Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Hotels Utilizing Unused Space for Guest Offices

Hotels are reacting to, and capitalizing on the changing habits of today's workers, who are increasingly deciding for themselves where and how they're going to work. Hotels are especially trying to appeal to travelers in their 20s and 30s who have a unique style of working. These next-generation professionals grew up working in Starbucks, Panera, libraries, and working outside. 

Marriott's Workspace on Demand program, at more than 200 properties, is a collaboration with Liquid Space, a mobile/Web app that connects people to spaces to work and meet. Hotel 1000 in Seattle offers travelers and telecommuters pop-up offices in meeting rooms or private-function spaces that would otherwise be empty. From Monday to Friday, the hotel announces on its Facebook and Twitter pages and at which spaces are available and for how much. Rather than open windowless conference rooms to workers, a number of hotels are making livelier spaces or outdoor areas available. The Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort in Florida, for instance, has a tiki hut that workers can use. The Marriott Marquis in Atlanta has a 49th floor space with an expansive view of the city. At Topaz Hotel in Wasington, D.C., workers can reserve the Moroccan-themed Zen Den toward the back of the bar for meetings. At the Delano Hotel South Beach and Mondrian South Beach in Miami, people can book poolside cabanas. The cabanas have been outfitted with Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and, upon request, wireless printing!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Favorite and Least Favorite Airports

USA TODAY recently sent an informal airport survey out to more than 1,600 of the world's most frequent business travelers who volunteer information to the news outlet. Dallas Fort/Worth Airport finished No. 1 among U.S. airports, and Amsterdam's Schiphol airport ranks at the top of foreign airports. Least favorites were O'Hare and Paris' Charles DeGaulle. Atlanta, Detroit and San Francisco were favorite runners-up for domestic airports. In expressing his displeasure with CDG, one responder said, "I simply have quit flying ever into Paris Charles de Gaulle. It just doesn't work at all on any level. It's located way outside the city, it's a long, expensive taxi ride in, the design and layout are confusing, and there is literally nothing to do at that airport."

Thursday, November 07, 2013

White House Tours Resume After 7 Months

The White House resumed public tours on Tuesday, seven months after they were suspended due to government-wide spending cuts. The self-guided tours are resuming on a limited basis of about three days a week, down from five. They'll run through Jan. 15, when temporary funding runs out. The White House says visitors who want to request a public tour should contact their member of Congress.

Friday, November 01, 2013

FAA to Allow Use of Electronic Devices on Flights

The Federal Aviation Administration announced that it will allow the use of electronic devices at all stages of flight, but that airlines will have to test their own aircraft to make sure there is no interference. The FAA released a statement prior to the press conference that read, "The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta today announced that the FAA has determined that airlines can safely expand passenger use of Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) during all phases of flight, and is immediately providing the airlines with implementation guidance. Due to differences among fleets and operations, the implementation will vary among airlines, but the agency expects many carriers will prove to the FAA that their planes allow passengers to safely use their devices in airplane mode, gate-to-gate, by the end of the year." 

Jet Blue became the first airline to allow passengers use electronic devices throughout the flight. Airlines have to prove to the FAA that their take off and landing operations won't be affected by the use of the electronic devices. JetBlue said its tests had been certified and their passengers were able to use their devices starting at 6 pm last night. Delta was waiting for approval and is ready to start today if the FAA approves. Cell phones should be in airplane mode or with cellular service disabled, no signal bars displayed, and cannot be used for voice communications due to Federal Communications Commission regulations that prohibit any airborne calls on cell phones. The new rules apply only to flights in the U.S., and not flights to U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.