January 2009

The airline industry set what appears to be a new record for lobbying in 2008, spending just over $30 million in an attempt to access key decision-makers in government and influence legislation, according to government filings compiled by the Web site Opensecrets.org.

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Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) and five of his Congressional Black Caucus colleagues joined Citicorp on a junket to the Caribbean only a week after the votes on the TARP $700 billion bailout package. American Airlines provided the tickets to this junket for the members of Congress. That’s a no no.

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On international flights United has upped the charge for flying pets to $200 each way. Do you think that charging that much to transport a small animal in an airline cabin is excessive? Under 2-years-old children fly for free and are frequently noisier, more demanding and often have a cold. Are the airlines gouging our pets?

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It’s time to talk about two airlines that treat me well. Consistently. Sure, your experiences may vary. Everyone has a favorite airline and a worst airline, and the two I cite here may be on your “most hated” list. But these two are worth a bouquet, for what they do.

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The combination of a slow travel season and a down economy have led to some incredible fares — unless you’re a dog or cat. Your domestic round-trip fare is $350 on United Airlines, no matter what your human companion pays. Janice Hough wonders why.

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Anita Dunham-Potter Do I need a passport to cruise? It’s the biggest question from readers and travel agents say there’s plenty of confusion regarding the U.S. State Department’s guidelines. Here’s the real deal with cruising and the new passport rules launching June 1, 2009.

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In a blow to Boeing, one of Russia’s airline, S7, has become the first airline to cancel its order for the 787 Dreamliner. The jet hasn’t even gone on test flights and it’s about two years behind schedule.

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massageAfter a day of skiing at Sun Peaks in British Columbia, Lynn Rosen is still dreaming about her Swedish massage. Nothing feels better than having knots kneaded out of sore shoulders, kinky calves and forgotten feet.

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I’m having a hard time typing this morning because I’m stunned …

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Most of us in the business remember the pleas being made by airlines to airports over the past five years to help them through their trying financial times. For the most part, airports did what they could to help airlines. Now, Delta is big and tough and not returning any favors.

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