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April 30, 2005

Cool Airfare Alert Tool from Southwest Airlines

southwest airlines Here's a pointer to a totally cool desktop tool from Southwest Airlines. Unlike The Travel Coach (thanks for the tip!) I am a windows user, and it works great for me!

As a devoted Macintosh user, I hestitate to mention this cool new Southwest Airlines offering because it only works with Windows machines...ggrrrr. But I'll put my jealosy aside and mention it here anyway. DING! is a small utility that sits quietly on your desktop and alerts you to last-minute and VERY limited-time sales on Southwest flights. And from some of the fares I've seen, the savings can be stunning. If you use a Windows computer, check it out and let me know how it works. Register and download DING!

 

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DING! Your cheap airfare is waiting on Southwest Airlines

Posted on April 30, 2005 03:27 PM by southw138.
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Butch Up Nancy!

southwest airlines flight attendant Southwest catches a lot of flack for its (sometimes painfully) amusing pre-takeoff security announcements. However the humor-impaired are apparently taking this to a new level.

A judge has set a trial date in a discrimination lawsuit filed against Southwest Airlines by two black passengers who were upset when a flight attendant recited a version of a rhyme with a racist history.

 

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Butch Up Nancy!

Posted on April 30, 2005 03:27 PM by southw138.
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Delta bound for Chapter 11 trouble

airline strike You don't need to read far about the pathetic state of the U.S. airline industry, but I forgot how far we've really fallen.

Delta shares have lost more than 90 percent of their value in the last four years, reducing the market value of the company’s stock to only about $500 million. By comparison, discount carrier Southwest Airlines Inc.’s market capitalization of $11.5 billion is 23 times larger.

 

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Delta bound for Chapter 11 trouble

Posted on April 30, 2005 03:27 PM by southw138.
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April 28, 2005

Easier to Compete With Profitable Airlines

travel american airlines Good point here. Southwest rarely reponds to competition by lowering fares, but less profitable airlines do.

Competing with airlines that are profitable make decisions so they remain profitable, not because they are desperate for survival. Remember when ATA said they were going to enter the Dallas/Fort Worth Los Angeles market? American Airlines responded with deep fare cuts to all five Los Angeles airports from Dallas / Fort Worth.

 

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Joe Leonard on Competition

Posted on April 28, 2005 07:31 PM by americ125.
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Too Much Time Looking at Airfare Timetables

travel american airlines over dallas fort worth I've known people who know the airline timetables a little too well. They get feedback like this:

...the American Airlines representative at the international desk refuses to believe you don't work for the airline. Apparently I'm not supposed to know how 7-digit booking codes work.

 

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Signs you've spent too much time looking at airfare timetables...

Posted on April 28, 2005 07:31 PM by americ125.
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How Much Faster Are Acela Trains?

amtrak acela metroliner ice This comment on a blog post about the fact that the Acela is not much faster than the Metroliner is a little troubling.

Amtrak, and everyone else in the railroad business, knew that the Acela train would be only marginally faster than Metroliner, because unless and until the track bed is improved, speed is not an option.

 

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Acela Must Mean Slow in PigLatin

Posted on April 28, 2005 07:31 PM by amtrak126.
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Stars in Las Vegas

travel las vegas palms casino resort Some nice new digs for Jessica and Nick. Can we get an invite to the housewarming?

Though their marital status is constantly up for debate in the celeb weeklies, Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson have bought a condo at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.

 

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Viva Las Vegas

Posted on April 28, 2005 08:23 AM by las ve134.
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Jamaica Holiday Snaps

travel jamaica dunns river falls Nice pics of a Jamaican holiday here:

Well I'm back from my week in the sun. I didn't have a GPRS connection in Jamaica so I couldn't moblog any pics out there but I've added some photos into my Moblog.

 

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A few holiday snaps

Posted on April 28, 2005 06:20 AM by jamaic132.
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April 27, 2005

A380 Flies!

travel airbus 380 This maiden flight was a big deal! Air France is among the airlines that have made an order for the super-sized plane.

The world's largest passenger plane, the Airbus A380, took its maiden flight Wednesday, cruising over the Pyrenees mountains in an aviation milestone that Europe's jetliner maker hopes will give it a leg up in its battle with American rival Boeing Co.

The double-decked plane, which can carry 840 passengers, landed to applause at 2:22 p.m. (8:22 a.m. EDT) after a flight of nearly four hours. About 30,000 spectators watched the white plane with blue tail take off and touch down, 101 years after the Wright brothers achieved the first controlled, sustained flight.

 

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Yahoo! News - Airbus A380 Completes Historic 1st Flight

Posted on April 27, 2005 12:38 PM by Air Fr115.
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Boeing Gaining In Aviation Market

travel boeing 787 Well, it's about time:

Boeing is also expected to announce an order of eighteen 787s from Northwest Airlines. Northwest was previously Airbus’ third-largest customer.

 

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Boeing retaking aviation market

Posted on April 27, 2005 10:34 AM by northw137.
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April 26, 2005

The Acela Problem

amtrak acela cockpit Good analysis of the Acela problem at Amtrak.

The tale of the Acela is in many ways the story of Amtrak itself, where political pressures, tight budgets, contested regulations and design changes turned a high-speed train into something slower, more expensive and less reliable than what Amtrak had promised.

A reconstruction of Acela’s history involving dozens of interviews and a review of court documents and other records shows that Amtrak was under intense pressure to deliver its new train as quickly as possible. And that rush to do something bigger and more complicated than the railroad had ever done led to a series of missteps that many experts believe contributed to the problems that have plagued the Acela to this day.

Click through for entire story.
 

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ACEL, USAs X2000

Posted on April 26, 2005 09:35 PM by amtrak126.
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Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Fly Again!

travel james woods as rudi giuiliani The 9/11 rehearsal, starring James Woods.

In case you're not aware, the actor James Woods flew on an American Airlines flight from Boston to Los Angeles one month prior to 9/11. Alarmed by the behavior of a group of four Middle Eastern men, Woods summoned the pilot and told him that he was "concerned the men were going to hijack the plane." A report was filed with the FAA on Woods' behalf but, tragically, no one followed up with Woods or the men. A few days after 9/11, several federal agents showed up in Woods' kitchen. Woods can't talk about what was said -- he believes his testimony will be used in the trial of the supposed 20th hijacker, Zacarias Moussaoui-- but, in an interview with Bill O'Reilly, Woods revealed that his flight "was a rehearsal [for 9/11] with four men."

 

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Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Fly Again!

Posted on April 26, 2005 07:27 PM by americ125.
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Mass Transit Smackdown

amtrak logo The Amtrak subsidy debate continues:

As our buddy bush tries to starve Amtrak to death and it's suffering bad press, it's a particularly relevant time to turn our heads to the classic debate over mass transit taking place over at The Truth About Cars. On the liberal side is one Colin Murchie, Director of Government Affairs of the Solar Energy Industries Association:

My taxes bought the road you’re idling on and the troopers and snow plows and medevac flights that come with it; as sure as they bought the El train blowing past you on the left. More than $40 billion per year in the next highway bill, not including state taxes.

 

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Mass Transit Smackdown

Posted on April 26, 2005 07:27 PM by amtrak126.
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Keep Your (Bermuda) Shorts On!

travel american airlines This Bermuda official needs a lesson from Miss Manners.

Home Affairs Minister Randy Horton will have further damaged the reputation of Bermuda's government if the account of his actions on Sunday's American Airlines flight turns out to be accurate.

