September 2010

When we returned the car, the lady at the rental location went around the car a few times looking very closely and she finally pointed out a tiny chip on the edge of the driver’s door. We had to look extremely closely to see it, and we actually thought she was joking at first.

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The Italian minister of tourism, known for her hot legs and short skirts more than for her political prowess, has come out swinging at Apple for including a light-hearted app about Italy for download. Italy was touted as being the land “Pizza, Mafia, Pasta and Scooters.” And, what’s wrong with that?

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The folk in my home state of New Hampshire will be grumbling. It seems that peak leaf peeping adventures are no longer considered to be in New Hampshire and Vermont or even in New England. Yes, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont are part of the top 10, but North Carolina tops this year’s TripAdvisor list after a survey of 2,300 travelers.

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While most reservations systems for booking airline tickets have issues, they are a necessary evil for presenting the maximum choice in flights for clients. Now a disturbing new trend, “sponsored flights,” may mean increased revenue for the reservations systems, but more work and even decreased choices for travelers.

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Mergers put pressure on American to link up bigger network, TSA’s plan for body scanners means more machines, Virgin America wants your photos for prizes

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The conclusion seems inescapable: If you check a bag, TSA is far less likely to reimburse you than in years past. If it does, it’s likely to pay only a fraction of what you’re asking for.

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Charlie Leocha alerts hotel guests to a new scam to get credit card numbers and security codes. Plus, he looks at a new hotel guest blacklist starting this month in the U.K.

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Princess Cruises and Cunard Line apparently feel secure enough with their passengers that they are instituting a change that could be trivial for some, but catastrophic for others — an automatic cancellation for late payment.

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Although tarmac delays were a small problem, they emboldened the government to help airlines find customer service religion again. Proposed new rules covering everything from transparent publication of airfares and airline fees to increases in denied-boarding compensation are “strong evidence” that the Transportation Department now expects airlines to treat passengers as people.

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Continental to start charging for meals, JetBlue prefers to grow alone, Five obscure gambling destinations

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