The Week’s Biggest Stories: Uber and Tipping; American Lounge Upgrades; Starwood, Marriott Devaluations; More


Following is our regular summary of the latest travel news and best frequent traveler promotions reviewed during the past week.

If it was a good deal—or a notably bad deal—from an airline, hotel, or car rental loyalty program, you can read all about it here, and plan your travel accordingly.

Tipping Uber Drivers: Yea or Nay?

Uber suggests customers not tip drivers. Uber drivers complain that they need tips to make an adequate living. What to do?

Congress Suspects Airlines Are Impeding Customer Complaints

Are the airlines hampering flyers’ efforts to share their gripes with the DOT? A California Congresswoman thinks so, and wants them to stop.

American Ups the Ante for Premium Airport Lounges

To capture the hearts, minds, and expense accounts of the travel universe’s most privileged 1 percent, American is raising the bar for airport lounges.

Strike Fears Loom as United Mechanics Reject Contract

In a setback to United’s new management team, the airline’s mechanics today voted to reject the company’s “final offer” and to authorize a strike.

American May Replace Gogo for Faster, Cheaper Inflight WiFi

Tired of slow, expensive inflight WiFi? So is American, and it’s suing Gogo, to either up its game or allow American to switch providers for 200 of its planes.

Hilton’s New Direct-Booking Discount Comes with Caveats

Hilton is promising room-rate discounts to encourage travelers to book direct. Consumers should read the fine print before buying in.

Coming: Higher Award Prices at 13% of Marriott’s Hotels

Marriott’s just-published list of award-price changes for 2016 amounts to yet another decrease in the value of Marriott Rewards points.

Starwood Follows Marriott in Raising Prices for Award Nights

Starwood is the latest to announce new award prices for 2016. Predictably, Starwood’s upcoming price increases far outnumber price decreases.

Win a 4-Night Trip for 2 to Glasgow, Scotland

Enter the AFAR Media “Glasgow Getaway” sweepstakes by March 14 for a chance to win a trip to Glasgow, Scotland, including air, hotel, airport transfers, tours, one dinner.

Somebody has to win, right? Might as well be you.

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and almost that long writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

This article first appeared on, where Tim Winship is Editor-at-Large.

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