December 2005

Bah, humbug. Thanks to robust demand, higher fuel prices and reduced capacity on many airline routes, the traditional volley of post-holiday travel bargains hasn’t been as intense this year as last.

The pilots at Delta Air Lines accepted temporary pay cuts on Wednesday, which will allow the airline to avoid potentially crippling labor strife while it tries to negotiate permanent concessions.

Trust no one

by Christopher Elliott on December 29, 2005

His fragile artwork is damaged on a US Airways flight, and now Kevin Boyle wants to be compensated. But what is he entitled to? And how can he prevent this from happening again?

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the transit workers’ union announced a settlement yesterday in which the authority abandoned its demand for concessions on pensions and the union agreed to have all workers pay a portion of their health insurance premiums.

There ought to be a law

by Terry Riley on December 28, 2005

Actually there is. In fact, there are thousands of laws on the books to punish bad behavior. But not nearly enough. At least, not in the great outdoors, where humans seem to think they can operate outside the social contract. Graffiti. Cell phones. Littering! Let’s put an end to it.

With a nimbler sales strategy and a new fuel-efficient plane, the company is poised to edge out Airbus for the first time since 2000. Boeing Co. is about to win back some bragging rights. In what’s been a record year for commercial aircraft sales, Boeing is expected to edge out Airbus in jetliner orders for the first time since 2000. (LA Times)

Airports are peculiar places — big public spaces where strangers meet on the way to someplace else. The normal rules of social life seem to be suspended here – especially around the holidays, when high spirits and overactive imaginations can lead to some interesting goings-on.

A new program for business travelers is being piloted in select airports around the country, and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is on the short list of future locations. For an $80 annual fee, customers can get preferred treatment that includes shorter waiting lines, concierge service, and bypassing pat-downs and other security measures.

Unusually mild weather around most of the nation and the rarity of Christmas and the start of Hanukkah on the same date – Sunday – may boost holiday travel to record levels this weekend.

kilimanjaro.1.jpgI have a dream! Ever since I saw the IMAX film about climbing Kilimanjaro, I have wanted to lace up my hiking boots and get trekking. It will take some advance work, including a serious fitness regimen, but next summer my dream comes true. I can see the headlines now: “Frenaye Summits Kilimanjaro, Summer 2006.”