March 2005

A storage facility for airplane food at O’Hare was shut down Tuesday after city inspectors found it infested with rodents.
Authorities closed Gate Gourmet Storage where airline snack foods such as pretzels, pop and beer are stored.

Texas tops list for rising rental car rates — According to a study from online travel booking company Travelocity that examined added rental car taxes, the average taxes added to base rates for car rentals at major U.S. airports has increased from 24.4 percent in 2003 to 25.8 percent in 2005, with Texas leading the nation in terms of sticker shock.

John’s tips on tipping

by Jon Surmacz on March 29, 2005

When you’re traveling, it seems that every service employee is looking
for a handout. Your valet pauses for a moment after you hand him the keys to your
car. Your luggage porter lingers after delivering your bags to your
room. A server signs your check with a smiley-face, hoping for a
generous gratuity.

The stand-off between international carriers and travel agents over
commission rate cuts intensified today with 2,000 travel agents from across India reiterating their threat to block ticketing services of some carriers. Starting April 1, 2005, travel agents will stop selling tickets of Air-India and go slow on the sale of tickets of all international carriers that cut the commission rates.

Everyone in this life has their little pet peeves. Even flight attendants. The average passenger is usually unaware of how they are irritating us. Not to worry. I’m here to bridge that gap. Or maybe I should say, to connect that jetway.

Sexual assault on airplanes is more common than most people know and is
usually committed against sleeping women, according to research by federal prosecutors in Boston.

Remember when a fare search began — and pretty much ended — with a query of Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz? Ah, those were the good old days. Today there’s new breed of travel site, the metasearch engine. In some cases, they query more than a hundred travel sites in an attempt to offer a listing of the lowest airfares and hotel and rental car rates.

Since filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in late 2002, United Airlines has lost $4.5 billion in net income. The aircraft engineers’ union alleges that the carrier’s lead law firm is overbilling for its services.

No other city in America, and perhaps the world, turns itself over to the arts as Charleston, S.C., does during the spring. From May 27th through June 12th, the city celebrates its renowned Spoleto Festival USA and becomes the performing arts capital of the country.

Her plans to vacation in Key Largo, Fla., are foiled by hurricane Frances. But that’s the least of Carol Knight’s worries. Now, despite promises of a prompt refund from Travelocity, she isn’t getting her money back. What’s worse, her credit card won’t side with her in a dispute. Is Knight going to lose $721.64? Should she go to small-claims court to recover the money? And how could she have prevented this from happening in the first place?