I had to travel to Florida to handle some personal business last week and made some observations along the way.
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Personal Business in the time of COVID
I tried to delay some personal business I had in Florida, but after more than a week, an in-person visit was required. I was a little leery about heading into Florida because the headlines suggested I’d find a state in flux and panic. I didn’t visit any hospitals during my time in the sunshine state but I did find myself in three cities (Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers and Orlando) which took me to almost every part of the state save the panhandle.
I was concerned about visiting not just for my own health but, of course, for the many vulnerable I’d encounter as well.
Masks Being Worn, But No Panic
I wore a mask for everyone’s sake for much of my visit though it wasn’t implicitly required. I found, however, that the three different cities had three very different approaches. Everyone I encountered in Fort Lauderdale wore a mask without issue and those that I saw, wore them properly (over nose and mouth.)
In Fort Myers, the attitude was much more lax. In restaurants (still open) almost no one wore masks, but in grocery stores everyone did. I can understand that wearing a mask just to take it down to eat and drink is not only inconvenient but also a bit of health safety theater. However, some of the staff in some restaurants didn’t bother to put them on either. I spent some time at a couple of beaches and no one wore them outside, again, understandable.
In Orlando, the response was somewhere in between. Many bars and restaurants had open seating outdoors where patrons weren’t wearing masks but staff did. However, in Orlando, the seating seemed to be much closer together than any of the places I had encountered in Fort Lauderdale or Fort Myers.
In three different airports (PIT, FLL, MCO) almost 100% of people were masked. Announcements were made on my Spirit flight with clear directions on how masks were to be worn and when they could be removed (eating or drinking) – by a maskless flight attendant every time she spoke into the microphone.
But for a state that is experiencing a dramatic increase in COVID-19 positive cases, no one in any of the cities I visited seemed panicked. I obviously didn’t visit any hospitals but from shops to restaurants to driving during peak times, it seemed like business as usual in Florida.
Flexibility Has To Be a Two-Way Street
I stayed in one hotel during my visit that required flexibility from guests but did not provide the same back. For example, at this particular property in Orlando, the hotel chain would have normally provided breakfast for a guest like myself with status. I knew before I went that I wouldn’t find a buffet set out for breakfast, that’s fine, but the hotel had a small cafe and a convenience store inside. They both sold breakfast items but none were provided to guests complimentary. I found that to be a little disingenuous. If they didn’t have any capacity with which to offer guests breakfast, fine, but they clearly did as long as guests were willing to pay for it – elite benefits be damned.
Which brings me to two other aspects that rang hollow for me. The property usually charges for parking and that’s fair. This hotel was in Orlando, close to touristy spots and near the airport – under normal conditions, I would have expected to pay for parking. But this isn’t normal conditions. The hotel was empty and I could count the just over 20 cars in the parking lot for the ten-story dual towered property. The hotel wanted $16/day for self-parking and $20/day for valet (which was not available during my stay.) It seemed petty.
Maybe readers of LiveAndLetsFly.com will instead interpret my complaining to be petty and that’s their right. But from a customer perspective, it just didn’t sit right with me. I am highly loyal to this particular brand – I could have found far better deals from other chains that would have better suited my needs and not nickel and dimed me but thanked me for my business. I was literally 4% of their guest occupancy. I might have not gotten my elite benefits at the other hotel but this property (which had suites for sale) didn’t even bother to upgrade me despite holding the highest tier status. What hotel right now with fewer than 10% occupancy has a valid excuse right now for not upgrading, at minimum, top tier loyalists?
I don’t mind being flexible with adjustments to breakfast. I wouldn’t mind if they decided not to upgrade me in an effort to minimize housekeeping and keep all the guests on one floor and I wouldn’t have minded paying for parking as much if they recognized that it was a little ridiculous but it was their policy. But there was no flexibility on the part of the hotel, yet I was expected to be fully flexible. That left a lasting impression on me, one I won’t forget when I return to the area.
Florida, despite media reports that the state is in grave danger, seemed to be unfazed and enjoying the summer with caution. Travelers adhered to and respected the safety requirements in place. Travel companies made efforts to provide a safe environment but in the case of at least one hotel, they weren’t willing to be as flexible as they asked their customers to be. I think the one thing that everyone can agree on at this point is that we all wish it would get back to normal soon.
What do you think? Have you travelled to an outbreak state recently? How was your experience? Do you think the hotel was inflexible or petty or do you think I was instead?
Interesting and thanks for the report. Though I have t been to any “outbreak” states recently, I wouldn’t expect to see panic in them in normal everyday places like the beach or restaurants. I’d expect them in the hospitals like you mention. Though I probably wouldn’t choose to go to one of these places right now,if I did I’d probably just take the same precautions I do now- masks, washing hand, etc. I agree with you that the parking charge was ridiculous.
I, too, traveled to Florida recently and was there two weeks. I was in tge Clearwater area. My reason was primarily business, although I had friends and family in the area, so the reason for the travel was mixed. I am extremely skeptical about the reported numbers in Florida, as with the reporting across the country. I found the response in bars/restaurants confusing as well as the response in air travel, equally confusing. I’m an attorney and tend to analyze things to death and I view this whole slamming shut of our economy and the virus issue with a jaundiced eye.
Anyway, overall I enjoyed my flights, I enjoyed my stay and need to return in a month or so, which I plan on doing.
I recently went to Florida.. (Destin, FL) and was there for a week. Family trip and we all had a ball. Everyone we were encountered with had a ball as well. I barely saw mask so I did not wear one most of the trip either. COVID is very real..however.. I DO NOT believe those numbers. Workers wore mask for the most part. All of the shopping stores were open..they wore mask and made sure to make us wait outside in line when the store was at capacity. Restaurant workers were super nice with mask. The hotel staff did not wear a mask but again..hardly any of us did. Also..yes..the hotels breakfast buffet was closed but they did give us complimentary snacks…an apple, granola bar, orange juice box etc. I don’t know where the 8,000 to 15,000 ppl they are finding a DAY are?!?! If I had to go back I definitely would. Great time with the family and we have been back for a month and are just fine .. I live in Philly. Other family were from Georgia and Virginia. We are all ok.
Hi Kyle. What hotels did you stay out?
I found the general discussion regarding masks and different attitudes in different cities very interesting. Your criticism of the hotel, however, I did find both petty and a little tone deaf. I presume that you want the hotel to be in business next time you visit. They will surely not be if they continue to generate 20% occupancy. I am sure the rate was lower than they would normally charge at this time of year. By your way of thinking, they should have given you the room for free. It is frustrating that so many who make a living writing about the travel industry do not appreciate the economics. Just because a hotel has a flag over the door does not mean it is not independently owned and operated
I have an MBA. I definitely appreciate the economics. The issue is that something the hotel agrees to give me for free but didn’t happens all the time when I travel. But usually they can hide behind occupancy saying that they couldn’t possibly offer the benefit on that occasion. Knowing for a fact that’s not the case in this instance, it demonstrates that they simply never honor the benefit regardless of the reason, and that’s a violation of their terms with the chain, and with me.
I am planning a trip to Florida in August do you have to querinteen for 2 weeks in your hotel room
While information and mandates are constantly in flux and may vary from not only county to county but city to city, it was not my experience when I went. It would only be a recommendation anyway, as there would be no way to tell whether the person walking into a grocery store or restaurant had or had not been quarantined or is a local. There’s no one to enforce this either. Check the latest listings from the Florida Department of Health, use your judgment, and follow protocols.
Your stupidity is incredible and I work in a Hospital and i assured you it’s very real and sad when you die alone because your family can’t be there hopefully you are dumb enough to go around without a mask and I will see you soon in a ventilator in the ICU
I agree. Kyle sounds entitled and petty. Everyone just experienced a shut down and now they have to operate at a capacity that loses money. Restaurant s are in the same boat. I see people everyday complain about missing menu items (which is a complicated problem) or the lack of coupons. People think they deserve some sort of gift for being loyal during these trying times. While loyalty is important it is second to staying in bussiness. Another example is the ripoff top tier Disney annual passholders are getting. I am one. I won’t get to park hop or go whenever on a whim, summer will be over before water parks will be safe, and reservations are booked up. Yet, I love Disney, I know they are broke, so I’m gonna hang in and hope that they use their genius to keep everyone safe until Florida recovers. I will not cancel my pass just now.
I also wrote about the treatment of Disney World Annual Passholders here: https://bitly.com/3j7ws1m
But I would pose this question back to you Kelby. You describe “the ripoff top tier Disney annual passholders are getting” because “I won’t get to park hop or go whenever on a whim” and then you note “I will not cancel my pass just now” suggesting that you may cancel in the future if your benefits remain lacking in the future. I agree and understand. It’s as if you paid a premium for something that you’re no longer getting without due accommodation for the lost perk. How is that different than my approach to the hotel?
DeeDee, the story was cut short and for some “unknown reason” it didn’t make the news. But this guy from Miami, whose family I personally know, had an appt to be tested for covid19 but he never made it. Yet about a week later he received a “positive” test result….. He took a picture of it and post it on his facebook to show all his followers how they are in fact making lots and lots of those numbers up. Pretty interesting right???
And are they manufacturing fake dead bodies too? I’m less upset than some are when I hear people trying to downplay the issues, act as if the whole Covid 19 thing is a hoax. I figure the dumbest among us will continue to ignore the issues and behave recklessly and hopefully the result will be that a higher percentage of stupid people will be removed from the population. Of course there will be collateral damage as some innocent people who, are trying to be careful will,no doubt, be infected by the fools but maybe that is just the price we have to pay to reduce the big load of stupidity in the US population these days.
