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Insight Newsletter - November 2014

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Distinguishing Hyperbole from Fact
 
Newspapers (whether online or hard copy) make money by selling papers and papers sell because of eye-catching headlines. The existence of social media means that these headlines can now be instantly projected around the world and expanded upon by people who have no first-hand knowledge of the actual situation. The end result is that we are constantly being bombarded with sensationalistic, somewhat frightening news stories. As a traveler, how do you distinguish between all the hyperbole and the honest-to-goodness facts?
 
 
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Lambert - St. Louis International Airport (STL)
 
From its inception in 1920 to current day, Lambert – St. Louis International Airport boasts a rich aeronautical history. The 1923 International Air Races, hosted by Lambert Field were the impetus that drew Charles Lindbergh to the city, where he lived for a number of years. Here, he became the chief pilot for the postal service’s inaugural airmail service, between St. Louis and Chicago, a route that is the earliest ancestor of American Airlines. Later, his flight aboard the Spirit of St. Louis from San Diego to St. Louis and on to New York - setting a transcontinental speed record – and his non-stop flight from New York to Paris sparked world-wide interest in air travel and flying.
 

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Marriott Offers Wireless Charging in Hotel Greatroom Lobbies

The result of a recent survey conducted by Marriott Hotels should come as no great surprise to those who travel frequently and have chafed at the shortage of electrical outlets on aircraft, in airports and hotels. The survey indicated that U.S. business travelers carry two to three electronic devices with them when they travel, and the number is expected to continue rising.

Finding power while on the road has become a common worry for travelers as battery technology has not kept up with the demands of larger screens and more app-driven devices, meaning that keeping your device charged has become a time-consuming priority during your travels.

In response to the survey and in an effort to improve the customer experience, Marriott, in partnership with Kube Systems, began in October, to roll out portable charging stations in the Greatroom lobbies of 29 of its hotels. The charging stations use Qi technology, the global standard in wireless charging.

Described as sleek and contemporary, the chargers are capable of charging up to six devices at one time and cover all Apple, Android and Windows mobile devices. The technology used allows all compatible smartphones to charge by simply resting on the KS portable Qi transmitter, removing the need for cables and power cords.

The Marriott Greatroom lobbies have been developed as a social hub and as a space for tech-savvy guests to work, relax or socialize. Although currently limited to a mere 29 hotels, if this trial proves a success, you may soon find that Marriott expands this service to more of its hotels. The wireless chargers can currently be found in many hotels in the larger centers, including New York, Boston and San Francisco.

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Mobile Suites

Before heading out on your next trip, you may want to check out MobileSuites, an app which currently offers access to services at 500+ hotel brands, including Hyatt, Le Meridien, W, St. Regis and Westin. The developers of the app noticed that while individual hotel chains had begun developing free apps allowing their guests’ digital access to services available at their hotels, there wasn’t an app that represented multiple hotel chains. Thus MobileSuites was born.

Once you’ve downloaded and launched the app, search for your hotel by name or use your device’s GPS tracker to find the hotels closest to your location. Tap on the appropriate hotel to open its home page, where you’ll see a listing of all the services available. Choose the option that interests you - whether it be ordering room service, requesting another pillow, booking a spa appointment or ordering a taxi - and complete your order online, without ever having to wait to speak to a front desk agent, housekeeper or concierge. Once your order is complete you’ll receive an emailed confirmation within minutes.

This free app is available for iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch and requires iOS 7.0 or higher.

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