Archive | September, 2013

Travel Status and Perks – The Beginner’s Guide

Travel used to be so simple. The type of travel experience you could expect was pretty much aligned with what you paid. Want a nice leather seat and a glass of Champaign on your flight? Pay for a first class ticket. Want a corner hotel room with an included breakfast? Pay for a top hotel. And rental cars? Well you didn’t expect a whole lot of options there anyway.

But nowadays, the travel industry has become very competitive. Companies will go the extra mile to keep their best customers. Loyalty programs have sprung up to identify and keep track of frequent customers. Based on the number of flights, hotel stays, or car rentals booked, customers are grouped into different status levels. The higher the status level attained, the better the perks and amenities that are offered on the trip.

As a customer, it makes sense to review and take advantage of these programs. After all, it can make the difference between a cramped flight between screaming children or a peaceful nap with first class accommodations! The main amenities offered are listed below:

Mileage/Point Bonus
Travelers accumulate mileage, points, or hotel stays and then redeem them later in the form of free trips or other benefits. As various status levels are achieved, companies will allow for extra mileage or points accumulation. Typical programs include a 10-20% points bonus at the lowest level and up to a 100% points bonus at the highest status levels. These bonus points really add up and can be quite valuable upon redemption.

Lounge Access or Discount (Airport or Hotel)
Hotels that have lounge areas typically offer complimentary access to customers with status. This is a nice benefit as it normally includes a free continental breakfast and free drinks for an hour or two in the evening. Airport lounges are typically offered at a discounted rate for customers with status. This is a nice benefit for frequent flyers who want to get away from the commotion of an airport terminal.

Auto Upgrade
Rental car companies typically offer a complimentary upgrade to the next car class for their best customers. This may mean an upgrade from a small car to a midsize, for example.

Companion Flight Upgrade
Airlines typically offer upgrades from coach class to business or first class to their best customers. A even nicer touch is a complimentary upgrade for a companion on the same flight. This always goes down well with the spouse or co-worker of a frequent flyer.

Airline Seat Upgrade
Airline seat upgrades are one of the most coveted and closely controlled perks in the skies. With a particular status, flyers can be moved from coach class to business or first class areas. This is typically done on a priority basis. First priority goes to those of the highest status. Typically, the upgrade is not made until a few days before the flight, to allow availability for customers who wish to purchase first class tickets.

Expedited Car Rental
Car rental companies are notorious for long lines and slow customer service. Most companies will offer some sort of expedited service for their customers with status. This typically includes bypassing the rental desk, a huge plus for those travelers in a rush.

Free Breakfast
Many hotels offer a complimentary breakfast for their best customers.

Guaranteed Availability
Companies typically offer some type of preferred reservation priority for customers with status. At the top status level, some hotels offer guaranteed availability, which is a controversial practice as it can mean canceling existing reservations. This amenity is a godsend though, for last minute travelers who often run into availability issues.

Late Check-Out
A later check out time is a typical amenity offered to hotel guests.

No Blackout Dates
Experienced users of rewards programs know that one of the biggest “gotchas” are blackout dates. These are high volume dates (think holidays and weekends) in which companies do not allow the redemption of mileage or points. Of course they happen to coincide with those dates you would most like to redeem points! With certain status levels, blackout dates are waived.

Preferred Seating
Preferred seating allows early access to airline seating selection and the ability to select exit row and other preferred seats. This is a typical amenity offered even at lower status levels.

Priority Boarding
Priority airline boarding is an important perk offered at almost any status level. It allows the flyer to board first and have access to empty overhead luggage space.

Priority Baggage Handling
Priority baggage handling means that the traveler’s baggage will be loaded last. This causes the bags to be first off the plane, allowing for a quicker getaway from baggage claim.

Priority Check-In
Airlines offer special check-in lines for flyers with status. This is of less importance in the age of online and kiosk check-in for flights.

Priority Security Line
One of the most coveted perks. In the age of long airlines security lines, the ability to use the expedited line, along with first class passengers and crew, is a huge time saver.

Priority Standby
A key perk for those who change flights at the last minute, priority standby puts flyers with status to the front of the queue for standby flight availability.

Room Upgrade
Hotels typically offer customers with status a room upgrade. This could mean a larger room and on a higher floor.

Service Desk
The service desk is offered by many companies, typically for the highest status level. It is a special phone number that provides expedited service for high status customers.

How does one obtain a particular travel status and its related perks? The standard way is to simply use a particular travel provider enough and accumulate the required amount of points. Some shortcuts are possible, however. Many airlines and hotels will match a status level that has been obtained with a rival firm. This practice is common, but not widely advertised in the travel industry.

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How to Get People to Like Your Facebook Status

One of the most popular social media sites these days is Facebook and it is easy to see why since most of our friends and family members all have accounts there. With over 760 million plus users it is no wonder Facebook is so popular. One of the biggest obstacles many Facebook users face each day is what to write on their wall as well as getting comments and likes on them. Some people write news or gossip on their wall. Others like to post songs, while some write and post just about anything.

Whatever the case may be for you one of the best things about having a good status on Facebook is the amount of comments and likes that you get. While some people may not care whether or not someone likes their statuses at all there are others who do. If you are one of those people that want to know how to get people to like your Facebook status then here are some great tips that will show just how to manage that.

The first thing that you need to do is make sure you find and use good or great status updates to post on your wall. There are sites that are dedicated to helping you get a good status each day. Most of us work and are always on the go and do not have all the time in the world to come up with clever and witty statuses to post on our Facebook all the time. That is where sites like these can be very helpful.

While having a great and awesome status is a good way to get comments and likes, it is not always guaranteed that you will get some if you post one though. This can also depend on what time you decide to post your status on your wall. If you post a great status on a Friday or Saturday it is less likely to get comments and likes as if you posted the same one on a weekday. Remember that on the weekends people tend to go out and be less attentive or log on less to social media sites. Be sure to save what you consider to be a great status for the weekdays.

Be sure you never post your statuses too late at night or too early as well. Remember that the news feed is constantly being updated so when you post something it can be buried right away with all of your other friends and family status updates.

Adding a few symbols, text art or ASCII characters will also make your status stand out from the rest. This is one of the best guaranteed ways to get comments and likes. There are some sites that contain text art symbols and all you need to do is simply copy & paste them into your wall or comment.

The last and most important rule to getting comments and likes on your status is by reciprocating. This means that if you want people to comment on your status then you must also do so on theirs. You want people to like your status? Well you have to like theirs as well. This doesn’t mean you have to click on the like button of every status out there. Just the ones that you feel are nice enough to warrant a like. This will get them to notice and like yours when you post it.

If you follow these simple suggestions then you should get many likes and comments on your next status update. Now that you know how to get people to like your Facebook status the next step is to find a good one to help you get some likes and comments.

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