Mr. Horton did several things that would be unacceptable behaviour for anyone, never mind a prominent member of the government. He tried to go to the bathroom while the plane was coming in to land and the fasten seatbelts sign was presumably on, potentially putting the safety of the other passengers at risk. When told to sit down, he engaged in an angry altercation with the steward, during which he allegedly asked "Do you know who I am?" and suggested that the steward's actions were racially motivated.

 

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Randy Horton And The Pip Squeak Police

Posted on April 26, 2005 07:27 PM by americ125.
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Plane Diverted After Alarm Over Vials of Liquid

travel united airlines at gate Living in a post-9/11 world:

A United Airlines plane from New York to San Francisco was diverted to Chicago on Tuesday after a passenger reported suspicious materials, but police investigating the complaint said the items turned out to be vials of a harmless herbal extract.

 

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United Plane Diverted After Alarm Over Vials of Liquid

Posted on April 26, 2005 05:28 PM by united140.
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April 25, 2005

Travelocity Gnome Blog?

travel travelocity gnome Lots of noise in the blogosphere about Travelocity's gnome ... and now a call for the gnome blog!

My vote for the next character blog? Travelocity's .

Has anyone touched on the fact that in the event that if Travelocity's gnome needs to blog, he (They) could Flickr it?

 

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Fake/Fiction/Character Blogs

Posted on April 25, 2005 05:28 PM by travel139.
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April 23, 2005

Amtrak Online Screw Up

travel amtrak buying a ticket It's so frustrating when travel companies have poor customer service.

The timeout while I'm entering the credit card information at the Amtrak site has to be the most obnoxious thing ever. My card number is right there for anyone to see until I click submit, and THEN it rejects me. Stupid, obnoxious, and if I were getting the ticket for myself I think I'd hitchhike instead.

What I hate are the automatic voice response menus. Ever try using that when you have to reschedule a flight at a noisy airport? The phone system has no idea what you're trying to say.
 

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Amtrak screws up on-line, too

Posted on April 23, 2005 07:28 PM by amtrak126.
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The U.S. Government Kicks in for the United Airlines Bankruptcy

travel united logo Stealing and paraphrasing a famous quote: If United owes the bank $3, it would be United's problem. If United owes the bank $33 billion, it would be the bank's problem.

FT.com / Transport / Airlines - US to assume pension plans at United : United Airlines has reached an agreement with the federal agency that insures defined benefit pension plans to transfer $6.6bn in pension liabilities, marking the biggest pension transfer to the government.... The agreement with the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation comes after United reached an impasse with some unions over its need to terminate...

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It would have been even nicer if one of the conditions for transfer of benefit liabilities would have been shutdown of United Airlines.

I suspect that United Airlines doesn't own those airplanes but operates them under lease already. GE owns the largest fleet of aircraft and engines on the planet and moves them around to whatever airline wants to lease them. The airlines learned a long time ago that they couldn't actually buy the airplanes anymore and switched over to leasing. Hence, United can't double-dip to pay an outsized dividend to its shareholders.

 

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The U.S. Government Kicks in for the United Airlines Bankruptcy

Posted on April 23, 2005 05:28 PM by united140.
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Do you remember Annie Jacobsen?

travel airline security I wasn't aware of this entire story:

Terror in the Skies? Flight 327? I was not aware that Annie has been writing a series of articles about airline security and terrorism. She's been following up on complaints from air marshals about dress codes that endanger them, disingenuous PR campaigns and denial of the facts in the field and bureaucratic stupidity.

In October of last year, Annie reported an incident on a United Airlines flight from London to Washington, D.C. Nine men boarded the flight at the last minute, several without even carry-on luggage, and behaved in a suspicious manner. The Captain radioed back to London and found out that two of the men were on the no-fly list! Even though the Captain requested that law enforcement meet the plane when they landed in Washington, not one law enforcement officer was there, and the nine men, including the two on the no-fly list disappeared in the crowd!

Click through to read the entire story.
 

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Posted on April 23, 2005 05:28 PM by united140.
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April 22, 2005

Oneworld Offers Interline E-ticketing

travel oneworld alliance This is great: one e-ticket for flight on all the airlines in the Oneworld alliance.

This means customers can travel with the convenience of just one electronic ticket throughout the combined network served by the alliance's eight member airlines - American Airlines, British Airways, Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Iberia, and Finnair besides Aer Lingus and LAN - no matter how many transfers between these airlines are required along the way. Together, they fly to some 600 destinations in 135 countries worldwide.

American Airlines and Finnair set the alliance's IET programme rolling in May 2002 when they became the industry's first airlines in separate continents to offer this service. American then became the first airline in the world to complete IET links with all its global alliance partners, in June last year.

 

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oneworld is first alliance to complete interline e-ticketing with links now in place between all partner airlines

Posted on April 22, 2005 07:27 PM by americ125.
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Ryan Air

travel ryan air Ryan Air is Europe's version of Southwest.

The new aircraft will allow Ryanair to increase its passenger numbers from an expected 34 million this year to 70 million in 2011, creating 2,500 jobs and taking it ahead of British Airways and Air France. Ryanair reported profits of £20m in the last quarter of 2004.

 

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Ryan air a friendly low cost carrier

Posted on April 22, 2005 07:27 PM by southw138.
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Mini Travel Aggregators

travel hawaii surfing Maybe this is the future of cheap airline tickets?

Been in Hawaii (Diamond Head on Oahu) since Sunday (therefor the low post rates). Doing alot of surfing and not much else. But while reading the local tourist rags, something interesting struck me. There are a bunch of local micro travel aggregators that specialize right here in Waikiki. Like: go Waikiki.com. When planning my trip I went to all the big aggregators (Expedia, Tavelocity, NorthWest Airlines, Hotels.com, Priceline, etc.) and was a bit depressed at how uniform the rates...

 

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musing about mini travel aggregators

Posted on April 22, 2005 10:51 AM by cheap 127.
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Will Everyone Turn Into Jet Blue?

travel jet blue counter Maybe the answer is that all the airlines adopt the Jet Blue business model?

Air travel has been undergoing a steady metamorphosis since 9/11, with carriers shrinking legroom, pulling free meals, and even eliminating complimentary pillows. And thanks to high oil prices and intense competition from upstarts like Jet Blue and Southwest, the process is only accelerating.

Today major air carriers begin reporting results and it’s not looking good. American is expected to post a $400 million loss. US Airways, which has filed for bankruptcy protection twice in the past two years, might go out of business entirely. United is expected to remain in Chapter 11 for some time to come. Delta is expected to be next in line to file for bankruptcy. Higher fuel prices add to the burden as the industry faces its fifth straight unprofitable year, with an estimated $5.5 billion in losses this year. Stepping into this apparent...

 

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Other Stuff

Posted on April 22, 2005 07:27 AM by jet bl133.
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April 21, 2005

We're So Thrilled.....

travel airline tickets german city What a great travel story:

Jason’s grandfather was in Germany during the War and well…he had a daughter. I do not know the details of the relationship he had with this woman but he never saw his child. Grandpa’s old love has passed away and finally the daughter was told of her real father. Her name is Aujetta and she phoned Grandpa last night and it sounds like things went very well. Aujetta is only 3hrs away from where we’re living so I cannot wait to meet her. She doesn’t have much family left so when she learned about everyone in the states she broke into tears of joy and speaking on behalf of this clan…We all can’t wait to get a hold of this gal and just squeeze her to death. Aujetta was extremely thrilled to learn her nephew Jason & family were living in Germany…..I’m just sitting on pins and needles I tell ya….Grandpa is already checking on airline tickets and I hope these two people come together very soon…I’m so glad I’ll be able to witness it….

