A $185,000 hotel bill, United making America sloshed again and is Hyatt going to dynamic pricing? (Saturday Selection)


A $185,000 hotel bill, American Airlines cracking down on skiplagging, United finally letting folks double fist and…is Hyatt preparing for dynamic pricing? All that and more in this week’s Saturday Selection, our weekly round-up of interesting tidbits from around the interwebs (links to each article are embedded in the titles).

United making America drunk again

a group of people holding drinks
Scene from a recent United flight

Doublefisters rejoice! God gave you two hands and United Airlines wants you to use both of them to raise a glass. Pre-pandemic, United would gladly sell each passenger two drinks at a time and, if you were flying United economy, you probably needed each of them. Once the pandemic hit and passengers started wearing masks and yelling at flight attendants, United removed alcohol service entirely. After several months, spirits returned to premium cabins and eventually economy as well. But there was a catch: you could only get one drink at a time, a rule that irritated both grizzled airplane-drinking veterans and parents of toddlers alike. Thankfully, United has realized the error of its ways and last week restored every passengers’ right to party. Unfortunately, it still takes more than two cocktails to make a United flight look good.

Does Hyatt’s new reservation system mean dynamic pricing is coming?

a woman covering her face with her hands
A few folks out there are scared to see what’s coming from Hyatt

It’s been a rough last few years for hotel loyalty as program after program has ditched their award charts and moved to dynamic pricing, where the points cost of a property fluctuates alongside the cash cost. Hyatt is a notable holdout as one of the last US programs to still have an award chart. Because of that, it’s possible to get outsized value during weekends, special events or at some popular destinations. Hyatt does have peak and off-peaking pricing tiers, but those are fixed as well. There’s been some recent scuttlebutt in the blogosphere about Hyatt switching reservation systems to Sabre next year (as an aside, you know you’re in an exciting group when the conversation turns to Hyatt’s incoming reservation software).The change is supposed to create a better booking platform for customers and finally allow for a real-time, flexible calendar search. However, it will also give Hyatt the ability to move to dynamic pricing if it so chooses. But surely Hyatt wouldn’t pull the chart out from under us, would they?

How to run up a $185,000 hotel bill

a man in glasses holding papers
“I never realized that I had to PAY to stay here!”

Have you ever had a guest stay past their welcome, drinking all the booze and eating everything in the fridge? The Broadmoor Hotel has. The five star resort near Colorado Springs is well-known for luxury and terrific views, but evidently it’s also a little laissez-faire on collecting payments. A Colorado businessmen was able to stay there for ten months and run up a $185,000 bill, but somehow the hotel never charged him anything along the way OR when he left. Now, over a year later, the Broadmoor is coming after him for their pound of flesh… or however much flesh $185K buys you.

American Airlines makes an example of skiplagging teenager

a pair of hands with handcuffs
AA’s PSA showing the moment of Logan Parsons’ release

“Skiplagging” is the practice of booking a connecting flight but only flying the first leg and skipping the second. This is done because sometimes airlines actually charge more to buy a non-stop flight from one city to another than they do for a connecting itinerary with the exact same direct flight attached. This is also called “hidden city” ticketing and it’s something that airlines don’t like in the least. All of them say that it violates their terms and conditions while threatening dire consequences if they catch folks doing it. Some have actually tried to sue repeat offenders (unsuccessfully). AA, in particular, has warned for a couple of years that it would begin cracking down on skiplagging…and they decided to start by dropping the hammer on a 17 year-old kid flying alone who had no idea he was doing anything wrong. Logan Parsons was on a flight from Gainesville to Charlotte and then NYC, but told gate agents that he planned on getting off in Charlotte when they asked him about his trip (again, he had no idea the airlines considered it verboten). His honesty was rewarded when the agents pulled him off the flight and called his parents to make them pay an additional $400 to fly to Charlotte, while being careful to avoid using the term “ransom.” After all that, they banned him from flying American for three years, even though he didn’t even book the flight. Good warning for all those unaccompanied minors out there.

