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21 higher flyer predictions for ’21 (Part 2)

The Daily Flyer

Welcome to the January 11, 2021 edition of “The Daily Flyer,” The Higher Flyer‘s newsletter that gathers up and summarizes some of the day’s most important happenings in the world of airlines, hotels, award points, and other travel-related things. Today’s main feature picks up where last Wednesday’s entry left off and offers 10 more predictions for 2021. It also covers higher flying’s uncomfortable intersection with acts of sedition, updated elite status qualifications (or not), and a list of COVID test providers.

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21 higher flyer predictions for ’21 (Part 1)

The Daily Flyer

Happy Wednesday, and welcome to the January 6, 2021 edition of “The Daily Flyer,” The Higher Flyer‘s newsletter that gathers up and summarizes some of the day’s most important happenings in the world of airlines, hotels, award points, and other travel-related things. Today’s feature consists of 21 predictions for 2021 (or rather 11 of them; the other 10 will come in the next TDF installment), as well as huge diplomatic news (that affects aviation), some thoughts on obtaining elite status this year, and, to round it out, some New Year’s resolutions from renowned travel writers.

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2021: Introducing the murky next chapter for higher flying

The Daily Flyer

Happy new year, welcome back, and welcome to the first 2021 edition of “The Daily Flyer!” After a long, COVID-induced layoff, The Higher Flyer‘s newsletter is back to gather up and summarize some of the most important happenings in the world of airlines, hotels, award points, and other travel-related things.  Today’s feature — for January 4, 2021 — examines the state of higher flying entering 2021, and it also bids farewell to Fido (in a way), covers a (potentially) practical aspect of higher flying in a pandemic, and, on a more aspirational note, it highlights some new hotels scheduled to open in 2021.

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Hoodoo Moab, Curio Collection by Hilton Review

The great American West meets higher flyer luxury

Moab, Utah, despite its remote location on the Colorado Plateau, is a hub for intrepid explorers, nature enthusiasts, and backpacking tourists.  Its close proximity to two ruggedly beautiful national parks — Arches and Canyonlands — is the main draw, and Moab attracts more and more visitors with each passing year.  The local hotel scene is expanding in order to cater to them, and the town’s first upscale property, the Hoodoo, opened in Summer 2019.  As part of Hilton’s Curio Collection, it’s a charming, well-designed, and luxurious four-star, but it’s also one of the most expensive places in the area.  To the delight of higher flyers though, these costs can be easily offset with points and, better yet, there’s plenty good value to be had!

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The recovery has begun, but…

The Daily Flyer

Welcome to the ninth edition of “The Daily Flyer,” The Higher Flyer‘s newsletter that gathers up and summarizes some of the day’s most important travel-related happenings.  Today, May 20, 2020, we’re venturing out of our coronavirus slumber (it’s been two months!) to cover the measures airlines and hotels are taking to prepare for the post-outbreak “return-to-normalcy,” and the hurdles that some must clear to get there.  Read further for coverage on a potentially interesting service concept from Delta, a guide to aspirational hotels worth visiting after this is all said and done, and the story of a single man living in a massive luxury hotel.

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DoubleTree hotels are nice and boring

A recent review on the The Higher Flyer has prompted a few to ask:  “what’s wrong with DoubleTree hotels?” and as a follow up:  “why do you hate them?”  Well, despite what my review of the DoubleTree in Madrid may imply, the answer is a resounding “nothing.”   Nothing is wrong with Hilton’s business-traveler-centric brand and I’d gladly stay in one if presented the opportunity.  That said though, these hotels don’t really lend themselves well to scenes of higher flying; they don’t evoke visions of luxury like Waldorf Astorias do, nor do they offer the incredible value that Hampton Inns do.  DoubleTrees instead are synonymous with bland-yet-practical accommodations for the well-paid road warriors of the world.

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DoubleTree Madrid-Prado Review

A Hilton DoubleTree masquerading as a quaint boutique hotel in the heart of Madrid

Hilton as a brand doesn’t have a particularly aspirational reputation.  Sure, its hotels are mostly comfortable and are more than serviceable, but the average Hilton usually lacks the glamour or pizzazz or charm that a mid-level Hyatt or a legacy Starwood property (RIP) might have.  Hilton’s DoubleTrees are some of the worst offenders when it comes to generic corporateness — they’re typically marketed to business travelers, and utilitarian design doesn’t lend itself well to pleasing aesthetics — but the brand’s sole property in Spain is an obvious outlier.  While “DoubleTree” might not evoke images of boutique luxury, the one in Madrid should very well challenge your assumptions.

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10 Hampton Inns for President Obama to Visit

Former President Obama recently professed his preference/appreciation for Hampton Inns.  While they’re far cries from the penthouse suites he enjoyed during his time in office, there’s a certain comfort in the consistency.  As Obama put it (as quoted by The Washington Post), “In the Hampton Inn, there’s like one light switch, one bathroom door, and the bed, and the TV remote; I’m good.”  But there are thousands of locations (2,500 or so to be specific), and naturally, not all of them are created equally.  In the spirit of the former president’s comments, here are some of the top Hampton Inns for him to visit on his future trips.

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Obama: “If I was just in the Hampton Inn… I’m good.”

Higher flying doesn’t necessarily refer to the top tier, most-luxurious accommodations.  If something presents a good value for your money and makes sense for you and your travel goals, indeed, that option can be just as valuable as one that costs significantly more.  If you don’t believe me, ask Barack Obama instead!  The Washington Post recently quoted the former president singing the praises of Hampton Inns, one of Hilton’s budget-friendly brands and not one that you would associate with some/one of the most powerful people in the world.  They’re far from glamorous, but if they’re good enough for Obama, certainly they can suffice for everyone else.

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