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JetBlue announces nonstop service to two London airports

See the rest of the story here. Theflyonthewall.com provides the latest financial news as it breaks. Known as a leader in market intelligence, The Fl.....»»

Category: blogSource: theflyonthewallMay 19th, 2021

JobsOhio using cash to edge out other states for new nonstop flights at Ohio airports

Since 2005, Ohio has seen a significant reduction in air service, losing service to 113 destinations. Among peer states, it also ranks at the bottom for seats per capita. JobsOhio is putting money toward changing that......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsMay 9th, 2021

JetBlue Airways to provide nonstop service from JAX to LaGuardia

JetBlue now provides service to three NYC-area airports through JAX......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsApr 21st, 2021

Norwegian Air announces new nonstop flight between Denver and Rome

Norwegian Air announced Tuesday new nonstop flights between Denver and Rome, Italy, beginning on March 31, 2020. Rome is a brand-new destination to Denver International Airport and it will be Denver’s first-ever and only nonstop service to Italy. Rom.....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsNov 12th, 2019

Alaska Airlines announces nonstop Kona, Sacramento service

Starting in December, Alaska Airlines will be the only carrier to offer a nonstop flight between Sacramento and Kailua-Kona on Hawaii's Big Island. The Seattle-based airline announced that it will launch this new route on Dec. 20 with a flight freque.....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsJun 20th, 2018

Frontier Airlines announces six new routes from Fort Myers, Florida

Once flights begin, Frontier says it will offer seasonal or year-round service to 23 nonstop destinations from Southwest Florida International.....»»

Category: topSource: usatodayAug 7th, 2018

Alaska Air announces new nonstop service between Seattle and Columbus, Ohio

See the rest of the story here. Theflyonthewall.com provides the latest financial news as it breaks. Known as a leader in market intelligence, The Fl.....»»

Category: blogSource: theflyonthewallAug 29th, 2018

Alaska Air announces daily nonstop service to El Paso, Texas

See the rest of the story here. Theflyonthewall.com provides the latest financial news as it breaks. Known as a leader in market intelligence, The Fl.....»»

Category: blogSource: theflyonthewallSep 27th, 2018

Allegiant Air announces nonstop service to Sarasota from 9 cities, fares as low as $45 - ABC Action News

ABC Action NewsAllegiant Air announces nonstop service to Sarasota from 9 cities, fares as low as $45ABC Action NewsSARASOTA, Fla. — Allegiant Air has announced nine new nonstop routes .....»»

Category: topSource: googlenewsNov 13th, 2018

Sun Country Airlines adds 19 nonstop routes, service to seven additional airports

Sun Country Airlines on Tuesday announced its largest route expansion in the company's history, with the addition of 19 seasonal nonstop routes and seven airports. The expansion includes eight new nonstop routes from the Minneapolis-St. Paul Internati.....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsJan 8th, 2019

As Advisory Panel Warned, CDC Director"s Anti-Science Decision Makes Boosters "Available To Anyone Who Wants One"

As Advisory Panel Warned, CDC Director's Anti-Science Decision Makes Boosters 'Available To Anyone Who Wants One' Now that CDC chief Dr. Rochelle Walensky - possibly working on behalf of her political puppet masters - has overridden her agency's advisory panel to expand the eligibility for Pfizer booster jabs to high-risk workers (a group that ACIP, the advisory panel, had decided to exclude given a paucity of efficacy and safety data), many employers are confused about whether the new guidance applies to them - and whether they might be left in a difficult situation with employees who didn't get the first two vaccines. At the end of the day, the big worry is that hundreds of thousands of shots allocated for workers might simply go unused, left to expire while dozens of poorer countries would be overjoyed to have them. According to the Hill, chaotic and at times contradictory messaging from federal health officials has culminated in a confusing set of recommendations about who should, and shouldn't receive booster jabs, and why? Panel members initially said they had excluded approving jabs on an employment basis because there wasn't enough evidence those people were losing protection. That decision was clearly a disappointment to the Biden Administration, which is possibly why Dr. Walensky interceded. The depth of Dr. Walsensky's contradiction of the science can be found in the exact wording of her decree: Starting immediately, anyone between the ages of 18 and 64 who is at increased risk of COVID-19 "exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting" can get a third dose. Legal experts told the Hill that those words are so vague, practically anyone could qualify. Already, many local level officials appear to be leaning toward simply giving boosters to anyone who asks. "There's going to be confusion. If we are going to create guidelines that are essentially making the vaccine available to almost everyone, the simplest solution is, make it available to everyone," said Celine Gounder, an infectious disease specialist and epidemiologist at NYU and Bellevue Hospital. "The best public health programs are the ones that are simple and easy to understand and clear, and the more complexity you build into it, the more difficult it is to roll out." That statement above about not creating obstacles to the third shot - that's coming from a scientist who doubted whether they were even necessary. Gounder, who advised the Biden transition team on COVID-19, has been critical of the administration's fervent push for boosters, and said the evidence for a third dose based on occupation was mixed at best. "You have to step back and ask the question, why is it that we're vaccinating people in high risk settings? Is it because they as individuals are at high risk, or is it because it would be disruptive to the workplace," Gounder said. As far as the dramatic conclusion to what was supposed to be a 'staid' scientific process - the CDC director overruling her advisory panel on the issue of occupancy-based eligibility in a late night statement - that should be enough to alert Americans that something strange is happening. Despite the panel's claims, Dr. Walensky took to the White House press briefing on Friday to claim that she did not "overrule" the advisory committee and that she had listened to both sides on the issue of whether to approve boosters by occupational risk. Amusingly, the assiduously pro-Democratic the Washington Post was willing to dismiss this usurpation of "the science" as simply another communications breakdown from the doddering Dems. “Everyone is kind of confused,” he said. The current discontent has deep roots. In April, Pfizer chief executive Albert Bourla said a third coronavirus dose was “likely” to be needed. In late July, Pfizer-BioNTech announced that their vaccine’s efficacy waned over time. Data from Israel confirmed a drop. Then, last month, as the delta variant of the coronavirus surged and the World Health Organization decried the distribution of third shots in wealthy countries while poor countries were lacking first doses, President Biden announced that most Americans could begin getting boosters of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines Sept. 20 — subject to the government’s regulatory processes, which unfolded in recent days and focused only on Pfizer. Regulators already allowed third shots for the immunocompromised who have received Pfizer or Moderna shots but have not yet made recommendations for all recipients of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. The deluge of phone calls about booster shots to Primary Health clinics in Southwestern Idaho began weeks ago. On Friday morning, the group’s Garden City clinic, where Maddie Morris fields inquiries, saw an increase in calls, mostly from senior citizens. “The calls seem pretty nonstop,” the customer service representative said. “It seems like a lot of people are anxious to get a booster.” Doctors say confusion clouds patients’ willingness to receive boosters. In Idaho, the problem coincides with the primary health-care system’s struggle to meet the demands of the latest covid-19 crush, which earlier this month plunged the state into crisis standards of care — essentially the rationing of health care as demand overwhelms resources. Unfortunately for them, it looks like the whole thing is back-firing... Maybe they'll think twice next time around (though we doubt it, since 'next time' is literally happening in the coming weeks when they do this all again with Moderna). Tyler Durden Sun, 09/26/2021 - 13:30.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nyt10 hr. 39 min. ago

Walmart does away with layaway, which didn"t carry any fees, and announces new buy now, pay later program that will charge customers interest

After making layaway a part of holiday shopping since 2006, Walmart will now rely on Affirm, a buy-now, pay later program that will charge users interest on most purchases. Walmart cashier Regina Tommy waits on customers. Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images Walmart decided to get rid of layaway before the 2021 holiday season. The company announced it's using Affirm, a buy now, pay later service the retailer partnered with in 2019. Walmart started to phase its layaway out last year, only allowing it for select jewelry purchases. See more stories on Insider's business page. Walmart has decided to scrap its layaway program completely before the 2021 holiday season, replacing it with a buy now, pay later financing option. The retailer is now using the company Affirm, which partnered with Walmart in 2019, to replace layaway. Instead of having stores hold items from late August through mid-December while customers make payments until paid in full, shoppers can now take the item home immediately and pay it off with Affirm.Unlike layaway, purchases made with Affirm can rack up interest over time. Although Affirm does not charge any hidden or late fees for using its services, customers can have an APR rate on purchases of 10-30% depending on their credit and 0% for select promotional items on Walmart.com.Not all Walmart customers may be eligible to use Affirm depending on their prequalification status. The service can be used on purchases ranging from $144 to $2,000 and excludes items like alcohol, groceries and food, personal care products, and pet supplies.Last year, Walmart, the world's largest retailer, started to phase out layaway, only offering it on select jewelry items. "We've learned a lot in the past year as our customers' needs and shopping habits have changed," a Walmart spokesperson told Insider. " We are confident that our payment options provide the right solutions for our customers."Affirm's services operate alternatively to a credit card. Customers will purchase the item immediately, and pay for the items over a three to 24 month period. Customers can select their own payment plan and Affirm will match them with a lender who will provide them with a loan for the financed item.Walmart shoppers can return any purchases made with Affirm for a refund, but the amount they paid in interest will not be refunded. Partial payments or late payments may impact a consumer's credit score or ability to receive new loans with the company, according to Affirm.Some Walmart customers expressed concern on social media, worried about how families would be able to purchase gifts for the holiday season if they don't qualify for Affirm.-THEE STEP MUVA (@Stepmuvalex) September 25, 2021"Walmart took away layaway and replaced it with Affirm, which checks credit… right before Christmas," one Twitter user wrote. "So many low income families are not gonna be able to give their children gifts."Some customers seemed to not mind the change, making jokes that without layaway they have no place to hide their children's gifts during the holidays.Walmart has recently undergone several company-wide changes, including raising its minimum wage, getting rid of its employee bonus program for hourly workers, and opening Ghost Kitchens inside select stores. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytSep 25th, 2021

