Already a print edition subscriber, but don’welcome to Get My PERKS. have a login? George Hobica is the founder of Airfarewatchdog.
Do well-dressed fliers get more perks? A link has been sent to your friend’s email address. A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. According to United Airlines, at least two girls wearing leggings were barred from boarding a flight on because they were not in compliance with a dress code for passengers. The next time you’re vying for an upgrade, consider your clothing choices. There may be something to the adage, “dress to impress. This story was originally published on Aug.
When a friend of mine checked in for a recent flight from San Francisco to Vancouver, he was surprised that the Air Canada gate agent handed him a first-class boarding pass. What was so unusual about this? Several things: He had bought an economy-class ticket. He rarely flies on Air Canada and thus has no frequent-flier status on the airline.
Even more unusual, the flight was half-empty so this wasn’t an oversell upgrade situation. Because he was wearing a suit. Yep, my pal asked the gate agent why he was so blessed and she answered, “Our station manager noticed how well-dressed you were and told me to upgrade you. Not wanting to look the proverbial gift horse in the mouth, I didn’t ask the gate agent why I was upgraded from a frequent-flier economy-class seat all the way through business class and up to first class.
In fact, when I heard my name over the PA system my heart skipped several beats because I assumed that the flight was oversold and I was being bumped, owing to my lack of status. For a couple of years in the 1980s just before they went belly-up, I worked as a consultant for Eastern Airlines. As such, each month I was given a stack of flight coupons. I’d just make a reservation and hand one of these coupons over at the ticket counter and I could fly anywhere in the Eastern system for free, in first class no less. One evening I was flying to Boston and was curious to see that the agent handed me a seat in economy. Another time I was booked in business class on British Airways from Heathrow to New York. Due to an air traffic controller slowdown, my flight and virtually all others were canceled.
But I convinced the company to put me on the one flight that was still operating, which happened to be on the Concorde. I approached the ticket counter and explained that I was authorized to fly supersonic. If we have to dress up, why don’t the passengers? For many years, airline employees were required to dress nicely if they were flying on a pass.
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Women were required to wear a skirt and a blouse, and men at least a sport coat and tie, or in some cases a suit. The rules were especially strict for first-class travel. Although most airlines have relaxed these rules, there are a lot of employees who remember the old days. And perhaps they figure, if we had to dress well to fly, what’s up with all the passengers who get to sit in first class dressed like Richard Simmons? It’s a bit ironic that these days when you fly first class on British Airways and many airlines, they give you a pair of pajamas to change into. And although I don’t recommend that you show up at the airport in your PJs, it’s entirely up to you how you dress, and I do understand that flying is often uncomfortable and many folks want to make the flight as pleasant as possible. Travelers, tell us how you dress when you fly?
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In 2017, Hilton announced American Express would have the exclusive co-branded credit card relationship beginning in 2018. With the new agreement came a new line of Amex cards. In January, we took a look at the mid-tier Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card, which I think offers tangible value for those who enjoy a few, but not too many, Hilton hotel nights. Large category spend bonuses, Hilton property credits, airport lounge access and an airline fee credit present real value to anyone who stays, or wants to stay, at Hilton properties. Bonus If I had to nitpick with the Aspire card, the bonus would probably be my only gripe. 4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. Get a free night at the Conrad Koh Samui for 95,000 points with your sign-up bonus.
Earning The card makes it rather easy to get a high Hilton Honors account balance, which quite frankly is needed if you’d like to enjoy luxury or peak season properties on award nights. 29 points per dollar on most Hilton stays as a cardholder. 7X points on rental cars is great, secondary CDW is not. Redeeming Hilton gives you lots of options when it comes time to use your points.
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The Hilton Niseko Village in Japan is one of my favorite Honors redemptions. 2,000 annually mainly due to bonus points, lounge access, breakfast and room upgrades. Two Weekend Reward Nights — Receive one weekend night at almost any Hilton property worldwide after opening your account and on your card-opening anniversary each year. 60,000 on the card in a calendar year. 250 in statement credits for incidentals charged to your card at participating Hilton resorts. 250 in statement credits for incidentals from that airline placed on your card account, including from authorized users. 100 credit for incidentals at properties.
Priority Pass Membership — Unlimited Priority Pass lounge access for you and two guests. Authorized users do not receive Priority Pass membership. These travel protections are rather unremarkable compared to those offered by the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Citi Prestige. What Cards Compete With the Hilton Amex Aspire? Depending on your personal situation, it’s hard to narrow direct competitors for this card. There aren’t too may so-called top-tier credit cards that are hotel co-branded.
I found it curious that perhaps the most direct competitor of the Hilton Amex Aspire Card is American Express’ own Platinum Card. It’s easy to make a case for carrying the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Amex Hilton Aspire. There’s no way to earn bonus Hilton points with the CSR, and Hilton isn’t a transfer parter of Chase Ultimate Rewards. Bottom Line I almost find myself questioning when the first devaluation of the Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express will be executed.
