When you start to travel frequently, you figure out who your brands are. Spreading your travel thinly over many companies just means barely any status anywhere. So we think about which brands we like and we make a commitment. I made mine years ago, with Marriott and United. As a lifetime Platinum for Marriott, it was a good choice.  

Now that I hit my lifetime status, I can stay other places, but I also like my status with Marriott. I like the automatic upgrades, late check out and free water. Things that matter in business travel. 

I have noticed over the years though, that travel reward programs often take the "what have you done for me lately" stance. And while I think Marriott as a company understands my value as a customer, I'm not sure that the brand experience extends very well. I've encountered some tough situations over the years, with local hotels and brands that don't understand my value. And don't seem to even care. My all-time favorite was a front desk person at a Spring Hill Suite who told me that mobile check-in did not apply to her hotel (contrary to the sign on the desk), and whatever I did in "that app" did not matter in the slightest.

The power of the customer is stronger today than ever before, due to social media in a large extent, so everyone representing the brand needs to be aware of that.

And rewards programs should reward the customers that are actually loyal. It's not hard to figure out. Use your data wisely folks!


AuthorJeannette Kocsis

I try to imagine how people choose what they wear when they are getting on a plane. They would probably not choose to offend anyone with their choices of clothing. And they may think twice about an extra size bag or bulky coat. They are careful to stay in their space, because none of us want to be touching someone we don't know for any length of time. And many people are aware of arm rest etiquette, sharing is even possible.

We carefully keep our drinks and snacks in place. And although there are some unruly characters now and then, most flights are quiet.


Then can someone please explain why women and men feel the need to slather themselves in perfume, body lotion or anything equally strong smelling before getting on a flight?  As a sufferer of allergies, it's like an assault. 

i guess I can only be glad that I don't have pet allergies given the multiple dogs and cats on the flight. 

In fact I think I will go move to the seat next to the puppy and hope for the best. 

AuthorJeannette Kocsis

I am not what you would call a global traveler. Most of my flights and travels are within the US. So when I do take trips out of the country, i always realize that it's the little things that trip you up. 

Here is my small collection of tips, and hope they help you 

1.  Upgrade. Do it.  Even if just to extended leg room. Do it. Don't think. 

2. Business class. An expensive but well worth it option for any flight over 6 hours. Unfortunately, you don't usually get those upgrades with status only.  

3. Bring a pen. You need it for the entry forms and the flight attendants don't have them. 

4. Comfort is everything. Flying back from the UK, I sat next to a woman in a very tight short skirt, a load of spangly jewelry and made up to the nines. Besides waking up with raccoon eyes, her skirt was a wrinkled mess and she lost one of her spangles. 

5. Stay warm. Layers are good. Bring your own blanket; you can buy ones that fold up pretty small.  

6. Pillows for night flights are good ideas. The pillows provided don't help much. You can get ones that are inflatable and ones that will fold up on a little bag. 

7. Tissues. I always try to fly with cold meds and tissues. Got caught recently without and paid the price. 

8. Global entry. GE includes TSA Precheck, so go ahead and pay the fee if you think you will travel frequently. 

9. BYO Snacks. Usually pack some healthy snacks in my bag. The food on the plane, especially in coach, will not be great.   

10. Bring stuff to do. Most planes are starting to use more wifi enabled entertainment options. You will need a smartphone or tablet to access the movies and other entertainment. 

11. Bring extra power - sticks, mophie, reserve batteries. Not all planes have power plugs and not all of them work when they do have them.

12. Don't forget to get up. The worst thing you can do is not move. If the flight is turbulent, do some simple foot stretches.  Go up on the balls of your feet and push down for 30 seconds. Then your heels. This stretches your calves.  The point is to avoid circulatory issues that can lead to serious complications and you don't want that, especially in a foreign country. 


Let me know if you have other great tips to share as well!


AuthorJeannette Kocsis

Sometimes air travel is boring. We get on planes, we go places, we come back. And boring is good!   

But sometimes it gets really interesting. This was not in a bad way at all, because when flights aren't boring that can be scary. 

I was on a flight last week, going from Washington to Raleigh. The business man in front of me, in first class, had already received his drink and was relaxing during boarding. The gate agent walked up and asked if anyone had talked to him about his seat. He said "No", and the gate agent told him he had been downgraded.  The whole cabin went silent, as we all exchanged glances.  Apparently the flight was oversold and even though he was 1K on United, and had his seat assigned 4 days ago, they downgraded him to make room for someone who paid full fare.  And then they put him in row 28. He was not happy. We were all stunned and asked the flight attendant to take him a drink. I think she did.

Then an older man sitting across from me summoned the gate agent, in a very demanding tone, stating that he flies a million miles a year on United and he needed attention. I was hiding my smiles since he and his companion sat in the wrong seats when they came onboard. He berated the gate agent and the flight attendant about how terrible the airline is and he was delayed waiting for repairs all day. Then he got on his phone and called United to complain and told them the whole story again.  I think if you fly a million miles, you could probably try more than one airline.  And that is a LOT of miles!

Finally we take off. Someone starts ringing the call button 5 seconds into takeoff. I never knew what that was about exactly but heard that someone didn't like their seat.

The man sitting next to me turned to me and said, "this is the most interesting flight I have been on in years!"  I had to agree.

AuthorJeannette Kocsis