Currently living in Florida during this is very surreal. It seems like the state is split with those that are taking this serious and those that feel like this is false. Living in the Orlando area and am employed by Disney and it is scary how many of the people I work with who still feel this is all fake news and have politicised masks. By all our accounts our governor is confident we are doing well and on the right path to beating Covid… We really need help!
How do you know that’s true? That man could have gotten tested, recieved a positive result, and posted he recieved the result without being tested. I will never understand how people are so quick to believe any idiot on Facebook, twitter, and Instagram, over doctors, scientists, and educators. 100 epidemiologists says this is real but a mommy blog I saw on the internet says they’re lying so therefore it must be a hoax. Does anyone realise how dumb that sounds?
If anything they are under reporting. Do a little research about the lady who was fired from the covid dashboard. I canceled my Disney reservations. I’m holding out to go later. It’s really not safe to just be out. The Orlando hospitals are doing okay but down south the ICUs are full.
Perhaps those not phased by their dire circumstances is the reason they are having so much difficulty. Thanks for your report.
As someone that lives in Florida, I have to say, “Thank you” for wondering the same thing many of us are. Where are all of these “cases” ? The other thing many of us are wondering is why don’t they report how many are just fine? I feel that we’re being lied to as a country. This is a virus like any other. There will be some people that are more susceptible and unfortunately some that will die because of comorbidity factors. But even with modern medicine, we lose people every year to the flu. Why is this virus being treated like it’s a death sentence?
I experienced a similar situation in San Diego over 4th of July weekend. Many amenities were taken away and customer service greatly reduced, yet prices were not reduced. I don’t feel this is right. If a business is going to take away services, they should discount their prices.
If you had visited panhandle you would have seen worse. Local governments refuse to use common sence to protect visitors or locals. Covid positives have tripled because only beach in area with no restrictions.
I’m in CR where rudimentary but effective strategies are in place. Every business and hotel has handwash and sanitizing stations in place. I recently made the 4 hour trip to the capital and stayed in an upscale North American chain hotel. Parking charges were cancelled as was the breakfast buffet. Brekky was made to order from a limited menu though here that’s a huge time bandit. The challenge I had was that crew has been laid off and all stations ( front desk, restaurant, garage etc) appeared to be handled by one person. Areas of the hotel not allowed for use were dark or marked off. Best of all is that the hotel offered a reduced rate to make up for the lessened services. Pura Vida, gotta love CR.
Thank you for this info!!! I’m sorry if I missed this info somewhere or if this is a duplicate question but where did you fly in from I’m dying to get down there to visit with my new granddaughter . I would be flying out of Newark New Jersey and I’ve been hearing issues with that
You shouldn’t have any issues as of this time, check with the state of Florida for current guidelines before you book your travel. http://www.floridahealth.gov
@J diochon Just because someone doesn’t trust the numbers (and there has been PLENTY of evidence to be suspicious of them), doesn’t mean that they don’t think it is a serious health concern. People are definitely dying from this and it’s horrible, I wear a mask AND gloves when I go out. However, when I personally KNOW people that work in the medical field and they are telling me that older patients that have obviously passed away from dementia, stroke or heart conditions, yet the cause of death is attributed to COVID-19, yeah… I’m suspicious of the numbers.
Numbers and stats dont care about your opinions.
Thank you Kevin! I work in Healthcare in Florida, caring for our most vulnerable population, the elderly. I was able to keep Covid out of our community for the first four months, but then the governor opened everything back up. We started with one positive staff member, in 8 days we hospitalized 21 older adults, 11 have died. People may think this is a hoax, but tell that to the grieving families.
I work in the Clearwater to Lakeland which is just east of Clearwater. I think your response nailed it . I don’t believe the numbers that’s being put out there. I have watched people going to the beach fishing most places are optional some not on mask. Living here I see and sense our economy is begging to recover and I see it doing so daily. It comes down to being responsible and getting back to work or letting the media control your reality, and I’m glad that your experience was good and you saw for yourself that we’re not a death camp. I think our numbers will be higher than others because of the elderly population which is now barely above what the flu kills every year. Interesting counter slot of us have down here is why makes us out to be the bad guys , but the lunatic’s protesters seem to get support from the media and why aren’t they falling out dead from this covid crisis. Safe travels to you and everyone who comes down to visit.
First of all, bars have been closed for a few weeks now. So no bar would of been open when you were there including outdoor.
People see 10,000 cases in one day and panic.
We have a state of 21 million took 6 months of this virus now to hit 1% of population. And a lot of the testing today is positive from 2 weeks ago. Because you have to keep testing to the end game of 2 negatives. And you might test positive for weeks till you hit a negative.
I work for the people who built and manage THE death graph. You know who. There is no reason to be skeptical of the Florida data, unless you mean it’s underreported. The governor admitted to this already. I Though my employer is mid-atlantic based I do live in Florida, specifically Pinellas County which Clearwater is part of. The numbers are in fact exploding. One person’s trip does not reflect the entire story, far from it.
I’ve lived in Florida for 25 years (Miami and Orlando) and we rarely panic about anything. Except toilet paper, apparently. Not sure when you traveled, but Orlando and Orange County require masks in public and I see almost 100% compliance. Bars are shut and many local (not tourist) restaurants don’t offer indoor seating at all. Same in Miami-Dade. Our hospital ICUs are filling up and most people appear to take the threat seriously, but we’re still cautiously living our lives.
The panhandle is pretty much anti masks , or at least 50/50 for them at best… I am surprised you saw so many people actually wearing masks and actually social distancing in Florida.
No upgrade? People are dying and you’re upset about an upgrade, of course your name is kyle
Steph – Thanks for stopping by. This site, as you may or may not be aware, is a frequent traveler/miles, points, and status blog. Therefore, if I didn’t comment on the treatment at the property, I would performing a disservice to our readership. It wouldn’t be honest to avoid service issues, that would be “covering” for hotels or travel providers. We praise and admonish here based on what the travel provider delivers or fails to deliver. Further, if the hotel is open for business and happy to honor some of my benefits, should they not honor all of them that they possibly can given the current challenges? If a 4 pm checkout is a stated benefit and the hotel can honor but doesn’t do they get a pass on providing the benefit simply because: COVID-19? Do I get to pay less for receiving less?
I agree with you. There should always be give and take. In my business even a new customer is is gifted something if we are unable to provide full service. Either a discount, another service. You can’t expect to attract or keep customers unless you’re willing to accommodate them as they accommodate you. Particularly in the environment!
I just left los angels. And I can say that. Maybe 50 percent of all the people wore a mask in town .as for the beach. It was full 1000s of people no mask
It’s ALL about the $$$. Your problems are their profit. Shame on
everyone that took advantage of the situation.
I live in FL. It has been a roller coaster of flip flopping safety and health standards.
I absolutely agree with you on the fact that the travel industry should be offering more flexibility. I am not sure how an industry who really needs customers right now are raising prices and offering no insentives.
My husband has worked in casino and hospitality management all his life. He cant for the life of him understand why hotels and airlines are empty, scare of bankruptcy, but not budging on pricing, services, or incentives.
I have to say the tone of your post does come across as being a little entitled. I worked in hotel management for 20 years and can offer some perspective to your questions.
Most chain hotels are franchised. The owners of these hotels must pay large commissions and marketing fees to the brands to be a part of the chain. The cost to clean and maintain a suite can be 1.5 to 2 times higher than a standard room, due to the extra time to clean it, additional linens, etc. Also, in times of low occupancy, hotels may consolidate available rooms to certain floors to save on expenses. If suites are on a separate floor that is closed due to low demand, they may not be available. Many parking lots are owned by a few monopolies in each city that hotels have to pay rent for.
Did you bring your concerns to the hotel manager while you were staying there? I can tell you that a personal conversation will get you much better response than taking a passive aggressive approach and assuming the reasons for changes in service. And for any traveler, please never take out frustrations on a desk clerk or bellman. They are in a fast paced, high stress job that often pays barely over minimum wage. Take your concerns to a manager.
The hotel industry has been decimated by this crisis. It is frustrating to see the lack of press coverage on the issue. Many hotels will never re-open (like the iconic Omni Berkshire in NYC) and many more will go out of business in the coming year. Thousands of hotel employees have lost their jobs and insurance benefits. Please keep that in mind when complaining about a lack of freebies.
I do appreciate these concerns, my brother was an employee for both a phone rep national chain (reservations, then elite support, then social media) as well as night audit at a property. He was also an elite loyalty member and knows things from my perspective as well and sees both sides. But it’s important to acknowledge there are two sides, and that’s why I have not listed the name of the property because as others have agreed, this is across the industry right now.
My husband and I live in south Florida. We are in our mid eighties. Fortunately we have family nearby who shop for us and leave food at the door. The young people in Florida have been catching COVID. They are making prisoners of the older folks. We belong to a club and have always had an active life. Fortunately we have each other and family to help. Many single and widowed seniors are suffering from depression.
Thank you for commenting, Marie. I fear depression for single, isolated senior citizens will become a greater problem than we know.
During recent travel to a large hotel chain which shall remain unnamed, I experienced exactly the same thing: daily housekeeping unavailable, food unavailable, and no upgrades or other accommodation for guests with status. There’s nobody in your bloody building! Why does this seem to be so difficult for hotels to accomplish? We are literally keeping your company afloat with our choices; you think this would have weighed into their decision to offer accommodations.
