How to check into a hotel faster (your life may depend on it)

No one likes to wait to check into a hotel. But now, with COVID-19 ravaging the world, your life may depend on it.

Travelers are resorting to some unusual strategies to speed through the check-in line. Aristide Tofani uses a trick favored by frequent business travelers: He dresses the part.

“When I’m wearing a suit and tie, the receptionists think I’m there for business and that I must be busy,” he says. So he gets waved to the elite check-in line. “Often, they give me free room upgrades.”
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Airline fees aren’t going away — they’re just getting started

Even though airlines are dropping some of their most hated fees, the era of airline fees is far from over.

Airline fees aren’t going away. If anything, they are just getting started. Experts predict airlines and other travel companies will now try even harder to bait customers with low prices and then prod them into paying extra for something they want.

In August, United Airlines announced that it would “permanently” eliminate change fees for all standard economy and premium tickets for travel within the United States. The rest of the major airlines — including American Airlines and Delta Air Lines — fell in line within days. (Southwest Airlines has never charged ticket change fees.)
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No more airline fees: Pro tips for sidestepping the extras

Maybe you heard the rumors that airline fees were dead. Well, they’re not. But let’s get rid of them for real this time. No more airline fees!

There are proven ways to avoid airline fees. But to do that, you have to understand how airlines are operating now and how this affects your ticket purchase.

The airline business is in a tailspin after the COVID-19 pandemic. Some airlines won’t be able to pull out, and they will crash. And by “crash,” I don’t mean they’ll file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. I’m talking the works — a Chapter 7 liquidation. The airline is gone.
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The ridiculous truth about free hotel amenities

Free hotel amenities are not free. If you don’t believe me, ask Mark Sulkin, who picked up a “free” bottle of water in his room at the DoubleTree hotel in Phoenix.

“But in the small print, it said ‘free’ only applied to Hilton Silver-, Gold- and Diamond-level guests — otherwise, it was $3,” says Sulkin, a nonprofit fundraiser from Glenview, Ill. “How petty.”
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Travel loyalty programs are desperate now. Here’s what they’re doing

Travel loyalty programs are desperate to keep you at a time when no one is traveling. Whether they are successful or not depends on people like Karen Kinnane and Mitchell Telsey.

Both frequent travelers have made one of the most difficult decisions of 2020, at least when it comes to their travel spending: whether to stay loyal to a preferred airline, hotel or points-earning credit card.

They know travel loyalty programs are desperate, but these are desperate times.
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