Amazon (AMZN) Boosts AWS Cloud Portfolio With QuickSight Q

Amazon (AMZN) announces the general availability of its new capability in QuickSight called Amazon QuickSight Q. Amazon’s AMZN cloud division, Amazon Web Services (“AWS”), made its new capability in QuickSight called Amazon QuickSight Q generally available in a bid to strengthen its services portfolio.Amazon QuickSight Q allows customers to ask business questions about their data in natural language. It provides accurate answers with proper visualizations, quickly leveraging Machine Learning (ML) technology.The ML models help Amazon QuickSight Q to understand customers’ complex language as the models are trained on data from various domains.We note that AWS is well-poised to gain strong traction among various companies on the back of Amazon QuickSight Q, which prevents business intelligence teams of the companies from spending time and efforts in time-consuming tasks like updating calculations, visuals, reports, and dashboards.Amazon.com, Inc. Revenue (TTM)  Amazon.com, Inc. revenue-ttm | Amazon.com, Inc. QuoteCustomer Base to ExpandCustomers using Amazon QuickSight Q will have to pay for the number of users or queries, without any upfront payment.This along with the above-mentioned benefits is likely to bolster the adoption rate of the new QuickSight capability.Notably, customers like National Football League, Forwood and PeopleScout have started using the underlined service.We believe that the growing customer momentum will continue to drive AWS’s top line. In second-quarter 2021, AWS generated revenues of $14.8 billion (13% of Amazon’s net sales), which rose 37% year over year.Strengthening clientele will continue to aid its competitive edge against its peers like Microsoft MSFT, Alibaba BABA, IBM and Alphabet’s GOOGL Google.Per the latest Canalys data, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud acquired a worldwide cloud market share of 22% and 8% in second-quarter 2021, respectively, while Amazon led with a 31% share.However, AWS is currently facing stiff competition from Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud as the latter two are leaving no stone unturned to grab a bigger market share on the back of their advancing cloud offerings. This poses a serious challenge to Amazon’s dominant position in the cloud space.Currently, Amazon carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Expanding PortfolioDespite the intensifying cloud competition, AWS’s strengthening cloud portfolio remains noteworthy.Apart from Amazon QuickSight Q, the company recently made its new storage service called Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP generally available.Further, the company made its fully managed data visualization service called Amazon Managed Grafana generally available. The service lets customers track operational and IoT data from various sources by creating Grafana dashboards seamlessly.The company made its fully managed in-memory database — Amazon MemoryDB for Redis —generally available. Amazon MemoryDB is Redis-compatible, which helps in the storage of the entire datasets in memory.The company announced the general availability of Amazon EBS io2 Block Express volumes, which bolstered AWS’s storage area network capabilities. EBS io2 Block Express volumes are equipped with SAN features like multi-attach and elastic volumes.The company announced the general availability of Amazon Healthlake, which extracts and analyzes important health-related information, and securely stores them on the cloud.We believe that the expanding AWS portfolio will continue to aid Amazon’s dominance in the booming cloud market. Time to Invest in Legal Marijuana If you’re looking for big gains, there couldn’t be a better time to get in on a young industry primed to skyrocket from $17.7 billion back in 2019 to an expected $73.6 billion by 2027. After a clean sweep of 6 election referendums in 5 states, pot is now legal in 36 states plus D.C. Federal legalization is expected soon and that could be a still greater bonanza for investors. Even before the latest wave of legalization, Zacks Investment Research has recommended pot stocks that have shot up as high as +285.9%. You’re invited to check out Zacks’ Marijuana Moneymakers: An Investor’s Guide. It features a timely Watch List of pot stocks and ETFs with exceptional growth potential.Today, Download Marijuana Moneymakers FREE >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN): Free Stock Analysis Report Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis Report Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL): Free Stock Analysis Report Alibaba Group Holding Limited (BABA): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 24th, 2021

Airline Stock Roundup: RYAAY"s Bullish View for Traffic, AAL, JBLU in Focus

Ryanair (RYAAY) expects fiscal 2022 traffic in the range of 90-100 million compared with 27.5 million in fiscal 2021. Gol Linhas (GOL) boosts its liquidity position. In the past week, Ryanair Holdings RYAAY raised its 5-year traffic growth forecast from 33% to 50%. The European carrier now expects traffic to grow to more than 225 million guests per year by March 2026 compared with 200 million predicted earlier.The Latin American carrier Gol Linhas GOL was also in the news in the past week when it extended its agreement with American Airlines AAL. American Airlines will acquire a 5.2% stake in Gol Linhas. However, American Airlines’ alliance with JetBlue Airways JBLU seems to have run into rough weather with the Justice Department and officials in six states reportedly filing a lawsuit against the alliance on antitrust grounds.Recap of the Past Week’s Most Important Stories1.Ryanair, currently carrying a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), expects fiscal 2022 traffic in the range of 90-100 million compared with 27.5 million guests in fiscal 2021.The carrier aims to take delivery of 210 Boeing 737 aircraft over the next five years. The company expects these planes, which would lower costs and reduce emissions, to accelerate its post-COVID growth.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.2. Under this extended deal, Gol Linhas will receive an equity investment of $200 million (R$1.05 billion) from American Airlines. This additional liquidity is expected to strengthen Gol Linhas’ balance sheet. The new agreement expands beyond the terms of the existing codeshare partnership (which has been in place since February 2020) between the carriers. As a result of the code sharing pact, passengers of either carrier can purchase tickets of the connecting flights using one reservation. American Airlines, through this exclusive codeshare agreement, expects to increase commercial cooperation with the Brazilian carrier to accelerate growth and create a more seamless experience for customers.3. According to an update from the White House, travel restrictions on air passengers from countries like China, India, Britain and other European nations into the United States will be eased from November this year. Per White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients, foreign nationals will have to be fully vaccinated when they fly to the United States in November. They will have to demonstrate proof of vaccination before boarding. Further, the travelers have to test negative for the coronavirus, which they have to undergo within three days of their flight. Zients ruled out the need to quarantine for the fully-vaccinated passengers.The development is a major positive, especially for the Delta-variant-hit U.S. airlines. Many of the carriers expect third-quarter 2021 results to be dented by the spread of the Delta strain in the United States. Their bearish third-quarter views were discussed in detail in the previous week’s write-up. 4. The Justice Department believes that the alliance between American Airlines and JetBlue will reduce competition, leading to higher fares. Per Attorney General Merrick Garland, “In an industry where just four airlines control more than 80% of domestic air travel, American Airlines' alliance with JetBlue is, in fact, an unprecedented manoeuvre to further consolidate the industry."American and JetBlue vowed to fight the lawsuit and continue with their alliance unless directed otherwise by a court. The partnership was announced last year. JetBlue and American Airlines already started coordinating on flights in the Northeast. Garland is, however, of the view that “It would result in higher fares, fewer choices, and lower quality service if allowed to continue.”5. United Airlines UAL is expanding its footprint in Africa with a new service between Washington, D.C. and Lagos, Nigeria, set to be launched on Nov 29, subject to government approval. The airline will operate three weekly flights between the U.S. capital and the popular African destination. This is the company’s first ever nonstop service between Washington, D.C. and Nigeria.Price PerformanceThe following table shows the price movement of the major airline players over the past week and during the past six months.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchThe table above shows that the airline stocks have traded in the green over the past week, aided by the announcement from the White House pertaining to the easing of international travel curbs. The NYSE ARCA Airline Index has increased 3.5% over the past week to $94.23. Over the course of six months, the sector tracker has decreased 6.6%.What's Next in the Airline Space?Investors will await more updates on the American Airlines-JetBlue partnership in the coming days. More Stock News: This Is Bigger than the iPhone! It could become the mother of all technological revolutions. Apple sold a mere 1 billion iPhones in 10 years but a new breakthrough is expected to generate more than 77 billion devices by 2025, creating a $1.3 trillion market. Zacks has just released a Special Report that spotlights this fast-emerging phenomenon and 4 tickers for taking advantage of it. If you don't buy now, you may kick yourself in 2022.Click here for the 4 trades >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Ryanair Holdings PLC (RYAAY): Free Stock Analysis Report United Airlines Holdings Inc (UAL): Free Stock Analysis Report JetBlue Airways Corporation (JBLU): Free Stock Analysis Report Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes S.A. (GOL): Free Stock Analysis Report American Airlines Group Inc. (AAL): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 23rd, 2021

Reitmans (Canada) Limited announces its results for the 13 and 26 weeks ended July 31, 2021