 

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Posted on April 21, 2005 07:24 PM by airlin124.
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Amtrak Acela To Resume When Replacement Brakes In Place

travel amtrak acela in station Looks like Acela service will start soon, but no firm date yet.

Amtrak officials speaking at Union Station said the trains will resume service once replacement brake parts are retrofitted onto the trains.

 

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MTRiP Weblog

Posted on April 21, 2005 07:24 PM by amtrak126.
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Passport Rules Could Hinder US-Canada Travel

travel northwest airlines at night Travelers will have to show passports all the time and this may impact Northwest air traffic significantly.

The new U.S. rules will also apply to Mexico, Bermuda, the Caribbean and Panama. Eagan-based Northwest Airlines is a big player in tourism to Mexico and is the largest U.S. carrier to Canada. Many Canadians travel to northern Minnesota, and Minnesotans often drive to Canada as well.

 

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Passport rules could hinder USA-Canada travel

Posted on April 21, 2005 10:36 AM by northw137.
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April 20, 2005

Higher Prices For Airline Tickets

travel crowded airport No surprise that airline tickets are called out in this inflation report. Fuel prices are up and air travel as surpassed pre-9/11 levels.

The new report showed that even outside of food and energy, there were significant price pressures last month. The so-called core rate of inflation rose by a worrisome 0.4 percent in March, the largest jump in 2 1/2 years and double what economists had expected. It reflected higher prices for clothing, hotel rooms, airline tickets and medical care.

 

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When Will "Stagflation" Reenter The Vocabulary?

Posted on April 20, 2005 07:24 PM by airlin124.
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Check Your Ticket Codes

travel american airlines ticket counter Most of the airline promotions require buying expensive tickets. Cheap tickets don't get you the extra rewards:

American Airlines ran a fly 3 transatlantic flights earn 60,000* bonus miles. Cha-ching! Okay – so I knew I wasn’t going to make the 60,000 mark because I fly cattle class, but I thought I was going to get something. Nope – fraid not, none of my tickets were the right fare type to qualify…I had 4 different fare types & none of them matched up to the acceptable ones on the list. The fare classes eligible must be the stupidly expensive fully-refundable ones. I'm flying BA from now on...I get a much better flight for the same mileage.

 

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But I don�t have the secret decoder ring!

Posted on April 20, 2005 07:24 PM by americ125.
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The Kind of Ride We All Could Miss

travel airline passengers How bad can it get?

Ah yes, I was going to tell you about the return flight. It wouldn’t have been so bad had the plane not been so full. It was absolutely packed. I heard the flight attendants tell another passenger that every seat was taken. I’d hate to know how much money Continental Airlines made from that flight - there were well over three hundred people on that thing. There was also this rather large guy sitting in the window seat next to my aisle seat. He smelt bad. And started singing. For half an hour. It was painful, so very painful. People just...

 

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A long overdue update

Posted on April 20, 2005 12:25 AM by contin128.
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April 19, 2005

Amtrak Woes

travel grand central station Some good points here on what ails Amtrak. I sometimes wonder if conservative politicians want to get rid of Amtrak because it reminds them of Europe and socialism? Cars and planes seem so quintessentially American.

John Tierney, writing in today’s New York Times, quotes former Amtrak official Joseph Vranich about Amtrak’s recent woes:

Such blunt talk is refreshing to hear, but also distressingly true. One of the reasons I don’t like traveling outside of New York City is the traffic I routinely run into; Amtrak’s great promise was to emulate that one area in which Europe and Japan have routinely bested us: the use of mass transit to ferry people to and fro.

Amtrak, of course, never could achieve its promise, because politicians have turned it into another example of pork barrel politics: Amtrak has been forced to run its trains through sparsely populated states, for which “mass transit” is not only an oxymoron but also irrelevant. On the so-called Northeast corridor, the heavily populated area between Washington, DC and Boston, MA, mass transit makes sense.

 

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Posted on April 19, 2005 07:33 PM by amtrak126.
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Human Race & Stupidity

travel airline peanuts It's some of the best reading material on the plane, though.

On an American Airlines packet of nuts: "Instructions: Open packet, eat nuts."

 

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Posted on April 19, 2005 07:33 PM by americ125.
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Amtrak's Acela Hits the Brakes

travel amtrak acela Good pick up on CSM article:

Check this out. It's a fabulous special feature by the Christian Science Monitor called "All Aboard? Amtrak and the Future of Passenger Rail in America.

You'll need a high speed connection. The section called "A Business Wreck" contains a fabulous intreactive map on which you can click on the various Amtrak routes (and also notice how much of hte county isn't served) for comparisons of time and cost among Train, Car, Air and Bus options. You can also see the profitability (or, more accurately, the lack thereof).

Click through for entire story.
 

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Amtrak's Acela Hits the Brakes

Posted on April 19, 2005 07:33 PM by amtrak126.
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Aeroflot

travel aeroflot at gate A few years back, this flyer would have been much happier on Air France.

I have long wanted to fly Aeroflot. I figured that, since I was flying to Moscow Air France, I would be giving up my one chance to fly Aeroflot. Well, I just picked up my tickets, and the Paris - Moscow - Paris portion of my flight is handled by Aeroflot. I’m so stoked.

 

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Posted on April 19, 2005 07:33 PM by Air Fr115.
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Southwest Travelogue

travel southwest mock-up Southwest gets tons of good publicity, but they have their screw-ups, too.

"Southwest Airlines would like to welcome you to Los Angeles." I never thought I would be so happy to hear those words. My trip to Nashville was actually great. It was the plane ride home that was a nightmare.

Click for whole story.
 

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Travelogue

Posted on April 19, 2005 03:18 PM by southw138.
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Hawaii, Mexico Vie for Sacramento Tourists

travel mexico vacation This is a tough choice: Mexico or Hawaii?

Sacramento International Airport says the top traffic gainers for the first two months of this year were Southwest, JetBlue, United and Mexicana.

 

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Hawaii, Mexico vie for Sacramento tourists

Posted on April 19, 2005 01:51 PM by mexica135.
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No Amtrak Acela Service This Week

amtrak acela on track Amtrak is trying to run alternative trains to pick up the Acela overflow. They ran one Acela train Monday, but decided against any more runs until the brake problem is resolved.

Amtrak officials had initially said Monday that it was going to run one Acela train daily between Washington and New York through Friday, spokeswoman Tracy Connell said. But later in the evening, officials decided against that, she added. No Acela trains will run through Friday, possibly longer.

 

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No Amtrak Acela service this week, railroad says

Posted on April 19, 2005 01:50 PM by amtrak126.
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April 17, 2005

The Real Amtrak Failure

amtrak empty car The problem with the subsidy argument is that every other form of transportation receives some form of subsidy. For instance trucks, which are one of the main alternatives to trains for long distance hauling, benefit from highway funds. So the real question is how much subsidy for each kind of transportation.

The article, titled "Bush Budget Gives No Money to Amtrak for Operations" states the following:

"In a letter to Amtrak employees, Amtrak President David Gunn called the budget request 'irresponsible' and a 'surprising disappointment.' He continued, '[The budget] isn�t accompanied by any kind of plan for how Amtrak could continue operations. In a word, they have no plan for Amtrak other than bankruptcy.'"

Amtrak is a private business and should be operated as one. It's up to you as president of the company to determine how your company "could continue operations."

So who is the "irresponsible" one? This, my friends, is the prime reason why Amtrak fails as a company - not even its president understands business. Either that or he simply refuses to accept responsibility for the company that he is responsible for.

This company has been subsidized for so many years that it has completely neglected to become self-sufficient. I understand that the government's intentions were good in helping to promote Amtrak while it was on the verge of bankruptcy; however the original intent was nothing more than a glorified unemployment check. You're still expected to find a job. If you don't find one before the checks run out, tough luck! Welcome to America, my friend.

