In brief: Stingy US airlines redeem few miles
A study reveals which airlines are the stingiest with frequent flier mile redemptions, Japan will soon get its first budget airline, the best hotels for "geeks" are named and more. Here are the stories that travellers are buzzing about:
Survey: Stingy airlines redeem few miles
If you would like to redeem some of your frequent flier miles on Delta or US Airways, good luck. Those two airlines could fulfil just one in four standard mileage award requests according to a new study, while best-in-class Southwest could fulfil 99.3%, the Wall Street Journal reports. Among international airlines, Air Berlin, Air Canada, GOL, Lufthansa and Singapore scored highest for seat redemption availability. The annual study, based on 6,720 requests for award trips at standard mileage levels, was done by IdeaWorks, a research firm that focuses on travel loyalty programs. The numbers underscore what many fliers already suspected: some airlines make it far easier to earn miles than to redeem them for free travel.
Japan to get its first budget airline
All Nippon Airways (ANA) recently overtook Japan Airlines (JAL) in passenger volume and now it hopes to build on that success by launching the country's first full-service, low-fare carrier, named Peach. Service is slated to start March 2012 out of Osaka, using Airbus A3620s to fly to Asian cities. The blog Japan Real Time expresses surprise at the casualness of the planned outfits for the cabin crew, with women flight attendants outfitted in trousers instead of a traditional skirt.
HotelChatter names "the best geek hotels"
Opening on 1 June, Yotel Times Square will have a luggage Yobot to help place your bags in storage and tiny rooms with flat-screen TVs, video game consoles and free wi-fi. That's a representative example of the hotels listed by the blog HotelChatter as top places for gadget-and-technology fans to stay. Other picks include London's soon-to-be-opened Eccleston Square Hotel, whose guest rooms include iPad2s, beds with built-in-massage systems, 3D eyewear for playing games on a 46-inch TVs, and bathroom walls that morph from transparent to opaque at the touch of a button.
The mega re-tweet
We scour Twitter to highlight a standout travel tweet.
"Tons of good food here! Continuing my workouts and does anyone know where I can find some Zantrex fat burner in Italy? I am running out!"
-- @Sn00ki, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, star of the MTV reality TV series Jersey Shore. She tweeted during her vacation to Italy, the country of her ancestors.