COMMERCIAL TRAVEL, INDUSTRY OUTLOOK
Travel Insured International | September 27, 2022
Travel Insured International is pleased to announce a new partnership with Blue Ribbon Bags, a leader in travel luggage retrieval. Travel Insured joins Blue Ribbon Bags' growing list of industry partners seeking to provide a better experience for their travelers. As a travel protection provider with plans containing insurance benefits for lost and delayed baggage, we're excited to offer this service to our customers throThis non-insurance service provided by Blue Ribbon Bags will be available to clients of large tour operators working with Travel Insured. Because each Travel Insured plan features insured benefits for Baggage and Personal Effects, Travel Insured can provide eligible payment up to a maximum benefit amount if baggage and personal effects are lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed during the trip or while checked with a common carrier. The added service of Blue Ribbon Bags will assist travelers in tracking their baggage claim via text.
"Our job is to make that process a little bit better and to keep that communication with the customer as smooth as possible," says Menkin. With assistance from Blue Ribbon Bags, plan holders will also receive intermediary support in pursuing their lost baggage, which can be a tedious and time-consuming process."
-Blue Ribbon Bags CEO, Gabriel Menkin, understands that airlines are doing their best to keep up with lost baggage claims.
When somebody has a lost bag, we are sending them real time email, SMS, and WhatsApp notifications every time there's a change to the status of their bag, says Menkin. Travelers will be empowered to track the progress of their lost baggage claim and receive notifications to stay informed every step of the way. For the first 96 hours, Blue Ribbon Bags will track and expedite the return of a traveler's lost bag. If the bag is not recovered, the traveler can file a claim against their Travel Insured protection plan for their lost or delayed baggage and personal effects.
Travel Insured partners with large tour operators that provide travel packages to customers, which can include air travel, ground transportation, local tours, and other services at one or more locations per trip. For travelers with varied trip types and multiple destinations on their itineraries, baggage protection may be more important than ever.
"This partnership comes at a time when the travel industry is facing unique obstacles in transportation, like significant increases in lost baggage claims from top airlines, We're always seeking innovative ways to enhance our programs, so we're eager to offer this baggage tracking service to our wholesale customers. We strive to help travelers feel confident before, during, and after their trip."
-Isaac Cymrot, VP of Strategic Partnerships
About Travel Insured International
As a leading travel insurance provider with more than 25 years in business, Travel Insured International provides trip protection to help each individual travel confidently. Travel Insured is owned by Crum & Forster whose parent company is Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd., an insurance specialty company that consistently earns an A credit rating from AM Best. We're proud to partner with tour operators and help them to offer extensive travel protection with major travel insurance benefits as well as non-insurance assistance services. At Travel Insured, we remain steadfast in the commitment to providing dependable coverage, great value, and end-to-end satisfaction for our customers' travel insurance experience.ugh our plans to help ensure expedition of luggage claims through any major airline in the world.
DESTINATION AND TOURISM
Taconic Capital Advisors LP and HEI Hotels & Resorts | December 05, 2022
Taconic Capital Advisors LP (“Taconic”) and HEI Hotels & Resorts (“HEI”), announced that they have jointly acquired Hyatt Regency Jersey City from affiliates of Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H) and Veris Residential Inc. (NYSE: VRE). The property is a full-service, 351-key hotel located adjacent to Exchange Place situated on a pier extending over the Hudson River in Jersey City, NJ.In conjunction with the purchase, Taconic and HEI were successful in assuming a $100 million fixed-rate CMBS mortgage with ample remaining term. The hotel was completed in 2002 and more than $15 million in subsequent upgrades have been performed since 2010. Major enhancements to the guestrooms, food and beverage outlets and event spaces are expected to commence under the new ownership.
Hyatt Regency Jersey City occupies fee simple real estate with unmatched and undisturbed views of the Manhattan Skyline. The property features well-appointed guestrooms, a state-of-the-art gym and indoor heated pool, a restaurant and lounge and 20,000 square feet of meeting space that has long served as a popular venue for corporate retreats, weddings, and social gatherings. The hotel is centrally positioned amongst 28 million SF of office space within a one-mile radius and is conveniently located near world-famous attractions, including the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, One World Trade and the 9/11 Memorial.
