September 2008

Many airlines have a best fare guarantee of some kind on their sites. Simply put, it tells you that if you find a lower fare on another site for the same destination and same fare class, they’ll match it and give you something (usually a voucher).But be careful about them.

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The airline industry has been pleading with the House of Representatives and the Senate to please do their job and provide guidelines and funding for an improvement of the air traffic control system (ATC). Unfortunately, they are just too busy to do their jobs and voted to do nothing with the FAA and the ATC problems.

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Sometimes, obscure fees and taxes instituted by governments and airlines create a surprising windfall when the overall economic milieu changes. These fees and taxes that might have been expected to pull in normal amounts of revenues can grow enormously as in the case of jet fuel taxes and frequent flier fees.

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Medical tourism is booming

by Karen Fawcett on September 26, 2008

Don’t be shocked if some more affluent friends return from faraway trips looking extremely well rested. Look more carefully. There may be telltale scars. Medical tourism is booming.

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We in the travel industry are often guilty of using jargon. Even the best travel brochures can be full of terms that may not make sense to the average consumer. A good travel agent or tour operator can and should explain them to you. Here’s a look at “guaranteed departure.”

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JetBlue is postponing the inauguration of its new Terminal 5 at JFK until October 22 from October 1.

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Charlie LeochaAirlines sometimes are the biggest impediment to airport modernization, especially at airports where one airline is the dominant carrier. The move towards more airport self-service options for passengers faces a learning curve not only for passengers but for the airlines themselves.

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When it comes to travel, is the sky really falling? You might be forgiven for thinking so after reading headlines like “Airline downsizing means U.S. holiday travel overhaul,” above a story that predicts air travel is about to plummet off a cliff.

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When Terminal 5 opened at London’s Heathrow airport at a cost of 4.3 billion pounds (roughly $8 billion), it was supposed to be a state-of-the-art facility. Instead, it was anything but that, with dozens of flight cancellations, enormous check-in lines and thousands of misplaced baggage. Is it time to shut the whole airport down?

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Hey, where’s my ride?

by Christopher Elliott on September 25, 2008

Her vacation package includes transfers from the airport to her hotel. But when she lands in Kingston, Jamaica, there’s no van to pick her up. What does N.M. Johnston’s tour operator, Apple Vacations, owe her?