Coming & Going: Europe hotel rates, customer service ratings, more travel news

March 16, 2012

Rising hotel rates, lodging points for the military and more

Europe hotel rates spike

Europe is on the rise — in hotel rates.

Trivago, a Web site that compares the hotel rates of more than 100 booking sites, has discovered a bump in European hotel prices between February and March.

The site noted the highest spike in Istanbul (29 percent), Rome (23 percent), Vienna (20 percent) and Amsterdam (19 percent). In London and Paris, two of Europe’s most expensive cities, the increase was a milder 7 percent.

There were dips in Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen, but they weren’t enough to demote the Scandinavian capitals to bargain status. For that, head to Athens, Berlin or Budapest, where you can bunk for an average $82 a night.

Serving with hotel points

Stumped on how to say thank you to the military?

With the new Hotels for Heroes, guests can donate their Marriott, Wyndham and AmericInn loyalty points to wounded soldiers and their families. The program is the land version of Hero Miles, in which travelers give their frequent-flier miles to wounded military members for flights to medical facilities.

Fisher House, the Rockville nonprofit that opens its doors to military families visiting convalescing loved ones, will administer the program. Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin and Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, both Maryland Democrats, introduced the legislation as part of the National Defense Authorization Act.

Info: 888-294-8560, www.fisherhouse.org.

Survey says . . .

Travelers can get some (customer) satisfaction.

J.D. Power and Associates has anointed its 2012 Customer Service Champions.

The travel industry winners are ACE Rent a Car, Drury Inn & Suites, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Hampton Hotels, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, InterContinental’s Hotel Indigo, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, Ritz-Carlton and Virgin America.

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