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June 30, 2005

Google Earth

travel las vegas aerial Actually, I google mapped Las Vegas, too. It's pretty cool.

There is something really satisfying about zooming in from outer space to your house. The detail in Johannesburg, South Africa is not really much to speak of yet, but I can easily imagine the possibilities once the detail is added in. I just zoomed in on Las Vegas and the detail available is absolutely incredible.

 

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Posted on June 30, 2005 08:40 AM by las ve134.
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Room And Board

travel holiday inn goa Some Holiday Inn hotels have great restaurants, and apparently the Holiday Inn in Goa is one of those.

The resort we were staying at, The Holiday Inn , was amazing, to say the least. The food was ummm…delicious, a well laid out buffet with the yummiest desserts I have ever had occasion of helping myself to. And boy! Did I help myself, gorging up in 3 days what would otherwise have been a week’s diet.

 

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Goan sojourn

Posted on June 30, 2005 05:41 AM by holida131.
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June 29, 2005

Logos vs Actual Customer Experience

travel northwest airlines logos Click through for an answer.

You’ve got one dollar to spend on improving your business. Do you spend it on:

1. a new logo
2. an ad campaign
3. improving your customer’s relationship with your company

 

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Posted on June 29, 2005 10:43 AM by northw137.
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Traveling The Coast

travel holiday inn calais Check out this great report of traveling the European coast.
Cliff Notes Version of our UK Adventure: Last night we were in Brugge, dude, and decided to drive to France, perhaps to visit the West coast…By serendipity, found a Holiday Inn on the outskirts of Calais in a town called Coquelles. They had a pool. SOLD!
 

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upseedown � father’s day in merry old england

Posted on June 29, 2005 01:36 AM by holida131.
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June 28, 2005

Non Je Ne Susi Pas DécédéE

travel air france flight attendant Oh, those Air France stewards!

Samedi, marche des fiertés elgébétés. Pas mal de beaux mecs, mais je suis plus habitué à marcher pendant une Gay Pride, moi, pfff, que c’est fatiguant ! J’ai beaucoup aimé le char des LGBT d’Air France, avec l’amusante chorégraphie des steward, inspirée de la désignation des issues de secours “à l’avant, au milieu et à l’arrière de l’appareil". Et j’ai beauuuuuucoup aimé l’un des stews, holala, miam miam…

 

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Non je ne susi pas décédéE

Posted on June 28, 2005 07:45 PM by Air Fr115.
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America West And Expedia Experience

travel america west jet Hard to believe that Expedia wouldn't help, but there it is.

On our way home from Las Vegas, my wife and I had a flight out of Las Vegas on American West and a connection in Orange County to San Jose on American. The American West flight was delayed an hour, so we would have missed our American flight. The obvious thing for anyone to do in that situation is to call their travel agent. So, I called Expedia and they were just as useful as tits on a bull. Basically, the guy told me that he couldn’t do anything for me, but was happy to “sell us tickets” if we could not get home. Now that is just plain bad customer service. I approached the America West counter and they were more than happy to help my wife and me out. They went out of their way to get us on new flights home — the flights eventually were delayed also, so they again helped us get a new flight into San Francisco with a shuttle back to San Jose. I applaud America West’s commitment to their customers (even when they have connecting flights with other airlines). I criticize and denounce Expedia for their terrible customer service — sure they are a low-cost travel agency, but they should do much better when their customers are stranded. Next time, my wife and I will try Yahoo! Travel, Travelocity or one of the other travel sites.

 

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Posted on June 28, 2005 05:45 PM by travel139.
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June 26, 2005

LAX

travel lax flyover Nice post on this blogger's favorite airport: LAX.

At LA last night I had plenty of time to kill. I'd checked in at United Airlines and had 3 and a half hours to wait. So I crossed the car park to terminal 2 where Starbucks lurks and enjoyed a Grande Hot Chocolate. The only place I've managed to break a one hundred dollar bill without being regarded by the clerk with deep suspicion. He didn't even blink at the bill! Hot choccy consumed it was back to terminal 7 with three hours to kill. Since you can't smoke inside I spent most of the time outside watching the sun set and the traffic swirl by. Hundreds of airport shuttles, hotel shuttles, limousines and cabs.