MONTRÉAL, Sept. 22, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ - The Company's results for the 13 weeks ended July 31, 2021 ("second quarter of 2022") and the results for the 26 weeks ended July 31, 2021 ("year to date fiscal 2022") and the respective comparative periods of the 13 weeks ended August 1, 2020 ("second quarter of 2021") and the 26 weeks ended August 1, 2020 ("year to date fiscal 2021") separately present continuing and discontinuing operations as described below under "Discontinued Operations". 13 weeks ended July 31, 2021 Despite an overall net reduction of 29 stores, sales for the second quarter of 2022 increased by $28.3 million, or 19.7%, to $172.3 million, primarily due to the Company's store network operating capacity being closed for fewer total number of days while under partial lockdowns during the second quarter of 2022 as compared to a phased store re-opening from full lockdowns during the second quarter of 2021 (see section entitled "COVID-19 and Other Key Company Updates") and an increase in the Company's e-commerce sales. Gross profit for the second quarter of 2022 increased $24.4 million to $95.7 million as compared with $71.3 million for the second quarter of 2021. Gross profit as a percentage of sales for the second quarter of 2022 increased to 55.5% from 49.5% for the second quarter of 2021. The increase both in gross profit and as a percentage of sales is primarily attributable to lower markdowns and promotional activity in the second quarter of 2022 combined with a favourable foreign exchange impact on U.S. dollar denominated purchases included in cost of goods sold, partially offset by higher merchandise freight costs as the global shipping industry disruption required an increased usage of air freight shipments to meet customer demand. Results from operating activities from continuing operations for the second quarter of 2022 were earnings of $25.0 million  as compared with a loss of $26.7 million for the second quarter of 2021. The increase in earnings of $51.7 million is primarily attributable to the increase in gross profit from higher sales and lower promotional activity and a decrease in overall operating costs of $27.3 million. The decrease in overall operating costs is primarily attributable to a decrease in restructuring costs of $29.4 million, fewer stores, improved lease arrangements, lower depreciation and amortization of $4.8 million, a decrease in impairment  charges of $ 2.5 million and a decrease in overall freight costs of $3.1 million, partially offset by a decrease of $7.4 million in financial support from both the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy ("CEWS") and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy ("CERS") programs, higher store personnel wages as the Company's stores were closed for fewer days and higher digital media spend during the second quarter of 2022. Net earnings from continuing operations for the second quarter of 2022 was $23.9 million ($0.49 basic and diluted earnings per share) as compared with a $27.4 million net loss ($0.56 basic and diluted loss per share) for the second quarter of 2021. The increase in net earnings from continuing operations of $51.3 million is primarily attributable to the increase in gross profit and a decrease in overall operating costs, partially offset by an increase in net finance costs. Adjusted EBITDA1 from continuing operations for the second quarter of 2022 was $30.9 million as compared with $16.6 million for the second quarter of 2021. The increase of $14.3 million is primarily attributable to the increase of $24.4 million in gross profit, partially offset by an increase in operating costs (excluding restructuring costs recovery, depreciation, amortization and impairment of non-financial assets) of $9.4 million and a decrease of $0.7 million in foreign exchange gain. The Company, as part of its restructuring plan, closed the Thyme Maternity and Addition Elle banners during the fiscal year ended January 30, 2021 (see section entitled "Discontinued Operations"). Net earnings from discontinued operations for the second quarter of 2022 was $10.2 million as compared to a net loss from discontinued operations of $44.6 million for the second quarter of 2021. As the discontinued banners were no longer in operation during the second quarter of 2022, the net earnings of $10.2 million was due to an adjustment to the provision for disclaimed leases reflecting the most recent settlement discussions with certain landlords. 26 weeks ended July 31, 2021 Despite an overall net reduction of 29 stores, sales for year to date fiscal 2022 increased by $68.2 million, or 30.3%, to $293.5 million, primarily due to the Company's store network operating capacity being closed for far fewer total number of days while under partial lockdowns during the year to date fiscal 2022 as compared to a phased store re-opening from full lockdowns during the year to date fiscal 2021 (see section entitled "COVID-19 and Other Key Company Updates") and an increase in the Company's e-commerce sales. Gross profit for the year to date fiscal 2022 increased $55.8 million, or 55.9%, to $155.6 million as compared with $99.8 million for the year to date fiscal 2021. Gross profit as a percentage of sales for the year to date fiscal 2022 increased to 53.0% from 44.3% for the year to date fiscal 2021. The increase both in gross profit and as a percentage of sales is primarily attributable to lower markdowns and promotional activity in the year to date fiscal 2022 combined with a favourable foreign exchange impact on U.S. dollar denominated purchases included in cost of goods sold, partially offset by higher merchandise freight costs as the global shipping industry disruption required an increased usage of air freight shipments to meet customer demand. Results from operating activities from continuing operations for the year to date fiscal 2022 were earnings of $25.4 million as compared with a loss of $82.7 million for the year to date fiscal 2021. The increase in earnings of $108.1 million is primarily attributable to the increase in gross profit from higher sales and lower promotional activity and a decrease in overall operating costs of $52.3 million. The decrease in overall operating costs is primarily attributable to a decrease in restructuring costs of $35.9 million, fewer stores, improved lease arrangements, lower depreciation and amortization of $12.0 million, a decrease in impairment charges of $8.8 million and a decrease in overall freight costs of $1.3 million, partially offset by a decrease of $3.1 million in financial support from both the CEWS and CERS programs, higher store personnel wages as the Company's stores were closed for fewer days and higher digital media spend during the year to date fiscal 2022. Net earnings from continuing operations for the year to date fiscal 2022 was $23.9 million ($0.49 basic and diluted earnings per share) as compared with a net loss of $74.1 million ($1.52 basic and diluted loss per share) for the year to date fiscal 2021. The increase in net earnings from continued operations of $98.0 million is primarily attributable to the increase in gross profit and a decrease in overall operating costs, partially offset by an increase in net finance costs. Adjusted EBITDA1 from continuing operations for the year to date fiscal 2022 was $37.9 million as compared to a loss of $2.5 million for the year to date fiscal 2021. The increase of $40.4 million is primarily attributable to the increase of $55.8 million in gross profit, partially offset by an increase in operating costs (excluding restructuring costs, depreciation, amortization and impairment of non-financial assets) of $4.4 million and a decrease of $11.0 million in foreign exchange gain. The Company, as part of its restructuring plan, closed the Thyme Maternity and Addition Elle banners during the fiscal year ended January 30, 2021. Net earnings from discontinued operations for the year to date fiscal 2022 was $10.2 million as compared to a net loss from discontinued operations of $72.6 million for the year to date fiscal 2021. As the discontinued banners were no longer in operation during the year to date 2022, the net earnings of $10.2 million was due to an adjustment to the provision for disclaimed leases reflecting the most recent settlement discussions with certain landlords. COVID-19 and Other Key Company Updates The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on the Company's results. As at January 30, 2021, the Company had 240 out of its 415 stores (58%) closed as a consequence of governmental lockdown directives. This partial lockdown of the Company's retail store network continued into the first quarter of 2022. Even though restrictions were relaxed and some stores reopened, in April 2021, a third wave resulting in increased COVID-19 cases required some further governmental lockdowns. As at July 31, 2021 and as of the date of this press announcement, there were no stores temporarily closed as a consequence of governmental lockdown directives. During the second quarter of fiscal 2021, the Company had a phased reopening of its stores and by the end of June 2020, all of the Company's stores were open for business. During the year to date fiscal 2021, all of the Company's stores were closed for 55 consecutive days. During partial or full lockdowns, the Company continued to fulfill e-commerce orders though sales were not sufficient to offset the lost sales due to the closures. In June 2021, the Company implemented its buy online pick up in store ("BOPIS") initiative to enhance its customers' omnichannel experience and reduce freight costs on fulfilling ecommerce orders. Since BOPIS only started in June 2021, the impact on the Company's operating results for the second quarter of fiscal 2022 and year to date fiscal 2022 was minimal in relation to freight costs. During the year to date fiscal 2022, the Company's measures to protect its financial situation continued to include furloughing retail sales associates during temporary store closures and obtaining financial assistance from federal programs, such as the CEWS and the CERS. Such measures and financial assistance mitigated the financial impact of COVID-19 on the Company's business. The extent to which COVID-19 will continue to impact the Company's business, including its supply chain, consumer shopping behavior and consumer demand, including online shopping, will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted at this time. These future developments include the speed of COVID-19 vaccination rollouts in Canada, vaccination rates amongst the Canadian population and other measures taken by various government authorities to contain the virus and its variants spread for potential future waves as well as future customer shopping behavior including online sales. As the Company navigates through the challenges caused by COVID-19, its focus will be to adapt to customers' changing product preferences, closely monitor its cash position and control its spending, while managing its inventory levels in line with the unprecedented change in demand behavior since COVID-19 started. Current financial information may not necessarily be indicative of future operating results. On May 19, 2020, the Company obtained an initial order (the "Order") from the Superior Court of Québec (the "Court") to seek protection from creditors under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (the "CCAA") and Ernst & Young Inc. was appointed as the Monitor. Since its initial filing on May 19, 2020, the Company obtained four extensions of the Order, with the most recent extension obtained until September 28, 2021. The CCAA process allowed the Company to implement an operational and commercial restructuring plan which included the closure of the Thyme Maternity and Addition Elle banners. See section entitled "Discontinued Operations". As well, the Company has re-negotiated more favourable lease terms with its landlords for virtually all of its remaining stores. The Company continues to make progress in the CCAA process with the assistance of the Monitor and expects to make announcements as further material progress is made, including a Plan of Arrangement to be filed and communicated at a later date. In August 2020, the Company had secured interim financing ("DIP Loan") up to a maximum amount of $60.0 million, including facilities available for securing letters of credit of up to $5.0 million, with a Canadian financial institution. On May 25, 2021, the Company obtained the Court's approval to reduce the DIP Loan facility from $60.0 million to $30.0 million. As of July 31, 2021, the Company had not drawn funds from the DIP Loan facility, other than for the issuance of letters of credit totalling $0.6 million. With the uncertainties surrounding the impact of COVID-19 going forward, the Company cannot guarantee that the DIP Loan will not be utilized in the future. These factors and conditions, combined with the unpredictability of the outcome of the matters arising from the CCAA proceedings, indicate that a material uncertainty exists that may cast significant doubt about the Company's ability to continue as a going concern and, therefore, realize its assets and discharge its liabilities in the normal course of business. The unaudited condensed consolidated interim financial statements have been prepared on a going concern basis, which assumes the Company will continue its operations for the foreseeable future and will be able to realize its assets and discharge its liabilities and commitments in the normal course of business. In assessing whether the going concern assumption is appropriate and whether there are material uncertainties that may cast significant doubt about the Company's ability to continue as a going concern, management must take into account all available information about the future, including estimated future cash flows, for a period of at least twelve months following the end of the reporting period. The unaudited condensed consolidated interim financial statements as at July 31, 2021 do not include any adjustments to the carrying amounts and classification of assets, liabilities and reported expenses that may otherwise be required if the going concern basis was not appropriate. Such adjustments could be material. It is not possible to reliably estimate the length and severity of COVID-19 and the impact on the financial results and financial condition of the Company in future periods. The Company will take into consideration the most recent developments and impacts of the pandemic, including updated assessments of future cash flows and any additional impacts resulting from COVID-19 will be reflected in the financial results of the current fiscal year, if applicable. Discontinued Operations As part of its restructuring plan, the Company closed the Thyme Maternity and Addition Elle banners during the year ended January 30, 2021 and, as a result, these results and cash flows have been classified as discontinued operations. IFRS 5, Non-current Assets Held for Sale and Discontinued Operations, requires that the comparative statements of earnings (loss) and comprehensive income (loss) be presented as if the operations were discontinued from the start of the comparative year. As a result, discontinued operations are excluded from the net earnings (loss) from continuing operations and are presented as earnings (loss) from discontinued operations, net of tax, as a separate line item in the consolidated statements of earnings (loss). About Reitmans (Canada) Limited The Company is a leading women's specialty apparel retailer with retail outlets throughout Canada.  As at July 31, 2021, the Company operated 411 stores consisting of 242 Reitmans, 91 Penningtons and 78 RW&CO.  As noted above, all Addition Elle and Thyme Maternity stores have been closed in connection with the restructuring plan. 1Non-GAAP Financial Measures The Company has identified several key operating performance measures and non-GAAP financial measures which management believes are useful in assessing the performance of the Company; however, readers are cautioned that some of these measures may not have standardized meanings under IFRS and, therefore, may not be comparable to similar terms used by other companies. In addition to discussing earnings in accordance with IFRS, this press announcement provides adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization ("Adjusted EBITDA") as a non-GAAP financial measure. Adjusted EBITDA is defined as net earnings (loss) before income tax expense/recovery, interest income, interest expense, depreciation, amortization, impairment of non-financial assets and restructuring costs. With the classification of the Addition Elle and Thyme Maternity businesses as discontinued operations, Adjusted EBITDA has also been modified to exclude discontinued operations. The following table reconciles the most comparable GAAP measure, net earnings or loss from continuing operations, to Adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations. Management believes that Adjusted EBITDA is an important indicator of the Company's ability to generate liquidity through operating cash flow to fund working capital needs and fund capital expenditures and uses the metric for this purpose. The exclusion of interest income and expense eliminate the impact on earnings derived from non-operational activities. The exclusion of depreciation, amortization and impairment charges eliminates the non-cash impact, and the exclusion of restructuring costs and discontinued operations presents the results of the on-going business. The intent of Adjusted EBITDA is to provide additional useful information to investors and analysts. The measure does not have any standardized meaning under IFRS. Although depreciation, amortization and impairment charges are non-cash charges, the assets being depreciated and amortized will often have to be replaced in the future, as such, Adjusted EBITDA does not reflect any cash requirements for these replacements. Adjusted EBITDA should not be considered either as discretionary cash available to invest in the growth of the business or as a measure of cash that will be available to meet the Company's obligations. Other companies may calculate Adjusted EBITDA differently. From time to time, the Company may exclude additional items if it believes doing so would result in a more effective analysis of underlying operating performance. The exclusion of certain items does not imply that they are non-recurring. Adjusted EBITDA should not be used in substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with IFRS or as an alternative to net earnings, net cash provided by operating, investing or financing activities or any other financial statement data presented as indicators of financial performance or liquidity, each as presented in accordance with IFRS. Although Adjusted EBITDA is frequently used by securities analysts, lenders and others in their evaluation of companies, it has limitations as an analytical tool, and should not be considered in isolation, or as a substitute for analysis of the Company's results as reported under IFRS. The Company uses a key performance indicator ("KPI"), comparable sales, to assess store performance and sales growth.  The Company engages in an omnichannel approach in connecting with its customers by appealing to their shopping habits through either online or store channels.  This approach allows customers to shop online for home delivery or to pick up in store, purchase in any of our store locations or ship to home from another store when the products are unavailable in a particular store.  Due to customer cross-channel behavior, the Company reports a single comparable sales metric, inclusive of store and e-commerce channels. Comparable sales are defined as sales generated by stores that have been continuously open during both of the periods being compared and include e-commerce sales. The comparable sales metric compares the same calendar days for each period. Although this KPI is expressed as a ratio, it is a non-GAAP financial measure that does not have a standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS and may not be comparable to similar measures used by other companies. Management uses comparable sales in evaluating the performance of stores and online sales and considers it useful in helping to determine what portion of new sales has come from sales growth and what portion can be attributed to the opening of new stores. Comparable sales is a measure widely used amongst retailers and is considered useful information for both investors and analysts. Comparable sales should not be considered in isolation or used in substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with IFRS. As highlighted in the section entitled "COVID-19 and Other Key Company Updates", at various times throughout the year to date fiscal 2022, the Company was required to temporary close some of its retail stores as a consequence of governmental lockdown directives. Due to the unprecedented nature of COVID-19 and its significant impact on consumers and our ability to service our customers, management believes that comparable sales are not currently representative of the underlying trends of our business and consequently would not provide a meaningful metric in comparisons of year-over-year sales results. Accordingly, this press announcement does not include a discussion of the Company's comparable sales in respect of the second quarter of and year to date fiscal 2022. Management will continue to monitor and evaluate the effects of COVID-19 and will resume the evaluation of comparable sales when year-over-year results are more representative. The following table reconciles net earnings (loss) from continuing operations to Adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations: For the second quarter of Year to date fiscal 2022 2021 2022.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaSep 23rd, 2021

