Tacoma. Biologists believe that whale was killed by a collision with a ship, although possibly not the one it was found on, the News Tribune of Tacoma reported.
In January, Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas arrived at Puerto Montt, Chile, with a whale’s decomposed carcass caught in the prow. Biologists later said the whale was dead when the ship hit it.