July 2005

The drive starts with an unexpected adrenaline rush: a harrowing trip down an 18-mile, mostly two-lane strip of asphalt between Florida City and the islands called “The Stretch.” It isn’t uncommon for cars to zoom past you here at speeds topping 100 miles per hour. But more often than not, it’s a stop-and-go caravan of slow-moving campers, rental convertibles, and pickups hauling fishing boats.

Airline passengers will face longer airport security lines starting this fall if Congress goes through with plans to cut up to 13% of the nation’s checkpoint screeners, a top Transportation Security Administration official said Thursday.

When she books a room at an all-inclusive resort in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Denise Abbott believes she’s paying for a four-star resort. But a day later, the hotel mysteriously loses a star. Should her travel agent, Travelocity, find another four-star hotel for her? And what do all those stars and diamonds mean, anyway?

Delta Air Lines shares plunged yesterday on a fresh warning by its chief executive that its reorganization plan was not shielding it from brutal competition, and that the airline would have to do more to avoid seeking bankruptcy protection.

With Las Vegas’ return to adult entertainment comes a near glut of
what are euphemistically called “gentlemen’s clubs.” Of course you would never go, but for your friends who might, Terry offers up rules of how to behave like a gentleman in a gentlemen’s club. Warning: some material in this column may not be suitable for younger audiences.

The nation’s aviation chief warned Tuesday that travelers could expect a “rough summer” for flight delays, largely because of a surge in air traffic.

One of my favorite ways to get to know fellow crewmembers is to ask, “What is your most embarrassing moment on a flight or a layover?” It’s a great way to pass the time, and some of my best stories come from their responses.

Fresh bed sheets every day aren’t automatic in hotel rooms anymore. In the next two months, Marriott’s Courtyard, Fairfield Inn, Fairfield Inn & Suites and SpringHill Suites brands will begin testing customers’ reaction to changing the sheets every other night instead of daily.

Many embarked on the cruises for happy occasions. A few were on their honeymoons; one man had just graduated from college. An elderly Vietnamese-American couple was on a Mother’s Day treat after a hard life as refugees. But the joy would suddenly turn tragic. They all vanished, leaving their families to forever wonder what went wrong.

Doggone Sun Valley

by Jon Surmacz on July 22, 2005

The spring water is served in plastic bowls — on the floor –
at Sun Valley’s finest restaurants. The biscuits are cold and hard, and they taste doggone funny, come to think of it. But patrons pant for more. Sometimes they bark, too. Welcome to the most dog-friendly resort in America.