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Needed: A forum for travelers who smoke

Needed: A forum for travelers who smoke

 
Old Apr 19, 15, 2:28 pm
  #1  
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Needed: A forum for travelers who smoke

Let's face facts -- as the frequent travelers' programs become more and more useless, there is considerably less interest in points and miles. Today, many more posts concern the accommodations that airlines, hotels, and car rental agencies offer.

We are more interested in what kind of seats are available in planes, which hotels in a particular city are most conveniently located, and how difficult is it to pick up a car at one agency than at another.

In short, we want to get the most comfort for our dollars and not the most points (or status).

In the US, 18% of all people over the age of 18 are smokers. I would not be at all surprised to learn that this number is higher in other countries. I am also going to guess that FTers smoke at about the same rate.

For a smoker, "comfort" often translates into where he can light up. On my last trip to Atlanta, for example, I was disappointed to learn that both the airport Hilton and the airport Embassy Suites, where I have stayed in the past, are now smoke-free. Instead of using my HHonors points to get an award stay at one of these hotels, I paid to spend my three nights in a crappy Microtel that allowed smoking -- and was happy to be able to find it.

I realize that for the approximate 82% of FTers who do not smoke, a smoker's forum would be useless but for those who do, it would be very helpful.

It would not fit into any existing forum as it would cross all corporate lines. For example, while National (like most large car rental agencies) does not allow smoking in their cars, in LAS, when I asked about it, they told me they do not enforce the rule.

If I am traveling to a city which I have not visited for a while, I would like to know what hotels I can stay in and smoke in my room. If I am going to rent a car, and there is an agency which will allow me to smoke, I would prefer getting my car there. Airports have constantly changing rules about smoking (MXP allowed it for years, then banned it, and now has smoking booths).

I would find it very helpful if there was a forum specifically dedicated to providing information on where we can smoke. The people who are most knowledgeable about this are other smokers and they would be the ones most apt to post in such a forum.
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Old Apr 19, 15, 4:52 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by Dovster View Post
a smoker's forum would be useless
Completely agree.
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Old Apr 20, 15, 6:32 am
  #3  
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How many other forums do we have which address the needs of 18% or more of our membership?

It will, admittedly, be useless for non-smokers but is that a reason to keep smokers from having it? I doubt that 18% of our membership flies Thai Airways or stay in Best Western hotels. Does that make these forums useless?

For that matter, are 18% of our membership either GLBT or Religious Travelers? If not, does that make those forums useless?

(BTW, the American Cancer Society has not shown any evidence that posting on a bulletin board which has a smoking forum exposes you to second-hand smoke.)
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Old Apr 20, 15, 7:31 am
  #4  
mia
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Originally Posted by Dovster View Post
... useless for non-smokers...
Not entirely. I do not smoke, but I have already learned something useful in this thread:

Originally Posted by Dovster View Post
...National (like most large car rental agencies) does not allow smoking in their cars, in LAS, when I asked about it, they told me they do not enforce the rule.
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Old Apr 20, 15, 7:45 am
  #5  
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There's a long thread in Travel Buzz about smoking.

In the US, I assume there is no smoking in any hotel and request a balconey for that purpose. if they don't have balconeys I just go outside where there is always a place to sit.

I don't think a forum is necessary.
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Old Apr 20, 15, 7:52 am
  #6  
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I agree with Mary. It seems like smoking questions would be appropriate in the various hotel, car and airline forums. Or even the destination forums. I see no need for a specific smoking forum... in fact, I cannot remember the last time any member asked a "smoking" question.... other than OMNI P/R Smoking Gun questions...
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Old Apr 20, 15, 8:11 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by wharvey View Post
I agree with Mary. It seems like smoking questions would be appropriate in the various hotel, car and airline forums. Or even the destination forums. I see no need for a specific smoking forum... in fact, I cannot remember the last time any member asked a "smoking" question.... other than OMNI P/R Smoking Gun questions...
It would not be appropriate in the various hotel or car forums if the poster is chiefly concerned about where he can smoke and not in what chain he will stay.

If I don't care if it is a Sheraton, a Hilton, or a Best Western hotel, which forum would I post in? Destination forums often have people who live in the destination posting there and as they do not usually rent cars or hotel rooms locally they would not be in a position to answer the question.

Yes, I might be able to raise the question about finding a smoking room in Venice by going to the Italy forum, but the odds on finding a smoker who has stayed there recently (hotels often change policies) would be against me.

Smokers who travel are the ones most likely to have the answers and they would be apt to use the Smokers Forum in order to get the answers they need. At the same time, they would be available to answer the questions others have.