Posted by Chris Bianchi in Domestic Issues at 09:28

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The Real Amtrak Failure: David Gunn

Posted on April 17, 2005 07:24 PM by amtrak126.
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Broken Brakes

amtrak acela cockpit The cancelled Acela trains are a real problem for commuters along the Northeast corridor. The cynic might conclude that the timing may have to do with the Bush Administration's attempt to cut Amtrak funding.

» Amtrak has cancelled all its high-speed Acela trains until at least Thursday because, it says, cracks were discovered in some of the trains’ brake discs during routine inspections. I’m not sure what kind of problem this is, but it must be serious. Acela express trains account for 20 percent of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor service.

 

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Posted on April 17, 2005 07:24 PM by amtrak126.
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Competition Good For Boeing

travel boeing 787 rendering Looks like Northwest is upgrading the fleet:

His first triumph in the U.S. market was selling 100 narrow-body A320s to Northwest Airlines. Steven Rothmeier, the airline's chairman at the time, remembers being enthralled by Leahy's presentations, which seemed to anticipate all of his questions and supply well-thought-out answers.

Northwest Airlines is also within days of buying 787s to update its aging fleet. Boeing and Northwest won't comment, but sources say a key part of the deal may be upfront financing from Boeing.

 

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Posted on April 17, 2005 10:31 AM by northw137.
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Racing Upwards

travel jet blue tail This blogger detects big differences in service depending on how well things are going at corporate.

I found the same contrast up in the air. American Airlines is racing to the bottom as fast as they can. The staff has given up. No smiles, no service, no effort. Saving money is the order of the day. Jet Blue, on the other hand, continues to strive to get to the top. From the free wi-fi at JFK to the terminal they want to build there, to the snacks (they even suggest mixes--created by taking say, animal crackers and pretzels and mixing them up--even though it means people are taking twice as much!)

 

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Race for the top, race to the bottom

Posted on April 17, 2005 07:24 AM by jet bl133.
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April 16, 2005

Traveling Too Much?

travel old united airlines tail Maybe this traveler needs a few weeks off the plane!

Tomorrow morning it is back onto a plane to head to Orlando Florida. I am contemplating listing my home address as a United Airlines flight number...

 

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Nice surprises

Posted on April 16, 2005 06:18 PM by united140.
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April 15, 2005

Amtrak Reservations

amtrak pacific coast When reservations work, they're great. This traveler doesn't think Amtrak has the kinks worked out yet.

» One thing I’ve always liked about the Amtrak regional trains is that you can buy an unreserved ticket and use it whenever you wish. Well, it’s time to grow up: The days of unreserved freestylin’ are over!

Beginning April 25, all Amtrak northeast regional trains will require reserve tickets. Having a “reserve” ticket doesn’t mean you have an assigned seat. It just means the ticket is only valid on its assigned train. While this helps the railroad keep track of its customers, it makes rail travel less convenient.

Amtrak’s spin is that the new policy will guarantatee all riders a seat. Color me skeptical. I’ve twice ridden on Amtrak all-reserve trains where passengers had to stand because there were too few seats.

 

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Posted on April 15, 2005 07:27 PM by amtrak126.
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Acela Trains Halted

travel amtrak acela Brake problems have stopped Amtrak Acela trains. This means many customers had to find alternative means of travel. No estimate on service resumption.

Acela Fleet Grounded: And if you're planning any Acela travel up the East Coast, be aware that Amtrak has grounded express train service because of brake problems. Regional and Metroliner service is not affected.

 

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Morning Roundup: Non-Baseball Edition

Posted on April 15, 2005 07:27 PM by amtrak126.
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Are you Really Rewarding Customer Loyalty?

travel frequent flyer magazine Excellent point. It's nice to get perks if you're a frequent flyer, but some flyers are hooked on mileage.

American Airlines' frequent-flier program birthed the misleading idea that companies could buy loyalty. Because it appeared to work, companies in all industries started creating their own versions. IMO, there is no such thing as a "customer loyalty program." Look at any company that has true customer loyalty and you'll find that they don't need a loyalty program. Starbuck's has enough loyal customers that they don't need to distribute "buy 10 and get 1 free" punchcards.

I was shocked, simply shocked.
 

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Posted on April 15, 2005 07:27 PM by americ125.
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American Eagle to Offer Snacks for Sale on Most Flights

travel airline meal Here's the menu du jour:

Beginning today, American Eagle, the regional affiliate of American Airlines, will begin offering customers the opportunity to purchase a snack box for $3 on most flights throughout the American Eagle network.

Various food concepts have been tested on both American Eagle and its mainline partner, American Airlines. Survey results supported the idea of selling food in-flight and contributed to the design of the new program. Nearly 2,000 passengers were surveyed, and more than half were either “positive” or “very positive” in their reaction to the availability of a snack for purchase on their flight.

The snack boxes also are available for purchase in the main cabin on select American Airlines domestic routes longer than three hours. In addition to the snack box, customers traveling on select transcontinental and Hawaii flights will be offered a freshly prepared breakfast sandwich or wrap for $5.

 

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Posted on April 15, 2005 07:27 PM by americ125.
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April 14, 2005

United Deal With U.S. Airways Off?

travel united airlines taxi Like we've never heard this:

US Airways tried unsuccessfully to walk down the aisle with United Airlines, but the latest talk of a marketing marriage with America West might actually lead to an exchange of vows. The Arizona Republic reports today speculation by a JP Morgan airline industry analyst of a "linkage" between US Airways and Tempe-based America West. At first glance, a relationship makes sense because America West has strong roots--and routes--in the West, while US Airways is a player on the East Coast. But the problem is, US Airways is...

 

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Posted on April 14, 2005 05:28 PM by united140.
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Southwest Financial Results

travel southwest in clouds Southwest hedged their fuel costs and had a great quarter in spite of rising fuel costs.

Here's a headline you don't see much these days in the airline business: "First-Quarter Earnings Triple." But that's just what Southwest Airlines announced this morning, attributing its good fortune to lots of passengers, cost cutting, and, mostly, lower fuel prices. It's that last point that sets Southwest so far ahead of its competitors--the airline wisely hedged fuel prices long before oil climbed to more than $50-a-barrel. For example, 83 per cent of Southwest's fuel needs the second quarter of this year will only...

 

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Man Bites Dog: The Airline Equivalent

Posted on April 14, 2005 02:32 PM by southw138.
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Northwest Cleared for Takeoff at Latrobe

travel northwest airlines taxi Good news for Latrobe!

Flights from Arnold Palmer Regional Airport on Northwest Airlines open a new era for regional travelers and the Unity Township airfield.

 

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Posted on April 14, 2005 10:28 AM by northw137.
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Being a Critic: Jet Blue VS. United

travel jet blue crew It's hard to draw accurate comparisons based on a couple of flights, but this seems like a fair comparison to me:

Last time I flew, I was going to Pittsburgh for my annual trip with my dad. We flew United.On the way back, we had to make a stop in Denver. It was awful. Our plane was delayed 5 or 6 hours, literally. We went to customer service and the lady wouldn't even let us in the red carpet room. I thought that was the least they could do. We had to fight with them for a meal coupon, they eventually gave us 12 dollars. And knowing airports, that did not even pay for our whole meal. I was very dissatisfied and never want to fly with them again. My mom flew...

