February 2010

After my recent luggage standoff with an American Airlines gate agent in Orlando, which ended with her threatening to charge me $100 to check my regulation-size bags on my return flight, a lot of you have asked me how the journey home went.

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As our government studies the uneven safety standards and differences in pilot training programs between mainline and regional airlines, both American and United airlines announced new code-shared flights that confuse and mislead the flying public. The FAA must say enough! There needs to be a freeze on additional regional airline contracts until the FAA can bring a unified safety structure into place.

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Kingfisher joins with oneworld, NTSB asks to monitor pilot conversations, U.S. passenger revenue rose in January

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While airlines like to promote free tickets with their mileage programs, the award that many even semi-regular clients want is an upgrade. These are the very awards that are getting harder to get.

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Curling gets no respect!

by Karen Cummings on February 24, 2010

As the Vancouver Winter Olympics were televised, I found that curling had replaced money making on CNBC a few times. Being a creature of habit, I didn’t change the channel, but settled in to watch curling. The next day I watched it again, then again. I even cheered when the U.S. women’s team beat the U.K. and when the men managed to finally win their first match. So, in the interest of intercultural understanding, I asked Karen Cummings, the only person I know who has actually curled, to write a bit about this poorly-understood sport. Isn’t that what travel is all about?

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Lufthansa pilots just had a short strike. British Airways flight attendants are planning a strike. Now French (and possibly Greek) air controllers are on strike. You need a score card. Karen Fawcett reports from France where the French air traffic controllers are in day two of their action and air traffic is suffering from all of the above.

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Bedbugs. Just the mention of these tiny, bloodsucking insects is enough to send a veteran road warrior packing. But what does a hotel owe you if you’ve been ravaged by a swarm of Cimex lectularius during your stay?

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Aegean Airlines to merge with Olympic Airways, NASA researching VTOL regional jets, 787 test flight cut short

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I just saw another article about a new “attempt at passing a climate change bill in the Senate.” With the underpinnings of climate change in doubt, resignations of UN environmental bigwigs, flat temperatures over the past 15 years and the discovery that glaciers covering the Hymalayas are not likely to disappear in a decade, I […]

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Last week I celebrated what would have been my 32nd anniversary with Ozark Air Lines. Well, perhaps “celebrate” is too strong a word. No corks were popped, no cakes decorated. The only thing I did to commemorate the occasion was watch the very same episode of “The Rockford Files” (“The Prisoner of Rosemont Hall”) that I had watched that Friday evening those many years ago as I packed for my very first trip. I also took some time to reflect on my expectations at the beginning of my career and how different things look now that that career has ended.

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