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January 16, 2002 Travel Newsletter
CAMS OF THE WEEK
OF THE WEEK
Tells you wait times at the Mexican Border
Alliance points: Radisson SAS
and Radisson Edwardian Hotels formed a partnership with KLM Royal Dutch
Airlines. KLM frequent-flier members receive 500 points for each stay,
and double points through Jan. 31.
Sky alliance: KLM Royal Dutch
Airlines formed an alliance with China Southern Airlines. Frequent-flier
members can earn miles when flying either airline.
Miles for taxes: America West
frequent-flier FlightFund members can earn 500 to 2,000 miles by using
H&R Block tax-preparation services. Details at www.hrblock.com/taxes/partners/ama/special.html.
LUFTH YOUR WAY TO EUROPE: Lufthansa
Airlines is offering a Web-only sale for travel this winter. Sale fares
are valid for departure from February 1 through 28. Return travel must
be completed by March 15. Purchase tickets online only and no later than
January 31. Note rates: $232 from New York (JFK or Newark) to London (Heathrow),
$271 from Boston to Barcelona, Spain, $280 from Philadelphia to Frankfurt,
Germany, $282 from Chicago (O'Hare) to London (Heathrow), England, $326
from Atlanta to Madrid, Spain, $358 from Los Angeles (LAX) to Amsterdam,
Netherlands and $376 from San Francisco (SFO) to Rome, Italy. To take advantage
of this offer, visit
TAKE A 747 FOR $747 ON MALAYSIA AIRLINES: Price includes round-trip
economy-class fare between Los Angeles and Kuala Lumpur, plus economy-class
travel to any or all of the other 23 listed cities you want to fly to within
a 30-day period. You can add cities in Australia, India, New Zealand and
South Africa for a small additional charge. You can even extend the 30-day
period or upgrade to first or business class at a special low rate as well.
Fly to any or all of these cities for only $747: Bali (Denpasar), Bandar
Seri Begawan, Bangkok, Beijing, Cebu, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon),
Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, Langkawi, Manila,
Medan, Penang, Phnom Penh, Phuket, Shanghai, Singapore, Surabaya, Taipei,
Tokyo and Yangon. Log onto www.malaysiaairlines.com or call Malaysia Airlines
at 800-552-9264 for more details and specific regulations.
Sky saver: Board Alaska Airlines
flights for up to 30% less until June 7. Buy tickets at least seven days
in advance and by Jan. 16. Some fares require travel on certain days. Save
more at alaskaair.com. Restrictions.
Hotel bargain: Some Hawthorn Suites
cut rates Monday-March 17. Stay for as little as $59 a night Friday through
Sunday. Go to hawthorn.com or call 800-527-1133. Restrictions.
Tickets for fewer miles: Until April 30, Northwest
frequent-flier members can redeem tickets online for 1,500 to
3,000 fewer miles, depending on destination. Go to www.nwa.com.
Flight gift: Fly Upper Class round trip on Virgin
Atlantic and receive a $250 Sharper Image gift card; fly Premium
Economy, earn a $100 card. Deal ends Feb. 28. Register before travel at
Rooms Or Nights At Colonial Williamsburg Ho Jo
Delta, US Air Begin Year with Double Miles:
Happy New Year from Delta and US Airways. Both are offering double miles
for all flights. And if you're traveling on an unrestricted fare (most
first- and business-class fares, plus Y/B/M coach fares), the bonus will
count toward elite qualification. The executive summary -- Offer: Double
Miles Period: Jan. 10 through Mar. 20, 2002 Miles Qualify for Elite: Yes
(unrestricted fares); No (restricted fares) You must pre-register for both
offers, as follows: Delta Online
at or by calling 1-888-558-3358 and entering promotion code 2023.
US Airways Online
or by calling 1-800-872-4738 and entering promotion code 8145.
>From Joe Sent ME: US AIRWAYS: A Big
International Business-Class Deal: Deals on international business-class
flights used to be unthinkable, but U.S. carriers are beginning to test
the concept. The latest to dabble: US Airways (800-428-4322). Fares for
its Envoy Class international business-class service are as low as $1,800
roundtrip for travel between January 19 and March 24. Tickets must be purchased
by February 28. Of course, there are substantial restrictions: a 7-day
minimum stay, a 30-day advance purchase, a $300 change fee, and fares are
nonrefundable 72 hours after the initial reservations.
LONDON: How Low Can They Go in the Off-Season?: Traffic between
the United States and the United Kingdom is down sharply since September
11 and that makes British marketers nervous about the prospects for London
tourism during the off-season of January and February. The result? Give-away
pricing such as the $399 “Super Six-Night Fling” from Virgin Atlantic.
