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May 02, 2010



Excellent post Andy. I do travel a bit myself and about 3 years ago I made a change to my travel habits. For years I used to go to the same hotels, same places, same restaurants in the hope to be recognized as a loyal customer to maximize my travel experience.
Loyalty can become your worse enemy - mostly while on the road. I hate familiarities, accepting downgrades or that last room near the ice machine because you are already THEIR customer.
So 3 years ago I decided to give up on Air France (Platinum Club 2000 Skyteam Elite with lifetime status) for American Airlines (after a short challenge I was awarded a similar status at AA.com), and more important I wanted to discover new places. Traded my Inter-Continental, Starwood, Hilton Honors cards for boutique hotels only.
Standard greetings in those charming hotels are way above the 'exclusive elitist bs' you get when checking in at any luxury chains. Often those boutique hotels host incredible bars or/and restaurant. But most important is the discovery factor during business trips. I never have time to visit town so I make my stay a unique experience. And it’s totally worth it.

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