Even if I have a preference (mine is the Hilton chain, where I have Gold status), the odds are that very few posters on that forum will be able to tell me which properties in Manhattan allow smoking. (As of December, only 2 of the 34 HHonors properties in Manhattan had smoking rooms and it took a long time to go through the HHonors page to find them.)

I can't understand why anyone would want to deny smokers the opportunity to get the answers to his questions in one convenient forum.

(Statistically, my best chances of getting the information would be in the GLBT forum as 26% of gays over 18 are smokers, but I doubt that the mods on that forum would be thrilled to see a great number of smoking threads started there.)
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Old Apr 20, 15, 8:48 am
  #8  
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Originally Posted by Dovster View Post
I can't understand why anyone would want to deny smokers the opportunity to get the answers to his questions in one convenient forum.
I think this is a sensible proposal, if you can devise a way to keep the factual information from becoming stale.

I daresay we are all members of some minority group, but many active Flyertalk posters have a bias against low velocity special interest forums. I find that high velocity forums suffer from a high noise ratio (e.g. duplicate discussions, inaccurate or speculative information repeated as fact, cliques, etc). A low velocity forum can be a valuable resource, but it will fail if the information does not keep up with changing policies and regulations.
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Old Apr 20, 15, 8:58 am
  #9  
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Dovster, I will support your Smokers Travel forum if you will publicly support a Mens Travel Forum.
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Old Apr 20, 15, 9:05 am
  #10  
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
A low velocity forum can be a valuable resource, but it will fail if the information does not keep up with changing policies and regulations.
I completely agree but the only hope is that smokers, who will depend on this forum for their information, will also update any information which has changed (perhaps via a Wiki).

As important as it was for me to find those two Manhattan HHonors hotels (two years ago there were at least four) I did not post the info on the HHonors site as most posters there are among the 82% who do not smoke.

The same is true for the hotels in ATL and the car rental in LAS.

This info does, indeed, change all the time and only smokers who rely upon a forum to get info which is important to them will make the effort to keep it fresh for others who are in the same situation.
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Old Apr 20, 15, 9:46 am
  #11  
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Seems to me you could have posted in the Hilton forum... and asked "Does anyone have experience with Manhattan area Hilton hotels that allow smoking in their rooms?" or in the destination forum "Does anyone have experiences with hotels in Manhattan area that allow in room smoking?"
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Old Apr 20, 15, 9:54 am
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Dovster View Post
How many other forums do we have which address the needs of 18% or more of our membership?
I find the number you chose for an approximate statistic in support of the forum you propose quite ironic...
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Old Apr 20, 15, 10:08 am
  #13  
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I agree with Dovster on this - I think that 'smokers' have the same cross-brand set of needs as 'budget travellers', 'women travellers' or 'LGBT travellers'. Or indeed 'men travellers', but I think that I have supported kokonutz on that plea in the past.

If we have separate forums for budget/women/religious/LGBT/with kids travellers, why not with smokers?
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Old Apr 20, 15, 10:10 am
  #14  
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Originally Posted by wharvey View Post
Seems to me you could have posted in the Hilton forum... and asked "Does anyone have experience with Manhattan area Hilton hotels that allow smoking in their rooms?" or in the destination forum "Does anyone have experiences with hotels in Manhattan area that allow in room smoking?"
Don't you think that a forum aimed at a particular group is more apt to provide information that most members of that group are interested in?


Originally Posted by Canarsie View Post
I find the number you chose for an approximate statistic in support of the forum you propose quite ironic...
The stats I provided come from the CDC:

http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_stat...a/cig_smoking/
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Old Apr 20, 15, 10:21 am
  #15  
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Originally Posted by Dovster View Post
It will, admittedly, be useless for non-smokers but is that a reason to keep smokers from having it?
Actually as a nonsmoker, I have learned something from your post. For instance, don't rent from National. I abhor getting a rental car that reeks of cigarettes.

I actually often live in a country that is cigarette-wise, still in the 1950's. Non-smoking signs are routinely ignored. People get on the elevator smoking, and have a general disregard for non-smokers. You want a nonsmoking table in a restaurant? What's that?

I do understand the need for info, though. I'd much rather you find a property that caters to smokers. I hate being at properties, hanging out on the balcony, only to have a bunch of smoke coming in from the neighbor.

And what about eating outside at a restaraunt? You often can't, as that's where all the smokers are placed.

I'm all for a smokers forum. I can check it out to know what places to avoid.
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