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Travel Industry

Intercontinental Hotels Group Announces Free Internet For All Loyalty Members

IHG Logo for free internet post

Free Internet now offered to loyalty club members at all global IHG hotels

Perhaps eclipsing the news that they have revamped and renamed their guest loyalty program, Intercontinental Hotels Group also announced today that the newly named IHG Rewards Club will grant free internet access to all members, at every hotel worldwide by 2014.

This change will affect 71 million loyalty members and give them all free internet access at IHG family hotels which include Holiday Inn, Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza, Candlewood Suites, Staybridge Suites, Hotel Indigo, EVEN Hotels and HUALUXE.

An IHG press release cited a survey commissioned by the global lodging company which revealed 43% of adults would choose not to stay in a hotel because it charged for internet access.

At VenueQuest we have seen not just an increase in the demand for free internet but also the demand for the ability to connect multiple devices to free WiFi.  We feel that the debate over the pricing of internet and WiFi should be over, and the new battle is how to provide the bandwidth travelers need for connecting smartphones, tablets and computers.

To learn more about the new program, please visit IHG Rewards Club.

Return Your Seat to it’s Upright Position…and what the heck is a cross check and all call?

Flying commercial aircraft is a sensory overload.  From the battle between cars, taxis and shuttles at the curb, to the plodding steps through security and finally the feeding frenzy of the boarding process, air travelers are constantly hit with instructions and rules.   parts of the experience are easy to figure out, but there are a few things I have always wondered about, so today, I am going to share what I have learned about the some of the things we all experience on airplanes.
#1 – First of all, what the heck is a “Cross check” and an “All Call?”
Flight attendants announce the completion of their cross checks and all calls at the beginning and end of every flight.  I was raised in Michigan where we are serious hockey fans, and I sure hope the flight attendants are not announcing they have completed that kind of cross check.  My research has revealed that once the jetway has pulled away from the plane, flight attendants at the front of the plane check that the doors on each side are properly locked, and that the emergency evacuation slides are armed to deploy if that door opens.  Then, as an extra precaution, the two flight attendants switch sides and check the door their partner has just finished inspecting. Once they agree that both doors are properly prepared, they use the public intercom to announce the completion of the safety step to the flight attendant in the rear of the plane, and to the pilots.

#2 – The recirculated air inside the plane is full of germs
Makes perfect sense to passengers right?  I have often developed a cold shortly after flying and blamed it on the stale air in the cabin.  However, it turns out most commercial planes are equipped with either sophisticated air cleansing systems, or mechanisms that draw in fresh air from the outside to keep the cabin air pleasant.  Some planes even use both systems.  I found reports of studies that have shown only a 1 or 2% difference in the occurrence of colds in passengers who flew on planes with air cleansing systems, and passengers on older planes with no such system.  However, those studies also found that people who fly are far more likely to develop colds than those who do not fly.  That leaves the experts to speculate that the real culprit of your cold is the transfer of germs from the surfaces you touch which rarely get cleaned (ie: the plastic bin at security, the escalator handrail, the handles and rails in the people movers, armrests on your seat, the tray table, the door of the overhead bin, and your own luggage for crying out loud!  When was the last time you washed a suitcase handle!!)

#3 – All electronics must be fully turned off and safely stowed when the plane is below 10,000 feet.
The myth on this one, which the airlines and the FAA would like everyone to believe, is that your personal electronics give off just enough signal that they could interfere with the electronics which help the pilots fly and navigate the plane.  Numerous studies have failed to prove this point with any kind of conclusive evidence.  The real risk is subtly alluded to in the reference to “safely stow” those devices.  As with many rules on an airplane, the reasoning begins with, “If this plane was going to crash land…”  In an emergency, the plane can move erratically and by keeping devices in bags and overheads, they hope to limit the number of passengers who get pelted with flying iPhone’s and Kindles which have become projectiles after being dropped.

#4 – Place airmasks on yourself before assisting others.  
As a parent who has flown with my young son numerous times, I always go through an internal debate when I hear this one.  I know my natural instinct would be to immediately help my child.  But here is the part they don’t tell you.  For a plane flying at an altitude above 30,000 feet, if there is a rapid loss of cabin air pressure, tests have shown that passengers may have less than 5 seconds to get that mask on before they start losing consciousness.  Most commercial planes cruise at an altitude much higher than the very top of Mt. Everest and the climbers who reach the top of that mountain usually need the assistance of oxygen tanks well before they get to the top.

Finally, we want to acknowledge that flying commercial is not all doom and gloom.  Delta Airlines has recognized the absurdity of some of the rules they are bound to follow and they are now showing a safety video on some flights which I have found very funny and informative.  Watch this video and see if you can spot Abe Lincoln.

Unfortunately, there is nothing VenueQuest can do to make the commercial air travel experience more enjoyable for you or your co-workers.  However, we can help to ensure that once they reach their destination, they will have an excellent experience at their meeting destination.  Our meeting site selection services ensure that you have the best hotel selected for all the goals and objectives of your meeting, including, a productive environment, compliance with your budget, proximity to services and amenities which are important to your attendees and good quality food.

If you will be seeking a venue for a meeting, conference, or team event, please let us know and we can show you a better way to find the hotel and meeting space you need.  Get started right here, or contact us at dan@venuequest.com.