February 2009

You can’t make up this stuff. TSA evidently wants mule skinners to get biometric Transportation Worker Identification Credentials (TWIC). We can’t be too safe. Now TSA wants to check out the costumed folk who walk alongside the mules that pull barges in a historic park.

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This morning, chief executive Michael O’Leary of Irish carrier Ryanair, Europe’s largest budget airline said his airline might start charging passengers for using the toilet while flying. Was this a tongue-in-cheek comment?

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The federal government charges airline passengers a $2.50 per leg “September 11th Security Fee.” In its latest budget proposal, which includes big spending increases for transportation projects, the Obama administration drops a bomb on travelers: it’s not enough. Not by a long shot.

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It wasn’t that long ago, except for alcoholic beverages and maybe headsets, that passengers could leave their cash at home when flying. Good news! Those times are coming back. Well, maybe not so good news — the airlines aren’t cutting out fees, they’re just phasing out cash.

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lauraWhat’s the most useless ‘essential’ item you have ever packed? You know, the thing you thought you had to have, but it stayed in the suitcase through three countries? In the interest of helping travelers pack lighter and maybe even save some fees, I thought I’d ask around. C’mon, I’ll start.

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TripAdvisor is introducing a metasearch flight tool which will do a side-by-side comparisons of fares offered by Expedia.com, Hotwire and Travelocity.

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If you love a hotel bargain, this ought to make your day. The average daily room rate dropped 5.2 percent in January, to about $100, according to the latest numbers from Smith Travel Research. Can you say “fire sale”?

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Are you on a budget and looking for less expensive places to stay when traveling on business? There’s a new trend. B&Bs in major cities are mushrooming and many of the owners are doing their best to cater to business travelers. Some think B&Bs the answer. Others wouldn’t go near them.

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earlslodge72Want the posh experience of Deer-Valley-luxury on a more realistic budget? Think Snowbasin. For a $63 lift ticket, you won’t get a ski valet who carries your gear from your car, but you will find 2,650 acres of varied terrain, a vertical drop of nearly 3,000 feet, plenty of elbow room and lots of elegant touches.

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We all know the experience of meeting someone along our flight path who is constantly complaining about air travel. They drone on about how miserable their trip has been by recounting every single obstacle, delay or cancellation that has stood in their way.

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