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Airport hopes to increase its visibility

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Comedian Bob Hope might not have found humor in a promotional campaign proposed for the regional airport named after him.

Demand for air travel has been on the rise nationwide, but you wouldn’t know it by visiting Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, Calif. Passenger traffic was flat for the first 10 months of 2014, following two years of declining numbers, according to airport statistics.

Hoping to increase the airport’s visibility and improve awareness of its location, the appointed panel that runs the airport recently awarded a $50,000 contract to a branding consultant.

One strategy is to use the name "Hollywood-Burbank Airport" for marketing purposes but keep Bob Hope Airport as the legal moniker, the airport panel said.

"We think that a clear geographic identity and creative marketing tools will help us broaden our passenger base," airport executive director Dan Feger said.

Hollywood-Burbank Airport is not a new name. The airport, which opened in 1930, was named Hollywood-Burbank Airport in 1967. It was renamed Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport in 1978, then dubbed Bob Hope Airport in 2003 — the year the comedian died in nearby Toluca Lake.

STARWOOD TO ELIMINATE WI-FI CHARGES

Another major hotel chain is planning to eliminate wireless Internet charges, but only for guests who join its loyalty rewards program.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., with more than 1,200 properties, announced last week that standard in-room Internet will be free to all Starwood Preferred Guest members starting Feb. 2.

The move mirrors a decision announced last month by Marriott International to offer free standard Wi-Fi to members of its loyalty rewards program, starting in January.

With the Starwood offer, loyalty reward members get Wi-Fi if they book through Starwood’s websites or the SPG app. Without a loyalty membership, guests pay up to $20 a day for basic Wi-Fi service, with even higher prices for Internet with premium speeds.

Joining the Starwood rewards program is free.

Hugo Martin, Los Angeles Times

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