No I believe you should have been shown a little more appreciated, they seem very petty with the parking. That should be waived. I’m in Florida I’m Miami Beach and it’s nice throughout the week I don’t go out on the weekend. Mostly everyone is wearing mask✌
You might want to visit an overwhelmed hospital or testing center. Before the pandemic you might see the same oblivious landscape. No one cares about their health until it happens to them. Then they infect all of the people taking care of them. No one ever saw the healthcare team as being essential until now.
Being a new florida resident on gulf coast i too find florida to be unfazed by the pandemic. And yes the hotel was petty. Airlines as well. Frontier not letting you change to empty row of seats. Doesnt seem too worried for our safety. Pennsylvania far surpassed all aspects of protecting ourselves and others. When i went to grocery store in Pa they had disinfectant. Paper towels and hand sanititizer as soon as you entered. Good luck finding anything like that here.
I live in Florida and I went to Sam’s the other day. Hand sanitizer, someone sanitizing each and every cart as it came back in the store and “no mask, no service”. And Sam’s isn’t the only one. Wawa also refused entry to a gentleman with no mask on. So, actually we DO have “good luck getting that” down here.
Remember, next month is RNC in Jacksonville!!!!
It needs to be shut down for any cost!!!
I am a Florida resident for the last 45 years of my life. I grew up here and would not want to live anywhere else. Well I enjoyed your article, I have to say that I found the lax attitude a bit disturbing.
We are a medical family. My sister, in the Tampa Bay area is a nurse. My brother in the Ocala area, is in the medical field. My father is a pharmacist. I would challenge anybody who comes to visit and thinks the numbers are greatly exaggerated to step outside of our tourist areas.
It appears to me that your visit consisted largely of our tourist areas and pleasure. To the best of my knowledge our hotels, restaurants, etc. have buckle down and are putting forth maximum effort to keep things clean, sanitized, and follow guidelines.
If you’d like to question the real pictures in Florida, then I suggest you visit our pediatricians offices where they are having to readily test children, our school board meetings where are teachers are frantic to return due to the cases they have seen among their peers and students, Ride one of our public transportation buses – were several of the drivers have now tested positive, or one of our many hospitals in emergency rooms. Well my husband was ambulance to the hospital a few weeks ago, I had to remain outside in my vehicle for four hours to get an update. They almost could not ambulance him with heart issues to the hospitals because of our full capacities. He had to wait in the ambulance in my street to see what hospital was available no matter the distance from our home. The paramedics informed us they might not be able to take him at all. When I went to the hospital emergency room to bring some of his personal belongings upon admittance, I witnessed a pact emergency room of various ages of people with symptoms, as well as the two-year-old girl being held by her mother standing behind me presenting with the same symptoms. If anyone questions the numbers, maybe you should visit that part of Florida and speak to our professionals.
As one of your readers replied, anyone who visits the part of Florida and does not see 100% mask compliance and chooses to just go without one is playing Russian roulette. I see no reason to not visit our state and enjoy everything we have here. I would just ask that people use some common sense. It’s not that big an inconvenience to wash your hands, sanitize, and mask up. If it is – stay home. Our state has a large population of elderly and children who need your compliance. If anybody questions the severity in my state, you might try visiting our elderly or my elderly uncle under quarantine in his nursing facility in Jacksonville. Next visit , maybe take a day out to visit the “real” Florida .
I was in Florida last week as well. I’m spending the summer in the North. I flew in for health care.
As a Floridian I know the areas that are affected. I wouldn’t go to those areas under normal circumstances.
I’m not concerned. My family in the North are freaking out. They have quarantined themselves???
So no the sky isn’t falling!
The parking issue is terrible. And short sighted. I suspect that astute travelers, like those with elite status, will remember who treated them right when they didn’t have to. How do you know the occupancy levels of the hotel? Did they share that info or were you estimating?
Just returned from Miami and Ft Lauderdale… Excellent time.
I don’t mind the non mask wearing.
It felt just fine. Great fun. Conrad Miami was awesome. Hilton Diamond members were able to grab from the to go section for food, Complimentary.
Glad you don’t mind it. It’s ignorant people like you making sure this keeps spreading. Pretentious [redacted by admin].
I have a business trip planned in early September in Marco Island,Florida.I am coming from New York.Are they requiring that you must quarantine for anytime once there? More importantly am I allowed to return in 5 days once there?Please advise.
How early in September? The Fl quarantine for people coming from NY was extended through September 5th last week. (FL Exec order 20-166). Given the mutual quarantine orders, I wouldn’t expect either to be removed unilaterally and definitely not until FL gets their positive test rate under 10%.
I just came from New York , to Cape Coral FL all I see people here don’t respect the other life a lot of people with out mask like this virus is a game . They governor need to put order to his state !! pathetic
YOU may not mind not wearing a mask. Others you may unknowingly infect DO mind . Quit being selfish and self-centered.
Do some research into those mask you think are so protective. They’re not
You’re correct the masks are not 100% effective but they are better than not wearing them . Washing your hands is not 100% effective either. Does that mean you use the bathroom then go eat dinner without washing your hands?
Very few things taken alone are 100% effective, that is why we need to combine strategies so, wear a mask, wash your hands, practice social distancing. Take care to protect yourself but, even if you feel invincible or don’t care if you get sick, be considerate of others who may for some reason be more at risk from this virus.
Or be a stupid jerk who doesn’t care. It seems you will be part of a big group out there.
I personally met someone here in Ft Myers who filled out paperwork to get tested, after waiting almost 2hrs. He had enough & left. Never Tested. A week & a 1/2 later received a letter saying he tested Positive. This is not something I read on Facebook or online. Right here on the ground. They may be purposely cooking the books who knows
Great article Kyle. I think it’s really hard to panic Floridians. You’re talking about a people who choose to stay in their homes when a Category 5 hurricane is headed right for them.
A lot of the articles I see are trying to incite panic with new cases, but they are focused on cases for a reason. If there was an actual increase in mortality rate, that would be the headline.
I’ve been to more than a few hotels where the parking lot is owned by and run by a separate company. Not sure if that’s the case at any of the hotels you went to, but that could help explain the lack of flexibility. In pre-COVID times it has resulted in lack of flexibility.
That’s a possibility.
I know for a fact the FL Covid numbers are grossly inflated! Hospitals and politicians are taking advantage of the virus to make money! Shame and KARMA on those people! Yes the hotels are totally out of line Kyle! That is not good customer service! Great article!
Looks can be deceiving
I live on the west coast of Florida are roads are empty our hospitals are full of ICU patients severe capacity. I have friends that haven’t gone out of the house 3 months have the food delivered. When you talk to the locals the conversation will always go to the virus.
People are quietly panicked about their job or loss of one, about a loved one who is sick or dying, about sending their child to a school that that may or may not be infected.
Beach Rentals are empty by the thousands. Restaurants are empty.
County-by-county there is still a fierce debate on mask, which at this point should be a non-issue
And we have a governor that is only worried about his political career and not about the citizens of his state.
So if you consider that a normal yeah I think everything is normal around here
I live in SW fl it is crazy 90 percent of people do not comply younger people for the most part refuse to use masks they think they are invisible the beaches are over crowded no social distancing and our governor is doing nothing to slow down the cases even opening schools to even our littlest children who don’t understand social distancing from their friend watch for larger outbreaks and more deaths due too stupidity if you don’t have to come to fl dont
I think our writer should “out the hotel” and put a name to the hotel chain. I live in San Diego right now but have much family in Jacksonville & I can’t visit them & doesn’t seem like I won’t be able to for a very long time , of which I don’t have due to my advanced age. Governor DeSantis is leading the people to slaughter right behind the president.
Our state is in bad shape now also but governor Newsom has been doing his best to keep us safe. A number of residents just refuse to cooperate.
If people would only sacrifice a few more months of strict adherence to simple practices like wearing a mask , social distancing, isolation, testing…we could get ahead of this beast that’s taking the people we love and want to have around us, & now our children.
Our reader should have had the royal treatment for having to take his trip with his heart in his throat I’m sure the whole time. I hope he’s well. 2 wks will tell.
@Rose – Thanks for reading and thank you for your comment. I chose not to “out the hotel” and put a name to the chain because I fear this is something that is not limited to that property nor that chain. As suspected, others have put a competing chain in the comments with competing hotels and claimed a similar experience. I am usually quite happy to be specific, but because I felt the problem was likely larger (as it’s proven to be) and because some tribes will say, “that’s why I never stay with [blank]” because the problem is actually a far wider-reaching one. My predictions are not always right (though that doesn’t stop me from making them) but in this case, they were. Two other chains were listed in the comments and several hotels within Marriott for example and that’s exactly the point. I didn’t stay at a Marriott for this post, but I suspected the problem was broader and it was.
I agree with you. Very similar to what I experienced just last week when I had to take an unexpected trip. As a Bonvoy Platinum I expected that a suite upgrade would have been easy but none was offered. Didn’t really push for one at the time because had other things on my mind. However when I found out that I needed to extend my trip I inquired about getting a suite upgrade. I was told that complimentary upgrades are not being given out even though the rooms can be booked. Same situation with breakfast – none provided but you’re welcome to buy their overpriced snacks from the pantry.
Kyle in denial. Not in any danger, really? Hm. Looks like about 1 in 1000 Floridans caught COVID just today. That means about 1 in a 100,000 Floridans will die of the covid they caught just today. About 1 in 15,000 will be hospitalized of the Covid they caught _just today_ , and about 1 in 3,000 in the entire state will feel sick of the covid they caught just today. And let’s not forget, there is not just one day in the year, there is a whole 365.2422.
Restaurants, bars, cruses and recreational travel is not necessary in a pandemic. If people act smart, this pandemic will kill a million Americans. If they act carelessly, it will kill 2 million. But to Kyle, that extra death of a few hundred thousand is no danger.
