(Bloomberg) — At Bloomberg Pursuits, we love to travel. And when we can again, we want to make sure we’re doing it right. So we’re talking to globe-trotters in all of our luxury fields—food, wine, fashion, cars, real estate—to learn about their high-end hacks, time-saving tips, and off-the-wall experiences. These are the Distinguished Travel Hackers.
Roman Jones has been a mainstay of Miami’s nightlife since the late 1990s, when he hosted the likes of Jay-Z and Sylvester Stallone at Living Room on Washington Avenue. He went on to create other headline-grabbing venues, from the megaclubs Mansion and Opium Garden to the tiny, ultra-exclusive Privé, as well as restaurants such as Kiki on the River in downtown Miami. His latest venture, The Gramercy, is a brasserie that takes inspiration from classic hotels.In a typical year, Jones, a new resident of Coral Gables, Fla., logs around 75,000 miles. He’s airline agnostic domestically, but when he flies internationally to Europe, there’s a clear choice: Virgin Atlantic. Virgin “was the first one to have a bar onboard, and for somebody who’s in the bar business, restaurants and so forth and so on, I appreciate that touch,” he says. “I have a little bit of a fear of flying, so I try to have a few drinks before taking off.”
His approach to travel during the Covid-19 pandemic has been preparedness. “I had it early on,” says Jones, “and I test myself for antibodies every three weeks. As long as I [still] test positive for it, I try not to really worry. I wear a mask, because it’s important, but I won’t let the pandemic ruin my trip.”
That stress-free state of mind is honed by a childhood spent traveling with a rock star father.
Traveling is stressful enough as it is, so I always pack a pair of flip-flops and shorts to change into on the plane when I’m heading on vacation. The minute I put them on, I immediately feel like I’m on vacation. Even when I’m traveling to a city like New York, my flip-flops convey that I’m in a vacation state of mind, and people often spot me on the street as “That guy from Miami.” It’s sort of my nonverbal way of saying, “Yep, I’m that guy.”
I also get to the airport early, because I prefer to wait. The waiting to get on the plane is less stressful than the rushing. When I traveled with my dad [Mick Jones of Foreigner] as a kid, we were always late. It was always a commotion, a nightmare. It’s a horrifying memory from my childhood experience. It was like, Dad, me, my brother Chris, [my half-siblings] Mark [Ronson], Samantha [Ronson], Charlotte [Ronson], Alexander [Dexter-Jones], Annabel [Dexter-Jones], two nannies, 20 bags. This nightmare. My dad probably had a few drinks and who knows what else. It was a circus. So the basis for everything that I do now when I fly is about not stressing out.
What you should actually ask the taxi driver in a new destination.
It’s as old as time to ask the taxi or Uber driver where to go for a great meal or bar scene in town, but don’t do that. Instead, ask them where they’ve been dropping off a lot of people, or where the busiest spot is, or where the hot chicks asked to be dropped off.
A case for never packing socks and underwear.
Everyone knows that it’s easier to pack when you’re leaving for a trip than when you’re leaving the hotel because for some reason, [your stuff] never fits. You know what I mean. It. Never. Fits. Somehow everything fit perfectly when I left and then all of a sudden, like, what happened? So I just said to myself, “All right, how can I cut some of the extra space and whatever, and it’s not going to break the bank?” So I started picking up socks and boxers from Walgreens, or a gas station, or American Apparel when it was around. The quality is just fine, and socks are nobody’s fashion statement. While it is wasteful, I can just throw them out at the end of my vacation. It saves me from repacking a bunch of dirty laundry—another ritual I hate—so I only have to repack my main items.
No vaccine passport, no problem. Here’s how Americans can travel “internationally.”
Puerto Rico is a really easy flight from the East Coast, and it has had a really rough couple of years between everything—the hurricanes, the politics. It’s such a beautiful vacation spot, and you feel like you’re leaving the U.S. but yet you’re not, which [these days] makes it easier to travel. And that island has given us so much culturally, especially in music: Look at Bad Bunny and Daddy Yankee. While Puerto Rico has been ravaged, these artists have been at the top of the charts churning out hit after hit. You can’t find a better hotel than El San Juan Hotel; it was designed by Morris Lapidus, who designed many iconic Miami properties, and it is so grand.
When first class isn’t first class.
Some people say, “Oh my God, I’m going to sit right at the front of the plane,” and I say, “No, I want to be in first class, but not right in front of the plane, because you’re next to the bathrooms, which is not a good idea.” I don’t like odors, and you’re next to a high-traffic spot, even in a mask now.
Unpredictability can be a safety strategy.