 

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It may seem strange

Posted on June 26, 2005 05:40 PM by united140.
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June 23, 2005

Train Service

travel amtrak diner car Kudos for Amtrak service:

Since then, the service has undergone a revamp at Amtrak. I’ve never encountered friendlier, more attentive, and funny people working in a service industry. And not even just the dining car attendants or the porters. It’s one thing to wait tables at a restaurant on the mainland, but when you have to wait tables and work with people and sleep with people for a period of 3-4 days, as some of the trains are long, then keeping a smile on your face and not wanting to knock a passenger off the caboose has got to be the hardest thing on earth!

 

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oh this train keeps a rollin’

Posted on June 23, 2005 07:43 PM by amtrak126.
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Amtrak Advantage

travel amtrak locomotive I love airline rides for the same reasons.

I’m leaving the SF area after the Computers and Writing conference, which was surprisingly productive for me (in relation to the conference and my own projects…). The thing about taking the Amtrak after conferences is the cool-down period. I mean, I get 18 hours (on this leg, 12 of which I will be awake) to do nothing but think. No email, no phone, no disruptions, except for when I have to eat meals.

 

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No Mystery Train here

Posted on June 23, 2005 07:43 PM by amtrak126.
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June 22, 2005

Swimming In Singapore

travel united airlines red carpet club narita airport tokyo Some little known facts on airport lounges.

So my trip has almost ended. I’m sitting in the United Airlines premiere lounge at Tokyo Narita airport on the way back to Chicago. This Lounge is the biggest I’ve seen, it must be able to sit at least 300 people and has 2 floors. The premiere exec status has really helped out a lot this trip, I feel like a king at every airport I stop at. Did you know that the Singapore airport has a swimming pool?

 

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Heading home

Posted on June 22, 2005 05:24 PM by united140.
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June 16, 2005

Check 7 Days In Advance

travel southwest airlines at gate Great savings tip here:

A note to people that need to travel by air: check Expedia.com or Southwest Airlines’ site for tickets exactly one week to the day before you want to fly. I found that Southwest and Expedia both offer CHEAP fares on a 7-day advance purchase. Note, also, that it depends on how full the flights are on the day you want to leave. My cost was $118.10 for a one-way ticket from CC, TX to Baltimore, MD, with only one layover. The same exact ticket, if I would have purchased it the day before, would have cost me $316.

 

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The Move Is Official

Posted on June 16, 2005 03:38 PM by southw138.
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Southwest's Website

travel southwest airlines cabin service I agree, Southwest could make their website much easier to use.

What’s the take home? Southwest Airlines needs to get a better site. I mean, I need to concentrate when money’s invovled. Or I shouldn’t do two things at once? I can’t decide. Too many ideas are running in my head now.

 

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Dogs my cats indeed!

Posted on June 16, 2005 03:38 PM by southw138.
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June 15, 2005

Ask the Trees to Say 'Cheese,' Prepare to be Seized

travel amtrak train Documentary film maker Jem Cohen had a small problem when he brought his 16mm camera on board.

In January, Cohen boarded an Amtrak bound from New York to DC. Along the way, he attempted to shoot the passing scenery. (Note to Homeland Security: “Shoot” has multiple meanings.) But when the train stopped in Philly, four armed cops boarded the train and demanded that Cohen turn over his film.

 

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Ask the Trees to Say ‘Cheese,’ Prepare to be Seized

Posted on June 15, 2005 07:21 PM by amtrak126.
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Meta Travel Engines Show Gains

travel beach vacation Might want to check out some of these travel meta-search engines when you need a cheap airline ticket:

Travel search engines Farechase, Kayak, Mobissimo, and Cheapflights showed big spikes in traffic in the last six months, Hitwise reported in MediaPost. Kayak visits were up more than 6,000% from October 2004 through April 2005. Farechase showed a 659% increase. Mobissimo grew 350% gain, and Cheapflights was up 56%. The travel market share of visits to those four meta search engines picked up 304% in the first half of 2005, while that of the top five online travel agencies (Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Yahoo! Travel, and CheapTickets) increased by just 11%. blogs.zdnet.com

 

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Meta Travel Engines Show Gains

Posted on June 15, 2005 04:28 PM by travel139.
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June 14, 2005

Human Toll of a Pension Default

travel united airlines ellen saracini The United pension fund default has some human faces here:

Ellen Saracini lost her husband, United Airlines Capt. Victor J. Saracini, when his Flight 175 crashed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Now she stands to lose more than half of her widow’s pension in a very different kind of crash—United’s default of its $9 billion pension obligations.