I’m just so curious how you ascertain this. I mentioned I was cautious, I took notes on how others were and reported back. When did I say there was no danger? I started the post with trying to avoid the trip altogether for a week but then couldn’t. I guess we all see what we want to.
Maybe it’s reading about your v-shaped recoveries, or how it’s about your rights and all the articles you wrote, or maybe the following sentence up above, “Florida, despite media reports that the state is in grave danger,” where you, instead of acknowledging danger, decide to frame it as a media entity.
Shall we go on Kyle? I’ll just quote Upton Sinclair instead:
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”
Most Clever piece i have read here!
I read Kyle’s article and far too many of the replies and responses. Because I live in one of the cities mentioned in the article I can confirm that the general impression was spot-on.
If you have ever lived in an HOA situation you’re familiar with HOA “police” (remember the soup Nazi?)and unfortunately it seems that that phenomena has found its way into every exchange of ideas in current discourse. I thought Kyle’s article was surprisingly accurate within the parameters of flexibility and scope set forth by the writer.
@ak – Those “facts” you toss around are amazing, almost like you actually know what you’re talking about due to your deep involvement in the scientific process. As soon as we in the medical industry see the same thing, I’m sure we’ll get our jobs back in order to help combat that due situation… And I’ll let you know.
Wow AK. Are we in a bad mood today? Those are my ex wife’s initials so i see why you’re a [redacted by admin].
How many hot spots did you visit? Hospitals, nursing homes, homes on lock down etc. You cherry picked writing stupid, superficial crap that’s not worthy of being published. Come live here!!!
“I didn’t visit any hospitals during my time in the sunshine state but I did find myself in three cities (Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers and Orlando) which took me to almost every part of the state save the panhandle.” I find myself in Florida often, several months annually.
Have been traveling on business throughout this pandemic. Hotels have routinely adapted policies that are cost friendly to the property and inconvenient to the traveler. Especially in the breakfast area. The norm has become a granola bar, piece of fruit and bottled water. How much more unsafe would it be to provide packaged cereal, oatmeal and other pre-packaged items? They are saving a tremendous amount on staffing, regular food service and even housekeeping amenities. This has become a money grab, not a safety protocol.
Sounds like you had sour grapes because the hotel didn’t treat you like you wanted to be treated. Wake up, pal. Businesses are trying to recover. Have a little patience. Maybe you should have gone to anotber hotel.
As soon as I read articles and opinions from this site this
isent about travel. it’s about pushing the lefts narritive disguised as Travel.Then when I checked the backers .NY times , Huffington,MSNBC ECT,ECT. You are so obvious and your comments are staged.Leave America alone . Florida in panic what BS.
@Robert – Lol. The backers? You’re mistaken (though I wish we had financial support from ANY news agency.) Reading for comprehension can be hard, but in this example: “Kyle is a freelance travel writer with contributions to Time, the Washington Post, MSNBC, Yahoo!, Reuters, Huffington Post, MapHappy, Travel Codex and many other media outlets.” you’ll note that I had contributed to articles featured there. Meaning, I had been quoted or written a travel article for those outlets. If FOX News or OAN wants to reach out for a comment about miles and points for an article they are producing, I would be just as happy to contribute to their articles as well. The comments, sir, are not “staged” just as yours I presume is not and if you read other posts from prior weeks you’ll notice that not only are comments numerous and wide-ranging but I am often called a conservative or as you have done, a liberal.
I’m just a writer, there is no agenda here.
It’s just TSS (Trump Sycophant Syndrome) Kyle, 40% of the country (but dropping daily) still have it
Hotels are in a very bad financial situation. They were forced to close for months. Few people are staying in hotels now. Most hotels the General Managers are cleaning rooms because they are in such a bad position. Perhaps you should help them by pointing out positive things instead of feeling you should get more than they can possibly offer right now.
They can’t offer free parking?
Hey ak….On average 2.8 million Americans a year Die…. 7671 per day. Just a statistical FACT. So cut your political [redacted by admin], and that is [redacted by admin] sure what it is. The moment you are born you are one day closer to death so deal with it. So don’t lecture the world with your political bs. If anybody on this earth should fear this Chinese covid virus is should be me. High blood pressure, heart problems over 60 and least I forget over weight and Bald, some even say ugly??? So stop your political [redacted by admin] whining.
Maybe you should go and do some research on the concept of “excess deaths” and come back here after
Florida us doing just fine. Lots of fake news out there attempting to scare and succeding. If Governor found a cure for virus and gave every citizen in the country a million dollars Florida would still be on the chopping block because we welcome the Republican Convention. Our real estate market is doing fine also because folks want to live where government leadership has a clue.
Nice to see another Republican on the river of denial. The real estate business in Florida is NOT doing well. Small businesses here are NOT doing well. EVERYONE except the wealthy are struggling. Good and housing costs in Florida keep going up at a time when many are it of a job that will NEVER return. Not quite sure how you can say Florida is doing just fine…
I beg to differ. Florida is not Fine. In fact Florida is facing a crippling financial & medical crises of epic proportions.
I’m a native Floridian, 8 generations strong. I’ve never seen my state in such disarray.
Not even after the mamy dangerous & devastating hurricanes we’ve encounteted.
I’m dumbfounded with the arrogance & ignorance being displayed here. The blatant racism in such a diverse state is very telling.
Those who don’t wish to practice safety while in public should be fined initially, incarcerated 2ndly.
News flash…Jacksonville ain’t happening in any decent size, sorry to break it to ya
Well, Florida now has more cases than Germany, France, or Japan. I was in Florida last week (Orlando area), And the locals I spoke with were embarrassed for the way their “leaders” have handled the virus. It’s now become S.O.P. to throw out ” fake news” whenever we hear something that paints a bad light on something. I was there, I had real conversations with real residents, there is nothing fake about this!
And Kyle, with so many sick, unemployed, and dying, you may want to hold off on the “Do you know who I am?” “Elite Status” compliants. As you mentioned, you had a choice to stay anywhere else that would have given you your upgrades. The “I didn’t get a suite” seems hollow and out of touch with everything else that’s happening right now.
@Dana – With regard to the suite upgrade I’d add this:
Many properties during good times would hide behind the opacity of availability to deny benefits. Like a restaurant that seems to always be on a wait (because it enhances their clout, not because the kitchen can’t take on any more orders and there are no seats left), their default is to never upgrade unless forced. So when I walk into that restaurant and the entire dining room is wide open, there’s no reason I shouldn’t get the table of my choosing. Yes, maybe it’s someone else’s turn in someone else’s section, but it’s as simple as walking to a different table. When every suite in the hotel is open and you’re hurting for customers, why wouldn’t you try to give every customer that walks in the door the very best treatment, especially when it costs you nothing?
Dana- I don’t understand. Please explain. – Marie
Thank you for this observation. I will say, I would not expect panic in the streets. Even in the middle of the crisis here in NYC, there was not panic. Although in the hardest hit areas like the Bronx where I work, the tension was noticeable. It is important that all people wear masks, it was disappointing to hear a restaurant employee was not. Be safe and be smart.
The only reason that most hotels upgrade is because they can sell more cheaper rooms than expensive rooms. I live here and my husband and I have received many upgrades over the years. They just want to fill the rooms. We have never had to pay higher prices for higher quality rooms. Right now, they are not filling the hotels to capacity and because of that, there is no need to upgrade to be able to sell your original room at the going rate. When they upgrade, it allows them to make more money. If they had upgraded you, they would not have made a profit from your original room because they don’t have enough visitors staying at their hotels. Upgrades have nothing to do with who we are or what status we hold. It is more about being at the right place at the right time. I do agree about the parking though…always a ripoff. As for the pandemic, it depends on where you are in FL. What is happening is that when the south shut down there beaches, the people who would normally be or go there headed to the northern beaches and infected those communities. They should have shut down ALL of the beaches…especially during the holidays. My husband and I went for a drive just to get out of the house. We decided to take the scenic route on A1A and headed south. There was a small town that had shut down their beach around Memorial Day…as we passed through the town, we literally had to stop our car as a mass of people crossed A1A and through barriers that had been set up, in order to get down to the closed beach. They weren’t locals. We decided to drive through their neighborhood in order to get around the crowd. There were cars parked everywhere from out of the county and the state. That is one reason that the virus has gone crazy here. It is the cost of living in a tourist state.
@VK – Thank you for taking the time to comment. Some of what you’ve written is correct and some is, unfortunately, factually incorrect. You state, “Upgrades have nothing to do with who we are or what status we hold.” however, here’s what three different hotel chains say about the matter (I stayed in one of these and hold the requisite status with all of them to qualify for the benefit.)
Marriott: “We’ll do our best to upgrade your room (including Select Suites), based on availability at check-in. Upgrades are subject to availability identified by each hotel and limited to your personal guest room.”
Hyatt: “Room Upgrade (as available at check-in) Including Standard Suites”
Hilton: “Space-available room upgrades: If we have a better room available, it’s yours – all the way up to a 1-bedroom suite.”
Each of them indicates that the suite upgrade is subject to availability at check-in but that’s just the point – not only were suites available, but multiple types of suites were available for my stay. If the hotel was full (as they have been in the past) there is an easy fallback to not honor the benefit (even when suites are available but they prefer to sell them than honor the benefit), but when it’s noticeably empty and there are plenty of available for purchase or upgrade at check-in, there shouldn’t be any reason not to deny the upgrade. So when it is denied and there is no logical reason, it’s a matter of disrespect.
I think the way customers are being treated in this situation is disgusting. In a few months some of these hotels and airlines will find out that customers have a choice.
