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This Week's Travel Newsletter
Web Cam's Of The Week
SAN ANTONIO RIVER WALK / ASU
Web Site Of The Week
Bonus Mile Offers Of The Week
*60,000 MILES TO JAPAN?
Special Offers Of The Week
NW PUTS ASIA ON SALE
Where's Johnny Jet?
IN CT: TAKING CARE OF MY MOM
Tip Of The Week
Los Angeles Times
DESTINATION SOUTHERN CA
New York Times
WHAT'S DOING IN TOKYO
The Wall Street Journal
HOTEL ROOM OR BROOM CLOSET
GOLD RUSH HOUR
ONLINE BOOKING GUIDE
CAR RENTAL BARGAINS: HOW TO PLAY THE WAITING GAME
U.S. ISSUES WORLDWIDE CAUTION FOR TRAVELERS
UNITED SETTLES CASE OF STRANDED PASSENGERS
BA REMOVES 14 CREW MEMBERS ON ALCOHOL ALLEGATIONS
WHEN A VACATION SPOT TURNS VIOLENT
WATCH OUT FOR VACATION SCAMS
This Week's Internet Specials
EVERY AIRLINE, HOTEL, AND CAR RENTAL WEEKEND SPECIALS
Good To Know!
FOUR WAYS TO FIGHT BACK
HOTELS 70% OFF IN OVER 65 CITIES WORLDWIDE!
New York.................from $69
CLICK HERE FOR ALL CITIES:
HOTELS 70% OFF
WEB CAMS OF THE WEEK
*BONUS MILE OFFERS*
Greetings from chilly Connecticut. I haven't done much this week in terms of traveling. All I have been doing is driving to the hospital and back (maybe traveled 5 miles the most). My mother has been real sick. She is a fighter, and hasn't lost her sense of humor. The other day we were waiting 12 hours to get a cat scan, and when the transporter finally came, she says to the nurse: "who do you guys think you are? United Airlines." I just about spit my water out, I said "where did that come from?".
Since I didn't do much this week, I decided to tell you a story from
a few weeks ago.
On the way to LAX my buddy Joe Lewis (he's on the right) gave me more than a ride (Joe is a redneck from L.A. (Lower Alabama that is), has a heart of gold, but when he's drinking he's probably the craziest guy I know. I mean he got kicked out (for one year) of a popular martini bar for stripping in the restaurant section). While we were driving, I noticed that my shorts were all dirty from lifting my bag into the car. "I was like damnnnn.....I'm all dirty. Now I have to get on the plane all dirty, damnnnn". He looks at me and says, if that's the worst thing that happens to you today, it's a pretty good day". I sat there for a second, looked at him and said "Joe Lewis, how profound, atta boy. When we got to the airport I said thanks for the ride, and the perspective". It also reminded me of this story: One of the funniest things I have ever heard a flight attendant say is: I was sitting down minding my own business when I heard a rude passenger ask for the Chicken dish. When the young, male, stony looking flight attendant replied " I am sorry sir, but we just ran out of the chicken, how about the pasta instead" The short tempered, angry passenger said " WHAT? YOU RAN OUT OF WHAT?! I fly a 100,000 miles a year on this airline, and you don't have my blanking chicken... blah, blah, blah..... The Flight Attendant all of sudden got real animated, and said "Whoaaa dude, you must have misunderstood me, I said we ran out of Chicken, NOT FUEL!". The angry business man thought for a second with his face all red, and with all the passengers staring at him he decided to sit back down in his coach seat and eat his pasta. I guess that put things in perspective.
to the American Cancer Society
Next Week: L.A. For A Day or Two
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JET CAPTAINS QUESTION OF THE WEEK:
Do you get to choose if you the passengers can hear you communicate with the tower?
SKYGIRLS QUESTION OF THE WEEK:
If the flight isn't very full, how do you like to spend your time?
SKYGUY / SKYBOY QUESTION OF THE WEEK:
Do u find it hard to keep a straight face while undertaking the pre-flight safety information drill?
Safety Tips For Women Travelers
Safety is a concern for all business travelers but particularly for women traveling solo. Here are some suggestions to ensure your well-being:
--At check-in, ask the desk clerk to assign a bellman to help with your luggage. You'll have someone you can trust to accompany you to check your room, and someone official will know who's with you.
--If you leave at night, keep the lights and TV on to give the impression that the room is still occupied.
- June Sandercock (Lifeminders)
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GOOD TO KNOW!