 

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Posted on June 14, 2005 05:14 PM by united140.
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June 13, 2005

Amtrak Food

travel amtrak dining car service Get ready for some price hikes in the dining car:

Riders on Amtrak may think that the $3.25 hot dog and the $1.50 bag of chips in the cafe car are no bargain. Neither does Amtrak. It is spending just over $2 for each dollar of food it sells on its trains, according to auditors.

 

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Posted on June 13, 2005 07:26 PM by amtrak126.
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G8 Wants Tax on Airline Tickets

travel airline ticket stub blank Good politics, but bad travel policy.

Airline groups have condemned plans by the world’s richest countries to impose a tax on airline tickets to fund extra money for poor African countries - and make a gesture towards fighting climate change.

 

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G8 Wants Tax on Airline Tickets

Posted on June 13, 2005 07:26 PM by airlin124.
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June 12, 2005

Northwest Raises Business Fares by $50

travel northwest airlines It seems demand is starting to surpass supply.

Northwest Airlines Corp. complained the loudest when Delta Air Lines Inc. capped many of its one-way fares at $499 in January. And on Friday, Northwest was the one to try to push those fares higher, tacking $50 each-way onto fares aimed at business travelers.

 

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Northwest Raises Business Fares by $50

Posted on June 12, 2005 08:53 PM by northw137.
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Air France Wins Domain Case

travel air france 777 taxi It doesn't seem very confusing to me.

Air France has won the rights to the domain name AirFranceSucks.com from a Florida company that held it since 1999. Earlier this year the airline brought the case before the World Intellectual Property Organization, which ruled that adding " 'sucks' to a trademark will generally be confusingly similar to that trademark."

 

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Air France wins sucky domain case

Posted on June 12, 2005 07:27 PM by Air Fr115.
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Livery And Brand Identity

travel air france livery business class seats Some history on airlines and their livery:

Well, the first set of airline livery started to appear shortly after the Second World War – with the same intention that continues to this day - to identify the corporation/airline flying the plane. At the outset, European airlines -like BOAC and Air France- took up the mantel. However, never ones to see a good marketing ploy pass them by, American airlines soon followed suit.

 

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Being able to identify an airline through its livery

Posted on June 12, 2005 07:27 PM by Air Fr115.
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June 07, 2005

A Day Of Lies And Treachery

travel twin towers 9/11/2001 Controversy continues over how to memorialize 9/11:

It has been a day full of outrages and lies by the left.

First of all we found out that George Soros and the ACLU plan to ignore the victims of 9/11 and make a political statement because someone gave them a section of the 9/11 memorial, where the World Trade Center used to be. Deborah Burlingame, the sister of the pilot of American Airlines fight 77 Charles F. “Chic” Burlingame III whose plane was flown into the World Trade Center reveals the treachery of the far left who plan to desecrate the memories of those who were murdered by terrorists.

 

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A Day of lies and treachery

Posted on June 7, 2005 07:23 PM by americ125.
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TrainWeb

travel amtrak sunset limited Okay, we'll take a hint from TrainWeb:

For some unknown reason (not that I'm complaining!), the train-enthusiast website TrainWeb -- which has a buried link somewhere to my old cross-country train trip page -- decided to post that link prominently on its "What's New" page over the weekend, under the headline "Revisiting a 2002 trip on the Amtrak Sunset Limited."

 

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Memory <strike>lane</strike> train

Posted on June 7, 2005 07:23 PM by amtrak126.
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United Abandons Denver Baggage System

travel united airlines denver dia baggage system The sacred cows are now departing Denver.