“We are pleased to further our partnership with HEI and begin an exciting relationship with Hyatt. Hyatt Regency Jersey City was a compelling opportunity to acquire a world-class hotel with a strong segmentation mix and a diverse set of revenue contributors, The highly accretive assumable financing allowed us to continue our thesis for well-located urban, upscale hotels in an otherwise prohibitive financing environment.”
-Andrew Lam, a Director in Taconic Capital Advisors’ Commercial Real Estate Group
Hyatt Regency Jersey City is a wonderful property with a rich legacy that has greatly benefitted from Jersey City’s rapidly expanding corporate base as well as the revitalization of Hudson Yards and Lower Manhattan, said Clark Hanrattie, Partner at HEI. We are proud to team with Taconic on this important transaction and we are looking forward to making the hotel the very best it can be.
The joint acquisition of Hyatt Regency Jersey City follows Taconic and HEI’s March 2022 purchase of the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown, NY, a 15-acre property that offers 444 guestrooms and 21 event rooms for a total of 26,700 SF of conference and meeting space, including a 9,000 SF ballroom. Over the past two years, Taconic has been involved in hotel transactions throughout the capital structure, spanning over 20 properties totaling more than 5,000 keys.
About Taconic Capital Advisors
Taconic Capital Advisors (“Taconic”) is a global institutional investment firm that pursues an event-driven, multi-strategy investment approach designed to generate strong, risk-adjusted returns over multiple market cycles. Taconic was founded in 1999 by former Goldman Sachs partners Frank Brosens and Ken Brody. The firm has approximately $8 billion of total assets under management with offices in New York, London and Hong Kong and more than 100 employees worldwide.
Taconic’s full-service commercial real estate platform invests in all asset classes and across the capital structure in both public and private markets. The strategy’s brand mandate offers flexibility to capitalize on shifting market opportunities, creating uncorrelated risk-adjusted return profiles for investors. Rooted in distressed and opportunistic investing, the team applies high-touch asset management capabilities to drive strong asset-level performance and capital market executions. Well-established relationships drive Taconic’s unique and diverse transaction sourcing channels which include local operating partners, investor partners, and a broad network of lenders, CMBC special servicers, trading desks, and brokerage houses.
Taconic’s series of closed-ended real estate funds are fully discretionary and have received over $1 billion in capital commitments. Investments to date across all Taconic funds total over $3 billion of gross asset value across approximately 175 distinct transactions.
About HEI Hotels & Resorts
Founded in 1985, HEI is an established expert on Luxury, Upper-Upscale, and Upscale hotels in Urban, Super-Suburban, and destination Resort locations across branded, soft-branded and independent lifestyle categories. The company’s portfolio currently includes 90-plus assets, representing more than 28,000 keys across approximately 30 different capital partners. HEI continues to be one of the most active investors in, and managers of, institutional-quality hotel assets across the US.
COMMERCIAL TRAVEL,AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS
JetBlue | December 08, 2022
JetBlue (NASDAQ: JBLU) announced a new TrueBlue® loyalty program that offers new perks and more choices as an increasing number of customers look to JetBlue as a trusted source for travel beyond just flights. The new program maintains most of TrueBlue’s signature perks that customers have come to love while also allowing TrueBlue members new opportunities to earn perks and status along the way. The more ways customers interact with JetBlue, the more perks they can earn.
From JetBlue Vacations hotel and cruise packages, to cars, stays and activities from Paisly, to many JetBlue flight extras and add-ons, and purchases on all JetBlue credit cards, everyone from infrequent travelers to road warriors can find ways to earn and redeem in JetBlue’s loyalty program.Our loyalty program must serve the needs of the JetBlue customer today, many of whom look to us as more than just a way to get from point A to point B, said Robin Hayes, chief executive officer, JetBlue. Customers have come to love our unique combination of low fares and high-quality service, and now turn to us for more than just a flight. We are evolving our loyalty strategy to deliver even more value for customers across our entire suite of travel products and partnerships, including those who take advantage of our strategic partnership with American Airlines.
We’re rolling out a bigger, better, bluer TrueBlue program this spring that’s designed to meet the needs – and exceed the expectations – of more customers, whether they travel once a week, or just once in a while,said Jayne O’Brien, head of marketing and loyalty, JetBlue. No two travelers are alike, which is why we’ve redesigned TrueBlue to let customers customize their perks as they soar toward Mosaic status, choosing the ones that are most valuable to them along the way.