Four Ways to Fight Back By: Joe Brancatelli (from: Webflyer)
When did we become sheep? When did business travelers make the tragic transformation from stoic warriors to mindless robo-flyers? Did I miss the memo that ordered us to pay what the major airlines charge and fly without thinking? Was I out of town the week we had the big meeting and we all agreed to do what we were told even if we knew it was wrong?
I ask because I am deeply concerned about the response to a column I wrote earlier this month. I suggested then that business travelers who fly in record numbers in the face of record-high fares plausibly allow the major airlines to claim that we are content with the rapacious prices they charge and the repugnant service they offer.
Hundreds of you promptly sent me e-mail claiming you had no choice. We hate the fares and we hate the service, you claimed, but what can we do? We have to fly. There are no options. Our clients make us do it. Our corporate travel departments make us do it. The major airlines own us. We're beaten. We're prisoners. We've got no alternative but to pay too much and get too little.
Baloney, I say. Not exactly a Churchillian rhetorical retort, I admit, but you get the point. I say we do have options. We're only prisoners of high fares and bad service if we want to be. We can fight back. For our own collective sense of self-respect -- if not our own comfort -- we can't allow the major carriers to charge what they charge and treat us like they treat us and then claim that we're happy with our lot.
You want choices? Here are four, just for starters. Are they perfect? No. Are they foolproof? No. Do they require some creative thinking and some sacrifice? Yes. But I'm not suggesting you do anything that hasn't been road tested by me and a lot of our fellow travelers. I'm not proposing you do anything outlandish.
FLY THE CHEAP GUYS
The coach service offered by the major carriers is now so degraded that there's no discernible difference between them and the discount carriers. If we must fly in cattle class, at least let's do it at a discount. Low-fare carriers compete in literally hundreds of major markets. Southwest Airlines alone offers a network of 57 cities and 2,600 daily flights. AirTran is flying to 31 cities. American Trans Air, Vanguard, Spirit and a half-dozen others are out there.
And the price differential is astonishing. Here are just three examples. United charges a walk-up, one-way fare of $592 between Denver and Kansas City. Vanguard charges $184. Northwest charges $511 to fly between its Minneapolis and Detroit hubs. Sun Country charges $199. USAirways wants $294 to fly between New York/LaGuardia and Buffalo. JetBlue flies to Buffalo from New York/Kennedy and charges $99.
FLY THE BETTER GUYS
We should never forget that some airlines actually do offer a better inflight product. Midwest Express, in its little Midwestern niche, is clearly the nation's best airline. National Airlines, which initially sprung up to shuttle gamblers to Las Vegas, is winning raves from business travelers. And who would dispute that Denver-based Frontier is a better, more reliable option than United, the inept mega-carrier which operates a creaky hub in the Mile High City?
Want to fly from Dallas/Fort Worth to Milwaukee? Why pay American a one-way walkup fare of $424 to fly an American Eagle commuter flight. For the same price, Midwest Express offers a DC-9 configured 2x2 with leather seats, gracious in-flight service and a meal you can actually enjoy. Need to fly between Los Angeles and Newark? You can pay Continental $1,146. Or you can fly National, make a quick stop in Las Vegas, and pay just $464. You can even fly first class on National for less money ($814) than Continental charges to sit in the back of the bus.
There's no rule that says you must fly to O'Hare when you go to or through Chicago. Across town, at Midway, a flock of discount carriers can fly you to hundreds of places. Distressed by the fares and the frenzy of Logan Airport in Boston? Drive an hour to Providence and you'll be shocked by how much you save. One example: A Boston-Baltimore walkup fare is $218 on USAirways. But pressured by Southwest's presence at Providence, USAirways charges just $68 to fly Providence-Baltimore. Southwest shadows the full-fare majors at second-tier airports all over the country now and the majors price accordingly. And look at a map before you fly: I saved $600 last week by flying to Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina, then driving 75 minutes to Asheville, North Carolina, instead of flying directly into Asheville.
WORK THE PROGRAMS
Frequent-flyer programs have changed drastically since their inception, but their primary thrust remains: Airlines expect you'll cash your awards for cheap vacation seats rather than costly business flights. One example: if you have to fly to Los Angeles from Atlanta tomorrow, you'll pay a roundtrip walkup fare of $2,182. But plan ahead for that family vacation to Disneyland and you'll pay just $338 for a ticket. So why burn miles on inexpensive vacation seats? Buy your vacation seats and use your mileage awards for costly, last-minute business trips. Don't pay for your own business travel? Then make your company or your client a mileage offer it can't refuse. Use your miles for that Atlanta-Los Angeles business trip if the company agrees to reimburse you, say, $1,091. The company saves 50 percent on your trip and you get enough cash to buy three seats to Los Angeles for your next vacation.
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