United Airlines finally is giving up on its expensive, ill-functioning automated baggage system at Denver International Airport.

 

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United to abandon Denver's Baggage System

Posted on June 7, 2005 05:24 PM by united140.
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June 06, 2005

Los Angeles to Chicago by Train

travel amtrak zephyr I've never tried the Zephyr, but I'd love to:

I have just enjoyed a couple of days in San Francisco, after arriving there on the California Zephyr, Amtrak’s long distance train from Chicago.

 

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Los Angeles to Chicago by Train.

Posted on June 6, 2005 07:33 PM by amtrak126.
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Wireless Flight

travel laptop wireless airplane Some international carriers already offer the service. With VoIP you can make phone calls from the cabin.

According to an article in the International Herald Tribune the U.S. regulators approved United Airlines proposal to offer wireless internet networks on domestic flights. Passengers will be able to check email, send instant messages and surf the web while in flight by mid-to-late 2006.

 

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From the Daily News

Posted on June 6, 2005 05:30 PM by united140.
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Wright Opposition Wrong

travel southwest and american airlines fight The politics of Southwest and Wright field are getting very interesting:

The DMN letters to the editor from a few days ago address the proposal to remove the Wright amendment, both for and against. One of the other strange claims laid out by Wright supporters is voiced by Mike Luckock, who writes:

This is not about flying anywhere we want; this is about Southwest Airlines' refusal to move to D/FW, where it has been offered a year's free lease.

Sorry, Mike. Southwest is under no obligation to move from where it is. You need to be asking yourself why you're so afraid of Southwest actually being able to compete with American.

 

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More bizarre Wright opposition

Posted on June 6, 2005 02:34 PM by southw138.
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Free Apple Goodies For Singapore Travellers

travel northwest airlines 747 Almost makes it worth a vacation to Singapore:

With my Singaporean friends traveling back and forth this summer, Andy alerted me to a great deal where Singaporean travelers could get a free iMac G5 or an iPod mini just for booking a flight to places like New York. Check out the details as seen from the official Northwest Airline promo page.

 

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Free Apple goodies for Singapore travellers

Posted on June 6, 2005 10:29 AM by northw137.
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June 05, 2005

Good Service

travel chicago ohare holiday inn Here's a great review recommending the Chicago O'Hare Holiday Inn:

I'm in Chicago at a really nice hotel by the airport--a Holiday Inn that was taken over by a private owner a couple of years ago and has been really turned around. This owner obviously "gets" customer service--I can hardly remember a nicer experience at a hotel, even those much more expensive. Plus, spacious roosm, handsome comfortable furniture, wireless connections in every room, quite good hotel restaurant/lounge, etc. But the really special feature is the 24-hour shuttle that will take guests back and forth to the airport, local businesses, the grocery, the train to downtown, etc.--which means you don't really need to rent a car! Oh, and they deliver a package of ice along with the chocolate mints each evening. Very cool.

 

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Service and fun

Posted on June 5, 2005 04:28 AM by holida131.
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June 04, 2005

Fun Facts To Know And Learn

travel olive What kind of olives was American Airlines using?

American Airlines saved $40,000 in 1987 by eliminating one (1) olive from each salad served in first-class.

 

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Important Facts to Know

Posted on June 4, 2005 07:28 PM by americ125.
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Let's Go!

travel airplane mechanic If it ain't not broke, don't fix it!

Another friend, yesterday, told me of sitting next to a flight attendant in the waiting lounge waiting to get on an American Airlines plane. Her comment was to the lax standards for maintenance. If the plan will fly, they go. She said that it used to be they would fix broken things before taking off. Not any more. As long as it will take off, they fly.

 

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First Class or Luggage Compartment?

Posted on June 4, 2005 07:28 PM by americ125.
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The Disappearing Pension

travel united airlines funny Makes me think twice about putting Social Security in the private sector:

Here are the amazing numbers: the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), the government agency that is supposed to protect the private pension system, recently estimated that the amount of money currently owed to cover pension liabilities is $450 billion; 851 pension plans are underfunded by at least $50 million. United Airlines may have been the biggest pension default ever but we’re looking at a looming financial catastrophe: The PBGC, which takes over defaulted plans, had a $23 billion deficit in 2004 and that’s just the proverbial...