 

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Posted on April 14, 2005 07:22 AM by jet bl133.
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April 13, 2005

Biography of the Band

travel plane crash Good story, but might want to consider a better word at the end of this paragraph:

Benji and Joel graduated high school in June 1997, and for a graduation present the twins’ mother presented them with a pair of open airline tickets to California. "Some of our favorite bands like Green Day had started out at this East Bay club called 924 Gilman Street. So when we graduated, that summer we made a pilgrimage to visit the club. We'd never even been on a plane before, but we have an aunt in Berkeley who let us crash with her."

 

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Posted on April 13, 2005 07:24 PM by airlin124.
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No Pillows?!?

travel airline pillows My mom got head lice from an airline pillow, so I don't feel so bad about this:

Ok, this is nuts. I was on a plane this evening and as I walk on the plane, a woman in the first class section asked for a pillow. It turns out that Northwest Airlines no longer provides pillows. American Airlines stopped doing it to save money and the other airlines followed suit.

 

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Posted on April 13, 2005 07:24 PM by americ125.
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Meeting On The Plane

travel meeting on a plane What a great story about meeting a stranger on a plane:

So, as you can imagine, I was totally tearing up while writing this in seat 3E, sitting next to this football-player-looking guy, on a United Airlines flight to Chicago. It was kinda obvious because I had to wipe my eyes. But instead of hoping the guy next to me would ignore my emotion, I decided to practice yet another of Dad’s lessons -- audacity. I turned and briefly shared that I was writing about my dad and the recent anniversary of his death. Well, did this open up a conversation! Next thing I knew, we were landing, and Ben and I were agreeing...

 

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Tip of the Week and my dad, Pete Ferrazzi

Posted on April 13, 2005 05:23 PM by united140.
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On the Meaning of the Word, "RUSH"

travel lost luggage Finding luggage. Argh!

I have called American Airlines, United Airlines, Swiss International Airlines, Lufthansa, British Midlands; all of these have had a hand in the due processing of my bag. No one seems to know where it is. Nor what to do to find it. I have a File Locator number, a File Reference number, a Baggage Claim tag number, and a RUSH tag number. I also have the telephone numbers for a variety of baggage service offices in Chicago, Dallas, Frankfurt and London. When I call, they don't even ask for my name. They reply, "Oh,...

 

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Posted on April 13, 2005 05:23 PM by united140.
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Wall Street on the Cheapy Airlines

travel southwest airlines at gate What a surprise!

According to McCartney, Mr. Grinstein decided that airlines, e.g. Delta, didn't pass muster according to Cosco's standards. He noted that JetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines (again!) "offer good value from their tickets: Vacationers get cheap deals while last minute business travelers pay more -- but not 10 times more. JetBlue and Southwest often aren't the cheapest, but consumers don't care." (I'm quoting McCartney's paraphrase of Grinstein's comments.)

 

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Posted on April 13, 2005 02:34 PM by southw138.
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Holiday Inn Munich

travel holiday inn munich Here's the whole story:

I toured in the south of Germany this weekend. I went to Munich at Friday and lived in a sigle room of Hotel of holiday inn 2 day. I went to Schloss Neuschwanstein(Tian er bao) at saterday, and had dinner in the largest bier club of Munich downtown. In sunday, i played in egale nest (Hitele's villa)and king lake, which sit in Alpine mountain. I came back at this morning.

 

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Posted on April 13, 2005 05:20 AM by holida131.
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April 12, 2005

A Bunch of Sissy's

travel united flight attendant It could have been worse. What if the flight attendant said "Assume the crash position."

The Washington Post says some passengers on a United Airlines flight to L.A. were irked that a flight attendant uttered the words "God Bless You" over the aircraft public address system.

 

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Posted on April 12, 2005 05:29 PM by united140.
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United Strike?

travel united 777 landing Workers not happy with exec bonuses at UAL.

Two United Airlines unions are rattling sabres and threatening to strike if the airline convinces a US Bankruptcy Court to annul their contracts and let the airline impose wage and benefit cuts. Unions representing United's 6,800 mechanics and 19,500 other ground workers are angry at, among other things, a $366,000 bonus paid the airline's CEO last year. (Glenn Tilton, the airline's boss, earned $1.1 million in regular salary.) Given the airline's continual losses, the unions question the bonus and say workers have already given...

 

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Posted on April 12, 2005 05:29 PM by united140.
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NW & China Southern Link Up

travel northwest jets at gates Good news if you fly in China!

As of today, April 11, members of Northwest Airlines' frequent flyer program can begin earning miles on China Southern, the People's Republic of China's largest airline, and vice versa. In addition, both airlines will extend reciprocal privileges at airport clubs. And both airlines will accept the other's miles for award tickets. Obviously, this new marketing marriage increases travel options for Northwest frequent flyers interested in visiting Asia.

 

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Posted on April 12, 2005 10:29 AM by northw137.
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Not Cinnamon Rolls!

travel holiday inn florida Well, at least they had hard boiled eggs and a great trip:

We went to Sea World San Antonio and had a blast. We drove down last night with my (anti) In-laws. Got up this morning and had a good breakfast provided by Holiday Inn Express. No dancing cinnamon roll, but plenty of hard boiled eggs. We left early to get to Sea World, thinking we would hit morning traffic. The route we took was easy and we arrived an hour before they opened. They let us in early and our near perfect adventure began.

 

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Only winning the lottery would have made it better....

Posted on April 12, 2005 05:28 AM by holida131.
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More Uses for Airline Passenger Data

travel delta passengers Jet Blue got in hot water for giving customer data to the Departement of Homeland Security. Maybe giving data for health purposes is okay??

Although privacy experts worry about the government gathering personal information on airline travelers, Delta Airlines is handing over electronic lists of passengers from some flights to help stop the spread of deadly infectious diseases.

 

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Posted on April 12, 2005 12:24 AM by delta 129.
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Watching Delta Land at SFO

travel delta sfo Lucky for this guy he got a great chance to watch Delta landings at SFO.

So we arrive safely in San Fran and check into the hotel, which is right across a small body of water from the airport runways. Adam is a [plane] spotter and a lover of Delta Airlines, and was fairly ecstatic at the location of the hotel, although this was dimmed somewhat by the fact that our room didn’t have a view of the airport.

 

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Posted on April 12, 2005 12:24 AM by delta 129.
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April 11, 2005

Blogging on Amenities

travel airport amenities Okay, this is a good point I hadn't considered.

Hence, the real question is whether the prices (and taxes) paid for airline tickets and goods in the airport somehow account, in real terms, for the nicer amenities at airports.

 

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I'm not a Certified Economic Accountant, but I Play One on My Blog

Posted on April 11, 2005 07:33 PM by airlin124.
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Some Ads Don't Fly

travel american airlines advertisement Good point here: why are the online travel ads better than the traditional ads?

Link: American Airlines - Why You Fly. [Click do cool stuff > see the ads — Flash is so backward.]

 

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Posted on April 11, 2005 07:33 PM by americ125.
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Cory v. American Airlines

travel statue of liberty Cory Doctorow has been trying to figure out why American Airlines wanted documentation when he landed in the U.S. He still has no good explanation.

Back in January, I flew American Airlines from London Gatwick to San Francisco. At the checkin counter, I was shocked when an AA security guard (not a customs officer — private, corporate contract-security for AA) demanded that I produce a written dossier of the names and addresses of the friends I planned on staying with in the USA. She cited an unspecified TSA regulation that required this, and could not tell me what AA’s document retention policy was, nor what would be done with this information. Her aggressive supervisor accused me of undermining the safety of airlines in the sky by refusing to answer, and affirmed that the TSA required it. I stood fast, and finally the terminal supervisor told me that since I fly American enough to hold a Platinum card, I wouldn’t be required to turn over this information.

