I entered the travel industry in 2006 with the intention of specializing in luxury travel. Having been an American Express Platinum card member for many years, I was very familiar with their Fine Hotels & Resorts (FHR) program which offered negotiated rates and complimentary amenities (such as free breakfasts and room upgrades) to their clients. I wanted to compete with the excellent product that American Express was already offering.
My first affiliation was a brief one. I joined a large hosting agency that belonged to a consortium that promotes exclusive amenities and competitive rates at four- and five-star properties. I had asked the manager of that agency whether their consortium would be able to match the values available through American Express. While he told me this was the case, I quickly learned that they could not compete. Read the rest of this entry »