Caribbean Resorts Giant Apple Leisure Taps New CEO to Prep for Possible IPO

Apple Leisure Group

The beach view from an Apple Leisure Group’s Dream branded resort in the Dominican Republic. Apple Leisure Group

Skift Take: With international visits up worldwide, it’s a good time to be in the resort business. Apple Leisure Group will continue to focus on expansion before it opens up its books to shareholders.

— Danni Santana

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Why American Airlines Is Being Trounced by Its Rivals

airbus777  / Flickr

An American Airlines 737-800 approaching Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. the company is lagging behind its rivals. airbus777 / Flickr

Skift Take: American Airlines has fallen behind its main U.S. rivals. Some of the operational issues are down to bad luck but Doug Parker clearly has a big task on his hands to turn things around.

— Patrick Whyte

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Themed Cruises Are a Double-Edged Sword For Travel Advisors

Cruise & Maritime Voyages

Cruises with a music theme, such as this one offered by Cruise & Maritime Voyages, appeal to a variety of demographics. Cruise & Maritime Voyages

Skift Take: Travel advisors who understand their clients’ interests and hobbies will likely find a themed cruise that meets their needs. But it may not be plain sailing since some operators seem to prefer to sell direct — and have the marketing reach to do so.

— Allan Leibowitz

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Hotels Embrace Role as Curators of Niche Products

Nick Simonite

At Hotel Saint Cecilia in Austin, Texas, the lobby also serves as retail store for unique items like its limited-edition Roux St. James fragrances, made with flowers culled from the hotel garden. Nick Simonite

Skift Take: As brands struggle to break through with consumers, they need to consider introducing themselves within the environs of hotels. It’s a means to create a new relationship in a contextual way. And hospitality brands have a huge opportunity to introduce tastemakers to up-and-coming products.

— Colin Nagy

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How to Book a Good Airline Seat for Free (A Cool Trick)

Book a Good Airline Seat

When you purchase your flight, you could simply pay a lot of money to book a good airline seat. Of course, most airlines charge you to select a seat in advance. And prices for choosing your own seat in advance seem to be on the rise.

Recently, I was flying from Miami to Lisbon and TAP Portugal Airlines wanted $57 for me to choose a good seat. I decided not to pay.

Does that mean I was stuck with a bad seat?

Not at all. If you don’t want to dish out a bunch of money, there’s definitely still hope for you to book a good airline seat.


The second option…

I’m going to use another example of a recent flight I took.

Washington Dulles Airport to Istanbul with Turkish Airlines (A330-300 airplane)

Since I didn’t feel like paying another $50+ for a seat in advance, I waited until 12 hours before the flight departure time to check-in. At this point, Turkish Airlines, like many airlines, allowed me to choose a seat for free.

Upon checking in, however, the seat chart showed only 3 available seats for me to choose from. And to no surprise, the 3 available seats were all in the middle of the middle section, way in the back, in the last three rows. This is quite common to have the worst seats on the plane appear as the only options.

At first, you might think these are indeed the only seats available and that you must choose one. So, you’ll end up choosing what you think is the ‘least worst’ of these terrible seats.

But…try this instead:

A Simple Trick to Book a Good Airline Seat

  1. Don’t choose one of the seats
  2. Keep the app/website open to the seat chart
  3. Refresh the page or revisit the seat chart every few minutes
  4. You’ll start to notice that new seats will suddenly become available for you to choose
  5. Keep doing this until a really good seat is available
  6. Choose it, complete the check-in process and you’re good to go 


Flight Good Seat


How does this work?

When you go to check in 12 hours before your flight (or any time before your flight), there is no way that every passenger has chosen or been assigned a seat. Too many travelers don’t check in until they get to the airport and too many travelers wait until a few hours before the flight to check in online. Therefore, those people won’t have an assigned seat until they do check in.

As a result, when you check in online, the airline will try to force you to choose a crappy seat on the plane, hoping to fill up those seats with people who actually choose them. This is good for the airline as it leaves better seats available in case they need to move people around or resolve a situation by offering a passenger a good seat.

But, if you keep refreshing the seat chart, during that time, other people will start checking in online and choosing their seats. The chances are extremely high that other passengers will choose those crappy seats, thinking that they are the only seats available.

Then, once those crappy seats have been selected by other passengers checking in online, new seats will become available, because again, all of the seats have yet to be assigned. Once those few new seats are selected by other passengers, other seats will become available and so on, until a couple of hours before the flight when everyone has checked in.

With the example above, I refreshed the seat chart every 5 minutes for about 30 minutes. During that time, the available seats for me to choose from changed as the less desirable seats were filled by others.

I’m quite picky when I fly long distances. I really want to have an aisle seat in the middle section, close to the front of the plane. It’s just my thing.

After 30 minutes of refreshing, boom! Seat 19D was suddenly available, exactly what I prefer, and I grabbed it.

I then finished the check in process and was on my way, in a great seat.

Had I chosen one of those original 3 terrible seats, I would have been stuck in the last rows, in between two other passengers, right next to the bathroom, for 10.5 hours. And it would have been because I fell for the trick airlines play to get me to choose those unfortunate seats.

Don’t fall for the trick. Follow the above and you should get your desired seat, most of the time at least.


Want to learn how I booked 13 flights around the world for $2200?

The post How to Book a Good Airline Seat for Free (A Cool Trick) appeared first on Wandering Earl.

Skift Global Forum Preview: How Costa Rica Is Staying Ahead of the Pack on Sustainability

Marco Centola  / Flickr

Shown here is a white face monkey in a mangrove forest by the Rio Paquita, just north of Quepos, Costa Rica. Marco Centola / Flickr

Skift Take: Costa Rica has long been associated with ecotourism. But now that the rest of the world is catching up, it is still intent on meeting the challenge of sustainability in newly innovative and ambitious ways.

— Rosie Spinks

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Singapore Tourism Could Benefit Most From Hong Kong’s Crisis


Raffles Hotel Singapore North Bridge Road Entrance. AccorHotels

Skift Take: Singapore could be the prime beneficiary as Hong Kong’s key tourist sources such as China, the U.K. and the U.S. look for an alternative. But though long-time rivals, it’s hard to imagine the Singapore industry being gleeful about this. In the long term, Hong Kong is critical to Asia’s overall appeal.

— Raini Hamdi

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