South African Airways is flying again after its government cut funding last year. Here"s a look at the collapse and revival of the 87-year-old national airline.

The airline has served South Africa since before the country became truly independent from the UK and has a history largely molded by its country's laws. SAA relaunches flights after a year of inactivity Reuters South African Airways relaunched operations with a flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town after a year of inactivity. Though not involved in the relaunch, the airline has likely secured a new investor, Takatso Consortium. SAA said it's optimistic about its revival, but it's not without its skeptics. See more stories on Insider's business page. South African Airways was on the brink of disappearance after years of financial struggles, but it may have received a lifeline.On Thursday, the carrier relaunched operations on a flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town using money it received from the South African government. After getting in millions from the state, the long-suffering carrier was denied further funding last year, and, as FlightGlobal reported, business rescuers entrusted with the difficult task of rescuing the 87-year-old airline had given it two options: liquidation or a wind-down and sale process.However, SAA has likely secured a private investor, Takatso Consortium, in June 2021, which agreed to funnel up to $243 million into the crippled airline over the next three years. Takatso Consortium CEO Gidon Novick said the relaunch is independent of the negotiations between the consortium and the carrier.Take a look at South African Airways' collapse and rebirth. The airline itself dates back to 1934 when South Africa's Union Airways was nationalized to form the new South African Airways. The state-owned airline would become the flag carrier of South Africa, which was still part of the British Empire at the time. A South African Airways Junkers aircraft. The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Source: South African Airways Initial operations for South African included regional flights within Africa. Intra-African and domestic flights were operated by aircraft including the Junkers Ju 52, Douglas DC-3, and Junkers Ju 86. A Douglas DC-3 painted in South African Airways former colors. Simon_g / Shutterstock.com Source: South African Airways Once World War II ended, South African expanded beyond the shores of its home continent with a multi-stop flight to the heart of the British Empire. The route was known as the "Springbok" service, after the national animal of South Africa. An Avro York aircraft similar to the one used by South African Airways. The Montifraulo Collection/Getty Source: South African Airways The 34-hour, three-day service initially flown by an Avro York aircraft, stopped in Nairobi, Kenya; Khartoum, Sudan; Cairo, Egypt; and Castel Benito, Libya, before arriving in Bournemouth, England. An Avro York aircraft similar to the one used by South African Airways. The Montifraulo Collection/Getty Source: South African Airways Springbok would also become the radio callsign for South African Airways flights. A Douglas DC-3 painted in South African Airways former colors. Simon_g / Shutterstock.com More modern aircraft from Western manufacturers including the Lockheed Constellation L-749 and Douglas DC-4 were later added, helping fuel international expansion. A Douglas DC-4 painted in South African Airways former colors. Simon_g / Shutterstock.com Source: South African Airways The airline added flight attendants on its services in 1946 and later added in-flight movies to some of its flights in the same decade. A Douglas DC-3 painted in South African Airways former colors. Simon_g / Shutterstock.com Source: South African Airways South Africa entered the jet age in 1953 with a British Overseas Airways Corporation de Havilland Comet operated by South African Airways that flew from Johannesburg to London. A BOAC de Havilland Comet aircraft. PA Images/Getty Source: South African Airways Intercontinental expansion continued with South African Airways later growing its route network to Australia in 1957 with "Wallaby" service. A Douglas DC-4 painted in South African Airways former colors. Simon_g / Shutterstock.com Source: South African Airways The 1960s then saw further expansion to South America, with flights to Rio de Janeiro, and then North America, with flights to New York, using the Boeing 707. A South African Airways Boeing 707 aircraft. Antony Matheus Linsen/Fairfax Media/Getty Source: South African Airways South African hit a milestone in the 1970s with its first Boeing 747 aircraft, an aircraft that had begun flying passengers only at the beginning of the decade. The quad engine aircraft quickly became a status symbol for the world's airlines. A South African Airways Boeing 747 aircraft. Rolls Press/Popperfoto/Getty Source: South African Airways Other new arrivals included the Boeing 737… A South African Airways Boeing 737-800 aircraft. JOKER/Hady Khandani/ullstein bild/Getty Source: South African Airways And Airbus A300. A South African Airways Airbus A300 aircraft. STR New/Reuters Source: South African Airways South African was also one of the first commercial operators of a unique Boeing product, the 747SP. A South African Airways Boeing 747SP aircraft. EQRoy / Shutterstock.com Source: South African Airways A shortened version of the popular Jumbo Jet but with the same four engines, the 747SP offering extended ranges unmatched by most aircraft of the time. The range of the 747SP was so great that South African flew it from Seattle to Cape Town nonstop, a distance of over 8,800 nautical miles, on its delivery flight. A South African Airways Boeing 747SP aircraft. EQRoy / Shutterstock.com Source: South African Airways While airlines liked the 747SP for its performance capabilities, South African had a different reason involving the country's apartheid policy. A Boeing 747SP aircraft. Mo Azizi / Shutterstock.com Due to the discriminatory policy, some African countries had restricted South African Airways flights from entering their airspaces and the airline would often have to fly indirect routes to get to Europe. A South African Airways Boeing 747SP aircraft. EQRoy / Shutterstock.com Source: New York Times The Boeing 747SP allowed for South African to go around the countries without having to stop for fuel on the way to Europe. Other aircraft frequently used Cape Verde as a refueling stop for flights to Europe, despite the archipelago's location off the coast of West Africa. A South African Airways Boeing 747SP aircraft. EQRoy / Shutterstock.com Source: New York Times A route from Johannesburg to Athens on the 747SP, for example, stopped in Lisbon and Rome along the way. The flight flew direct or with one stop to Lisbon, and then headed into the continent. A South African Airways Boeing 747SP aircraft. EQRoy / Shutterstock.com Source: South African Airways The 1980s then saw turbulence for the carrier as Western nations adopted sanctions against South Africa for its apartheid policies. Flights to the US and Australia were revoked in addition to the countries that had barred South African's flights. Australian protests against South Africa's apartheid policy. Robert Pearce/Fairfax Media/Getty Source: South African Airways When apartheid ended in the 1990s, South African was allowed to grow its route network once again and the airline no longer needed to fly the long, costly routes to avoid some nations. A South African Airways Airbus A320 aircraft. Rogan Ward/Reuters Source: South African Airways One of the most notable displays of the new airline came in 1995 during the Rugby World Cups when a South African Airways Boeing 747 did a flyover of the stadium with "Good Luck Bokke," a nickname for the South African team, painted on the belly. The feat was repeated multiple times in later years by other airlines. An aircraft flyover at a 2013 Springboks vs All Blacks rugby match, David Rogers/Getty Source: South African Airways and Safair The decade also saw the airline win the title of Africa's leading airline from 1994 on to 2015. The 1990s, however, also saw the airline begin its financial losing streak. South African Airways aircraft. William F. Campbell/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Source: QZ The 2000s saw South African undergo a fleet renewal where most of its long-haul Boeing jets were retired in favor of European-built Airbus planes. The new long-haul flagships became the Airbus A330… A South African Airways Airbus A330 aircraft. SUMAYA HISHAM/Reuters Source: Planespotters.net And A340-600. A South African Airways Airbus A340-600 aircraft. Bruce Bennett/Getty Source: Planespotters.net South African was later brought into organizations to which it had been denied including the International Civil Aviation Organization and joined the Star Alliance. South African Airways joined Star Alliance in 2006. SIPHIWE SIBEKO/Reuters Source: South African Airways Its new-found praise and acceptance, however, couldn't replace the financial woes of the airline. In 2019, South African entered the equivalent of bankruptcy protection and began restructuring after racking up nearly $3 billion in debt. South African Airways employees protest during the airline's bankruptcy. Siyabonga Sishi/Reuters Source: QZ Despite being in the midst of restructuring, South African leased a new aircraft, the Airbus A350-900 XWB, which ultimately launched on the Johannesburg-New York route in January 2020. A South African Airways Airbus A350-900 XWB. South African Airways Read More: Bankrupt South African Airways just debuted its newest plane, the Airbus A350, weeks early despite verging on the brink of collapse The swanky new aircraft would be ideal for the ultra-long-haul routes that South African planned to use them for. A South African Airways Airbus A350-900 XWB. South African Airways With the new aircraft in the air and flying passengers, the hope was that South African might have a plan to save itself from collapse. A South African Airways Airbus A350-900 XWB. South African Airways South Africa's government, which has been incrementally providing relief, however, ultimately pulled the plug in April 2020. A South African Airways Airbus A340-600. Fabrizio Gandolfo/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Source: FlightGlobal Without intervention from either the government or a private buyer willing to keep the airline going, South African Airways looked like it was going to disappear from the skies for good. A South African Airways Airbus A350-900 XWB. Sumaya Hisham/Reuters However, the airline is back up and running after over a year of inactivity. SAA relaunched operations on September 23 with a flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town using an A320 aircraft, which carried 123 passengers on the maiden journey. SAA's first flight in over a year Reuters Source: Aerotime Hub The relaunch came after months of restructuring, which included reducing its debt and cutting its workforce by 80%, down from 4,000 to 802. SAA relaunch at Johannesburg airport Reuters Source: Aerotime Hub, ch-aviation The airline will be backed by Takatso Consortium, a joint-venture between Harith General Partners and Global Aviation, which is in late stage talks to buy the majority stake from the South African government in June. South African union buildings Burhan Ay Photography/Shutterstock Source: africannews Takatso Consortium is set to be SAA's lifeline, though is not reportedly involved in the airline's management, relaunch, or funding. However, Takatso CEO Gidon Novick said in a statement that negotiations to take a 51% share are "substantially complete." SAA A320 at Johannesburg airport Thiago B Trevisan/Shutterstock Source: ch-aviation The consortium's deal made with South Africa's Department of Public Enterprises includes investing up to $243 million into the airline over the next three years. SAA A330 takes off from Lusaka, Zambia Vidit Luthra Source: africannews Without its private funds yet secured, the company is using $33.8 million of the $712.3 million bailout it received from the state to restart operations. SAA A320 Thiago B Trevisan/Shutterstock Source: ch-aviation SAA's interim CEO Thomas Kgokolo said the company needs a modern fleet of aircraft if it is going to be competitive outside of Africa. Currently, its all-Airbus fleet has an average age of more than 15 years. SAA plane in Namibia Felix Lipov/Shutterstock Source: africannews However, Kgokolo said ticket sales are promising and early numbers indicate flights could be 75% full. SAA passengers Reuters Source: africannews The airline's fleet has shrunk, having only six of the original 44 it had before insolvency. SAA will start with a small network, operating one domestic route and five regional routes, including to Accra, Ghana; Kinshasa, DRC; Harare, Zimbabwe; Lusaka, Zambia; and Maputo, Mozambique. SAA plane in Johannesburg Reuters Source: ch-aviation While it still has a long way to go, SAA's relaunch has brought pride and excitement for its employees. Crew members danced and sang at the Johannesburg airport before the maiden flight. SAA employees dance after relaunch Reuters Source: Reuters While the airline is optimistic about its return, skeptics believe it will be short-lived. According to Efficient Group economist Dawie Roodt, Takatso Consortium's absence from the relaunch is not a good sign. SAA A340 wing Vidit Luthra/Shutterstock Source: jacarandafm He explained that the slow deal with the consortium makes him wonder where the money to keep SAA in the air is going to come from. Without the agreement finalized, the airline will likely have its wings clipped again soon, according to Roodt. SAA tail at Frankfurt airport Vytautas Kielaitis/Shutterstock Source: jacarandafm Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 23rd, 2021

