Upgrade: Travel Better and its editor, Mark Ashley have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Guardian, the San Francisco Chronicle, and many other news outlets, online, in print, and on the air.
Recent interviews and mentions in the press include:
So the Ritz, part of Marriott, has begun a rewards program. A typical two-night stay starts at about $600, and is worth about 5,100 points. Around 50,000 points earns you a free night.
Mark Ashley: Honestly, I don’t see a huge bargain here for travelers; I don’t see a great deal.
That’s blogger Mark Ashley at UpgradeTravelBetter.com.
Ashley: I don’t think it creates something that luxury travelers are going to really gravitate toward.
“Ritz-Carlton introduces loyalty program,” interview/segment by Janet Babin, Marketplace, American Public Media, September 14, 2010.
…According to Mark Ashley of travel blog Upgrade: Travel Better, the move amounts to the groundwork for a new airline alliance…
“Is there a new airline alliance in the offing?,” The Independent, August 16, 2010.
Mark Ashley watches with a weary eye whenever flight attendants walk up and down the aisles of a plane to collect the trash on his flights. Items that he would normally separate for recycling at his home and office are often dumped into a single bag on planes.
“Report: Airline recycling in ‘sorry state’,” by Agnes Pawlowski, CNN, March 3, 2010.
Mark Ashley, who writes the business travel blog [Upgrade:] Travel Better and reports clocking more than 70,000 miles each year in the air, says gadgets help business travelers feel at home by making their time on the road not only efficient but also enjoyable. “If you’re away from friends and family, you want to make sure you’re comfortable, even pampered,” Ashley says.
“Tech Toys For Business Travelers,” by Bonnie Ruberg, Forbes, November 24, 2008.
Make a beeline for the farthest-flung security checkpoint. “Those on the edges of the airport tend to be less used than ones in the middle,” says Mark Ashley, editor of the blog Upgrade: Travel Better (upgradetravelbetter.com).
“The hassle-free holiday flying guide,” by Carolyn Bigda and Donna Rosato, Money Magazine, October 14, 2008. (Also republished at Yahoo Finance.)
Despite the rising potential for frustration at the rental counter, Mark Ashley, editor of the Upgrade Travel Better blog, sees a silver lining. He says opportunistic consumers can reserve an economy car, knowing full well they’ll be driving off in some fancier ride. “There’s a real trend of people renting aspirationally,” he said. “The opportunity is out there to try that car you always wanted to drive for cheap.”
“Car rental companies caught short as demand for smaller vehicles soars,” by Ken Bensinger, The Los Angeles Times, July 14, 2008.
“If you have enough American Airlines miles, you can fly across the Atlantic on British Airways or Iberia,” says Mark Ashley, a travel expert and the founder of www.upgradetravelbetter.com. …
“How to Actually Use Frequent Flier Miles,” by Nicole Alper, Elizabeth Jenkins, Kate Merker, and Lori Seto, Real Simple Travel 2008, March 2008.
A blog that covers questions we want answered, such as where to find discounted first class fares, emergency deals, the best credit cards that earn points, and if it’s true that the best time to buy tickets is midnight on Wednesday (the answer to that one is no).
“Surf travel editor’s favorite Web sites,” by Millie Ball, The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, January 6, 2008.
Mark Ashley edits the travel blog Upgrade. He says there is one part of the airline business that’s still flying high:
Mark Ashley: ‘The airlines make a heck of a lot of money by selling frequent flyer miles to credit card companies, restaurants…’
“Frequent fliers aren’t going as far,” interview/segment by Stacey Vanek-Smith, Marketplace, American Public Radio, November 28, 2007.
Mark Ashley, writer of the popular Upgrade: Travel Better blog, says the term premium economy is often used to describe very different products. “Sometimes, it means extra legroom, and not much else,” he says. “But in other cases, premium economy comes with a range of additional services.You need to know what the airline you’re flying offers before you can decide if premium economy is worth it.”
“Space by Space Basis,” by Dave Demerjian, Business Traveler Magazine, November 2007.
[...] problems still occur, says Mark Ashley, editor of Upgrade: Travel Better, a blog that occasionally buzzes with complaints from frustrated card users. His advice: [...]
“Coming and Going: Problems With Your Plastic,” by Cindy Loose, Washington Post, October 28, 2007.
