Hotel Review – Holiday Inn Express – Hays Kansas

Just a few blocks North of I-70 next to Walmart is a nice HIX I would recommend. This hotel is fairly new with comfortable rooms and good service. Hays is about halfway between Denver and Kansas City so it’s not a bad choice for a roadside stop. There is a decent selection of nearby restaurant chains and good shopping.

I stay in about 60 to 70 IHG properties a year so I think my opinion counts when I say I would recommend this HIX location. 

One of my pet peeves is breakfast at hotels. This one is free and starts at 6am which is great to get you back on the road early. 

If you’re planning a road trip through this area along I-70 I would also recommend that you stop in Abilene (East of Hays) and visit the Eisenhower Library and the Greyhound Hall of Fame. 

#holidayinn #kansas #HIX

Hotel Review – Mt. Pleasant Texas Holiday Inn Express

I was surprised to see the pool was open in January but it was about 80 degrees while I was there. 

Standard King Room was a little dated but not bad. Apparently no upgrade for Spire Ambassador members at this HIX šŸ˜¦

Older hotel but was very clean.

Overall the hotel was OK. Not much around this location and very pedestrian unfriendly area. I was forced to run on the treadmill. The fitness room was small but the equipment was good. 

IHG Intercontinental Dallas in Pics

So I had the chance to stay on business at the Intercontinental Dallas this week. As a Spire Ambassador I was able to get a club floor suite upgrade that was really nice. Overall I’d say that I like this hotel. The service was great. This hotel is a little older but well kept. The photos don’t do it justice really. The furniture is nicer in person that it shows in the photos. I’m not a fancy guy so my room service meal was simple. I’d say the only major draw back is that it’s located in such a busy location but that’s a double edged sword as there are a lot of restaurants and shopping in the area as well.

img_20170110_081747263_hdr

Lounge floorimg_20170109_173735456

View from roomimg_20170109_172739093img_20170109_172731514

Downstairs powder room in suiteimg_20170109_172704036

Mini bar (too bad I’m not a Royal Ambassador)img_20170109_172710155

View from room.img_20170109_172731514

First floor of suite.img_20170109_172750314

Second floor of suiteimg_20170109_172857368img_20170109_172917667img_20170109_173111824

Second floor sitting area. It seems that this suite would easily sleep 6 with the large bed and 2 sofas.Ā img_20170109_173123173

Upstairs main bathimg_20170109_173145821

Amabassador welcome gifts.img_20170109_173559727

Happy hour in the lounge.img_20170109_174111668

Room service back in the suite.Ā img_20170109_182413545img_20170110_081747263_hdr

How the TSA and Airports can reduce security lines.

So this blog post is about smoking. I know it can kill and it is a terrible addiction. I don’t smoke but did many years ago so I understand the addiction and how tough it is. Please save your comments about how bad it is as I understand that. Not the point of this post.

According to the CDC and other sources about 16% of the American public smokes.This is great since it continues to drop each year. Ā So out of 318 million documented citizens that is about 50 million smokers. According to the US Bureau of Statistics about 1.73 million passengers fly daily so about 16% of those are smokers or 276,800 roughly. Many smokers fly daily and these are rough averages but still should be fairly close. Now figure that most smokers can hold off and not smoke on short flights and don’t want to risk going through security to miss a flight etc. The problem is that many of these passengers do connect and are on longer flights.

Let’s look at a large hub as an example. Say Chicago (ORD). This airport averages about 213,000 passengers daily or over 77 million annually. So some days will be worse than others but lets just say it’s s slow day at ORD and only 150,000 passengers are going through that airport. Out of those 150,000 passengers about 24,000 are smokers. How many are going out through security just to smoke? This doesn’t even include employees. According to Airport SmokersĀ Ā Chicago ORD is a non-smoking airport. So let’s just be really light with the numbers and say only 10% of those smokers exit security and then come back through the TSA lines to catch the next flight. That is 2,400 people per day that would not need to be in front of you at the TSA checkpoints just because the airport won’t allow and/or doesn’t provide a place to smoke airside past security. Many airports have outlawed smoking or are the victim of a city like the Peoples Republic of Chicago. It’s not the TSA’s fault but maybe they could help by either requiring the airport to provide a smoking area inside security. What if I’m wrong and it’s more like 50% of those 24,000 are going through the TSA lines for no reason?

As of October 2016 29 of the top 35 airports in the USA are non-smoking. Some got worse as airline lounges did away with smoking areas in the lounges as well. American Airlines took out all the remaining smoking lounge areas in early 2016 (Like DFW Terminal A Admirals Club). Again I’m against smoking but I’m also against long TSA lines.

In addition this isn’t a USA only problem. Many airports around the world are working to outlaw smoking inside security. It’s dumb I tell you. It would be like outlawing liquor inside security but having bars set up outside. Or maybe outlawing coffee inside security but then having a Starbucks outside each exit. In this case I think it’s worse as smoking is a more addictive issue for “most” smokers overall compared to other bad addictions.

Some other airport smoking related sources:

www.airportsmoking.net

 

 

Simple tip for multiple email sign-ups

One thing I run into with points and miles is the need to have various email addresses for accounts. Stuff like contests, E-miles accounts, etc. One simple tip I saw today HT to CavemanCircus is:

You can use @gmail.com and @googlemail.com interchangeably. Perfect for signing up to a website twice without setting up two accounts.