Brand loyalty delivers simple comforts for frequent travelers

I spent the better part of the day yesterday flying from Seattle back to my home in New Hampshire.

After a nice visit with my brother and his family, it was time to get back home and get geared up for the sprint to the end of 2016.

People often make fun of me for my brand loyalty when it comes to travel, but the little perks you collect along the way do ease the burden of being on the road for more than half of the year.

Lounge access may be at the top of that list.

Whether it is a hotel lounge or an airline club, the ability to grab some (often decent) coffee, a quick snack, and a bit of a respite from the hustle and bustle of the travel lifestyle comes as a welcome relief.

It seems that many travel brands have decided to invest a little extra in the experience after many years of allowing them to languish.

At the Marriott I stayed at in Bellevue, Washington, the lounge featured a decent hot breakfast buffet, a step above the typical fruit and danish spread that many of their properties provide.

In Philadelphia — an airport I avoid like the plague because of my high frequency of bad experiences there — the American Airlines club had a coffee machine similar to what you would find at the British Airways lounges in Heathrow rather than the typical coffee urn found in most domestic airline clubs.

The freebies that loyalty provides — including first class and room upgrades, flights and nights, and drinks and breakfast — add to the value of sticking with a limited set of brands whenever possible.

For those of us who spend a lot of time in airports and hotels, it isn’t about fancy things or ego, it’s about easing the discomforts of modern travel.

Fellow business travelers: what are your favorite perks of brand loyalty?

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