 

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The Disappearing Pension

Posted on June 4, 2005 05:27 PM by united140.
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Don't Believe Those Stars

travelocity howard johnson tucson arizona I think this means that you have to stay at a four star hotel if you don't want bullet holes in the room.

We spent Thursday looking at four different apartments. We then got to our "hotel", the Howard Johnson. I do not believe we could have found a worse place that was rated "3 stars" on Travelocity. I won't go into details, but I never expected to find a bullet hole in a window where I stayed at. Let's just say that we are no longer staying there and got a refund from Travelocity and the Best Western that we are staying in now is actually cheaper (go figure). I took some pics of the room which I can post later when back in Minnesota.

 

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Tucson Update

Posted on June 4, 2005 04:27 PM by travel139.
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No Free Lunch ... Or Snack

travel northwest airlines commuter jet At least there are still seats in the cabin.

Northwest Airlines passengers who said goodbye to free meals in February at least got free pretzels to console them. Now the airline is taking the pretzels away, too.

 

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No Free Lunch, or Snack

Posted on June 4, 2005 10:26 AM by northw137.
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June 03, 2005

The Adirondack

travel amtrak adirondack Once you find it, the Adirondack is a beautiful ride.

Amtrack run a service between Montreal and New York. I knew of this, but couldn’t actually locate the service in a casual search because I wasn’t specifically requesting Montreal as a starting point (it’s annoying that information about much of those possibilities offered by North American rail transportation seems to be only available if you know roughly what you will be looking for in advance).

 

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The Adirondack

Posted on June 3, 2005 07:26 PM by amtrak126.
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The Good And The Bad

travel american airline tail logan airport Click through for good and bad customer service:

Seth Godin has a couple of great posts on his recent bad customer service experiences with American Airlines and Avis, juxtaposed with his great experience with the W Hotel in SF.

 

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Enough to make you loose it…

Posted on June 3, 2005 07:26 PM by americ125.
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Off to Spain

travel united airline 777 Shall we meet you at the gate?

Today I’m scheduled on United Airlines 7688 (Operated by UNITED EXPRESS/CHAUTAUQUA), DFW to IAD, seat 2A (got the regional upgrade).

 

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Off to Spain

Posted on June 3, 2005 05:28 PM by united140.
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Weapons Of Iraqi Origin Found Under Terminal 7 At LAX

travel united airlines lax taxi LOL:

UPDATE: I was able to make it back to San Francisco without incident. United Airlines was able to locate the originator of the WMD. Winona Ryder is now being held for shoplifting the WMD from a dealer in Morocco. A full investigation is underway… and…

 

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Weapons of Iraqi origin found under terminal 7 at LAX

Posted on June 3, 2005 05:28 PM by united140.
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Southwest: The Economy Airline?

travel southwest airline in flight Gas prices haven't gone up that much.

Yesterday I returned from my second trip to Las Vegas, NV. Five of our six man group flew to Sin City via Southwest Airlines. I always hear people saying "flights to Vegas are dirt cheap" but the last two times I've gone my ticket has been at least $350 and that seems like a lot, especially for an airline that bills itself as a low cost carrier. Granted, it was Memorial Day weekend, but we bought the tickets well in advance and for the hell ride Southwest gives you, it seems like a bit much.

 

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Thank You For Flying With Six Flags

Posted on June 3, 2005 02:27 PM by southw138.
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June 02, 2005

Annoyance No Basis For Legislation

travel cell phone on plane Why do I get the feeling legislation on using cell phones in planes will get more press than social security and stem cell legislation combined.

If people are so upset at the idea of cell phones on flights, wouldn’t this problem sort itself out if left to the market? After all, I’m already willing to pay more for a flight if it’s direct, or if it’s to a closer airport where I’m going than a major international airport, and fly American Airlines when possible for their added legroom. If I had a choice between an airline which does and which does not allow cell phones, I would voluntarily choose the one which does not. And if there are enough customers like...