It’s better to not have a routine when you’re traveling, and not be easy to target and pinpoint, especially if I’m traveling somewhere like South America, where there’s a lot of kidnapping and so forth and so on. If you’re tipping people nicely, as I do, and you’re tall, you stand out, and word gets out. I’ll check out of the hotel two days “early.” If I get a taxi and I’m like, “Hey, drive me around the night for 50 bucks or whatever,” they might ask, “When are you leaving?” and I say “Thursday. Can you drive me to the airport on Thursday?” and I take their card. Then I’m out of there Wednesday or a day or two before. I just don’t like to leave when people expect me to leave. I like to leave earlier.
If you’re tipping generously, make sure you’re tipping right.
A lot of people tip when they leave the hotel, they leave their change and whatever that was in their pockets, blah-blah. I always give 20 bucks right upon arrival. Why? If you tip the housekeeper on the first night of your visit vs. the last night, your room will be taken care of—you know, you will get your extra soaps and towels folded into swans. If I see the [room attendant] as I’m in the hallway and they’re turning the bed down, boom, I always go up to them, and I give them a 20, because right away the word spreads: “We got a tipper—we got a live one!”
In fact, tip everyone: the stewardess, the valet, the concierge, the bellboy. You may [choose to] save a couple hundred dollars on your room type, but splurge on your tips, because having extra service, smiles, attention will make your stay so much better.
Think like a teenager to make the most of every trip.
My first trip on my own was in high school, and I went with my best friend to Paris, Corsica, Italy, and back to Paris. I was 15. We didn’t have the ability to just get on a cellphone and call New York [in the 1980s], like when we were in Florence and ran out of money. The ingenuity comes out then. My best friend pretended [to be] a photographer, and I said I was a reporter for Details magazine in New York.
I think when you’re young, you’re just worried about the destination you’re going to, whereas I think as we get older, we start worrying about the trip to the destination also. Teenagers are like, “Look, I don’t need money to travel. I can go in coach and stay in a [cruddy] hotel.” The whole point is getting there and experiencing it.
Where he’ll go on his first long-haul, post-pandemic adventure.
My ideal trip is this: I go from Miami to L.A. to spend a few days there, relaxing. Then I fly to Hawaii for a few days, then from there to Tokyo and Kyoto, because I’m dying to see the old, feudal areas of Japan, traditional stuff. Then I head down to South Korea. I’m obsessed with Korean food, and I am dying to get drunk in a karaoke bar with [hostesses] rubbing my head and telling me how amazing I am. I’m being completely serious. Honestly, because it reminds me of, like, what clubs must have been like in Vegas, in the ’50s or ’60s when it was just, like, one guy with like 10 showgirls around him. It’s like a set out of a movie, a gangster movie. I also love Korean movies, which is the best Asian cinema [culture] by far. I’d give myself a month for that trip.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) – An 11-year-old boy was sent to the hospital after he was struck by an alleged hit-and-run driver in the area of N. College Street and W. Green Avenue Sunday afternoon.
Police said the boy was transported to McLane’s Children’s Hospital in Temple with non-life-threatening injuries.
Killeen Police Spokeswoman Ofelia Miramontez said the boy was on a skateboard heading south on Root Avenue when the driver of a “low profile black pickup truck with red rims” heading west on W. Church Avenue failed to yield right of way and struck the boy.
Miramontez said the driver continued to travel and turned left northbound on Root Avenue and then westbound on W. Green Avenue “effectively leaving the scene.”
Investigators urge anyone with information about this case to call 254-526-TIPS (8477) or go online at www.bellcountycrimestoppers.com.
You can also download the P3Tips App for IOS or Android and give an anonymous tip.
Police say, all information is confidential and anonymous and if your tip leads to the arrest of the person(s) responsible, you could be eligible to receive a reward up to $1,000 in cash.
Copyright 2021 KWTX. All rights reserved.
With the world now cautiously starting to look at opening up with the introduction of vaccines to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, you might be starting to thinking more about getting out and about.
But for those of you starting to dart around in taxis again – to go on nights out, for business meetings, or even holidays – stop for a moment because you’ll need to remember your etiquette.
With that in mind, etiquette expert Diane Gottsman, the owner of The Protocol School of Texas and author of Modern Etiquette for a Better Life, has been talking to Forbes in order to provide guidance and advice on tipping-related stresses for taxi rides as well as other travel related tips.
“When traveling, it’s no surprise that tipping will be part of the experience, so don’t be caught off guard,” she said to the publication.
“Go to the bank, and stock up on cash – $1 and $5 bills. You will use them!”