The bundle includes roundtrip airfare from New York, Newark or Boston;
six nights of lodging; daily breakfast; hotel taxes and service charges.
Departures from other Virgin gateways are available for a small extra charge.
A word to the wise: The hotels offered at the $399 price are extremely
basic, so consider upgrading. At these prices, you can afford it. Prices
are valid for mid-week departures between January 8 and February 28. Travel
must be completed by March 15. Information: 888-YES-VIRGIN or the Virgin
CONTINENTAL AIRLINES: Major carriers
continue to up the ante in their relentless attempts to convince you to
book your flights directly at their proprietary Websites. The latest salvo
in the bonus war comes from Continental Airlines: Book five electronic
tickets at Continental.com and earn a total of 20,000 additional OnePass
miles. You receive 2,000 bonus miles for the first ticket, 3,000 for the
second, 4,000 for the third, 5,000 for the fourth and 6,000 for the fifth.
You must register for the promotion using code TB0M01 and all travel must
be completed by February 15.
Free to Puerto Rico offer extended
Concorde deal: Air France offers
its Fréquence Plus frequent fliers two Concorde tickets for 160,000
miles, instead of the usual 320,000, until March 15.
Free tickets: British Airways
Executive Club members can earn two tickets anywhere the airline flies
after flying full-fare round trip in business class between North America
and Great Britain. Restrictions.
Switzerland: Swissair cut fares
from U.S. gateways to Switzerland until Jan. 28; fly through March 26.
The big news for the week is that Johnny Jet made his first online
chat! Yeah baby! It was on USA Today.com and it went great.
Thanks to Kathy,
the informed traveler, for organizing and hosting it. In case you
missed the chat, you can read
the transcript here.
A funny story: My sister, Carol, calls me Saturday and says her friend
in L.A. has an extra ticket for me to attend Mohammed Ali's 60th birthday
party (it aired tonight on CBS). I wasn't going to pass up the champs
party so I threw on my tuxedo and was out the door in minutes. I
drive up to Hollywood and parked next to the Kodak Theater, where it was
held. I didn't realize how big a deal it was until I walked around
the corner.... There were news vans, stretch limos, and thousands of people
lined up and down the street. I asked a security dude where "Will
Call" was and he pointed down the red carpet and let me beyond the velvet
ropes. For those of you who have never walked down the red carpet
it's long, I mean real long. This one had press on the left and screaming
fans on the right. Literally there must've been a thousand screaming
fans. I took a deep breath and began my journey down. It was
hard to concentrate with all the bright lights, flashes, and crazy fans.
While walking down, a fan yelled, "John", then another yelled, "JOhn" and
reached out. All I heard was "JOHn", "JOHN". Everyone was yelling
JOHN! I thought how cool is that? They know MY name!
I then started to waIk with a little strut and started to give these little
hollywood hello waves. Then I looked closer at a fan yelling my name
and I thought this woman was either cross-eyed or someone is behind me.
I took one of those non-chalant-turn-around looks and who is it but Jon
Voight! They weren't yelling my name, they were yelling for him.
I quickly came crashing back down to Earth and my high was over.
I sped up my walk down the carpet and soon I reached the end of it.
With the lights off, and an eerie quiet, I started to think how much
more I could look like a loser? I began thinking what if my
ticket wasn't at "Will Call"? I walked up to the window and gave
the guy my ID. I see him flipping through the stack, and you know
it's not a good sign when he starts shaking his head and doubles back through
the pile. My stomach drops and my mini nightmare begins. "Sorry
sir, there is no ticket under that name." I can't believe this is
happening to me, I thought. I tried to stay cool and get the embarrassed
look off my face and said maybe it's under a different name? He asks,
"Who left the tickets for you?", I swallowed and realized I didn't even
know my sister's friend's last name. Monica didn't cut it.
I thought cool, I will just call my sister, and pulled out my cell phone
out and it doesn't have a signal. The ticket dude says cell phones
only work outside in the front. Are you kidding me? I had to
walk back down the red carpet (except this time against traffic).
Now I really stuck out, I just pretended I forgot something in my
car. Trying to look cool I say hello to some of the big guns walking by
me, like Samuel Jackson, Sylvester Stallone, Will Smith........ I am sure
they thought I worked there. Too make a longer story short, I walked
back and forth up the Red Carpet at least 4 times. I mean by the
fourth time I started to look familiar to the fans.
I decided to check "Will Call" one last time before leaving in embarrassment
and the ticket guy says, "They just dropped it off." I wiped the
sweat off my brow and went through security, and I WAS IN!.
The show was great and I even got to attend the after party!
There had to be around 700 hungry and thirsty people because the bar and
food lines were long. It's weird waiting in line with all these people
you think you know (from TV), but you don't. I was able to save a
little bit of face because walking out one of the photographers said, "Aren't
you that travel guy?" I said, YES I am! (I think he knew only
Today put my mug on the front page that morning, but I'll take it.)