 

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Posted on April 11, 2005 07:33 PM by americ125.
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Voucher for Australia

travel continental airlines landing airbus This blogger had a great travel idea. Too bad Continental doesn't fly all the way to Australia.

Houston was humid. I arrived at my next gate. And they were offering a deal for one person to skip the Pensacola flight at 1:05 PM for a ticket voucher good for anywhere in the world where Continental Airlines flies. I asked if they flew to Australia (my cousin’s upcoming wedding), but they did not. So I declined.

 

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Posted on April 11, 2005 12:27 AM by contin128.
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April 10, 2005

With Free Wireless, You Can Buy Airline Tickets Nearly Anywhere

travel airline tickets purchased using free wireless I like this article about the impact of free wireless services:

People such as James Campbell, who sat on a bench one recent day with his laptop reading e-mail and buying airline tickets while his 2-year-old daughter played at a downtown park.

 

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WiFi Zoner utvecklar amerikanska städer

Posted on April 10, 2005 08:31 PM by airlin124.
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United Airlines Increasing the Number of Flights to Puerto Vallarta

travel mexico puerto vallarta beach More ways to get to Puerto Vallarta. No excuses for missing a vacation to Mexico.

The Puerto Vallarta Fideicomiso de Turismo announces that in addition to its current flight program, United Airlines will now offer additional flights from Denver, Colorado and San Francisco, California into Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on its low fare service carrier, TED. These new flights are on track to launch this December, just in time for warm winter vacations.

Ted, the new low-fare service from United Airlines, has added the highly demanded daily flights from these west coast cities, both key travel origins for Puerto Vallarta. The Puerto Vallarta Tourism Trust is pleased with the mutual benefits of United Airline’s added flights and views this as an opportunity to expand the destination’s tourism reach even further.

Alfredo Rosas, Director of the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Trust stated, “We recognize and appreciate the great potential of these new United Airlines flights. The Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board is looking forward to working closely with United Airlines in order to appropriately and effectively market these new flights.”

Whether vacationing travelers are heading to Mexico in search of a warmer holiday season or simply to bask in its tranquil setting, United Airlines will continue to make Puerto Vallarta even more accessible for travelers.

 

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Posted on April 10, 2005 04:28 PM by mexico136.
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Flying to Tokyo First Class

travel united 1st class seat We should all travel 1st class on United!

I left L.A. on Tuesday, March 8, 2005 at 11:15 am on United Airlines flying first class (first indication this is not your typical backpackers journey). I highly reccomend the experience. Imagine a little pod all your own with multiple storage places for complete organization and an automated seat that has flat bed potential. However, I never fully realized its potential since I chose not to sleep.

 

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Posted on April 10, 2005 04:28 PM by united140.
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Over the River & Through the Woods to Grandmother's House We Go...

travel delta on approach Is someone pulling our leg:

The trip began in the Delta Airlines section of the new Seatac Terminal A. It's a big, bright and airy new building with a portion of the floor to ceiling windows adorned with an extraordinary, brightly colored mural which appears to be based on medieval folktales (I'm just hazarding a guess here). Here's what Jonathan Lerner has to say about it in his Delta Sky magazine article, City of Glass:

 

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Over the River & Through the Woods to Grandmother's House We Go...

Posted on April 10, 2005 12:17 AM by delta 129.
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April 09, 2005

Careful Where You Buy Cheap Airline Tickets

travel cheap airline tickets That cheap airline ticket site might just be looking for your credit card number. Nothing more. Make sure you trust the web site you're using to buy travel.

While the sites attempting to sell cheap airline tickets to unsuspecting victims have been shut down (as noted in Phishing Scam Twist: Bogus Sites Built To Snatch Credit Cards from InternetWeek), it raises a bigger question. How do you really know where you are going when you click on a search-based ad?

 

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Posted on April 9, 2005 10:16 PM by cheap 127.
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Air Wisconsin Loses United Airlines/Express Contract

travel united express A big change in United's domestic partnerships:

United Airlines "was trying to put the squeeze on Air Wisconsin" when it put that business up for bid, said Michael Boyd, president of Boyd Group Inc., an aviation industry consulting firm in Evergreen, Colo.

He said United's executives probably figured they could force Air Wisconsin to cut the prices it charges United Airlines to keep that business.

I was shocked, simply shocked.
 

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Air Wisconsin Loses United Airlines/Express Contract

Posted on April 9, 2005 04:21 PM by united140.
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I never heard of this blogger before today...

travel delta airlines fired flight attendant Delta fired a blogging flight attendant for posting provocative photos on the plane.

But it seems she has quite a bit of notoriety for being fired from Delta Airlines for posting these... rather conservative in my opinion, photos or her in uniform, on her blog.

 

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Posted on April 9, 2005 12:19 AM by delta 129.
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Nonstop From Newark to New Dehli

travel continental airlines 747 A long flight, but at least there are no stops now.

Continental Airlines will add the first nonstop flight from the U.S. to India beginning Nov. 1, contingent on approval from the Indian government (via SAJA). The Newark (NYC)-New Delhi route will cosset passengers in the belly of a 777.

 

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ARR: DEL STOPS: 0

Posted on April 9, 2005 12:19 AM by contin128.
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April 08, 2005

Train Danger in New Jersey

travel new jersey transit train Time to retrain the train engineers: red means stop.

“NJ Transit trains ran through stop signals six times in the past five months, an alarming spate of violations that has prompted the agency to begin retraining all 419 engineers, officials said. Amtrak intervened two weeks ago after a Midtown Direct engineer went through a red light near New York Penn Station, putting his train on the same track as an oncoming train. Officials said the two trains were moving at low speeds and came to a stop without hitting each other.”

The article goes on to say that four of the six signal violations occured entering or leaving Penn Station, which connects to the busy Hudson River tunnels shared by Amtrak and NJT.

 

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Posted on April 8, 2005 07:27 PM by amtrak126.
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United to Close Kent Call Center

travel united call center More cost cutting at United:

Dan Richman reports in “United to close Kent call center” that all 400 employees of the United Airlines call center in Kent will be laid off if they don’t accept employment in any of the company’s four out-of-state reservation centers in Chicago, Detroit, Honolulu and Washington, D.C.

 

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Call Center News Summary : United to close Kent call center

Posted on April 8, 2005 04:23 PM by united140.
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Southwest Talent

travel southwest airlines pilot Is talent the key to Southwest Airline's success?

Questions such as Hamel’s are a staple of management thought at Southwest Airlines, which has long wreaked havoc on a very mature industry. Southwest’s management team is famous for its ability to attract, hire, develop, and truly inspire A players at every level. Every pilot, every flight attendant, every baggage handler, and every check-in clerk is an A player – someone who sets the industry standard for what they do.

 

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Death, Taxes, and the War for Talent

Posted on April 8, 2005 02:18 PM by southw138.
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April 07, 2005

Better Than Amtrak

white swan I've been getting more and more frustrated with the state of the Amtrak trains. Even the Acela is not being maintained very well. It needn't be so. Check this out.

BTW, the train that we rode in has Amtrak beat hollow. It’s was clean, quiet and comfortable. Plus, we got free bottles of water and candy eggs. More on the water in a later post.

 

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The White Swan

Posted on April 7, 2005 07:17 PM by amtrak126.
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You Can't Get There From Here

airline long lines More in a series of airline misadventures.

After I calmly asked him why I was bumped, he gave me a useless answer and promised me $250 in credit with American Airlines. Ok, when can you get me to Norfolk, I asked. He said I could fly standby on 2 other flights today, but they are both already over-sold and my chances of actually getting on the flight were slim. Again, WTF?? I calmed down a little and asked about tomorrow. Once again, everything was overbooked and I could fly stand-by if I wanted. There was no way in hell that I was going to take the chance of going to the airport again and...