We tried Scott"s Cheap Flights Elite for deals on first class fares - here"s why we think it"s worth the $199 subscription

A Scott's Cheap Flights Elite subscription alerts you to deals on premium economy, business class, and first class airfare. Here's how it works. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Scott's Cheap Flights Scott's Cheap Flights is a free newsletter and website for cheap flight deals. The best deals are for Premium members, while business and first class fares are for Elite level. Elite costs $199 per year and includes Premium. I tried it out to see how it works. Table of Contents: Masthead StickyElite service (per year) (small)They say once you fly first class, you can never go back to coach. There's nothing like going past the first class curtain to plush, and in some cases, lie-flat seats, while tucking into chef-prepared meals and sipping champagne.I know personally that the saying is true. But unfortunately, I've made the long walk back to economy many times after experiencing the indulgent front of the plane.That's because for most fliers, business or first class is often prohibitively expensive and a rarity saved for special occasions or occasional upgrades.However, Scott's Cheap Flights, a newsletter and website for finding the best flight deals, has an Elite tier specifically for cheap premium economy, business class, and first class flights. It's not free like their basic newsletter, but if you like to stretch out in style, it's worth checking out.I tried out an Elite subscription, comped for review purposes, and for just under $17 per month, think it's one of the best ways to find good deals on upgraded cabins. Here's how it works, how it compares to the free service, and some of the best deals I spotted.What is Scott's Cheap Flights?Scott's Cheap Flights is a newsletter and website that shares incredible flight deals, in some cases, even 90% off a typical flight price. They have a team of researchers who religiously research flights and if you opt in to email subscriptions, you'll be alerted when airlines have sales or mistake fares. Basic membership is free, but for tailored and exclusive deals, you'll have to upgrade to Premium, while Elite (which includes Premium) is exclusively for premium economy, business class, and first class flight deals. Here's a full breakdown of how it works.What is Scott's Cheap Flights Elite?While a standard membership shares limited deals, and Premium alerts you to significantly more deals on international and domestic economy flights, mistake fares, and some of the most popular destinations, Elite focuses specifically on premium economy, business class, and first class flights.However, because it also includes Premium membership, you'll enjoy the best of both worlds - in other words, all the best deals without limitations. Deals are available based on membership levels. Scott's Cheap Flights Deals arrive daily in your inbox or can be found on the website. Online, you'll see deals reserved only for Premium or Elite members.To find the best cheap flights for you, you'll want to "follow" airports where you typically depart. Free members may select up to five airports, premium members can follow up to 10, and Elite members have unlimited choices. Tailor your search results by setting "home" airports. Scott's Cheap Flights How much does an Elite subscription cost?Elite is $199 per year, which is significantly more than Scott's Cheap Flights' Premium service that costs $49 for an annual subscription. Regular memberships are free.But if you travel often, love to jump on good deals, and specifically want to fly in upgraded cabins, that's just under $17 a month, which is pretty cheap.You may also try it for free for 14 days at no cost if you decide it isn't for you.How do I sign up for Scott's Cheap Flights' Elite subscription?Signing up for a Scott's Cheap Flights Elite account is easy:First, create an account, by going to their homepage where you'll submit your name, email, and create a password. You'll also answer prompts to make sure you see the best deals.For Elite, you'll then be prompted to input your credit card information.That's it. Signing up for Elite, or any membership, takes only a few minutes. Scott's Cheap Flights Is Elite better than Premium or Free?That depends on how often you fly or plan to jump on deals, and how important elevated cabins are to you. However, to see how many more deals an Elite member receives (which, again, includes Premium), I also signed up for a free account on another email to track how many I received for each tier. Over a five-week period, here's how they compared:Free service: 30 email deals for economy domestic and international flights16 emails with destination-related content, travel tips, and offers for discounts on paid memberships Newsletter and Deals (small)Premium service:121 email deals for economy domestic and international flights16 emails with destination-related content, travel tips, and offers for discounts on paid membershipsPremium service (per year) (small)Elite service:9 email deals for domestic and international premium economy class flights26 email deals for domestic and international business and first class flights126 email deals for economy domestic and international flights16 emails with destination-related content, travel tips, and offers for discounts on paid membershipsElite service (per year) (small)So, looking at deals specifically, since all members receive similar promotional emails, being a Premium member earned significantly more deals than a basic membership.Elite included all the same Premium emails, with the addition of upgraded cabin deals, which were mostly for business class over any other. While I didn't receive nearly as many premium or business class deals as I did for economy flights through Premium, the number of premium/business/first class sales totaled just about the same as all the emails I received in entirety as a free member, which is a pretty good showing. Flying first, business, or premium economy comes with lots of plush perks. Scott's Cheap Flights What are some of the best deals Elite members receive?While I received a lot of great deals as an Elite member, these offered some of the most significant savings to popular destinations. Do note that these were tailored to my residence on the East Coast:New York City to Quito, Ecuador in premium economy: $505New York City to Barcelona, Spain in premium economy: $778Boston to Copenhagen, Denmark in premium economy, $990New York to Bangkok, Thailand in premium economy, $1,186New York City to Nassau, Bahamas in business class, $623New York City to Quito, Ecuador in business class: $755Boston to Seattle in business class, $997Boston to Rome, Italy in business class, $1,568Hartford to Madrid, Spain in business class, $2,210New York, to Cape Town, South Africa, $2,704The bottom lineMost major travel requires a flight, which can be a long, uncomfortable journey. Flying business or first class is an indulgence that removes many pain points, but is also expensive and discounts are hard to come by.However, Scott's Cheap Flights Elite service hones in specifically on them, offering major savings. If you fly often and are open to paying more for premium economy, business class, and first class, then Scott's Cheap Flights Elite service is one of the best ways to find cheap airfare on these cabins. And at roughly $17 per month for a year, this price is cheaper than buying dinner. While I didn't purchase airfare during my testing period (I have a baby and we're trying to limit travel with her during the pandemic), I would definitely sign up for Elite if I were flying at pre-pandemic levels, or knew I'd be traveling on long haul routes. However, if you don't fly much or are perfectly comfortable in coach, you're better off trying Premium, which still nets great deals for about $4 per month. Or, start with the free version and upgrade if you like what you see.Elite service (per year) (small)Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytSep 22nd, 2021

United employees sue the airline over exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, as the company announces 97% of workers have gotten the shot