 

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Annoyance is no basis for legislation

Posted on June 2, 2005 07:28 PM by americ125.
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Humana & Virgin Group Develop Innovative Loyalty Program

travel exercise and diet frequent flyer program Very interesting marketing idea:

Rewards programs, sometimes called loyalty programs, are old hat to marketers. However, here's a new twist to that game...a program for staying healthy that gives you lower health insurance premiums and airline tickets as incentives. Divas this gives exercise a whole new meaning and as a small biz owner, whose health insurance takes a huge bite from the ole budget, I could get into this one!

 

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Humana & Virgin Group Develop Innovative Loyalty Program

Posted on June 2, 2005 07:28 PM by airlin124.
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Travelocity Customer Follow-up

travelocity gnome The blogosphere has a postive influence on Travelocity!

Based on Rick’s feedback, Travelocity is now examining implementing a program in the spirit of Customer Champions that will take the guess work out of following up and will also provide feedback to the customer on their issue, problem, or suggestion.

If you've been following along, you'll recall that I blogged about Travelocity in the hopes of giving you some suggestions on customer service following. The lesson/observation was that it is not enough to just answer email fast or respond with yes we ... [Read More]

 

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Travelocity Customer Follow-up

Posted on June 2, 2005 04:29 PM by travel139.
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Getting The Best Deal

travel cheap ticket If the major travel sites are promoting deals, they may not provide you with all your travel options. This blogger offers an alternative.

To add to the problem, many travel sites such as Orbitz, Expedia and Travelocity claim to search all available airfare and hotel deals out there, but here's the hidden, ugly truth: these sites often make exclusive "deals" with travel providers, exclude many of the lower-cost airlines from searches, or favor one airline over another in their search results.

 

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Navigate the tricky waters of travel planning with Kayak.com

Posted on June 2, 2005 04:29 PM by travel139.
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Travelocity Buys LastMinute.com

travel beach More consolidation in the online travel space:

Just heard on the radio that LastMinute.com are being bought for something like 850 million by Travelocity. Couldn’t find it on /. or the Register but maybe it’s too new…

 

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Travelocity Buys LastMinute.com

Posted on June 2, 2005 04:29 PM by travel139.
Filed in Travel Blog under travelocity.
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June 01, 2005

"Relaxing" Train Trips Overrated

travel amtrak chicago Not a good Amtrak experience:

In theory, the train ride from Detroit to Chicago is "relaxing" and "easy". Fans will rant on about Amtrak's many virtues, saying things like, "you can read a book, or take a nap - and there's no traffic!". You get the picture.

In practice, it's a relatively long (7-hour) trip in pseudo-comfortable seating with way too many stops in random-ass cities. As I type this, I'm feeling guilty for sounding like such a transportation snob - and I'm not, really - I've happily slept on trains next to live chickens and pigs (Vietnam) and made it through countless cross-country trips in the wood-paneled family wagon, even without possession of the coveted "way-way-back seat". The problem with the Amtrak version of the Detroit to Chicago trek is that there's just nothing outstanding...

 

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"Relaxing" train trips = overrated (or: STOP THE TAPPING!!)

Posted on June 1, 2005 10:52 PM by amtrak126.
Filed in Travel Blog under amtrak.
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Chicago Politics

travel united airlines ohare terminal Politics in Chicago? What a surprise:

Until this year however, the demand for flights was far below their 2001 peak. Now that flights are back up, airlines want to add capacity. Things get more complicated though, since Mayor Daley is now using the flight increase to push for his long-desired O'Hare expansion plans, smaller airlines operating at O'Hare are upset that United and American Airlines already own 88% of the flight slots and many northwest suburban village elections turned on support for or against O'Hare expansion.

 

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It's Unbelieveable

Posted on June 1, 2005 10:52 PM by united140.
Filed in Travel Blog under united airlines.
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Air France A380 Deliveries Delayed

travel a380 take off It takes a long time to build a plane as large as the A380. Longer than planned.

Airbus has told Air France that deliveries of the A380 superjumbo which the airline has ordered will be delayed, a spokeswoman for Air France said on Wednesday.

 

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Air France says A380 deliveries delayed

Posted on June 1, 2005 10:52 PM by Air Fr115.
Filed in Travel Blog under air france.
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