AND PROMOTE JOHNNY
JET. COM. By Buying a cool T-Shirt or Hat. Click
Here for more Details.
With the launch of new checked bag screening rules, Delta has announced
new airport baggage procedures, a requirement of the Aviation and Transportation
Security Act, which goes into effect on Friday, Jan 18.
Effective today (Jan 15) , Delta will no longer accept checked baggage
at ticket counters or curbside locations less than 30 minutes before a
flight’s scheduled departure time. In addition, effective Jan. 18 Delta
will require passengers who check baggage to declare at the time of
check-in whether they intend to stand by for another flight.
Our advice: If you must check bags, don’t pack anything in your checked
baggage that you cannot live without, and
don’t lock your checked bags. If your bag is locked, the locks could
be destroyed if it requires more thorough
searching after you’ve checked in and it is in the airline baggage
Expect delays on Friday when the new 100% screening measures go into
OF THE WEEK: (NY POST)
Business Travel Today
Parking increase: Los Angeles
International Airport raised the daily rate for parking closest to the
terminal to $30 from $24 Tuesday. Satellite lot B parking increased to
$8 from $5, and lot C rose to $10 from $7.
Club reopens: The US Airways Club
in Pittsburgh airport's Concourse A will reopen Monday. The club was temporarily
closed after the Sept. 11 attacks as a cost-cutting measure. Hours: 6:30
a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.
Across USA: Alaska will fly
non-stop between Seattle and Boston starting on April 4. Go to alaskaair.com.
If your friends don't get JOHNNY JET....
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GOOD TO KNOW!
Is Delta's SkyBonus Program Worth Joining?(From:
I'd be interested in reading your take on the new Delta SkyBonus program
for small business owners. It's supposed to accumulate points and award
benefits above and beyond each individual's SkyMiles account, but I'm wary.
Should I be? Thanks, Brian
While there's no guarantee that the SkyBonus program is a good fit with
your company's travel needs, there's absolutely no downside to participating.
In particular, there are no out-of-pocket costs. So the only investment
would be the time required to register your company initially, and the
time spent administering the program thereafter.
For those who aren't familiar with SkyBonus, it's a frequent flier program,
launched by Delta in late November 2001, for companies that spend less
than $500,000 per year on travel. Companies with larger travel budgets
can negotiate directly with the airlines' corporate sales teams to receive
volume discounts and other considerations.
Like an individual award program, the purpose of SkyBonus is to encourage
repeat business. And it does so by rewarding the purchase of tickets with
points redeemable for awards. The company earns 50 points for every $1,000
the company spends on Delta tickets (except for flights originating in
Atlanta or Salt Lake City, which earn only 20 points). And the points can
then be redeemed for flights, upgrades, lounge membership, elite status,
or in-flight courtesy coupons.
For example, a company can redeem 500 points for a round-trip coach
flight within North America. At 50 points per $1,000 spent, a company would
have to spend $10,000. If we assume the value of the award ticket to be
$500-a reasonable price for advance-purchase tickets-the freebie is only
a five percent rebate. On the other hand, if we assume a higher ticket
value-consistent with unrestricted walk-up fares often purchased for business
travel-the rebate begins to look more attractive.
Administratively, all points earned by employees of participating companies
are deposited into a single company account. The company designates a program
administrator who will be responsible for managing the program (i.e., signing
up employees, monitoring earnings, and redeeming points for awards).
SkyBonus operates in parallel with SkyMiles, the Delta mileage program
for individual travelers. This means that an employee of a company participating
in SkyBonus would earn both miles in his SkyMiles account and points in
the company's SkyBonus account when flying on Delta. This is important
because it allows the individual's self-interest (in miles redeemable for
personal travel) to peacefully coexist with the company's self-interest
(in points redeemable for business travel).
There is one caveat to bear in mind. Officially, SkyBonus is a limited-term
program, scheduled to end on December 31, 2003. So if your company doesn't
actively accumulate points, there's a chance you'll be stuck with too few
points for a meaningful award when the program ends. I would not say that's
a major concern however for two reasons: (1) If the company can't reach
an award threshold in 24 months, it's not worth joining SkyBonus to begin
with; and (2) given Delta's investment in SkyBonus, it's highly likely
that the program will be extended beyond the current end-date.
As we have come to expect with newly launched programs, there is a bonus
(150 points) offered for companies that join SkyBonus by March 31, 2002.
Plus, all new enrollees will be entered in a prize drawing to win a cruise.
For more information or to register your company, Delta has put up a
dedicated SkyBonus website at https://www.delta-skybonus.com
All your travel needs can be accessed from one spot - Check it out
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