United was the fist major US airline to require its employees to be vaccinated against the coronavirus to keep working. United Airlines A group of United employees sued the company, saying it practiced a "pattern of discrimination" by denying their vaccine exemption requests. More than 97% of the airline's employees are vaccinated against COVID-19 leading up to the September 27 vaccine deadline. United Airlines was the first major US airline to require its employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19 to keep working. See more stories on Insider's business page. Six United Airlines employees have filed a lawsuit against the company, saying it discriminated against workers through its company-wide vaccine mandate.The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in a Texas federal court, alleges the company refused to engage with or denied employees' requests for religious or medical exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccine, which they say violate of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. It also said United's "indefinite unpaid leave" policy failed to provide "reasonable accommodations" to unvaccinated employees."United's actions have left Plaintiffs with the impossible choice of either taking the COVID-19 vaccine, at the expense of their religious beliefs and their health, or losing their livelihood," according to the lawsuit.The plaintiffs vary in position across the company - two pilots, a flight attendant, and operations/service representatives. The lawsuit says they requested at least one of either exemptions, but were ultimately denied and put on "indefinite unpaid leave" by the company.United Airlines has not yet responded to Insider's request for comment.Meantime, the air carrier announced Wednesday that 97% of employees are now vaccinated against COVID-19. United was the first major US airline to issue a vaccination mandate for workers.This comes less than a week before the company's major employee vaccine deadline of September 27, announced back in August. The company said in the original announcement that all new and current customer-facing employees would need to be vaccinated against the coronavirus to continue working after the September deadline, unless granted exemption due to religious or medical reasons. Those placed on leave can return to their jobs once the company deems it "safe" to do so, but until then, the leave would be unpaid.The company said it highly encourages, but does not require, its passengers to be vaccinated.United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said the company accepted "most" of the exemption requests it received, but denied some requests after vetting. Kirby said only "a handful" of employees had quit over the vaccine requirement, adding the company expect more resignations by the vaccine deadline, but "it's going to be a very low number of people that ultimately choose to leave."Delta Airlines has also set up a punitive system for its unvaccinated workers, bumping up health insurance for those refusing to get the vaccine. American Airlines cut off special pandemic leave for its unvaccinated employees, while Alaska Airlines announced it would stop offering paid time off to workers who contract COVID. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytSep 22nd, 2021

Air Force commandos are preparing for war with Russia or China by rethinking what a "runway" really is

The threat from long-range weapons has the Air Force looking to disperse its forces, and special operators have been crucial to those operations. An A-10 takes off on a highway in Alpena, Michigan, August 5, 2021. US Air Force/Master Sgt. Scott Thompson The US military is preparing for a potential conflict for a capable adversary, namely Russia and China. Part of that preparation is finding ways to distribute forces so they can keep operating if fighting starts. For the Air Force, that means using new airfields, and its special operators have been crucial to that. See more stories on Insider's business page. In a conflict with a near-peer power, such as China and Russia, the US military would be challenged by the size of its rivals' arsenal and the range of their weapons.China is now seen as the US's "pacing threat," and the sheer scale of its manpower and arsenal demand prudent distribution of forces to avoid a nightmare scenario in which one strike takes out a large number of troops or weapons.So the Air Force has been training to disperse its forces to non-traditional and sometimes improvised airfields. Air Force special-operations forces have been crucial to that preparation.America's Air Commandos US Air Force pararescuemen board a US Army CH-47F helicopter after an exercise at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, March 14, 2018. US Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Gregory Brook As the air component of US Special Operations Command, Air Force Special Operations Command provides air transport; close air support; precision strike; and intelligence, surveillance, global access, and reconnaissance capabilities to special-operations units.AFSOC also oversees highly skilled battlefield commandos who get attached to other special-operations teams, merging air and ground power.These battlefield commandos work in four main career fields: Pararescuemen, who are elite medics and personnel recovery experts; Combat Controllers, who coordinate airfield operations and close air support; Tactical Air Control Party airmen, commandos who specialize in calling in airstrikes; and Special Reconnaissance operators, the newest career field that specializes in reconnaissance and intelligence gathering.Although they are an important part of SOCOM, Air Commandos are often overlooked because they support other special-operations units. Combat Controllers and Pararescuemen are often attached Navy SEAL platoons or Army Special Forces detachments. They do operate on their own teams but not as often.AFSOC is equally active in the air, however. It operates several rotary- and fixed-wing platforms, such as the MC-130 Commando II transport plane, the AC-130 Spooky gunship, the CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, and the MQ-9 Reaper drone.Winds of Change A C-146A Wolfhound prepares to land on a highway in Alpena, Michigan, August 5, 2021. US Air Force/Master Sgt. Scott Thompson Air Commandos recently conducted a unique exercise that reflects the shift in thinking about military operations.During exercise Northern Strike 21 in northern Michigan in early August, Air Commandos facilitated the first landing of a modern aircraft on a US public highway. The goal was to prepare pilots and commandos for impromptu operations in austere locations.During the exercise, Air Commandos practiced infiltrating and securing the highway and then setting it up to function as an airfield.A-10 and C-146A aircraft then landed and took off from the roadway. In a real-world scenario, especially during expeditionary operations, the highway-turned-airfield would ideally be close to the front lines to provide quick and accurate logistical and close air support for conventional and special-operations troops."We're working on agile combat employment concepts, which basically makes the force more flexible, more maneuverable, and creates challenges for our adversaries in different environments," Lt. Col. Jeff Falcone, the Air Commando in charge of the exercise, said in a press release."It also increases the survivability of US forces as we're able to move around to more unpredictable locations to resupply, refuel, or anything else we may need," Falcone added.Besides the Combat Controllers who conducted air traffic control, Pararescuemen were on standby to provide medical attention to forces at and near the highway, as they would be during a real operation. An A-10 lands on a highway in Alpena, Michigan, August 5, 2021. US Air Force/Master Sgt. Scott Thompson The US military isn't the only one who trains for such contingencies. Taiwan's military operates aircraft on a specially designed public highway as part of exercises simulating defense against a Chinese invasion.During such an invasion, China's military would already know where Taiwan's military and civilian airports are and target them accordingly. Conducting air operations in non-traditional, austere environments makes it harder for an enemy to target your aircraft.Airfield operations Combat Controllers' "the bread and butter," a former Combat Controller told Insider."People often mistakenly think that our only job is to sit by the SF [Army Special Forces] or [Navy] SEAL ground force commander and call in airstrikes on bad guys, but actually that is a very small portion of our job," the former controller said, adding that not all combat controllers are qualified as joint terminal attack controllers, which allows them to call in airstrikes"A primary aspect of our job is airfield ops - identify, assess, mark, and operate airfields, often in austere environments. We are the first in to establish the conditions for follow-on forces. It takes years of training to get to that place," the former Combat Controller added.This exercise in Michigan showed that AFSOC is adapting to the new challenges of great-power competition.Lt. Gen. James Slife, AFSOC's commander, acknowledged earlier this year that Air Commandos need to adapt and evolve in order to remain relevant, calling the current period an "inflection point" for the command.ACE and FARP F-35s wait to refuel from a C-130J during Agile Combat Employment training at Northwest Field on Guam, February 16, 2021. US Air Force/Senior Airman Jonathan Valdes Montijo For example, in a war with China, instead of relying on an F-35 group - two squadrons with roughly 50 aircraft - to operate from a large island, the Air Force would deploy a single squadron or even a half-squadron to a smaller island.Agile Combat Employment, or ACE, and Forward Arming and Refueling Points, or FARP, are not entirely new operations, but AFSOC has investment in them more as tensions have risen with Russia and China.ACE seeks to enable larger, operational-level air forces to function in smaller, tactical-level units in the event of a near-peer conflict. By doing that, the Air Force makes it harder for adversaries to target its aircraft and personnel.ACE operations also make it a more unpredictable and thus more effective force. Special-operations airmen refuel an F-22 from an MC-130J during Forward Area Refueling Point training in Alaska, January 30, 2020. US Air Force/Staff Sgt. Ridge Shan F-35s conducted just such an exercise earlier this year, deploying from their main base in Alaska to the main US base in Guam, from which they redeployed to an austere airfield on the small island nation of Palau for refueling.FARP goes hand-in-hand with ACE. Aircraft need to be refueled and rearmed wherever they are, especially if they have to deploy to remote, austere bases on short notice.The "Nightstalkers" of the US Army's 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment and the US special-operations community as a whole have used FARP for decades to support operations in unfriendly territory or behind enemy lines. In early 2020, Special Tactics Airmen practiced refueling fighter jets in the extreme cold of Alaska for the first time.Stavros Atlamazoglou is a defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 21st, 2021

