Stop With the Rumors Already
L ately, I have noticed a plethora of articles pertaining to travel which have been expounding upon, supposing, analyzing, forecasting, and even pontificating about information which is little more than rumors — two examples of which are whether or not Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Incorporated will merge with Hyatt Corporation; or how the American Airlines AAdvantage frequent flier loyalty program will become based on revenue in 2016.
Is this all really necessary?
First of all, none of this is news which affects anyone — yet, anyway. Remember the rumors of InterContinental Hotels Group acquiring Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Incorporated? What did all of the articles pertaining to that rumor do — other than primarily waste the time of those who read them? That is the main reason as to why I did not report on that rumor at all. Yes, I did report on Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants being acquired by InterContinental Hotels Group when the news was confirmed — but not when it was still considered a rumor.
Second, as for the possibility of the American Airlines AAdvantage frequent flier loyalty program becoming based on revenue some day in the future: who was actually surprised by that? The actual integration of US Airways and American Airlines was the priority of the new entity; and now that the merger has been completed for the most part, is it any wonder that one of the next orders of business for the airline is to tinker with its frequent flier loyalty program?
Let’s say that the rumors eventually become reality — and are proven accurate, for that matter. Does the advance notice really help?
When was the last time you benefited from reading articles whose subject matter is based on rumors — other than for pure entertainment value, anyway?
Perhaps I should start a rumor by writing an article based on it: Delta Air Lines may consider acquiring both National Car Rental and Hilton Worldwide to offer a complete solution to its customers. A new frequent travel loyalty program called SkyHHonors will offer seamless earning and redemption of points to be used for air travel, lodging and car rentals; and it will also have a new top elite status level called Emerald Medallion.
Actually, I do believe that American Airlines once had a hotel brand called Americana, with at least 14 hotel properties — one of those hotel properties was located in San Juan, Puerto Rico — so it is not exactly unprecedented…
…but I digress.
Articles regarding rumors is a risky business for the writer: if the information is accurate, the author can become more respected — to the point of being perceived as a knowledgeable expert in the industry; but if the information is proven false, that same author can lose credibility — and possibly trust.
Sure, I have dabbled in reporting on rumors in the past; but that is usually when there is an interesting side story related to the rumors. I usually prefer writing about news when it is confirmed or actually happens. I suppose writing an article based on pure supposition attracts readers, which attracts more views. I further suppose that if any portion of the supposition in the original article which deems to not be factual is worthy of a follow-up article, which would attract readers and attract more views.
I suppose I can engage in that practice of reporting on rumors as well. I choose not to do so…
Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.