InterContinental Hotels Group offers to pay airline checked-bag fees
Thursday 26, August 2010
InterContinental Hotels Group has chosen to reward its guests by reimbursing checked baggage fees charged by many U.S. airlines.
Beginning Aug. 16, when travellers book two consecutive weekend nights at any one of the 4,500 IHG hotels worldwide for stays between Sept. 1 and Dec. 30, 2010, their checked bag is free.
According to IHG, travellers can participate each and every weekend they stay with an IHG hotel during the “Check It Free” promotion period, when they pay for their hotel stay using their Visa Card.
The average fee for the first checked bag on a roundtrip domestic flight is $50.
Referring to a recent Consumer Reports magazine survey on travel gripes, IHG emphasised that luggage charges came out on top.
“With Labor Day, Thanksgiving and the December holidays just around the corner there are many opportunities for weekend getaways, or even a week-long vacation,” said Del Ross, vice president, U.S. Sales & Marketing. “But baggage fees can really add up, dipping into the overall travel budget, so we’d like to cover our guests’ checked bag fees for the next 17 weeks to help make their leisure more convenient and enjoyable.”
In order to avail this offer, travellers have to pay using a valid Visa credit card and also download a rebate form via www.ihg.com/freebag and submit it with copies of their hotel receipt and baggage fee receipt for the same trip.
According to smartertravel.com, aside from its limited applicability, the promotion has two notable downsides. First is the process—it requires a fair amount of work to collect and supply the required documentation. And second is the use of a prepaid card as the reimbursement vehicle. It added that this offer is obviously moot if you routinely carry your bags onboard with you. It’s also moot if you don't spend weekend nights at hotels—the promotion targets leisure travellers.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), the airlines in the US collected $769 million in baggage fees in Q1.
From January to March, the airlines collected $769 million in baggage fees and $554 million from reservation change fees. Airlines also reported revenue of $534 million from other ancillary revenue, from passengers and from other sources. This revenue category includes revenue from frequent flyer award programme mileage sales and pet transportation fees. Total first quarter 2010 airline revenue from all ancillary sources was $1,857 million, with Delta reporting the most, $592 million.
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