All posts in Did you know?

“Did you know…People lose $5B worth of personal effects each year?”

It’s one thing to forget your car keys on a table in a local cafe, but quite another when you leave behind a smartphone on an airplane or a laptop in your hotel room.  According to Brian Colodny, president and CFO of Chargerback, a software company specializing in reuniting lost items with their owners, only about one-third of lost items make it back to their owners.

Think about it.  How many times have you left behind a pair of earrings on a nightstand, a bag of souvenirs on a tour bus or a cellphone charger plugged into the wall of your hotel room?  Oftentimes, people don’t even bother trying to get the items back, particularly if they are lost at an international location.  But why must the burden of retrieval land on the backs of guests, flyers, cruisers, etc.? Because  what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!

In our interview, Brian Colodny suggests that many hotels maintain a policy that prioritizes discretion and protecting the privacy of guests.  Afterall, there is a small portion of hotel patrons who may wish to keep their visits on the “QT” for a number of reasons. That said, protecting guests’ privacy may trump returning lost items and potentially calling attention to a hotel visit that may or may not have been authorized by a spouse or significant other.

Cumulatively, somewhere in the neighborhood of $5 billion worth of items are lost every year by Americans. A sizeable portion of these incidents happen while traveling. So, what happens to the billions of dollars worth of unclaimed lost items?  Colodny says, in the case of larger, established hotel properties, items are typically donated to charities or given to salvage companies.

Colodny formed his company back in 2010 after he left behind a cell phone charger in a hotel, which, at the time, cost about $60. Frustrated by the inefficiency and lack of coordination at the hotel in accommodating his efforts to locate and retrieve his lost property, he decided to do something about it, and formed Chargerback.

Chargerback works with airlines, hotel chains, sports venues and a host of other companies where people congregate, travel through or visit, enabling them to log found items via a software application, while providing owners of lost items an easy path to finding their property if it was left behind at a partnering company’s location.

Watch our interview with Brian and checkout their website — you never know what you might find.

“Did you know…The top 15 destinations for ‘bleisure’ travel?”

NYC skyline

According to, a new breed of traveler is mixing business with leisure around the world.  These ‘bleisure’ travelers are taking top cities by storm and spending big bucks along the way.  The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) has ranked the top 15 destinations for business travel spending — and the US leads the pack.

Read the full article here.

“Did you know…Oktoberfest Index?”

Real estate info resource, Trulia, analyzed metro areas across the US to determine which ranked highest on their Oktoberfest index.  Looks like you’ll need to head north and west to find the best bier and a drinking buddy with German ancestry.

oktoberfest index

“Did you know…Free service helps consumers get what they deserve from businesses – including airlines?”

ServiceWith overall airline complaints to the US Department of Transportation rising 30% over the past five years*, it’s high time consumer travelers get what’s coming to them.  A new company called Service is aiming to turn the tables for consumers, putting them in a better position to receive fair compensation or refunds from a variety of businesses, including airlines.

“Service helps consumers get what they deserve from businesses. Basically, you tell us about a problem you had with a business, and we fix it for you,” says Michael Schneider, CEO, Service Technologies. “We’ve gotten non-refundable airline tickets refunded – when there’s a legitimate reason, delivery fees waived on late deliveries, appointment times prioritized, credits when bad service was provided at restaurants, and many more.”

For now, the service from Service is free, so now’s a good time to check them out.

*According to an analysis by US PIRG, a consumer advocacy group headquartered in Washington.

“Did you know…Rising hotel, car rental and airline taxes are pricing families out of travel?”

delta airlinesAccording to a new report by National Center for Policy Analysis Research Associate, Jacob Kohlhepp, the triple threat of travel-based taxes on hotel, car rental and airline tickets can increase costs up to 30 percent for family travelers.

“In a drive toward more revenue, officials at every level of government have raised a trifecta of travel-based taxes dramatically,” says Kohlhepp. “While travel taxes are a politically popular revenue tool, they discourage travel and tourism – particularly for low-income individuals and families.”

The tax rates on hotels, car rentals, and airline tickets vary by state. According to the report:

  • Twenty-two states charge a hotel occupancy tax, which can range from 3 to 13 percent of a night’s stay;
  • Taxes on car rentals can raise rental prices by nearly 25 percent;
  • There are seventeen different taxes and fees levied on air travel, which can increase base airfare by 30 percent.

“There is no doubt that air travel is more affordable for families than it was back in the day when were prices were set by the government,” says Senior Fellow Pam Villarreal. “But other aspects of travel are prohibitive, particularly in large cities.”

Travel Taxes: The Hidden Trifecta