“We know our customers are booking more than just flights with JetBlue, so we are excited to have a program where travelers are rewarded throughout all aspects of their travel journey, There are so many opportunities for our customers to enjoy the signature JetBlue experience through flights, hotels, cruises, vacation packages, car rentals and more,”
-Andres Barry, president, JetBlue Travel Products.
TrueBlue will offer more value, new choices and unique personalization through a variety of all-new program aspects, including:
Tiles become the new way to track and measure progress toward Mosaic status JetBlue’s most loyal group of travelers.
Customizable Perks You Pick, available to more TrueBlue members without Mosaic status, will reward more travelers sooner.
Multiple levels of Mosaic, each with Mosaic Signature Perks and Perks You Pick, bring expanded perks to JetBlue’s most loyal customers.
Combined spend counts with all JetBlue credit cards. Add up JetBlue travel spend and any JetBlue credit card spend to unlock perks.
New JetBlue credit card enhancements on select cards bring new perks to cardholders.
The new TrueBlue will still carry over many of the perks customers know and love:
All TrueBlue members will continue to earn TrueBlue points on JetBlue and eligible American Airlines flights, and can redeem those points for award travel on JetBlue, including any seat at any time, with no blackout dates or expiration dates.
TrueBlue points will never expire.
Use Cash + Points to pay for JetBlue flights and JetBlue Vacations packages.
Pool points with family and friends.
Earn 2X points on jetblue.com or the JetBlue app.
Select reciprocal loyalty benefits for Mosaic members traveling on American Airlines.
The new program is set to go live in spring 2023 and will make TrueBlue more rewarding than ever before in its 20-year history.
Perks You Pick for TrueBlue Members
The new TrueBlue program is designed to ensure that all TrueBlue members have the opportunity to get rewarded, even before achieving Mosaic status. For the first time ever, travelers can start earning and enjoying perks before earning Mosaic status. TrueBlue members can customize their experience with Perks You Pick, choosing their first perk with just 10 tiles, then add more perks when they reach 20, 30 and 40 tiles. For every 10 tiles TrueBlue members earn, until they reach 50, they will get to choose a new perk from the following:
Get settled sooner with Group B boarding (excluding Blue Basic fares).
Access an expedited lane to security at dozens of airports where available.
First beer, wine or liquor is free each flight (21+).
JetBlue Vacations® bonus.
2X points bonus on a JetBlue Vacations package (one-time use).(a)
Boost your TrueBlue balance with 5,000 bonus points.
These perks will allow even occasional travelers to enjoy an elevated travel experience when flying on JetBlue. Once a customer earns 50 tiles, they reach Mosaic 1 status, receive all TrueBlue Perks You Pick and are set up to qualify for even more perks within new Mosaic levels.(b)
New Mosaic Levels
As part of the reimagined TrueBlue program, JetBlue is also meaningfully enhancing the Mosaic program to include four distinct Mosaic levels, each featuring a Mosaic Signature Perk. Each Mosaic level has a set of distinct benefits plus, customers are entitled to pick a Mosaic Signature Perk.
Mosaic Signature Perks:
Mosaic 1 – 50 tiles:
First two Checked Bags Free.
Beer, Wine & Liquor.
Even More® Space at Check-In.
Dedicated Support Line and Priority Chat Assistance.
Complimentary Upgrades on Heathrow Express.
Mosaic 2 – 100 tiles: Even More Space
Up to 7” more legroom at no extra charge during booking (pending availability).
Mosaic 3 – 150 tiles: Move to Mint®
Four Move to Mint certificates that enable complimentary upgrades from core to any Mint seat.
Number of certificates required to upgrade varies.
Mosaic 4 – 250 tiles: Move to Mint Again + BLADE Airport helicopter transfers
Two additional Move to Mint certificates.
Credits that can be redeemed for four complimentary seats on BLADE Airport helicopter transfers between Manhattan and JFK or EWR.
Additionally, each time a member qualifies for a new level of Mosaic, they’ll also be able to select one new perk from the Mosaic Perks You Pick menu.
Mosiac Perks You Pick:
FoundersCard Blue Membership
Enjoy 150+ premium travel, business, and lifestyle benefits—created exclusively for Mosaic members.