I found your article/ report well written and unapologetic. It was accurate in my estimation. I moved to Florida from Colorado in 2017 and had logged over 4 years living in the State previous to the move.
A Hotel on the other band should be flexible to the customers concerns.
Did you ask for ‘Free Parking’ considering your ‘Premium’ status as a customer?
More often than not a Hotel Group or Chain will accommodate its customers premium or not.
I do not remember any reasonable request denied.
Even with a very large Senior Age population in many locales Floridians have not panicked about the US Government guidelines concerning what the Medical Dictionary calls a
Maybe that is because of the devastating effects of Hurricanes in the area and people just don’t panic as easily.
I truly appreciated you honest and forthright article.
We just set a new daily record of over 15,000 cases, and a new state record. Maybe we should be concerned and panicking a bit more?
You can not see the virus, you can not touch the virus, you can not smell the virus and people are not dropping dead in the streets. However, the virus is highly contagious and easily transmittable. The invisibility of the virus gives folks a false sense of “safety” but ALL are in danger of being infected. Even the hotel you stayed at could not have been sanitized well, leaving you maybe exposed. Count 8 days from your flight to and from, then maybe breathe a sigh of relief that you escaped being infected.
I hope you quarantined yourself upon return from Florida
If you want to panic, By all means, Go ahead! That’s your prerogative!
Ya fifteen thousand positive and how many of this positives are sick the numbers are so high cause there testing everyone ,before it was only test who felt sick so believe what ya want death to sickness is less then flu just publicize more so keep ya scared more we loose people by thousands every year to flu so keep scared and live as it’s ur last then your welcome from NYS the fake number state
Ah the “we only have more positive cases since we are testing more!” claim…Trumpian fake news at its core
Miami-Dade County has at least half of cases than most other counties, if I’m not mistaken. Then again, a lot of folks are still in denial throughout the country and won’t believe it until it happens to them.
As for me, in my mid-fifties, I take it very serious.
Remember, business is business, and being a recurring guest means nothing, when businesses are trying to stay afloat, and trying to keep employees on the payroll.
Kyle, if the chain is Marriott, benefits guarantees have been suspended until September according to Loyalty Lobby, which would explain the hotel’s lack of flexibility:
Returned from Florida a month ago. Airlines kept cancelling flights so we were stuck an additional 2 months. Finally drove home. Spent the night at Holiday inn Express in Jacksonville. There were riots going on so no restaurants we’re open. Didn’t expect the free buffet but they said they would provide a to go breakfast. When we checked out they gave us a bag with a green banana and a bottle of water. That’s it! I couldn’t believe it. It was an insult. This was not a cheap hotel. I will never go to Holiday inn again.
I stayed at Hyatt Places in both the Chicago suburbs and in Fort Lauderdale in the past month.
Though not city parking rates, both charged between 10-20$ usually for self-parking.
Both waived parking fees. I’m not sure if it was due to my globalist status but it seemed to be across the board waiver.
AK and Ron over reacting!!!!!!!~~
Dot – unfortunate that you found this site too, stick to VFTW
I agree about the flexibility with the hotel I felt the same way when I had to say at a particular chain where I had elite rewards. The complimentary breakfast was not available but they had a convience area that I forked over $20 ( 4 items) before I decided to head to Wal-Mart to stock my fridge and Starbucks to get my coffee. I didn’t agonized over tjis but as you said – it did ” resgister” with me that it could have been handled better.
Oh really.. overreacting ?… What if one of the Covid deaths was yours or somebody in your family ? Would it be overreacting then?
I know several People who have had Covid deaths in their family.. No, they’re not overreacting they’re just telling it like it is…
But what disgusts Me the most is the ignorance of the people that won’t wear the masks. It’s so selfish!… Selfish, because it puts others at risk and selfish because it keeps the USA unwanted by of the rest of the world ! If you do travel whether coming or going you must quarantine for 14 days before you can go out and about! Have these ignorant non-mask wearing people thought how they are actually keeping the country in a closed down state for longer ?… No, that’s because they’re so centered on themselves and what they believe are their rights. Well I have news for you,
We all ***SHARE ***this country. It doesn’t belong to one individual and we need to give respect to each other ….So put the freaking mask on and get this country moving again in the right direction….. OVERREACTING?….
Why don’t you just pull out the obituary sections of the newspapers across this country ???You won’t have time to sit there and read about the thousands and thousands of Covid deaths.
So how is the recent statistic of 15299 new infection in a single day in Florida fits in this picture here? That is the worst case in the country, exceeding the highest yet!
At the rate the US is going, it will be years before we are “back to normal.”
We can only hope for better leadership to employ the methods by other countries which have brought COVID-19 down to levels which will allow for EU entry etc
Of all airlines… why fly Spirit??? Seems especially risky in this day & age
@Willem – Not sure that’s fair to say. Here are some logical reasons why:
1) Non-stop flight rather than a connection on UA, AA, WN, DL. One flight is better than two these days.
2) AA, UA have not been shy about packing flights, load factors have been lower on NK.
3) Spirit has been pro-mask from the start, Allegiant has not.
4) On price-sensitive Spirit, it is easier to buy a seat in an open row where someone is less likely to pay to sit next to you.
5) Why not? Spirit is great. UA is my global carrier and I am 1K with the airline, but NK has been great in my experience and criticisms of the carrier often seem unfounded.
I live in Florida, for the most part people are being safe and following guidelines. The numbers are high. I’m just confused about all this testing. You have people testing on all different days of the week but it only counts for the day your results come back. I personally know people that had to wait 2 weeks and some 2 days. How is that accurate. For those that test positive allot of them have to retest to go back to work. How many of them are positive a second time? I think the numbers are skewed. Florida might be the new hotspot but we are all good here, at least in Orlando.
Two observations I encountered in reading your story Kyle. The first was the phrase ” business as usual”. That is the very reason why I believe we are seeing such a spike here in Florida concerning covid 19 infections. I understand a country or state needs revenue coming in and people need an income to pay bill’s and survive. But at least do it safely by adhering to all safety measures for the sake of people like myself who are elderly or those with underlying conditions. And my second observation …. half this article I read seemed to be a complaint of a disgruntled individual with a particular hotel. It gives the appearance that the purpose of this article was merely to disguise the whole intent and purpose of it which was to complain about and send a message to a particular hotel that a certain ‘elitist’ didn’t get his benefits. I enjoyed the information in the first half of the article. However, the second half came off to me to be a bit disingenuous concerning your motivation for this article. Thanks for this opportunity to respond.
Thanks for your comments. To clarify (and I addressed this in the post) my frustrations with the hotel reflect my experience and that some may find the complaints petty. Some of our readers spend 150-200/nts/year in hotels (I was one of them) so updates like this help us to gauge the situation as it is today.
However, I don’t believe this is the action of one hotelier but rather the state of business today. That’s why I didn’t mention the hotel specifically.
I am a platinum member..and haven’t used a hotel room since pandemic….was in florida thru may..drove home to ny. Stayed with relatives.
Would not be happy had I stayed at a Marriott And NOT been informed of the policy change directly. Assuming members Read the website is a wrong assumption. Surprises are not good when your a frequent traveler. Kudos to Marriott on providing for 1st responders in many ways! However 2 emails from Pres/ / ceo Arne..but NO mention of reduced benefits to their Best customers…positioned correctly…knowing the expenses of my non benefit was being diverted to first responders …is a good thing to share…and would add a smile versus a frown.
Be smart when out,
keep America open, the alternative is financial ruin.
Your article spent half its ink whining about your hotels’ not paying attention to your status.
@Jerry – Did you skip over the part where I acknowledge some readers would find those observations “petty” or just decide to make sure we all know where you stand on the matter?
I live in florida. There is no panic here. Items are back on shelves with few exceptions being spray disinfectant. Those are hard to find. I wish more people would wear mask however even in stores not everyone is doing so. No panic happening at hospitals…they are professionals who are trained for emergency situations.i work in healthcare rehab setting in nursing home…everyone working hard to take care of our patients while wearing N95 masks. PPE are short in supply so we get one n95 a week to wear. No panic is happening in Florida.
Thankyou for wearing your mask while visiting here in Florida.
I just moved from Florida last week. After going 7 weeks without income and no unemployment one would expect to see or know someone with CV. We still don’t. We spent 20 + years in Orlando and the last year on the islands of Tampa Bay. We We know people employed by the theme parks and all aspects of the hospitality industry. Many of our friends are medical professionals who also are finding it difficult to find the outbreak, anywhere. No one is giving answers or examples of why there should be alarm. Praise God! There have been no car accident deaths, drug overdoses, murders, drownings or natural deaths since March… Because everything is labeled CV. We lived and worked on the beach and the only thing that we saw were businesses that have been an island staple for 40 years failing and those families going homeless with no relief. It is a political game on the Gulf side. You can clearly time it like clockwork. I think some would have begged to actually be sick because then there would be help. It’s a bunch of lies. Why would the theme parks shut down at 3000 infestations and open up at 30000 infestations. It’s all in individuals using your brain and researching. Look at interviews and listen. I am a writer and can see the plot twist, it’s a preschool level board book.
I also traveled last week for vacation to the Tampa/St Pete area. We drove from Kansas City and found everyone pretty much getting out of cars at rest stops wore masks. Most of our stay was at the beach and no masks were worn but the beaches were not crowded at all..even Clearwater which is highly unusual. All in all, signs were posted everywhere mentioning masks are required..no mask..no service.
Well, I do live in Fl. And I have been to a hospital. My wife has surgery last Tues. at Advent in Tampa.