 

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Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (long rant)

Posted on April 7, 2005 07:17 PM by americ125.
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The Travelocity Gnome

travelocity gnome I will not have anything bad said about the travelocity gnome. Oops, I'm wrong again.

There's something about those Travelocity "Roaming Gnome" commercials that I just don't understand. The gnome is supposed to be a "denouncer of travel myths", so they always start out with a "myth" that allegedly is disproven by the gnome announcing some great deal you can get on Travelocity. Then the second "myth" the gnome attempts to disprove is always something he's completely wrong about, like jellyfish being "cuddly" or the Mona Lisa "begging to be smooched".

If the gnome is so completely wrong about the other stuff, how are we supposed to trust he knows what he's talking about in regards to Travelocity's deals? I know, it's just an ad campaign... but seriously, somebody didn't think it through.

 

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Randomness: Stupidity in Advertising

Posted on April 7, 2005 03:17 PM by travel139.
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Northwest Pilot Blog

travel northwest air blog A former Northwest pilot blogs away. Inside travel info here!

As a former pilot for Northwest Airlines, I have spent a great deal of time on various technology initiatives, always with the intent of improving the information flow between the aircraft and the enterprise. Think about it - the aircraft is the only thing in the airline industry that really makes any money. Yet it's the one part of the business that is disconnected from the overall enterprise network. In any other industry, this would be unacceptable. But in this industry, it's the way we've operated since the beginning.

 

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Our blog and welcome to it!

Posted on April 7, 2005 09:32 AM by northw137.
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April 06, 2005

Support for Amtrak Service

amtrak train It is amazing to me how hard it is to sell support for Amtrak's service in rural america. I noticed Matt Singer's tip on this effort to build such support in Montana, and yet, even while the congregational delegation is vowing their support, they are unwilling to vote against substantial cuts in Amtrak's operating budget.

Governor Schweitzer and local officials are planning a whistlestop tour to highlight the plight of Amtrak and the effect cutting it will have on Montana. Will Burns show up? He’s talked about his support of Amtrak, but most recently voted against restoring $1.4 billion of its budget.

What's up with that?
 

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Posted on April 6, 2005 07:32 PM by amtrak126.
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More Than Just your Airline Magazine

nice seats on airline I thought this was pretty funny. It never actually occurred to me that those airline miles would ever get me anything other than an occasional upgrade...

I don’t travel 250,000,000,000 miles per year, so I don’t get free airline tickets or first class upgrades, but every once in a while I do get free stuff like some decent magazines. Yes, now these evil corporations have my address, but I’m sure they already have that and much, much more.

 

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Airline Miles Are Good For Something

Posted on April 6, 2005 07:32 PM by airlin124.
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April 05, 2005

Air France Service "Pretty Good"

travel air france meal service This blogger rates Air France as "pretty good." What about you?

I'm in the hotel after taking the BART from SFO into downtown. The long flight over was smooth and service on Air France is pretty good. Now for a shower and then off for the rest of today.

 

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Posted on April 5, 2005 07:22 PM by Air Fr115.
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Did You Know ...

travel american airline pilot Didn't know this.

You know that the C.E.O. of American Airlines is a Canadian!

 

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Posted on April 5, 2005 07:22 PM by americ125.
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From The International Railway Traveler

travel amtrak surfliner Traveling besides Amtrak.

I listened to the two-CD set in my car, while driving to visit a relative. My route paralleled that of Amtrak's Surfliner, where Santa Fe trains used to ply the rails between San Diego and Los Angeles. As the occasional train rumbled by, it was easy to envision much of what Howle relates about the titans of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway: Cyrus K. Holliday, Fred Harvey, Mary Jane Elizabeth Colter and William Haskell Simpson.

 

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Posted on April 5, 2005 07:22 PM by amtrak126.
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Fear of Flying

travel american airlines fear of flying Fear of flying explained:

Fear of flying increases with age, according to R. Reid Wilson, Ph.D., a psychologist in Chapel Hill, North Carolina who specializes in anxiety disorders and founded the American Airlines Fearful Flyers program (www.anxieties.com, Dr Wilson’s website, is a wealth of information and self-help tools). The average age of onset of fearful flying is 27 years. Fearful flyers often report that their anxiety developed after the birth of a child. Others develop fear after a bad experience on a previous flight, a reaction to negative stories about flying,...

Dr. Wilson believes that many fearful flyers don’t get help because they doubt they can change, a belief that contrasts sharply with Dr. Wilson’s experience as a clinician. The fearful flyers program he ran for American Airlines averaged 25 students in an intensive weekend course. On average, 23 of the students successfully took the graduation flight — and about 80% of them felt comfortable doing so. Some fearful flyers are so successful at conquering their condition that they become pilots!

 

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Posted on April 5, 2005 07:22 PM by americ125.
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Low Cost Airlines Search for Europe & UK

Air travel is now back to pre-9/11 levels and finding good fares is more difficult.

Booking your (cheap) low cost airline tickets for travel in Europe has become a tough journey through an extremely complex jungle of fares. This frustrating quest finding the best possible and available fares with most convenient schedules, often takes longer then the flight itself.

 

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Posted on April 5, 2005 07:22 PM by airlin124.
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Do Hotels Care Where You Booked?

travel hotel room This blogger thinks hotels might treat you differently if you booked a room through an online service.

Prior to leaving for this trip I read a great post on someone's blog about hotels that show their displeasure at guests who book reservations via discount services ( Travelocity, Expedia, etc) by either giving them lousy rooms or removing night time mints.

I spent about two hours over the weekend trying to find the post ( note to self: --always grab the URL of things you want to include in blog)

I couldn't find the post but I did find a related article in U.S. News &World Report. Last night I just drove up to the Hampton Inn and requested a room. The only thing I cared about was the free wireless service. A couple of years ago I chose hotels based on the exercise room, now its whether it offers wireless and if that service is free.

Later this week I will have an opportunity to experience this phenomenon myself. I have a reservation in Chicago that I booked through Travel Zoo and got a great rate at the Whitehall Hotel.

 

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Notes From The Road - Kansas City

Posted on April 5, 2005 03:24 PM by travel139.
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New Travel Search Engines Offer Good Meta Searches

travel jet take off Here's another great way to look for travel online.

I stopped using a travel agent about 5 years ago and while it can take a little time to find that deal you want, with a little work it can be done. Aside from going directly to the airline web sites looking for fares I also compare fares using Travelocity and Expedia. But three new meta search engines have emerged that offer another avenue to help you. They are Kayak, Mobissimo and Sidestep.

To test these new services I did several searches for travel I have planned in the near future. The results were interesting. To start Travelocity and Expedia results were almost identical with Expedia being just a bit cheaper. However the three new search engines all found cheaper options than Travelocity or Expedia and not just by a few dollars but by a substantial amount with Kayak consitently finding the cheapest fares.

 

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Posted on April 5, 2005 03:24 PM by travel139.
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Airline Announcements

southwest airlines flight demo Southwest humor.

From a Southwest Airlines employee: "Welcome aboard Southwest Flight 245 to Tampa. To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt; and, if you don't know how to operate one, you probably shouldn't be out in public unsupervised.

Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but we'll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than Southwest Airlines."

Heard on Southwest Airlines just after a very hard landing in Salt Lake City: The flight attendant came on the intercom and said, "That was quite a bump, and I know what y'all are thinking. I'm here to tell you it wasn't the airline's fault, it wasn't the pilot's fault, it wasn't the flight attendant's fault ...it was the asphalt."