Blow up your Instagram with these 10 over-the-top hotels in the US

Here are 10 cool, photogenic US hotels to post about on Instagram, with over-the-top decor, dramatic architecture, and eccentric rooms. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. The Saguaro When choosing a hotel, social media-minded travelers place a high value on a visual appeal. Many hotels design with Instagram in mind, with decor ranging from highly curated to eccentric. We found the most photogenic hotels across the US with options for all budgets and travelers. Table of Contents: Masthead StickyThe saying goes, "pics or it didn't happen," and when it comes to travel, that is especially true. After all, vacation visuals that get posted to social media serve as photogenic proof that you had an incredible time away, inspiring others' travel decisions, and perhaps even a bit of travel envy.Whether or not you're an influencer commanding a major social media presence, it's nice to visit somewhere that is visually appealing, both on and off the 'Gram. That's why we rounded up some of the most Instagram-worthy hotels across the United States, each catering to a variety of aesthetics.You can be sure that each and every hotel on this list has gorgeous decor that'll photograph perfectly, even if you're relatively inexperienced behind the camera.Browse all the most Instagrammable hotels in the US below, or jump directly to a specific area here.The most Instagrammable hotels in the USFAQ: Instagrammable hotelsHow we selected the most Instagrammable hotelsMore photogenic accommodationsThese are the most Instagrammable hotels in the US, sorted by price from low to high. The Roxbury This suite is inspired by the tale of "Cinderella" with a bathroom entrance fashioned out of her pumpkin carriage. Roxbury Hotel Book The RoxburyCategory: Budget Location: Roxbury, NYTypical starting/peak prices: $95/$138Best for: Couples, families, friendsOn-site amenities: Pool, spa, hiking trails (to a waterfall!)Pros: Between the property's two hotels, there are about two dozen room themes, meaning there's something to tickle everyone's fancy.Cons: There's no on-site restaurant, but daily breakfast is included. Guests are charged to use the pool (a one-time, not daily fee), which eliminates the need for a resort fee.When it comes to themed hotel rooms, no one does them quite like The Roxbury in New York's Catskills region.Made up of two hotels, the Roxbury Motel and the Roxbury at Stratton Falls, there are 28 whimsical rooms and suites. Entry-level rooms are fairly traditional, though still bold in colors, but it's the suites and cottages that really dazzle.Themes range from Maryann's Coconut Cream Pie, where the ceiling looks as if it's coated in undulating meringue; and The Wizard's Emeralds, a riff on "The Wizard of Oz" complete with a yellow brick (or, in this case, yellow tile) road and a glittering green bedspread worthy of the Emerald City. Additionally, the Tower Cottages are standalone duplex suites with themes like the Faerie Forest, where interiors resemble whimsical woods plucked out of a fairy tale, with flowers, ferns, mushrooms, and gnarled tree branches adorning every inch.The Roxbury also has a pool with a spa that appears warped to create the illusion that it's defying gravity, alongside a hot tub, dry sauna, and treatment rooms. There are also hiking trails, one of which leads to a 50-foot waterfall.COVID-19 procedures are available here. The Saguaro Palm Springs The colorful Saguaro is one of Palm Springs' most recognizable hotels. Tripadvisor Book The Saguaro Palm SpringsCategory: BudgetLocation: Palm Springs, CATypical starting/peak prices: $129/$350Best for: Couples, friends, solo travelersOn-site amenities: Pool, restaurants, bars, gym, spaPros: The pool is the place to see and be seen — and to take your Instagrams. Pool parties are particularly boisterous, and the rainbow backdrop of the hotel brightens up any photographs.Cons: There's a mandatory $38 (plus tax) resort fee, which makes seemingly affordable room rates less appealing.Palm Springs is a desert oasis primarily known for two things: amazing midcentury architecture and a raucous party scene, particularly at its hotels. The Saguaro Palm Springs is no exception to either.The hotel was built in 1971 but underwent a major renovation in 2012 by the same group behind the ultra-hip Ace Hotels. That refurbishment brought about the brightly painted exterior with a gradient rainbow effect for which the hotel is best known. These vibrant, cheerful colors carry throughout the entire property, most notably in the courtyard pool area. Paired with swaying palm trees, bright yellow umbrellas, and the cool blue of the pool, and it's positively photogenic.  That pool area, by the way, is one of the hotel's biggest draws. Lively parties are thrown regularly and often spill over into the Saguaro's restaurants and bars. Be sure to reserve a cabana in advance for the best spot for photos.Inside, guest rooms are similarly colorful with lemon yellow walls, royal purple carpets, and furniture done up in lime green, hot pink, or electric orange alongside technicolor striped bedspreads.COVID-19 procedures are available here. TWA Hotel Built into an old airline terminal, the TWA hotel offers a retro feel infused with heavy doses of '60s glam and nostalgia. TWA Hotel/David Mitchell Book TWA HotelCategory: BoutiqueLocation: New York, NYTypical starting/peak prices: $200/$280Best for: Couples, families, friends, solo travelers, aviation and design enthusiastsOn-site amenities: Restaurants, bars, gym, rooftop pool, event space, museums displays, ice/roller rinkPros: The main building is legendary among aviation geeks and architecture lovers, but anyone who appreciates funky design will enjoy the hotel. Don't miss the cocktail bar inside an old airplane. And, of course, if you're flying out of JFK, it doesn't get more convenient than staying here.Cons: The rooms are pretty small, even the suites. Mixed reviews cite cleanliness issues, too. You're far better off hanging out in the public spaces, which are more visually interesting anyway.As the only hotel within John F. Kennedy International Airport, the TWA Hotel is, of course, a place for those who need a place to rest pre- or post-flight. But it's also so much more, as a design-forward gem that feels like a slice of preserved history with front-row views of airplanes taking off and landing.Designed by midcentury architecture icon Eero Saarinen in 1962 (originally as a flight center for Trans World Airlines), the TWA hotel has jaw-dropping interiors. The main building, which houses the front desk, restaurants, and bars, features soaring, curved white ceilings that are not unlike a Jetsons-style spaceship with bright red carpets, classic midcentury furniture, and an old-school departures/arrivals board. Throughout the hotel and in some guest rooms, enjoy iconic views of the runway as planes land and depart, a boon for aviation enthusiasts. Rooms are small, but feel like you've stumbled onto the set of "Mad Men" with bright red Saarinen-designed Womb chairs, retro TWA travel posters, dark wood paneling, and brass accents on furniture, including a martini bar.Visiting this hotel is a lot like, walking into a time capsule, especially when you enter the hotel's cocktail bar housed within an actual 1958 Constellation airplane.COVID-19 procedures are available here. Madonna Inn The Floral Fantasy is one of 110 over-the-top themed rooms. Tripadvisor Book Madonna InnCategory: BoutiqueLocation: San Luis Obispo, CATypical starting/peak prices: $220/$580Best for: Families, friends, couplesOn-site amenities: Restaurants, bars, bakery, pool, spa, gym, dance floor, boutique, tennis, basketballPros: Every room is unique, meaning you can stay 110 times and have an entirely different experience for each visit. Cons: The decor is undoubtedly kitschy and even borderline gauche, which may not appeal to some guests. For others, it's the entire reason they're here.When it opened in 1958, the Madonna Inn in the midst of San Luis Obispo's wine country, had just 12 rooms. Today, it has 110, from economy kings to three-bedroom suites, and each one has its own absolutely one-of-a-kind, at times tacky, but highly memorable decor.In the Fabulous 50s room, teal walls are framed by pink trim, while gilded mirrors form a focal point in the bathroom. In the Victorian Gardens room, a four-post bed is matched with floral wallpaper, pink walls, and pink-velvet chairs and sofas. And in the Caveman room, the ceiling, walls, and floors are all made with rough-hewn rock, while furnishings are upholstered with animal print to complete the prehistoric theme.The rooms are spread across a 1,000-acre resort, which includes basketball and tennis courts, a pool, a retro gas station (a nod to the hotel's roots as a classic road trip stop, though today you'll find Tesla Superchargers there), a spa, a bakery, and several restaurants and bars.The eclectic decor doesn't stop in the rooms, either. Alex Madonna's Gold Rush Steak House is decked out in topsy-turvy pink and gold colors that recall either the Mad Hatter's tea party or the "Be Our Guest" scene in Beauty and the Beast." Hot pink circular banquettes are trimmed with gold, while a pink floral carpet provides punchy patterns. An organic, tree-like candelabra rises in the center of the room, its golden tendrils supporting dozens of electric candles. COVID-19 procedures are available by phone at 805-543-3000. The Greenbrier Bright colors mix heavily with punchy prints. The Greenbrier Book The GreenbrierCategory: ResortLocation: White Sulphur Springs, WVTypical starting/peak prices: $240/$425Best for: Families, couples, friends, solo travelersOn-site amenities: Restaurants, bars, casino, shopping, pool, tennis, golf, spa, ropes course, bowling, art studio, Cold War bunkerPros: Everything you could possibly want to do at a mountain resort, you can do here, whether falconry or jewelry making. It's almost shocking how many activities are offered.Cons: Some might find the decor a bit too traditional — there are lots of florals — but there's no denying it makes for a great Instagram post.Opened in 1778, the Greenbrier is an iconic American resort in West Virginia, having hosted 27 presidents throughout its history. Naturally, there have been many changes to the property over the centuries, but perhaps the most dramatic was a 1946 redecoration by lauded interior designer Dorothy Draper, who introduced lurid colors and punchy patterns into the historic buildings.Take the Greenbriar Avenue lobby, where black-and-white houndstooth club chairs sit atop bright red carpet, surrounded by teal-and-white striped columns, tropical-print wallpaper, and black-and-white checkered floors. Then in the Victorian Writing Room, rainbow-colored floral armchairs and drapes contrast with forest green walls and a bright red carpet.The guest rooms feature similar idiosyncratic decor, though perhaps not as in-your-face. Entry-level rooms all feature floral wallpaper with floral drapes to match, while higher room tiers have slightly more vibrant approaches to interior design. In the Windsor Club Rooms, you'll likely find brighter pink wallpaper, whole beds are covered by canopies, and furniture and carpets feature gingham or plaid patterns. The Greenbrier is also known for its many on-site activities, ranging from sports facilities, studios, and workshops for creative types to a casino, more than a dozen dining options, and plenty of shopping on the 11,000-acre grounds. But its most unusual amenity is a formerly secret Cold War-era bunker designed to house Congress. It's now declassified and open for tours.COVID-19 procedures are available here. Urban Cowboy Catskills Room designs are a feast for the eyes. Urban Cowboy Catskills Book Urban Cowboy CatskillsCategory: BoutiqueLocation: Big Indian, NYTypical starting/peak prices: $250/$500Best for: Couples, friends, solo travelersOn-site amenities: Restaurant, bar, games room, libraryPros: Despite being a wilderness lodge, there's very strong Wi-Fi for the WFH (or can't-be-disconnected) crowd.Cons: There are often minimum stay requirements, usually two to three nights on weekends.In New York's Catskills region, a popular weekend trip for city dwellers, the Urban Cowboy sits on 68 forested acres with plenty of outdoor recreation, but we wouldn't blame you if you wanted to spend your entire stay indoors.That's because the hotel's 28 accommodations feature super cool decor that focuses on quintessential rustic elements like deer antlers, live-wood furniture, rough-hewn wood beams, and outdoorsy accent pieces like snowshoes or oars. Colorful Native American pattern work covers the ceilings, beds, chairs, and rugs, creating a visual cacophony that feels high-design. And then there's the matter of the absolutely gorgeous copper soaking tubs set in front of big picture windows.This rugged-chic mountain style continues in public spaces, especially in the bar with a massive stone fireplace and columns that look like trees. The vibrant patterns make an appearance, too, from the walls to the sofas to the rugs.COVID-19 procedures are available here. Faena Hotel Miami Beach An attractive pool scene sets a sleek tone. Booking.com Book Faena Hotel Miami BeachCategory: LuxuryLocation: Miami Beach, FLTypical starting/peak prices: $445/$1,350Best for: Couples, friends, familiesOn-site amenities: Restaurants, bars, gym, spa, beach club, kids' clubPros: Despite its opulent, perhaps frenzied look, this is actually a surprisingly family-friendly hotel. Cons: It's 10 blocks north of South Beach, so you're not right in the heart of the action. However, there's plenty to do on-site.If it feels like Faena Hotel Miami Beach is some sort of phantasmagoric movie set, that's because it basically is. Filmmaker Baz Luhrmann and production and costume designer Catherine Martin, a husband-wife team, spearheaded the design of this Mid-Beach property, and they went all out.Public spaces are filled with sumptuous colors, dazzling metallics, and all manners of prints and patterns, from leopard spots to Art Deco geometry. Even the spa, a typically soothing space, is filled with bright colors, a neon-colored pom-pom chandelier, and bird-filled, floral landscape wallpaper.In fact, public areas are absolutely buzzing with visual elements, with a gold-covered woolly mammoth skeleton by the pool (a Damien Hirst artwork) that takes center stage.Guest rooms, however, are a bit more subdued, with white walls and wood floors to keep things grounded, accented by red and turquoise furnishings. Bits of animal print are thrown in for good measure and as subtle reminders of your larger surroundings. COVID-19 procedures are available here. The Inn of the Five Graces Guest rooms, spaces, and even bathrooms are bursts of colors, prints, and international influences. Tripadvisor Book The Inn of the Five GracesCategory: BoutiqueLocation: Santa Fe, NMTypical starting/peak prices: $715/$1,175Best for: Couples, friendsOn-site amenities: Bar, spa, gymPros: A made-to-order breakfast is included, as is a wine and cheese reception on Fridays. The spa's Tibetan-style treatment room is beautiful.Cons: There's no true on-site restaurant, but in-room dining is available via the restaurant next door.From the outside, the Inn of the Five Graces is just another (450-year-old) adobe dwelling in Santa Fe. But inside, it's a global journey along the Silk Road.Public spaces and all 24 rooms burst with colors and patterns, whether from mosaic tiles, Central Asian textiles, or South Asian works of art. The look is definitely maximalist, but the blend of international styles is somehow never overwhelming thanks to the smooth and soothing adobe walls that serve as a calming backdrop. Natural elements like wood-beamed ceilings and stone hearths also provide simple contrast.The boutique property is limited on amenities, though it has an exceptional spa treatment room inspired by Tibetan tradition (both in decor and in therapies), a gym, and in-room dining provided by a neighboring restaurant.The Inn of the Five Graces is a five-minute walk from downtown Santa Fe, but thanks to its global influences, it seems to transport you to the other side of the world.COVID-19 procedures are available here. The Villa Casa Casuarina Gianni Versace's former mansion is now a luxury hotel showcasing his ostentatious style. TripAdvisor Book The Villa Casa CasuarinaCategory: LuxuryLocation: Miami Beach, FLTypical starting/peak prices: $750/$1,400Best for: CouplesOn-site amenities: Pool, restaurant, barPros: The hotel's old-world-inspired grandeur truly is unmatched in Art Deco-filled South Beach.Cons: Because this is a major tourist site in Miami, there can be many people around snapping photos at all hours. Diners at the restaurant are loud, and noise can reach the rooms.Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace was tragically murdered in 1997, but his lavish Miami Beach mansion was preserved to pay homage to his life, and now, operates as a luxury hotel. Today it's called the Villa Casa Casuarina, and was inspired by the Alcázar de Cólon in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The Spanish-style mansion, built in 1930, captivated Versace, who bought it in 1992 and renovated it to suit his extravagant taste. It's still exquisitely over the top.The hotel's suites feature ostentatious decor in various themes. In the Azure Suite, blue-and-white decor abounds with Roman-inspired architectural details, like the medallion-inlaid pediments above the windows in the bedroom and the tromp l'oeil "plasterwork" in the bathroom. In the Signature Suite, however, there's a far more sultry vibe, with animal print upholstery, a sumptuous warm-tone marble bathroom, and gilded furnishings.But the visual highlight of the entire property is the Million Mosaic Pool, which is comprised of thousands of 24-karat gold tiles. COVID-19 procedures are available by phone at 305-908-1462​​. Amangiri Utah's luxury Amangiri resort is a favorite with celebrities. Amangiri Book AmangiriCategory: LuxuryLocation: Canyon Point, UtahTypical starting/peak prices: $1,931/$3,500Best for: CouplesOn-site amenities: Spa, restaurant, bar, poolPros: This is desert minimalism at its finest — the hotel blends perfectly into its landscape with earth-toned decor. The luxury service is unmatched.Cons: This is not the easiest property to get to, as the closest major airports are more than four hours away. But the remote location is one of the many reasons why people visit.Arguably one of the most exclusive resorts in the US, Amangiri is a lesson in understated elegance. Architecturally, the sleek hotel is designed to blend in with the stark, rocky landscape surrounding its 600 desert acres in Utah, with color palettes that match near perfectly.Despite the indulgent luxury price tag, everything here is understated. Furnishings are made of sinuous wood or matte concrete with white upholstery to maximize the natural surroundings, which are often framed by views so beautiful, they appear like a work of art. With so many clean lines, use the sky for color and take pictures at different times of day to create variation. Though it'd be easy to rest in your luxurious suite all day long, you'll want to spend time in the dramatic Aman Spa, which covers 25,000 square feet. With looming concrete walls, it can at times feel cavernous, akin to the deep canyons found just a few miles away. While expensive, the rate covers all meals (sans alcohol), some activities, and some spa treatments, too. Stunning nature, hiking, horseback riding, or climbing, are all activities that await. COVID-19 procedures are available here. FAQ: Instagrammable hotels What are other unique hotels in the US?For unusual hotels, consider the Dog Bark Park Inn in Cottonwood, Idaho, where the main building is shaped like a beagle; ​​The Inn at Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, where Christmas is celebrated year-round; and the Railroad Park Resort in Dunsmuir, California, where guests sleep in converted train cars.How do I find cool hotels to stay in?If you're looking for an Instagrammable hotel, head to Instagram to get inspired by other travelers. Search hashtags like #beautifulhotels or #coolhotels. Or trust the experts, like us!What makes a hotel Instagrammable?Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Styles that some might consider Instagram-worthy might not be quite right for the aesthetic of your feed. But in general, bold interior design is key or a stunning setting. And bold doesn't necessarily mean maximalist. A stark, minimalist interior can be visually dynamic in photographs, too.What are some of the most photogenic hotels in the world?There's no shortage of beautiful hotels in the world, whether you're looking for the classic Italian style of Villa d'Este on Lake Como, the over-the-top safari lodge Ol Jogi in Kenya's Laikipia region, or the futuristic ME by Meliá Dubai, designed by Zaha Hadid. How we selected the most Instagrammable hotels in the US As a travel writer who focuses on architecture and design, I determined that every hotel has photo-worthy design elements, whether in the guest rooms, public spaces, or exterior areas.Each property on the list is highly rated on traveler review sites like TripAdvisor, Booking.com, and Expedia.High-design hotels range greatly in budget. We've selected properties from each end of the spectrum; they cost anywhere from $95 to $$3,500 per night.Tastes vary, so we've picked a selection of decor styles. There's everything from kitschy-themed suites to magazine-worthy interior design.While COVID-19 policies vary from state to state, these hotels still have strict health and safety policies in place to protect both guests and staff. More photogenic hotels The Setai Miami Beach The best luxury hotels in the USThe best themed hotel suites for familiesThe best bucket-list Airbnbs in the US Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 21st, 2021

