May 2009

Anita Dunham-Potter Steve Simmons and his family booked the trip of a lifetime – a South American sailing from Buenos Aires onboard Celebrity Cruises Infinity. The trip was meticulously planned two years in advance and included custom air arrangements. Imagine his dismay one month prior to the cruise to learn the flight schedule had changed separating family members.

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The airlines are at it again. New improved seating is on its way. With no sustained similarity between coach-class seating between the major airlines, other than discomfort, the seat battle in the back of the plane focused on leather for the most part and today thin is in from the airlines’ point of view.

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If you’ve ever flown to Hawaii, you’re probably familiar with the “Halfway to Hawaii” game. And OK, at a time when most commercial flights have become something to be endured rather enjoyed, the game has been a little reminder of the days when travel was fun.

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The summer vacation season is officially in front of us. Although flights continue to be comparatively cheap, the recession means that many folks will be hitting the road.

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At the ATW Eco-Aviation conference in Washington, Air New Zealand revealed its biofuel flight data.

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When someone mentions the word “pod” most people think of a place to throw their junk while they figure out what they want to do with it. Therefore, the idea of experiencing a “pod” hotel conjures up images of sleeping in a dirty cave. I have to admit though, I was intrigued.

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Mark Mitchell, American Airlines’ managing director of customer experience, is the point man for customer service at the airline. With the summer travel season now underway, I asked him how air travelers could have the best possible experience, and what airlines like American are doing to make it better.

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When I see a plane, I want to be on it. All of these you can’t beat these fares are nirvana and I can’t wait to get from here to there. I’d rather travel than buy clothes and this year, I’m going to get 1K status. If I don’t, it won’t be from a lack of effort.

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Chris Elliott wrote a column this week about how most airlines have dropped their “flat tire” rule which basically allowed travelers to reschedule their flight for no cost for circumstances beyond their control. Well, as Chris also indicated — and one of my clients found out the same day — the airlines still have that rule. It just only applies to circumstances beyond their control.

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Despite the recession and the news that airlines like Qantas and British Airways are planning to reduce first-class seats, there are some airlines that are expanding their first class services on long-haul flights.

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