I was there nearly the entire day.
Absolutely no panic, tons of professionalism.
Good review of your trip. Thanks for sharing. I am in the panhandle of Florida. Not much panicking here either. Locking back down in some cases to try to prevent the wider spread of covid 19. I find it humorous that people believe the virus respects state boundaries.
I went to Key West in June, and they seem to be taking it much more seriously than the rest of Florida. I flew into FLL from Boston with DL. And I was impressed with how well they handled safety in the airports and onboard. Everyone wore masks, and FAs handed out sanitizing wipes to all passengers. Middle seats were all empty, and on my return flight they announced that they flight was at 62% capacity, and offered to rebook anyone not comfortable being on the flight.
FLL was a little less strict, and there were people walking around without masks. I rented a car and then stopped for lunch and the restaurants were supposed to be outdoor only, but we ended up sat inside of a very packed restaurant. Even the bar was packed with mask-less patrons. The servers all wore masks though.
Key West was like a different planet. Every business required a mask, and would strictly enforce it… I saw a few customers gett huffy and walk out as a restaurant or shop told them to wear a mask. Restaurants also only filled 50% of their tables, and some even took our temperature. I was really impressed.
I stayed at the Waldorf, which was a little less strict, and there were several people walking through the lobby and breakfast area without a mask. People did a better job of policing by staring them down until they felt guilty.
I would stay away from the bigger “party cities” in FLA, as they seem less prepared to deal with this, hence why they are alone setting records for daily cases. But I found the airports, airlines, hotels, and Key West were all taking it very seriously
Four weeks ago and again a few days ago, husband and I flew to Miami for emergency health treatment and then again for urgent follow up treatment. We had no choice, it was not an option as our island home does not offer the care he desperately needed.
The first trip was via a private ambulance we are insured by, and then an expensive return on Delta with
a stop in Houston. The recent trip was via Spirit in and out of Ft. Lauderdale. We then traveled to Miami by taxi.
On both trips, we stayed at Marriott walking distance to the Miami Medical District. The Marriott staff was wonderful as usual. The hotel had scarce few guests on both trips, primarily National Guard members. The small restaurant bar was closed in June and open to offer limited take-out service in July. On both trips a box breakfast and coffee was provided at no charge, as the usual breakfast buffet was closed on both trips.
My take away in brief chats with local residents was they are discouraged by those visiting for non-essential travel. It was viewed as risky revenue generating travel. We agreed and avoided restaurants, and shops. We limited our and others exposure risks by avoiding all shared spaces outside of the plane, airport, taxi, hotel, and hospital. To add, I was not permitted to visit the hospital. We basically quarantined and were thankful for grocery and restaurant delivery services to the hotel lobby.
Our primary concern throughout both trips was his high risk status and Covid-19 exposure risk onboard the flights. Aerosols and droplets are far more concerning than fomites on touchable services, as we don’t touch our faces. The issue in airports and on the aircraft was the casual and ineffective use of facial coverage, masks by many.
Most masks we don are to protect others from the aerosols and potential pathogens we generate while breathing, talking, laughing, etc. We wear masks to protect others. Social distancing is not an option on these risky flights. What we observed was heartbreaking in terms of the lack of consideration demonstrated by many including a flight attendant seated by the lavatory without a mask.
Aboard Spirit Airline while seated in an exit row, the FA inches away removed her mask to share a safety briefing. When I nervously, and politely asked her to please wear a mask – she snapped. Her angry tone and facial expression surprised me, while she stated we must see her mouth during instructions. If this is truly policy, it should be reevaluated and at minimum shared in a kind and professional tone.
Another concern was when we observed people around us who did not wear a masks for all or the majority of the flight. Rather, they kept snacks on their laps and ate while a FA passed. Two teen age girls in the row ahead of us played a game of tossing M&M candies into each other’s mouths while giggling. At no time did we observe a FA ask anyone to wear a mask or cover the many exposed noses.
Finally, what is the point of an ineffective mask? A 1-ply bandanna type covering or even worse, the ventilation valve masks. Those masks suit one purpose, the comfort of the wearer. They can exhale andvbreathe much easier while compliant passengers have more difficulty breathing to protect others.
This outbreak does not appear to be resolving soon. It’s my hope we all make health safety our main priority and shelter at home as much as possible. We should limit travel drastically and focus on protecting others and ourselves. Facilities and airlines must act responsibly and require appropriate face masks. Perhaps have those with ventilation valves cover the valves with duct tape or replace them all together. Let’s all act responsibly and with the utmost concern for each others health safety.
I just got back from Ft Myers. I found that most people were wearing masks in all establishments. Although walking outside on sidewalks, parking lots, beaches most were not. I do have to say it was extremely hot and very difficult to keep your mask on when outside. I stayed at a hotel on Ft Myers beach this particular hotel was very concerened about being Covid clean you could smell the cleaning chemicals in the room as you entered and seperated outside seating at tables. There were some concerns about the pool use to many people in the pool. While walking around the the hotel grounds no one wore a mask but was required when you entered the reservation office. I flew Allegiant all had to wear a mask fortunately there was plenty of room between everyone because it wasn’t totally booked. I did find out that my sister in law that lives in Ft Myers has covid she has been very sick for almost 14 days s.
Where you see the non mask wearing is at places like Home Depot or Lowe’s. In these stores you’ll see about 60% wearing. And the younger people getting together and not wearing then going home.
I dont know where u r coming from. I live in miami beach and the visitors r running rampid down here. They DO NOT WEAR MASKS!! NO SOCIAL DISTANCING. THEY WALK AROUND IN GROUPS OF 6 OR MORE. MR. OPEN UP UR EYES AND STOP WORRYING BOUT UR FREE BKF!!.
As a hotel guest with “status”? Yet he flew Spirit Airlines? Hmmm.
Lol. Yes, absolutely. I have United 1K status but why would I double my transit time and number of flights for more money and a more crowded plane? Spirit customers are not as they are portrayed in the media. Last year I flew 200,000 miles but more than 20 flights on Spirit. Why? Because if I’m going to Florida for example, I don’t want to take a connection and pay more than I have to for what should be an easy two-hour experience. I can upgrade myself for $50 and get the same seat I do on United in first but my total cost is lower and I get there faster. If you’re not looking at Spirit your assumptions may be wrong.
Heading to Naples next week. Flying from Boston to Fort Myers with Jet Blue. Really appreciated this article. Does anyone know how Jet Blue is addressing customer safety?
JetBlue is vigilant about masks (like Spirit) and will deny boarding for passengers who do not wear them. JetBlue does include an open middle seat as policy right now, though as I mentioned last week, in practical terms that’s mostly marketing as opposed to real safety.
I live in Fort Myers and you are correct. There is no panic here with most wearing masks indoors and social distancing outside.
Last week we visited Key Largo. The hotel was pretty clean and yes, we did have to be a bit flexible.
Free breakfast was breakfast sandwich, Granola bar, banana, juice and muffin all in a bag. There was a lady down in the breakfast area that would hand you anything else you needed (cartons of milk, cereal etc). All restaurants required you to wear a mask until you were seated and all staff had masks on. We try to be as careful as possible washing our hands and keeping our distance from others but we were going crazy staying in our house pretty much ALL the time. We renovated our kitchen while in quarantine and laid new flooring in the living room, dining room and hallway. I refuse to live in fear and most down here feel the same way. We are getting visitors who are supposed to self quarantine for 14 days who are not doing so I think that’s pretty crappy
why so secretive about the hotel? seems to defeat the purpose of travel blogging
You’re a whiner.
It wasn’t a review of the property and I don’t think it’s unique to the property. Others from another chain have commented receiving the same treatment in the comments so it didn’t feel necessary.
Hi Kyle. Thanks for your report! I’m curious as to how Fort Lauderdale airport was. I have a 10 hour overnight layover Soon and plan to stay at the airport. We’re restaurants open? Vending machines available?
I came into the new terminal at FLL, the coffee shop and Burger King were not open but convenience stores with snacks were.
He is a teired member in high standing. They should have upgraded him. It would have cost the hotel nothing and is actually part of the perks. It would have eased paying for breakfast when none was provided, which is also a perk of a chain we use and hold loyalty points .
We reside on the East coast of Florida and we find most residents to be calm, unless they are consumed with media reports. The numbers are much lower than those being reported. That said, the virus does not show mercy to the immune compromised. I personally know a family that three members are in the hospital while the rest are able to fight the virus. We choose not to mask up unless required. We use hand sanitizer when going out and wash our hands when we return home.
Sounds like politics to me they want you to believe that everything is great in Florida so that they can reopen schools get the economy going again so Trump and have his rallies
As a Registered nurse. I have only one request. Those of you who chose not to take precautions if you get sick with Covid please stay out of the hospital because you made the choice to live or die. Leave the hospital for people who took their precautions.
I was just in Miami, Melbourne, and Tampa, and had similar experiences. Since I’m from Florida I expected the lack of panic. With great weather and lifestyle all year long, nobody gets too worked about about drama. Plus we’re used to the media hating on us for everything so probably don’t believe the outbreak is as bad. Miami was super strict, as was Tampa. Melbourne was like covid never existed. The hotels, our chain that we like served us the breakfast instead of buffet style, and we had to eat it back up in our room. I actually did a road trip across the USA bringing back a car I had bought and I found Florida to be the strictest in those 2 cities, apart from New Mexico.