GameStop (GME) to Hire 500 Staff to Enhance Customer Service

To bolster e-commerce operations, GameStop (GME) announces plans to hire up to 500 employees at its new customer service center in Florida. GameStop Corp. GME has been quite proactive about undertaking efforts to strengthen digital operations. With consumers’ growing inclination toward online shopping, the company has been evolving itself into a strong and digitally advanced player in the gaming industry. Progressing on these lines, the company announced plans to hire nearly 500 employees at its customer service center in Pembroke Pines, FL. Let’s take a closer look at this latest development as well as other efforts undertaken by the company.Prudent Efforts to Boost Digital PresenceIn its last earnings call, GameStop had informed about entering into a lease for a new customer care center in Pembroke Pines, as it continues to build on customer care operations in the United States. Investment to boost employee strength at this facility is likely to reinforce the company’s U.S.-based customer care operations. This newly-leased service center is expected to be operational by the end of 2021.GameStop has been striving to build upon its digital capabilities, especially since the middle of last year when Ryan Cohen began taking interests in the company. RC Ventures, which is managed by Ryan Cohen, is one of the largest stakeholders of GameStop. Under the leadership of Ryan Cohen, the company has been undertaking radical digital transformation efforts. It has been restructuring its board and formed a Strategic Planning and Capital Allocation committee. Since the formation of this committee, the company has appointed several board executives with significant experience in e-commerce, customer care, technology, UI, UX, operations and supply chain.Expanding fulfillment network and e-commerce services has been a vital part of the company’s transformation efforts. In July, 2021, the company entered into a lease for a 530,000-square feet facility in Reno, NV, which is expected to be in operation this year. Prior to this, the company entered into a lease for a 700,000-square feet facility in York, PA. The facility began shipping orders during the second quarter of fiscal 2021. Owing to these expansions, the company’s fulfillment network now spans across both coasts of Continental U.S.The company’s strategic deal with Microsoft, to provide customers with enhanced digital solutions, is also noteworthy. GameStop utilizes Microsoft’s cloud solutions and hardware products to upgrade its business operations. Apart from this, it is strengthening omni-channel operations through the roll-out of same-day delivery services and several flexible payment options. To further boost consumers’ shopping experience, the company has enhanced search and navigation along with post-purchase features. GameStop is also striving to expand its product catalog by adding new products and leading brands across electronics, collectibles, toys and more. The company has been focusing on expanding and redesigning PowerUp Rewards loyalty program and improving engagement with vendors and partners.In order to support business transformation, GameStop completed the sale of 5-million shares of its common stock through its at-the-market equity offering program (the “ATM Offering”). It generated aggregate gross proceeds before commissions and offering expenses of approximately $1.13 billion. Prior to this, the company completed the sale of 3.5 million shares of its common stock through the ATM Offering and generated collective gross proceeds of nearly $551 million. The company has been using the proceeds for accelerating growth efforts as well as for general corporate purposes and strengthening the balance sheet. As a result of the ATM Offering, the company now has total shares outstanding of approximately 75.9 million.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchGameStop’s efforts to turnaround its business operations are encouraging. Investors have been keeping a close watch on the transformation efforts undertaken by the company’s restructured board.Caught in the meme frenzy earlier this year, shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have surged 920.2% in the year-to-date period compared with the industry’s rise of 41.4%.Here are 3 Key Stocks for YouThe Childrens Place, Inc. PLCE, flaunting a Zacks Rank #1, has a long-term earnings growth rate of 8%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Best Buy Co., Inc. BBY, with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), has a long-term earnings growth rate of 8.3%.Costco Wholesale Corporation COST, also with a Zacks Rank #2, has a long-term earnings growth rate of 9.3%. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Best Buy Co., Inc. (BBY): Free Stock Analysis Report Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST): Free Stock Analysis Report GameStop Corp. (GME): Free Stock Analysis Report The Childrens Place, Inc. (PLCE): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 21st, 2021