A year ago that would have seemed obvious, but in these pandemic times of contactless payments some of us are struggling to remember what actual cash looks like, so this is useful advice indeed.
Gottsman goes on to recommend that a minimum of 15 percent of the fare is average when it comes to tipping normal taxis.
She adds that 20 percent or above should be given to a driver who assists you with heavy luggage and ‘doesn’t scare the daylights out of you by taking tight corners and weaving in and out of traffic en route to your hotel or destination’.
For Uber or Lyft, however, she recommends a similar figure and says to select a preset amount or customize your tip.
Fifteen to 20 percent is again standard and drivers of the app-based services also greatly appreciate positive ratings as well as gratuity.
These tips fall broadly into line with the website Charity Cab, whose seven tips include tipping no less than 10 percent of the fare to a driver and also say that you should provide extra if they go out of their way to help you with luggage or something like that.
The site also says you should tip Uber and Lyft drivers as well, and also to not ask for change from any tip that you give.
Gottsman’s advice on tipping also stretched out to a number of other scenarios, for instance tipping 15-20 percent to waiters in a restaurant, while she recommends that you tip bartenders $1-2 per drink.
It’s worth remembering here that this latter piece of advice is really aimed at the United States, where service industry workers are much more reliant on tips to top up low wages. So bear this in mind next time you find yourself on the other side of the pond.
While she’s on the subject of the US, Gottsman also has a number of recommendations for hotel stays, including tipping house keepers $3-5 daily, rather than tip at the end of the stay.
She also suggests tipping bellmen, valets and doormen anything between $1-5 for the service they provide. It shows good manners and, after all, a lot of these employees have been hugely hurt by the loss of trade in the pandemic just as much as the companies that employ them.
A 41-year-old resident of Burlington is in critical condition after crashing into another vehicle on Route 1 in West Windsor on Sunday evening.
Police were dispatched to Route 1 south just south of Carnegie Boulevard at 7:13 p.m. Sunday due to a serious motor vehicle crash involving two vehicles. The initial investigation by police revealed that the Burlington resident, who was driving a 2017 Lincoln MKZ, was traveling south on Route 1 in the left lane, and then changed lanes just south of Carnegie Center Boulevard. When he changed lanes to the right, he struck the back of a 2020 Acura SUV being driven by a Cranbury resident. The Acura spun in the roadway, police said. The Lincoln MKZ then went off of the roadway to the right, struck a tree and a utility pole guide wire, and destroyed a hotel sign before coming to rest about 30 feet from the roadway in the snow.
The driver of the Lincoln MKZ was entrapped in his vehicle and had to be rescued by Princeton Junction Volunteer Fire Company Station #44 members. After being freed from the Lincoln, the man, who had serious injuries, was transported to the Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton. He remains in the Intensive Care Unit, police said. The other driver and a passenger complained about neck pain, but declined to be transported to a hospital, police said.
Route 1 south was limited to one lane of travel for about two hours.
A crash investigation is ongoing. If you have information about the crash, contact Officer LaRocca at LaRocca@westwindsorpolice.com or Traffic Sgt. Bal at Bal@westwindsorpolice.com, or call (609) 799-1222, or call the West Windsor Police Department’s confidential tip line at (609) 799-0452.
Amazon will pay $61.7 to settle allegations made by the FTC over failing to pay Amazon Flex drivers their tips.
On Tuesday, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said the settlement figure represents how much drivers allegedly lost in tips over a two-and-a-half-year period.
Amazon Flex is an offshoot of the company’s standard delivery infrastructure. Under Flex, drivers can sign up and use their own vehicles to deliver packages on behalf of the company, and customers are able to tip their drivers if they wish.
According to the US watchdog, Amazon ‘misrepresented’ the job by telling drivers they would receive and keep all of their tips — and also told customers that any tips awarded would go straight to the driver.
The FTC claims that in 2016, Amazon Logistics began to pay Flex drivers a lower rate than $18 – $25 previously advertised and also covertly moved drivers to a different system that would short drivers — as their tips would be used to bump up the hourly rate rather than be paid out separately.
“Amazon used the customer tips to make up the difference between the new lower hourly rate and the promised rate,” the agency said. “This resulted in drivers’ being shorted more than $61.7 million in tips.”
Amazon allegedly received “hundreds” of complaints as drivers began to become suspicious, but emails were sent to them “falsely” claimed that no changes had been made to the tip system, the FTC added.
Furthermore, the FTC says that Amazon only “stopped its behavior” after being made aware of an investigation into the practice by the agency in 2019. The company has since returned to a pay model that provides drivers their tips in full.