Pet Fee Waiver
Jet with your pet (cat or small dog) at no extra charge ($125 value per flight).
$99 Statement Credit on Select JetBlue Cards
$99 one-time statement credit for JetBlue Plus or Business Card.(c)
Get or gift a 20-tile boost to get to the next level faster.
Boost your TrueBlue balance with 15,000 bonus points.
Mint Suite Priority (arriving later in 2023)
Priority access to Mint Suite selection on select aircraft (pending availability). Excludes Mint Studio™.
Tiles are the new and easy way to track progress toward status, while earning perks at key milestones along the way. Intrepid travelers and casual fliers alike will be eligible for perks sooner than ever before and even if they haven’t yet achieved Mosaic status. While still earning valuable points that can be redeemed for award travel, TrueBlue members will also earn tiles based on their combination of travel spend and credit card spend, not just one or the other.
One tile is awarded for every $100 in qualifying spend on more of the ways a customer can JetBlue.(d) Hotel rooms and resorts. Cars and cruises. Activities and extras. Travelers will be able to rack up rewards with JetBlue Vacations, Paisly by JetBlue, JetBlue fees, JetBlue add-ons and American Airlines-operated flights. Additionally, one tile is awarded for every $1,000 in qualifying spend on all JetBlue credit cards.
JetBlue and Barclays Credit Card Enhancements
This spring, JetBlue is also introducing enhancements to select Barclays JetBlue credit cards. JetBlue Plus Card members can enjoy Points Payback, allowing them to redeem points to pay themselves back from purchases of $25 or greater, up to a maximum of $1,000 annually. Points redeemed for purchases will appear as a statement credit toward their account balance. In addition, JetBlue Business Card members can enjoy early Group A boarding on JetBlue-operated flights.
The Transition to the New TrueBlue
In spring 2023, Mosaic-Qualifying points and segments will be retired and TrueBlue members will see how many tiles they have based on how much they’ve already spent in 2023. Any member eligible for Perks You Pick will have the opportunity to select them based on their in-progress 2023 tile count.
Mosaic members will be assigned a Mosaic level based on how much they spent in 2022 or how much they spent in 2023, whichever is greater. They’ll immediately begin enjoying the Mosaic Signature Perks of each level and will have the opportunity to select Mosaic Perks You Pick associated with that level. For more information about JetBlue’s new TrueBlue program, visit: jetblue.com/newtrueblue.
JetBlue is New York's Hometown Airline®, and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Los Angeles, Orlando and San Juan. JetBlue carries customers to more than 100 destinations throughout the United States, Latin America, Caribbean, Canada and United Kingdom. For more information and the best fares, visit jetblue.com.
Qualifying travel spend excludes government taxes and fees and travel insurance. All net purchases are qualifying credit card spend. See TrueBlue Terms & Conditions and applicable cardmember agreement.
Members selecting the JetBlue Vacations Bonus perk will earn this benefit on the 6 TrueBlue points per eligible dollar spent on airfare and 1 TrueBlue point per eligible dollar spent on hotels, car rentals, cruises, and transfers calculated based on the member’s individual proportionate share, as determined by JetBlue, of a JetBlue Vacations package booking; members selecting this perk will not earn the bonus on any other individual travelers’ portions of the booking. Points bonus does not apply to the Mosaic bonus, any credit card bonus, or any additional bundled points or promotional points. See terms and conditions.
Any TrueBlue Perks You Pick that are not selected by the member as they accumulate tiles will automatically be granted upon reaching any level of Mosaic status, but the 5,000 bonus points and the JetBlue Vacations Bonus will not be available to Mosaics who earned status in 2022 for 2023. If a Mosaic qualifies for 2024 and beyond, they are eligible to receive these perks.
The $99 Statement Credit on Select JetBlue Cards is available to Barclays JetBlue Plus World Elite Mastercard® and JetBlue Business Mastercard® cardmembers only. You will be eligible to select this benefit after reaching Mosaic 1 status. The benefit can only be redeemed once per Mosaic qualifying year. If you product trade from Barclays JetBlue Plus Card to the Barclays JetBlue Card, you will no longer be eligible for this benefit. The statement credit will appear 2-4 weeks after you select the benefit. Your Card Account will not be eligible to receive the statement credit if it is closed or in default under your Cardmember Agreement at the time of fulfillment.