I live in Florida, as well as work in the healthcare field. There was a slight panic in the beginning when we started to have positive tests but now, I’d say most are cautiously living. We need to work to pay our bills and many don’t have the luxury of living without income for the next 2 years or sitting isolated in from of our laptops commenting and judging each other. Something not listed in the statistics: more tests are available now than before, many positives are non-symptomatic. The numbers also do not show those that were once positive and are now recovered and negative. We have reentered into the community so we can work and pay our bills. We Americans are a resilient bunch.
End of June, Fauci predicted 100,000 new US cases a day. Florida at 15,000 makes that seem a lot more plausible. You might not see any cases, but it will still affect you. Wear a mask.
We hit 71K a couple days ago…100K is in the realm given summer heat waves and people heading indoors.
(wait, I thought Someone With The Best Words said it would just go away in the heat…lol what a clown)
I do think you are being petty. Hotels are having a tough time making ends meet. Many staff are on furlough. It stands to reason that hotels can’t provide full amenities with partial staff. Additionally, some of the restrictions might be intended to protect those employees who are working. You acknowledge this at the end of your article, yet you still complain that the hotel expected you to be flexible without being flexible itself. What does “being flexible itself” mean to you? Because it seems to mean “give me all the things I would have in normal times, even though these aren’t normal times.” It’s certainly your right to hold a grudge when you return the area post-pandemic. I hope that enough hotels will have survived to give you the choice of accommodations that you desire.
It means that if I am going to ignore the fact that you have every suite available and I am allowed a free upgrade but I don’t make a big deal about it, and if I am going to be flexible with your property not offering any breakfast that would normally be free but instead you choose to charge me for the same, then maybe don’t charge me peak occupancy parking rates when the lot is empty.
I find your comments of your elite guest status to be quite rediculous. Nothing about these times are normal and the hospitality industry is on the verge of collapse. Your very own lifestyle seems to be linked to the hospitality industry making it through and yet you slam them for not providing you with free things as if anyone in the industry is making money right now or has a cent to spare. You clearly are not taking into consideration how lucky we are just to have hotels open and that each employee is taking a risk and that there is soo much additional cost that the hotel has to take on just for you to be there.
I don’t think I can take of any of your writings seriously if this is how you view things, one sided and with a big side of elitism.
@Alisha – Thanks for reading and for your comments. Please see this section: “Maybe readers of LiveAndLetsFly.com will instead interpret my complaining to be petty and that’s their right. But from a customer perspective, it just didn’t sit right with me. I am highly loyal to this particular brand – I could have found far better deals from other chains that would have better suited my needs and not nickel and dimed me but thanked me for my business.”
Wow, “where are they all at?” At home, where they are mandated to stay for 14 days, after a positive result. The rest of them are in the hospital, which you are clearly not frequenting. I am an ICU nurse that is originally from Ft. Myers and all my family is there. My sister is a nurse too, she sends me the hospitals daily updates, it’s not good. Especially, the amount of workers that are out sick. It makes me very upset to have the kind of heart and soul that wants to help others, yet live in this disgustingly selfish country with most of you. A MASK is to protect OTHERS, not you! Have some decency, care about all those other people you pass by or sit by or stand next to. Each and everyone of you free roaming, mask less, right now will be singing a different tune when it happens to someone you love. But, hey, what do I know?
As a Floridian, I am not at all unfazed. Perhaps the reason you thought everyone was relaxed is because people like me stay home as much as we can, wouldn’t dream of eating in a restaurant right now, and think the behavior you witnessed is very dangerous. I hope you don’t get sick from your visit, but with one fourth of tests coming back positive, ICU beds pretty well filled, and record numbers of new cases daily, this is not a safe place to be.
Very true Susanna. I too stay home as much as possible
I can’t afford to stay at places that comp almost anything so first I will say how fortunate you are to be on the highest tier of a nice hotel chain. But then I will say that please do not forget that these hotels have experienced an extreme financial loss in the last few months that , from the looks of it , could last quite some time. I doubt they are being petty but rather, simply trying to recoup as much as they can in this uncertain time. And you as a business traveler, I would think they assume have a business expense account that covers incidentals and possibly figure those traveling now are still working and can afford the extras for the time being. This is just my thought. I hate all those extra fees but for different reasons….bc mine never get comped and bc I have to save for months or years to get to take a trip to stay in a hotel at all ….so those extra fees and expenses really really add up and stink!
@Lyn – Most of us were able to afford those places before work was paying for it by playing the miles and points game, I’d encourage you to do so. To your point about hotels recouping as much as they can right now, sometimes that doesn’t make sense. For example, if a restaurant is struggling it’s ill-advised to take start charging for tap water when they used to give it away for free. You’d feel cheated, and that it was probably the wrong way to recoup revenue. On your point about business expenses, I have a two-fold response. First, it’s hardly the point. If you have a punch card at your coffee shop and you start requiring an extra punch before you get your free cup, customers wouldn’t be happy because it says right on the card “10th one free” not the “11th”. Regardless of whether the business is absorbing the cost, it’s not right, it’s not fair, and it’s not what was agreed. Second, this was personal business, so that business owner absorbing the extra costs was me, but that’s how most business travelers treat their expense accounts anyway – as if it was their own money. In my case it actually was.
Well I kinda think you are a pompous a hole. You do realize that business is suffering because of the Corona virus? So to charge you for what they normally charge for like parking doesn’t seem unreasonable. Also why upgrade you to have to do more cleaning or whatever increased cost this may incur on the business for your benefit. So sad to think this world has gotten to “what about me”. As a business owner in Florida we are trying to survive this outbreak and be open next year when it is good again. Just because you work for a company that pays you doesn’t mean that their clients should be doing what you said about this hotel towards your employer. What if something like that was going on and maybe next year they had to make cut backs and you were one of them. Just don’t be a pompous a hole. Have a good day and pay your bills.
I could be one of those cutbacks, we all could.
Ty very much for the update!! Our family is headed to Kissimmee for vacation staying at a resort just to get away and relax from Va….probably Disney Springs Epcot and Discovery Cove are our only stops. Cant wait. !!
Welcome and have fun!
Brand loyalty is overrated. Your experience confirms that.
I was in several areas of Florida recently and it was nothing like the media portrays it. Everyone was calm and going about their business m
As a Floridian i must point out something left out of the media.
The state dept of health admitted that cv-19 reporting is off by as high as 92%. Labs are not reporting negative results which by law they are required to do.
One county reported a 98% positive rate when it was actually less than 9%.
They are also adding to the hospital/death totals anyone who tests positive for antibodies even if their admission or death was not directly linked to CV-19.
This is very disingenuous as someone who dies in a car accident should not be counted in the virus death column.
Yes, there are many new cases but over 80% are asymptomatic with another 15% having mild to moderate symptoms.
When you look at the big nation wide picture we have around a 1% infection rate. There are 335 million people in the U.S. a little over 3 million infections is actually minor for any virus that can live in our climate.
This is not a Stephen King novel. Covid-19 is not Captain Trips.
My advice.. Unless your a person with underlying medical issues such as age or lung disease, live and enjoy your life.
I work in retail an i know of several people who have tested positive an im tired too of wearing a mask but what really upset me is having someone who desides to not wear a mask around who could get me or my co workers sick because I have had several already out because of covid because someone was careless. Those of you who think its a pain in the butt to wear a mask ask someone who has to wear it all day then we will talk ok . Its been hell for all the essentials out here an you ok not to wear mask an spread the flipping covid an get more people. Its not just elderly who are getting sick everyone is hello . DUH People wake up wear a [redacted by admin] mask . I don’t want to be one those who get sick cause you guys are careless an dont want to wear a mask an dont want to get my family sick either.
I am severely disappointed in this article. I came to this article to read about your conclusions coming to my home state. Florida is a state who relies on their tourism market to keep the state running. We do not have income tax like many states because our Tourism Income helps outweigh that cost.
Everyone gets offended by different things. I am not offended by any means. I just flat out disgusted. You spent half of the article talking about how didn’t get a free breakfast. It’s not the fact that it is a complaint, what’s disgusting is that you show off that your reputation and/or wealth about frequently visiting this hotel chain is why you should have been SHOWN PRIVILEGES. That is the sickest boast of privilege I’ve ever seen in a JOURNALIST article. You complain about paying the $16 a day to park. Did you take a moment to consider that that $16 bucks is a way of keeping up with the overhead of running a hotel with less than 15% capacity.
I have never been so disgusted by an article. You literally flaunted your wealth and position in the Hotel Industry and complain because your cheap ass had to buy breakfast like the commoners. I’m so sorry that you had to go down to the level of a normal citizen in the US. Many of us peasants don’t even make $16 an hour. Some people have to work 2 hour for just the parking fee at that hotel.
@Kelly – Hi Kelly and welcome to LiveAndLetsFly.com. It’s clear you’re a new reader to the site, so let me clarify some things that might seem confusing.
1) This is a miles, points, and elite status-focused website. Our readers use their miles and points to travel the world for less. Some of us travel for work as well and spend as many as 200 nights away from our families for our jobs. Loyalty programs run by hotel chains want highly frequent travelers to maintain and fund their businesses (in fact, American Airlines for example has only been profitable because of their loyalty program the last few years, not from flying passengers.) In exchange for frequent business, hotels incentivize our custom by giving benefits. When brands don’t hold up their end of the bargain, that breaks the covenant established over the previous 200 nights in the year.
2) This is a blog, not mainstream media. It’s an important distinction because unlike journalism which should be devoid of opinion and solely reporting facts (though we might agree that brand of journalism died long ago), a blog is open to opinion. In fact, many rely on our opinions to make travel decisions. That said, we do aim to be as factual, honest, and direct as possible – but we are not, nor do we claim to be (as you put it) “JOURNALISTS.” However, if we left these details out from our posts, that would be dishonest and that’s not what our readers come to the site for – they don’t want the truth glossed over, they want to know what our actual experience was.