Biometric data isn’t enough for you to get CLEAR

CLEAR kiosks airport

CLEAR is a company that, in theory, is supposed to speed getting through security at airports by storing your biometric data and using it to confirm your identity. This allows you to skip the id check and go directly to the baggage screening area. The cost is covered by many premium credit cards, so I’ve had it for several years and find it useful about once out of every 4-5 times I go to an airport as, oftentimes, the CLEAR line is longer than the TSA pre-check line. Last week TSA announced that, at some point in the future, it will begin requiring ID checks from all CLEAR customers, as opposed to the random ones that they apparently are doing now. We’ll see how it’s implemented, as the main benefit of CLEAR isn’t getting to skip the ID check, but rather being able to skip the line for the ID check. This will still be possible even if ID checks are required. However, if ID checks are happening anyway, I don’t really see the purpose of the scanners and all the biometric data storage. Let’s just ditch them and call it what it is: a paid fast track that works about 30% of the time.

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Carl S.

was able to stay there for ten months and run up a $185,000 bill, but somehow the hotel never charged him anything along the way OR when he left”

We know it was you Nick Reyes LOLOLOL


Becareful when it comes to skip lagging.
Airlines are aware. Their contract of carriage prohibits skill lagging.. When you purchase your ticket you agree to follow the terms of the agreement. Based on that Arline’s have the right to charge your card for the difference if caught.

Last edited 8 months ago by Tara

No they don’t. They have the right to ban you in the future.


UA’s Remedies for Violation(s) of Rules – Where a Ticket is booked, held, purchased and/or used in violation of the law, these rules or any fare rule (including Hidden Cities Ticketing, Point Beyond Ticketing, Throwaway Ticketing, or Back-to-Back Ticketing), UA, without notice to the passenger, has the right in its sole discretion to take all actions permitted by law, including but not limited to, the following:
Invalidate the Ticket(s);
Cancel any remaining portion of the Passenger’s itinerary and/or void out any associated electronic travel certificate or credit;
Confiscate any unused Flight Coupons until the amount reflected in 5) below is collected;
Permanently ban or refuse to board the Passenger and to carry the Passenger’s baggage, unless the difference between the fare paid and the fare for transportation used is collected prior to boarding;
Assess the Passenger any amounts owed to UA, including but not limited to for seat blocking, for the actual value of the service or ancillary product, and for the full value of a Ticket, which shall be the difference between the lowest fare applicable to the Passenger’s actual itinerary and the fare actually paid, including after the transportation or service have been provided;


They can put something in their terms it doesn’t make it legal or enforceable.


Like the terms and agreement on your website?!
Why would a company have lawyers draft up terms that are not legal and enforceable?!! Lol


Lawyers can write whatever they want. Judges determine whether it is enforceable. Of course, you can decide whether you want to eventually go to court for a civil case over missing a flight connection.


sorry I know this is off subject but can you clarify
MS Staples Gift Cards at Safeway


Seriously, comments like this are not helpful. I find United just fine and don’t need the bashing and from my perspective flights have been safer without all the drinking. Thankfully, United has realized the error of its ways and last week restored every passengers’ right to party. Unfortunately, it still takes more than two cocktails to make a United flight look good.

Carl S.

Lighten up Francis

I thought it was hilarious


I think they would have used this opportunity to joke about any domestic economy carrier. These news sharing posts don’t have actionable content, so it’s a particularly good opportunity to be amusing, IMO.

The Travel Scholar

If you’re going to play the hidden city ticketing game, at least coach your team about the rules. If that’s my kid, then she will know she isn’t getting off in CLT, even if the future might manifest change.



Gary Leff

Re Hyatt, they tell me “the current Central Reservation System (CRS) does not factor in determining the number of points required for redemption and the new CRS, Sabre’s SynXis Central Reservation System, will not either. The number of points required for redemption is managed by another system and is not impacted by” the move to this new system.


Did I lose my points?

Jerome Brewer

What is the TSA rationale for requiring the ID checks? In my recent experience CLEAR has beaten TSA Pre hands down 10 out 10 times


If Hyatt moves to dynamic awards, I would likely never stay at a Hyatt. I use Hyatt specifically as a transfer partner with Chase.


Clear would honestly move faster without the pomp and circumstance of the scanners.
mid TSA is going to check IDs, I see no point having clear do the exact same thing.


did not know that you owned a winery!!


People lie on here. D probably works for leftovers.