Under the terms of the settlement, the e-commerce giant will not only pay $61,710,583, but will also be prohibited from changing how it handles tips without the consent of drivers, and the company has been barred from “misrepresenting driver earnings, pay or percent of tips” paid.
The settlement will be used to return the missing tips to Flex drivers.
“Rather than passing along 100% of customers’ tips to drivers, as it had promised to do, Amazon used the money itself,” commented Daniel Kaufman, Acting Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Our action today returns to drivers the tens of millions of dollars in tips that Amazon misappropriated, and requires Amazon to get drivers’ permission before changing its treatment of tips in the future.”
Earlier this week, Amazon reported Q4 revenues of $125.6 billion with $14.09 earnings per share.
At the time of the financial earnings disclosure, Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos announced that he was stepping down from the helm and AWS chief Andy Jassy would be taking on the role of CEO in Q3 2021.
Update 15.26 pm GMT: An Amazon spokesperson told ZDNet:
“While we disagree that the historical way we reported pay to drivers was unclear, we added additional clarity in 2019 and are pleased to put this matter behind us. Amazon Flex delivery partners play an important role in serving customers every day, which is why they earn among the best in the industry at over $25 per hour on average.”
Previous and related coverage
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RCMP are still looking for the driver in a hit-and-run in the Peguis First Nation that killed a 52-year-old father last year.
Albert Bradley Flett died on Feb. 1, 2020 after he was hit by a vehicle while walking on West Road at about 6 p.m.
Police believe Flett was hit by an all-terrain vehicle while walking just a short distance behind his friends.
His friends, who heard the collision but didn’t see it, administered first aid and called 911, but Flett was pronounced dead shortly after, according to an RCMP news release.
RCMP did not release his name at the time of the collision, but identified him in a news release Monday and asked for anyone with information on the incident to come forward.
“Brad loved to travel and embraced the traditional way of life. He was kind and gentle and would give the shirt off his back if someone else was in need. He was a loving father to his son Philip, and we all miss him dearly,” said Brad’s sister Rose in the RCMP news release.
RCMP say they have interviewed dozens of people, reviewed video surveillance and followed up on every tip, but have still been unable to identify who was driving the vehicle that struck Flett.
His sister Rose is holding a memorial walk on Peguis First Nation in his memory.
“We don’t want Brad to be forgotten and will continue to bring attention to his death until we get answers,” she said.
“Someone knows something. Please, if you have any information, call police.”
Anyone with information about this incident can call Fisher Branch RCMP at 204- 372-8484, submit a tip anonymously at 1-800-222-8477 or secure tip online at manitobacrimestoppers.com.
A frustrated delivery driver was filmed walking off with her customer’s food after having a heated argument over an $8 (£5.90) tip.
Viral door security camera video shared by Driver Man on YouTube shows the DoorDash driver asking to speak to the customer face-to-face when she delivers the meal to an address in Smithtown, Long Island in New York, the US.
She speaks to the camera: “I don’t think you realise the distance that it’s coming from because then you would never actually have given what you gave. I think you can come and see face to face.
“I drove 40 minutes and it was extremely far and I got it too early.
The customer is heard replying: “No I’m not. I don’t understand.”
She continues: “Do you realise how far it is, the restaurant you ordered from is in Commack and you are in Smithtown?”
“That’s a 15, 20-minute drive,” the man answers.
But the driver shakes her head and says: “It’s not. You need to try to drive it, I just drove it, it’s 40 minutes. It’s 12 and a half miles.
“I think you need to adjust your tip to make it right. You gave an $8 tip.”
He quickly pushes back and justifies it by saying: “What the hell are you looking for? I gave an $8 tip!”
The conservation ended as the woman said to take the food back to the restaurant and stormed off the driveway.
His clip stirred a discussion online and some viewers pointed out the average time travel between the two towns is no more than 15 minutes.
One said: “Wasn’t expecting to hear the name of the town I live in mentioned in this. Commack is literally the next town over from Smithtown and is in no way, shape, or form a 40-minute drive even in the worst of traffic.
“Maybe if you’re travelling by rickshaw, but certainly not by car. It’s 15 minutes TOPS.”
A DoorDash spokesperson said: “We take the safety of our community extremely seriously, and such inappropriate behaviour is never tolerated on the DoorDash platform.
“Any behaviour that violates this zero-tolerance policy is grounds for deactivation, and the Dasher involved has been removed from our platform.
“We have been in touch with the customer to offer support, and sincerely regret that this incident fell short of the experience we strive to provide every day.”