 

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Posted on April 5, 2005 02:23 PM by southw138.
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Las Vegas to Death Valley

travel las vegas road Missing a turn isn't the worst thing that can happen on your Las Vegas vacation.

In any case, you do get to Pahrump, then after missing the turn off for 372 the first time, you wind up on a truly deserted road, leaving you to ponder the strangeness of experiencing such solitude in the middle of a Las Vegas vacation.

 

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Posted on April 5, 2005 07:22 AM by las ve134.
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No relation between price and quality

travel jet blue take off The discount airlines are getting the best scores from consumers lately. Jet Blue was ranked #1 again!

That's why CDs cost $18 and why Jet Blue is the best airline in America.

 

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Posted on April 5, 2005 06:22 AM by jet bl133.
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April 04, 2005

Does Amtrak Deserve Funding?

travel amtrak inside vista view train This blogger questions whether Amtrak funding makes any sense.
You mean the Amtrak that is largely used by wealthy business travelers (with poor people using Greyhound?) The Amtrak that wastes billions of dollars running nearly empty trains to the districts of influential congressmen? The Amtrak that spent untold millions purchasing new high-speed trains, but never got around to upgrading the tracks to accommodate higher speeds? An Amtrak, in short, that redistributes wealth upwards, is run in a corrupt manner, and is grossly mismanaged?
 

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The Volokh Conspiracy - -

Posted on April 4, 2005 11:51 AM by amtrak126.
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April 03, 2005

Rental Car Sticker Shock

travelocity hertz hidden travel costs Travelocity helps travellers uncover more of those hidden travel costs.

Travelocity has again published a list of airports that have the dubious distinction of being the worst in the nation when it comes to rental car base rate add-ons – like taxes and other fees charged by local governments that target a captive audience like travelers. This year, the top two airports are in Texas.

 

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Posted on April 3, 2005 03:15 PM by travel139.
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Inflight Madness

travel southwest airlines flight attendant If you want to find out what goes on behind the scene at Southwest Airlines, here's a blog for you.

I am a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines. In an average day I come accross many interesting people and see some cool places. In my space on the web I'm going to share funny and not so funny stories in the life of a flight attendant. I get to go to a lot of cities in the US and go to some cool sometimes out of the way places such as, nice resturants, cool museums ect, which I will also discuss in my blog. Hopefully this will be as fun and entertaining to others as it will be for my self. I love to write and thought...

 

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Posted on April 3, 2005 01:13 PM by southw138.
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April 02, 2005

Dear Amtrak ...

travel amtrak letter Here's an original letter to Amtrak!

Now, of course I don’t expect this marriage of sorts to be built on love---not at first, anyway. So there is the matter of cost. Obviously, I can’t afford you on a regular basis, but I wondered, with your reputation and all, if you wouldn’t want the free advertisement. I’d be-deck myself in Amtrak apparel from head to toe. I’ll blog about your wonders regularly.

 

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Dear Amtrak,

Posted on April 2, 2005 06:16 PM by amtrak126.
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Travel Journal, Days Seven and Eight: London to New York

amtrak seacoast It's probably worse getting sick on a vacation than dying on a vacation. At least Amtrak got this traveller home alive.

The journey home was the biggest nightmare: rushing to the right Underground station, standing for an hour in a packed car, waiting in line at the Heathrow security checkpoint, and finally being crammed for seven hours into the airplane seat with my head about to burst from the changes in pressure. That night, finally home in New York, my fever spiked up again, and the next morning, I had to consume a boxful of flu medicine to remain upright long enough to catch the Amtrak to Baltimore, but it wasn�t until I started coughing up blood that I thought...

 

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Travel Journal, Days Seven and Eight: London to New York

Posted on April 2, 2005 06:16 PM by amtrak126.
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Travelblogs

chiang mai wat I love these travel blogs. Here's an example.

2-24-05 - Thur - Sunny - Another bountiful buffet breakfast, then we took a cab to the United Airlines office (70 B), where we got tickets on Thai Airlines to travel to Chiang Mai ($80). We exchanged $200 and received 7616 B. Grabbed a cab (60 B) to Chinatown. Bangkok has a large Chinatown and we strolled their streets for a couple of hours, buying outfits for little Maggie and Ralph (200 B). Bottled water cost us 40 B and we took a cab back to our hotel (60 B) and enjoyed a siesta.

Dinner that night was at the Carillons where we had corned beef and cabbage and pistachio ice cream. Its a lovely dining room….linen tablecloths and napkins…..very nice. So many of Dorothy’s friends were there and we got to greet Elizabeth (whose arm was in a sling), Ann, Marie, etc. Afterward Tracy and I played 8-ball (I won!!!). We called United Airlines and found all flights very full….we would not be able to leave for a few days. We also made arrangements with Mike to meet on Friday.

 

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Chiang Mai

Posted on April 2, 2005 03:01 PM by united140.
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A Satisfied Customer

southwest logo Occasionally, somthing goes right. Even more occasionally, someone will acknowledge it. Good job, Southwest!

Thanks to Southwest Airlines for excellent service. Even when misinformation from their codeshare partners threatened my plans, Southwest made sure I got to DC on time.

Read the whole thing.
 

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Posted on April 2, 2005 12:12 PM by southw138.
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April 01, 2005

Gone Missin'

suitcase Has anyone had any good experiences with lost and found at Southwest Airlines? I've not heard of any..

Two days after we landed in Chicago I went to get the sock so I could start the next one and so I could weave in and photograph the first one. But I couldn't find it anywhere. I also couldn't find the purse anywhere. I decided I'd lost it and would call Southwest Airlines, the restaraunt we ate at after we landed, and even the CTA to see if it had been turned in. I got a big ol' negatory from each and every one of them.

 

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Posted on April 1, 2005 12:12 PM by southw138.
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Down around Biloxi

high rise on beach There are still some places safe from developers, for the moment. I think back on my childhood home, what it was then, and what development has done to it now.

The Gulf of Mexico is off there to your right as you cruise this part of the Gulf Coast, and the great state of Mississippi gives you plenty of access to the water – unlike my hometown, but that’s another story. Well, here goes anyway: If Florida politicians got ahold of this stretch of property, they’d sell out to the highest bidder before the ink was dry and the people be damned. The entire view would be blocked out by blocky, generic, high-rise condominiums, and only the rich would get salt air in their lungs.

 

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Down around Biloxi

Posted on April 1, 2005 07:14 AM by mexico136.
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Making Your Culture Lead The Way

Jet Blue Checkin Girl If you like casual, you'll like Jet Blue. If you sell to Jet Blue, you better like casual.

I attended an SAP business conference in New York last week, where they held a panel discussion with a few of their customers. One of their newest customers is Jet Blue Airways.

As always seems to be the case with Jet Blue, their comments seem simple but are certainly not the norm.

SAP showed up for the first meeting with a large team all dressed in suits and ties. They were quickly told that the culture at Jet Blue was casual, and if they wanted to continue to be considered they needed to come with 2-3 people that dressed appropriately. SAP complied and won the account.

Clearly, if you want to work with Jet Blue you better get with THEIR culture.

So there.
 

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Posted on April 1, 2005 05:13 AM by jet bl133.
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Israel Till You Puke

holiday inn You don't often see "Holiday Inn" and "Luxurious" in the same sentence.

After dinner and too much wine, we drove on to Haifa, where we spent the night the ridiculously luxurious Holiday Inn - highly recommended!

The very idea seemed funny to me.
 

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Israel Till You Puke

Posted on April 1, 2005 03:14 AM by holida131.
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