Everyone's heard of net rates for air fares. And many, at least in
the corporate travel world, are now familiar with net-net rates --
the latter being when not only commissions but also overrides are
removed. But how about triple, quadruple and, dare we say,
quintuple net rates? At a seminar sponsored by the software
developer Extensity at the Westin at San Francisco Airport, such a
scenario was described by Greg Hammermaster, director of corporate
commercial card products for Visa USA. Hammermaster said that
triple nets are when the cost of the fee for the CRS -- typically
$3 to $4 per segment -- is removed when the airline installs a
direct link from the corporation to the airline's inventory. And
quadruple net rates are when credit card charges are taken out.
Well, said a travel manager in the audience, how about another bold
step in the net world: quintuple net rates? What would that be?
That would be when a corporation negotiates with an airline to take
the cost of its frequent flyer program out of air fares, he said.
Insider would love to hear from any agent or travel manager who's
managed to snag a quintuple.
After ticking off
a number of expansion projects at Hyatt's Caribbean properties,
Victor Lopez, divisional vice president, was asked if and when
Eleuthera in the Bahamas would join Hyatt's roster. Lopez sighed
and ran his hand across his head. "Hyatt has been trying for so
long to get on Eleuthera that I had hair then," he said. He
hastened to add that the hotel chain "remains confident" regarding
It appears Bermuda has pulled back from its stoic image and is
projecting its romantic side -- so much so that it has published a
guide to 101 places to kiss around the island. We hope that doesn't
include smooching while driving (on the left) on the island's
roads. Those mopeds can be tricky, especially on curves.
On a press
trip in Cuba, we were favored with a pack of local Cohiba
cigarillos and told they were made with the same tobacco used in
the coveted cubano cigars that remain, to the dismay of cigar
smokers in the U.S. (and cigar makers in Cuba), illegal in the U.S.
The pack makes for a handsome little artifact, and we were
intrigued to find printed on the pack yet more evidence of how we
norteamericanos and our estranged Cuban cousins are at least as
similar as we are different. (Think of the Cubans' love of
baseball, "American" cars and black beans and rice.) Printed across
the bottom of one side of the pack was (in Spanish, of course) "The
Health Authority warns that tobacco seriously compromises health"
and, across the other side, "The Health Authority warns: Smoking
causes cardiovascular disease." We were advised by our hosts to
"take it easy" when trying one of these filtered, innocuous-looking
cigarillos negros (the negros obviously refers to the tobacco, not
the paper), and we can report, to any curious smokers among you,
that they are indeed very strong -- and very delicious.