What about employee satisfaction?

Two weeks ago, a colleague scolded an airline for putting up one of its flight crews in the most expensive and exclusive hotel in Montreal. The airline was recently in bankruptcy proceedings, and my colleague was incredulous. I say the airline was right. In hard times, you have to treat your employees well. It pays off in loyalty and profitability.

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10 tips for getting travel perks

Planning a trip? Wishing your travel dollar could stretch a little farther? It can if you ask the right questions. You just need to think ahead and leverage your loyalty programs with your favorite airlines, hotels, and car rental companies. Here are 10 tips to get you great travel perks.

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I'm sorry

I was in Buenos Aires and I was ticked off. The housekeeping staff at my luxury hotel had done a lousy job cleaning my room, and I wasn't going to stand for it. I had my facts, I knew my rights and I let the general manager have an earful. Turns out, I was wrong.

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Time for a checkup

Are your frequent-flier requirements running you around in circles? Do you really want to sleep with that hotel chain anymore? It's time to take a hard look at your loyalty programs. Do this five-point checkup to make sure you're getting the best perks for the least effort and inconvenience.

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Resolution: a great year of travel

It's a new year and you're back at work. Sort of. Let's face it: Your mind isn't really on those Q1 projections. No, you're thinking: How do I get away from all this? Now's the time to start planning for a great year of travel.

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Did the Grinch steal travel?

Complain, complain, complain. It seems like the traveling public has not a good word to say about service on the network airlines. Has the Grinch come to town, or have travelers developed a bad case of entitlement? I say: Get real. If you want service guarantees, you've got to be loyal.

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The TSA finally gets things right

Four years after the tragic events of 9/11, the Transportation Security Administration is finally getting it right. The agency announced last week that it was changing its rules and procedures for airport security. It will now focus more on bombers and less on scissors and nail clippers. It's about time.

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"Thanks" for the upgrade

What's the best way to get yourself an upgrade? I've been thinking a lot about this lately, and I think the best tip I can offer this year is: Give thanks. That's right. Just say, "Thank you." It will honor hardworking travel workers, make you feel good, and maybe get you that preferred-customer upgrade.

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It's that time of year again

Are you a frequent flier, frequent car renter, or frequent hotel guest? Have you checked the calendar lately? Important deadlines are fast approaching. Plan ahead, or you may lose your chance for hard-earned rewards.

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Fuel ejection

A recent ploy by some airlines is raising some eyebrows. Under the guise of "fuel conservation," flights are being canceled at the last minute. I suspect the motive is more money than conservation -- those flights just aren't full enough to fly for a profit. But what can you do about it?

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