3) It seems we agree that the parking fee is outrageous, thank you.
4) Lastly, you claim I “spent half of the [blog post] talking about how didn’t get a free breakfast.” I’d point you both back to items 1 and 2, but also add that since you seem pretty resistant to hyperbole – it should be noted that well less than 20% of the post (I counted the words) discuss this issue.
I still think you miss the point so I’ll try to elucidate it further. Starbucks offers its regular visitors free black coffee refills while in a store. There are cheaper places to get coffee than Starbucks, but other places charge for refills. If a Starbucks you visit out of town (without a formal change in policy) charges for each refill, this break in policy is not solely about the cost of a single refill but the fact that there was an agreement made over the course of 500 cups of over-priced coffee before this one, that it would be free. For a single location to decide that refills break COVID protocol but not offer a solution to honor their commitment is unfair, and violates the previous 500 overly expensive cups. Does that help?
I live in The Pinellas county area of Florida and I am panicked and scared as hell. This virus is no joke (whether members have been fudged or not), it’s real and so many have died from it. People like myself with underlying conditions are probably more scared than a healthy person, but I am so amazed at people that are walking around shopping and running errands and doing their own thing don’t seem to think this is no big deal. I think the only reason why 90% of people wear a mask is because it has been mandated to go into a facility where you cannot social distance you have to wear a mask and I think that is the only reason why people do. One of our grocery stores has marked on the isles that you can only go up and down an aisle one way, it is clearly marked on the floor, but I cannot tell you how many people disregard that and go the wrong way up or down the aisle. I have said something to many people about them going the wrong way and they look at me like I’m stupid and one of them even told me to mind my F-ing business. I gave this gentleman a good piece of my mind told him if he was in my situation with underlying conditions and having a suppressed immune system he might think differently, but he just went right down the aisle the wrong way and he never turned around to follow the signs. I asked one of the managers of the store why they took the time to put those signs on the floor if they were not going to enforce it. I go into the store couple times a week and even employees that are working on the aisle do not tell the people they’re going the wrong way so it doesn’t seem like even businesses are taking this very serious, and again the only reason why they require people to wear a mask in their store is because the state of Florida mandated that customers entering the store must wear a mask. I really wish people would wake up and realize how dangerous this is but unfortunately it doesn’t seem like they will until one of their family members or close friends catch it and something tragic happens to them before they realize how serious this is. I hope people wake up and realize it soon.
As a Fort Myers resident there is some BS for Fort Myers in this article..
I am in Fort Myers 3-4 months out of the year. Please elaborate about the BS.
I spent a week in Florida (Anna Marie Island near Bradenton) last week. Another family and ours rented a house with a pool a little over a block from the beach. We drove (from NC) through SC, GA and much of FL plus stayed at a hotel in Seminole County (near Orlando area). Frankly, I felt as safe in FL as I do anywhere. Everywhere we went had mask requirements and people complied. You talk about restaurants but I’m not sure if you mean people didn’t wear masks while seated or simply when they weren’t at the table. Almost all jurisdictions nationwide allow people to take off masks when seated in a restaurant. We wore them in and out (and to bathroom) and most, but not all people did as well.
One thing that is missing from all the data about “hot spots” is exactly where are the concentration of positive tests and what population is being tested. Granted the opening of the economy leads to more positive tests (as everyone knew would happen) and some people are being stupid with respect to distancing and masks (which is leading to bars closing or alcohol being shut off early – 10 PM here in Charlotte area) but, in general, it is VERY difficult to assess overall risk without knowing where the positive tests reside. I live in an upscale area and don’t know anyone who has tested positive. However, I know in certain populations it is much more concentrated. NC is around 10% Latino but between 45% and 50% of all positive tests are in the Latino population (for example). Similarly prisons, nursing homes, inner city housing areas and areas with concentration of farmer workers or meat processing personnel have very high rates of infection.
All you can do is look out for yourself which means trying to distance, wear a mask and wash your hands (or use sanitizer). If I do that I’m comfortable traveling to any state in the nation and am about to go on my 3rd casino trip. Obviously everyone has to assess their own risk tolerance but I’m very comfortable with the steps I’m taking
Wow, a great many of you people sure are quick to judge without asking any clarifying question, or knowing the full situation.
I also live near Orlando and agree with the majority of this article for this area.
Also note: in the news within the last couple of days are how much inflated the Covid-19 positive test results are in Florida. Over 300 labs showing 100% positive test results for this particular virus. This is about as possible as having OVER 100% of registered voters vote in an election. Actually happened here in Florida in more than one voting precinct.
The point is – everyone get off your high horse and take the article for what it was intended: information and observation.
Kyle has been very tolerant of the many rude, ignorant people ranting on this site. Judging by the comments here, Florida almost deserves what is happening based on it residents here somehow thinking a bona fide pandemic is a “media hoax” or “left wing propaganda”. Very sad and ignorant. Our country is in a lot of pain based on these “covid deniers” and we all will suffer long term for it.
And since when does speaking up for the consumers make Kyle somehow insensitive to businesses? His comments were reasonable, thoughtful, and i nformative. It Is true that we are expected to be flexible while hotel, airline, and other hospitality providers save money at our expense. The growing belief that corporations are somehow exempt from caring about their customers and we should “understand” their problems is baffling. Their business model is charging nuisance fees like parking charges to an empty lot. But that’s OK since they are struggling. Consumers are struggling as well – we don’t have millions of dollars in the bank from past profit as a cushion. Thank you Kyle of speaking for us….as you say, our only option is to vote with our feet. I will continue to book business with those firms that value my patronage. And avoid places like Florida where many residents seem to think their inconvenience of wearing a mask is more important than the health of their fellow citizens.
You’re my hero, Joe!
Lol…Keep up the good work. I love your blog!
My husband and I are in our late 70’s/early 80’s, and are residents of upstate New York (right now, one of the safest places in the country—thanks to Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has been on top of the Coronavirus from the very beginning).
We usually spend 6 months of the year (November thru May) renting a condo in the Daytona Beach area of Florida. This year—for the first time—we are hesitant to make that commitment. It’s like a scale exists—with Happiness on one side…and Health on the other. We don’t want to sacrifice our health for a few months of happiness in the Sunshine State. Do you think we are being overly-concerned…or what? My husband is a golfer…and would much rather be swinging a golf club, than pushing a shovel, during the winter months.
P.S. I agree with Amy and others. If a hotel is not going to provide the same amenities (such as breakfast)—then the cost of a room there should not be the same, and should be lowered.
Marilyn. I think you would be just as safe here in Florida as up state New York. A local tv station here brought to the attention to the governor and health officials of Florida that as mentioned in another comment that a fairly laege number of labs here were only reporting positive results and leaving the negative results blank which as they said showed a 100% positive rating and raised the percentage up considerably. A fairly large Florida hospital chain showed that their records show on average a 9.4%positive rating, below the average national level. They also found that the reported number of positive results are not correct as there are people who have to be checked several times because they work in the hospitality system and to be able to work have to have two negative test before they can work and if they tested before they got sick and showed positive and then stayed home for two weeks and then went and got tested again they showed positive again and then several days later went and got tested again and were ttested positive agin before they were tested two times negative they showed up as 3 persons testing positive. Also they found that our state government had the foresight to get great quantities of testing kits and Florida leads the country in test and we are averaging over 100000 test a day. Now if you look at a month of testing that would equate to 3 million people tested in that month . Also they found out that the number of reported infected people does not get reduced when one is sick and then recovered from the virus so that infected number increases and never goes down. The station that found this out figure that the infected number could be lowered by a third. They also reported this morning that hospitals and health officials, are putting down deaths as virus related even if as they found one gentleman died in a motorcycle accident and was reported as a virus fatality. Our government does seem to many as not taking these numbers seriously but as the governor said the important number they are most interested is the number of admittions into the hospitals and icu status throughout the state. Last I head on the news that Orlando had a icu occupancy of 54% and the state as a whole of around 75% and during average days it is normally around 82%. I find most stores and restaurants are obeying the mask and distancing but some are not demanding no entry without them and some are. Some people have taken lawsuits against stores and even counties and the state saying it is against their amended rights to not wear them. One case was dropped because a place of business is like your house and is private property and if you do not want someone into your house they are trespassing and can be escorted out by the local authority.
Again I feel you are just as safe here in Florida as you are in New York.
@Marilyn, I wouldn’t set a foot in the Sunshine state because of what’s happening. Too many people don’t take this disease seriously. Our government’s response has not been strong enough to stop Covid 19.
Anyway you don’t want to risk years of retirement to come for 6 months in FL. Better be temporarily stuck between four walls than being stuck forever in a wooden box.
I left Minnesota June 30th driving to Cape Coral Fl. I used my mask at every rest stop, fast food restaurant for take out, and at hotels I stayed at. I would guess about 70% of people were wearing masks. Iowa was the worst state for wearing masks properly. At McDonald’s four workers at front counter all with masks on. They were wearing masks on chins, what’s the point. Restaurants and bars were very busy in Cape Coral no one wearing masks. I decided to avoid these crowds. I was upgraded to a suite at a quality inn. It was still a dump. I need to use my points with choice and cancel card. No meals were served even though I called and made reservation and was told hot breakfast was being served.
I was in Orlando two weeks ago and agree with your assessment. the two different hotels I stayed at, near Disney World, also charged for parking and their “resort Fee” even when their amenities were mostly closed or greatly restricted. I think “resort Fees’ should be included in their room rates and are a strategy to nickle and dime their customers.