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At face value, it just looks like far too much value to be sustainable. 100 property credits to largely go unused. 100 property credit for every two-night stay. You’d get complimentary breakfast from Diamond status and a complimentary dinner from property credits for every two-night stay!
The added incentive of a weekend night on every anniversary is great thinking from Amex to get customers to hold the card for the long haul. I was skeptical about a premium Hilton card, but Amex and the Honors team really pulled out all the stops. I’ll be looking at this card very seriously later this month when I wrap up planning my 2018 travel destinations. 4,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, enjoy a free Weekend Night Reward within your first year and every year after renewal. Earn 14X Hilton Bonus Points when you make eligible purchases on your Card at participating hotels or resorts within the Hilton Portfolio.
Earn 7X Hilton Honors Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your card at U. Gas Stations, Eligible Airfare, Eligible Car Rentals, and U. Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card. 250 in Hilton Resort Credits on your Card each anniversary year, when you stay at participating resorts within the Hilton portfolio. Enjoy complimentary Diamond status with your Hilton Honors Aspire Card. Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser.
Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Please view our advertising policy page for more information. Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Menu IconA vertical stack of three evenly spaced horizontal lines. Top companies usually have one thing in common: killer perks for their workers. The companies that made this list know the value of rewarding their employees, and they do it in some of the coolest ways possible. From indoor climbing walls to bowling alleys, here are awesome perks from 18 companies that made our Best Employers list. Campbell Soup Company has on-site kindergarten and after-school programs.
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Cisco Systems offers physical therapy and acupuncture. The company believes in supporting a healthy work-life balance, and provides employees with telecommuting technologies like data and voice services to create a home office experience. General Mills employees can work from any space they choose within the office. All new hires at General Mills immediately receive three weeks paid vacation, and the number only goes up every year the employees are with the company. They can opt not only for life insurance, but also auto and home insurance.
General Mills respects employees’ needs for flexibility and offers flexible work arrangements when it comes to start and end times or the need to telecommute. Google has free food, a bowling alley, and bocce courts. There’s a reason Google’s ranked in the top five of Fortune magazine’s list of “100 Best Companies to Work For” in the past six years. Among other benefits, employees can help themselves to whatever’s in the overflowing food pantries or cafeterias and use the company’s bocce courts, bowling alleys, or gyms. Rather than really caring what hours you worked, you care about output. Hershey offers its employees a wide range of health and life benefits.
Those who wish to continue their educations can be reimbursed for tuition, and those who wish to get in shape can be reimbursed for gym memberships and receive discounts for Weight Watchers. But employees may want to opt for low-cost membership to the Hershey-operated fitness centers, which is available not just to employees but also to their spouses and dependents over 18. Smucker Company holds bowling nights and softball games for its employees. Employees get a real welcome when they join Smucker’s.
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For employees who have the time, there’s no excuse not to get a second degree. Boeing gives its employees 12 paid holidays and a winter recess between Christmas and New Year’s Day. New employees won’t feel alone at Boeing, which connects new hires through the REACH program and gets them involved in community-oriented projects. Boeing also encourages growth within the company, and employees looking to move up the ladder can participate in the Learning Together Program to gain the skills they need for upward mobility. Boeing employees value the time they get to recharge with 12 paid holidays, and a winter recess between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Johnson offers private concierge services to its employees. Johnson, 12,000 employees have access to a concierge service that will see to it that their chores get done.
This ranges from returning overdue library books to making sure your dry cleaning gets picked up on time. To make the best products for your family, we need the best people in our company family,” according to the company website. Also available are childcare for parent employees, and paid sabbaticals. Mattel is devoted to the happiness and futures of employees’ children. The toy company has its own non-profit organization—The Mattel Children’s Foundation—that offers volunteer opportunities to Mattel employees. Employees can also take advantage of a program that defrays the cost of adopting a child and a policy that offers 16 hours of paid time off for school-related absences like parent-teacher conferences or field trips.
And the children will love that their parents get discounts on toys sold by Mattel. Microsoft Corporation has a very generous paid maternity and paternity leave. The Microsoft Corporation gives new parents at the company generous maternity and paternity leave, but what sets Microsoft apart from other companies in this regard is that the leave is paid, rather than unpaid. Microsoft is the first major corporation to offer this benefit.
Oshkosh Corporation offers lots of training classes so that employees can get promoted quickly. The truck and vehicle manufacturing company shows loyalty to its employees through extensive training and advancement opportunities. Trainings can be instructor-led, web-based or video-based, and the company also offers tuition reimbursement for advanced degrees. They also encourage employees to continue their educations, and offer tuition reimbursement. Chesapeake Energy has an indoor rock climbing wall. SCUBA certification to all its employees.