Marriott, Starwood respond to fraud


Starwood Hotels and Marriott International each addressed fraudulent activity related to guest payment-card data and a telephone scam. Starwood on Nov. 20 disclosed that point-of-sale systems in 54 North American hotels had been infected with malware. The breach related to payment-card information stored with restaurants, gift shops and other systems but not Starwood Preferred Guest systems. Marriott said on Nov. 20 that non-Marriott representatives were making calls offering free Marriott hotel stays in exchange for either personal information or an unrelated product purchase. Marriott this month agreed to acquire Starwood for $12.2 billion.

Etihad puts A380 on JFK-Abu Dhabi route
New York's Kennedy Airport became the third destination Abu Dhabi-based Etihad services with an Airbus 380, which will be used on one of two daily flights. The A380 features the Residence by Etihad, a three-room suite with a shower, butler and private chef, available one way between New York and the emirate for $32,000 for one or two passengers.

LAX to add a lounge for high-profile flyers
Los Angeles Airport approved plans for a private lounge exclusively for high-profile passengers, such as entertainers and star athletes. Under the plan, L.A.-based security firm Gavin de Becker and Associates will lease and redevelop an empty cargo building and parking lot for clients who would pay up to $1,800 per trip to access the lounge as well as private shuttles that would whisk them to their gates.

Ponant cancels more cruises after fire
Ponant canceled its Nov. 30 and Dec. 10 departures on the 264-passenger Le Boreal, which was damaged by fire on its previous cruise. All passengers were evacuated, and none were injured from the engine-room blaze, which broke out while the ship was near the Falkland Islands on a 15-day Antarctica itinerary. The ship will be towed to Punta Arenas, Chile, for repairs.

Two tour operators add Cuba for 2016
Travel Impressions and Cox & Kings became the latest tour operators to add Cuba to their destination portfolios. Travel Impressions will offer two Cuba programs in 2016 from both New York and Miami, starting in February. Cox & Kings introduced one tour, offered as a private or escorted group journey, launching in March.

T.I. unveils its first agent loyalty program
Under Travel Impressions' new LoyalTI First Program, announced last week and launching with new bookings on or after Jan. 1, agents will earn points for every booking and bonuses for select hotels and airlines. Points never expire and can be redeemed for items ranging from hotel stays to electronics.

Oasis of the Seas to get a Tiffany store
Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas will open a Tiffany jewelry store in its Central Park neighborhood, with a full selection of Tiffany jewelry, including engagement rings, the Tiffany T and Atlas collections and Swiss-made CT60 watches. The Oasis, currently sailing from Fort Lauderdale, moves to Port Canaveral next year.

Friends & Colleagues
Darren Toohey was appointed Carlson Wagonlit Travel's (CWT) vice president of global program solutions, Americas, after his predecessor, Cindy Fisher, was promoted to vice president of CWT Meetings & Events. Toohey has been with CWT for nearly eight years as vice president of global sales as well as supporting WorldMate as vice president of partnerships. Fisher has held various management roles at CWT for more than 20 years and is a member of the Global Business Travel Association and the Association of Corporate Travel Executives. • • • Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants said General Manager John Esainko and Director of Sales and Marketing Tina Fullard will head the leadership team at the Cardinal in Winston-Salem, N.C., which is set to open in the landmark R.J. Reynolds Building in early 2016. It is Kimpton's first hotel in the Tar Heel State. Esainko moves to the Cardinal from Kimpton's Hotel Madera in Washington, where he served as general manager since 2014. Prior to joining the Kimpton team, Esainko spent more than 12 years with the Hyatt Corp. Fullard has spent the past 12 years at the Graylyn Estate & Conference Center at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, where she has served as director of marketing and revenue since 2010. • • • Emirates has appointed Rob Gurney senior vice president North America. Gurney will assume responsibility for Emirates' commercial operations in both the U.S. and Canada. Gurney joined Emirates in October 2014 as divisional vice president Australasia. Previously, he held a number of senior positions with Qantas Airways and British Airways. • • • American Airlines has promoted Bill Cade to vice president, base maintenance and engines and Craig Barton to vice president, technical services. Cade assumes the position after serving as an American managing director for line maintenance. Barton most recently served as American's managing director for technical operations integration. • • • Benchmark Hospitality International named Chad R. Olson general manager for Costa d'Este Beach Resort & Spa, a Personal Luxury property located in Vero Beach, Fla. Olson was previously general manager for Villa Florence, a luxury property near San Francisco's Union Square.

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