Among the indignities business travelers face when stuck in coach is what travel editor Mark Ashley calls “the laptop squeeze.” “I recently sat in coach on US Airways and worked on my laptop, only to have someone lean back hard and fast,” Ashley recalled. “My laptop screen was jammed into place, unable to budge, until the person in front moved forward enough to release the screen from the vise-grip of the seat.” What does Ashley, editor of the blog Upgrade: Travel Better, say is the best way to avoid a tray table to the gut? Get out of coach, fast.
“Frequent flier miles could be your ticket to first-class flights,” by Alexis Lipsitz Flippin, CNN, October 23, 2007.
Writes Mark Ashley on his blog, Upgrade:Travel Better. “Granted, I’m a man, but I think the site is awful. How gendered is a plane ticket? This is American Airlines, not Hooters Air…”
– “Airline website has come a long way, baby,” by Laura Bly, USA Today, April 12, 2007.
Here are strategies that can help travelers avoid a Planes, Trains and Automobiles-type adventure.
Fly in a Larger Aircraft: Flights aboard smaller, regional jets are more vulnerable to delays, says Mark Ashley, editor of travel blog Upgrade: Travel Better. “In case of bad weather or other air traffic control delays, the small planes are more likely to get bumped from their scheduled take-offs.”
Find a Seat Up Front: If that’s not possible, add extra time for a connection, Mr. Ashley says, “because you’re going to be waiting an extra 10 minutes for everyone else to get off.” [...]
– “Avoiding Missed Connections,” by Alexander Eule, The Wall Street Journal, March 27, 2007.
A New York-based marketing company, Brand Connections, is planning to put ads for its clients on first-class seat-back trays on US Airways’s domestic flights. [...] “A lot of people will think placing ads in first class is déclassé,” Mr. Ashley, who logged 75,000 miles traveling the world last year, said. “I think it signals that US Airways is not trying to position its first-class travel as a premium product.”
– “The Newest Space for Ads: Airline Tray Tables,” by Phil Wahba, The New York Sun, March 27, 2007.
When it comes to sniffing out a great hotel deal, Mark Ashley is the man. Here, the cyberstar behind upgradetravelbetter.com, the online bargain trove for the luxury-minded, shares tips for finding cushy rooms — on the cheap.
– “Ask the Expert: How Do You Nab the Best Hotel Rates?” Travel+Leisure Family, March 2007.
– On-air guest on Peter Greeenberg’s live radio show, March 10, 2007. Discussed airlines introducing a-la-carte pricing, such as fees for checked luggage.
You might also consider so-called Y-Up, and Q-Up fares, says Mark Ashley, editor of UpgradeTravelBetter.com. Buying these full-fare coach tickets comes with an automatic upgrade to the next highest class. ‘But they’re not rock-bottom prices,’ he cautions. Think of it as a discounted business-class fare rather than an inexpensive upgrade…
– “Upgrades Can Be the Economic Way to Enjoy High-End Travel,” by Kelli B. Grant, SmartMoney, January 16, 2007
(republished at Yahoo! Finance, January 20, 2007)
Mark Ashley, a Chicago-based travel blogger, estimates he’s cut his average wait time at O’Hare down to two minutes since he stopped following the masses through one of the airport’s busiest screening areas and found a near-empty checkpoint about 100 yards away.
– “Traveling Easier,” by Lia Steakley, Business 2.0, November 2006
…there’s tremendous buzz about the impact blogging is having on the travel industry.
– “Travel blogs the latest buzz for info-hunting businesses,” by Cathy Stapells, Toronto Star, October 26, 2006
But [some travel blogs like Upgrade: Travel Better] are better at entertaining as they inform…
– “Bloggers, the ‘mystery shoppers’ of travel,” by Barbara Correa, Yahoo! News, September 19, 2006
Bloggers like Mark Ashley, who writes Upgrade: Travel Better, pounced on the airline, saying that ‘the “premium” seats Northwest is selling aren’t particularly special,’ and that the airline was effectively telling its best customers to “drop dead.” [...] blogs like his played a collective role in shaping the airline’s rules.
– “Blogs About Business Travel Begin to Feel the Power,” by Christopher Elliott, The New York Times, September 18, 2006
(republished as “Business travel blogs discover their power” in the International Herald-Tribune on September 18, 2006)
…Upgrade keeps a close eye on special deals…
– “Blog Watch: Travel,” by Julien Vernet, The Wall Street Journal, June 19, 2006.
To contact Mark Ashley, the editor of Upgrade: Travel Better, use the form below or click here.