»»Business Travelers Rate the Best Airlines and Hotels – 2012 Condé Nast Traveler Survey

Virgin America is the top U.S. airline for Premium Class in 2012, according to Condé Nast Traveler’s 2012 Business Travel Poll, an annual survey — rating hotels, hotel brands and airlines — conducted among business travelers.
The survey also ranked Singapore Airlines the best airline in Asia for Premium Class.
Virgin Atlantic and Emirates took the top honors for the same category in Europe and in Africa/Middle East respectively.

– How Condé Nast Traveler’s 2012 Business Travel Poll works.

An independent firm — Global Market Insite, Inc, asked over 46,000 Condé Nast Traveler readers identified as business travelers to rate hotels, hotel brands, and airlines on a variety of criteria. Final scores (out of 100) represent the percentage of readers who rated a hotel, hotel brand, or airline excellent or very good — other rating options include good, fair, or poor.

Below is a summary of ranking — including final scores — of Airlines for Premium Class by region.
North America: Virgin America, 87.9; Hawaiian Airlines, 81.2; Sun Country Airlines, 72.5.
Asia: Singapore Airlines, 91.4; Cathay Pacific, 90.5: Air New Zealand, 89.1.
Europe: Virgin Atlantic, 86.9; Swiss International Air Lines, 84.0; Lufthansa, 81.6.
Africa/Middle East: Emirates, 91.0; Etihad Airways, 87.0; El Al Israel Airlines, 85.1.

Below is the Condé Nast Traveler’s Hotel Brands ranking:
Auberge Resorts, 94.4; Montage Hotels & Resorts, 93.7; Oberoi Hotels & Resorts, 93.3; Peninsula Hotels, 92.9; Four Seasons, 92.4; Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, 91.6; Trump Hotel Collection, 91.6; Ritz-Carlton, 91.1; St. Regis, 90.8; Mandarin Oriental, 89.1; Raffles Hotels & Resorts, 89.1; Wynn Resorts, 89.1; One&Only, 88.6; Shangri-La, 87.4; Regent, 87.1.

Full ratings of Condé Nast Traveler’s 2012 Business Travel Poll can be found here.

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»»Hilton Promotion: up to 15,000 Bonus Virgin Miles

Hilton launched a new promotion which gives you the chance to earn progressively more bonus Virgin miles.
You can earn up to 15,000 Flying Club bonus miles if you book and stay at any participating hotel within the Hilton Worldwide portfolio between September 26 and December 31, 2012.

To participate in the offer, you must be a Hilton HHonors member. Registration is required.
You must select Virgin Atlantic Airways in your HHonors profile as your preferred airline. Also, don’t forget to select one of the two Double Dip Earnings Style options: HHonors Points and Variable Miles or HHonors Points and Fixed Miles.

Below’s an example of bonus points you’ll earn through this promotion, based on the number of stays:
Stay 1 = 1000 bonus points;
Stay 2 = 2000 bonus points;
Stay 3 = 3000 bonus points;
Stay 4 = 4000 bonus points;
Stay 5 = 5000 bonus points.

So, if you spend 5 stays during the promotion period, you would earn 15,000 bonus miles, besides the 5000 miles you would earn regularly.

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»»Global Hotel Rates Increase 4% in First Half of 2012

Global hotel rates increased by 4% in the first six months of 2012, compared to the same period of the previous year, according to the Hotels.com Hotel Price Index. The index, also shows that, despite this rise, hotel rates are still around their 2005 level.

The Hotels.com Hotel Price Index, which stood at 108 for the first half of 2012, was at its peak of 119 in the first six months of 2007.

Regionally, the study shows the hotel prices rose most in the Pacific region (+6%) and North America (+5%). In Asia, hotel prices for H1 2012 were up 4%, while in Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East recorded just an 1% increase.
In Asia, Japanese began to travel again after the problems caused by of the earthquake and nuclear disaster in March 2011, as China experienced a significant increase in international travelers in the last year.
Confidence seems to be back to much of the Middle East and North Africa after the political crises in 2011.
In the US, business travel experienced an increase in the first half of 2012.
Only some areas of the Eurozone experienced a drop in hotel rates, with a lower occupancy in the major cities.

However, globally, in the first six months of 2012, the index shows encouraging signs of growth for the sector.
Hotels.com Hotel Price Index, launched in 2004, is a report on room rates paid by travelers around the world.

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»»Starwood’s Fall Promotion Offers Mobile Booking Bonuses

Starwood has unveiled its fall promotion. It will offer double Starpoints on eligible stays of 1 or 2 nights, triple Starpoints on eligible stays of 3 or more nights, for stays completed at participating properties between October 1 and December 20, 2012.

That means the same bonuses that Starwood’s promotion “Better By the Night” was offering in the first quarter of the year.

However, the fall promotion will be an improved “Better By the Night”, as it also includes the following bonuses for booking online or through their iPhone app:
– 250 Starpoints for eligible stays booked at spg.com;
– 500 Starpoints for eligible stays booked through the SPG app for iPhone.

Starwood’s fall promotion requires registration by November 30. To find out details and the list of hotels & resorts not participating in the promotion, please visit this page.

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»»Hyatt’s Fall Promotion: 10,000 Bonus Points for Every Five Nights Stay

Hyatt Gold Passport is offering 5,000 bonus points after your first five nights and 10,000 additional bonus points for each 5 nights stayed after that, at any Hyatt hotel worldwide, between September 1 through November 30, 2012.
You can earn up to a maximum of 65,000 bonus points, which is equivalent to to 35 nights.

In order to receive 5,000 Hyatt Gold Passport bonus points, you have to complete five eligible nights at any participating Park Hyatt, Andaz, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Hyatt Place, Hyatt House, or Hyatt Residence Club hotel and resort worldwide, between September 1 and November 30, 2012 (promotion period). After that you’ll earn 10,000 Hyatt Gold Passport bonus points for every five subsequent eligible nights thereafter during the promotion period.

Registration is required.
You have to register for the promotion here, between August 15, 2012 and October 31, 2012.

New member enrollments from August 15, 2012 through October 31, 2012 will automatically be registered for this promotion.

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