United Pay with Miles, Starwood Marriott Hilton Hotel Updates

Marriott and Hilton Announce Last-Minute Penalties

The airline industry has generated billions in revenue by charging fees on top of base fares. Now the hotel industry has the same idea.

Marriott Resort Cayman Islands

2 hotel companies, Marriott and Hilton, recently announced that they would increase their fees by tightening rules on last minute cancellations. Business travelers have been accustomed to being able to cancel a reservation at many hotels, without charge, some as late as 6 p.m. on the day of arrival.

Effective now, at the Marriott and Hilton hotels. Both companies say if you don’t cancel your reservation the day before your scheduled arrival, you’ll be charged a penalty of 1 night’s room rate.

Pay with Miles at Newark Airport

You maybe used to cashing in your frequent flier miles for a free flight, but now you can use them at the airport to buy a steak dinner, a neck pillow or perhaps a glass of wine?

United passengers flying through Newark Liberty Airport’s Terminal C can now pay for food and merchandise with miles they’ve earned through the airline’s loyalty program, instead of cash.

The new payment system kicked in at a few airport restaurants last week, and United and partners, OTG Management, believe this marks the first time a terminal has allowed the use of miles to pay for purchases.

Open Hotel Doors With Your Phone at Starwood

You leave your plane, get a cab, and arrive at your hotel, and stand behind a travel group as each tourist checks in one at a time. Starwood Hotels & Resorts is working toward a day when you’ll skip the front desk and simply open your door using your smartphone.

The service, called SPG Keyless, rolls out to Starwood loyalty customers on Nov. 5 at 10 in hotels across its Aloft, Element, and W brands, including Aloft Beijing, W Hollywood, and Element Times Square. The hospitality company tested the program earlier this year and plans to make it available in 150 hotels around the world by early 2015.