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31-July: Rick’s Daily Read

July 31, 2007 | Posted in: Travel Tips | 0 comments

More woes for Northwest and some insight into traveling with the iPhone are just two of the great reads for today:

  • Gadling: Who Buys This Stuff? – If you fly hungry, you might just find the urge to purchase these food related items from SkyMall. Come on, can you ever pay too much for a double chocolate fountain? (Visit Team Sugar to find more SkyMall food treats.)
  • Jaunted: Malaysia Airlines Staff Heart All Passengers – Customer service is alive and well on Malaysia Airlines!
  • Global Nerdy: iPhone + Travel = Expensive – Thinking of leaving that old heavy laptop behind in favor of the iPhone next time you travel? Read this first. You might change your mind.
  • MSNBC: Northwest hit with more cancellations – In a continued attempt to get on track, Northwest Airlines grounded over 100 flights yesterday, and they were well on their way to do the same today. The union continues to say there aren’t enough pilots on hand, and the airline continues to try to lure back pilots who are on furlough.
  • BBC: Brazil air crash runway re-opened – The runway that was the site of Brazil’s worst aviation disaster has reopened. Until changes are made to the surface of the runway, landings will be restricted when there are inclement condiditons.

When is the Best Time to Buy a Airline Ticket?

July 31, 2007 | Posted in: Airfare News,Airline News | 2 comments

One of the questions I’m most often asked by readers, friends, and even family is, When is the best time to buy a plane ticket? I wish I could give a simple answer like Tuesday at 3:00 PM, but unfortunately it’s not quite that easy.

There are several factors that determine how much a ticket is going to cost you, and ultimately, the airlines maintain control over how much they are going to charge for a particular seat. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to find the best airfares out there. I broke down the airfare pricing process and offered tips on when and how to find the lowest airfares in an article I wrote entitled When is the Best Time to Buy Air Travel?

I hope after you give it a read you’ll be better equipped to find the cheapest airfares available. Oh, and I promise I’ll let you know if Tuesday at 3:00 PM ever does become the one and only best time to buy a plane ticket.

First Seat on Maiden Boeing DreamLiner Flight?

July 31, 2007 | Posted in: Airline News | 0 comments

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I was browsing through one of my favorite blogs gadling.com and reading a post on the auctioning of seats for the maiden voyage of the Airbus A380 on Singapore Airlines via EBay for charity.

I was amused at how aviation (as painful as it has been recently) has captured the hearts and minds of so many — myself included.

I found myself at the Seattle Airport last Friday flying back to Dallas and noticed a t-shirt with 4 “Shamu’s” wearing Ipod head phones in the Puget Sound Discovery Shop and thought this would be a great gift for my 6 year old (as we constantly are trying to one up each other on new music for the 4 Ipods in our family).

Just as I got through mentally checking that the “medium” size shirt would fit a kid in the shop of similar height, my eye caught some model airplanes displayed on the opposite side.

Long story short, I couldn’t resist (even though my backpack was stuffed beyond its capacity) buying a model of the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner (pictured above) and of course why not a model 747 to boot.

I was a bit distracted at the checkout register and learned pretty quickly I should have looked at the price of the models before the attendant raked by credit card. $120 dollars lighter for the 2 models (and a shamu t-shirt) .

I wonder if Boeing will let me use that $110 as a credit against buying a a seat on the 787 maiden voyage …

27-July: Rick’s Daily Read

July 27, 2007 | Posted in: Travel Tips | 0 comments

Here are a few good travel stories to check out over the weekend:

Skybus Hits the Beach

July 27, 2007 | Posted in: Airline News,Destinations | 1 comment

Skybus, the low-cost airline out of good old Columbus, OH will no longer be relegated to the United States. The DOT recently approved Skybus for international travel, and the airline looks to offer flights from Port Columbus International Airport to Nassau, Bahamas and to Cancun. The dates of the maiden international voyages are still a bit in limbo, as approval is needed from the Mexican and Bahamanian governments, but Skybus hopes to be going to Cancun by the end of this year and into Nassau by early next year.

U.S. and EU to Share Passenger Data

July 27, 2007 | Posted in: Travel Tips | 0 comments

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After a bit of haggling on both sides, the U.S. and the EU seem to have reached an agreement on a new joint policy involving passenger data sharing. Both sides see the new agreement as a step forward in fighting terrorism. While passenger data sharing agreements have been in place between the U.S. and EU, the new policy (which will replace an interim agreement that expires at the end of this month) calls for less data to be shared, but allows the U.S. to hold onto that data for longer periods of time. Now, the United States can keep information such as passengers’ names, credit card numbers, seat numbers, and addresses for up to 15 years. However, after seven years, strict rules are put in place to limit access to what is considered dormant data.

Both sides report to be pleased, with the EU seeing this as a better compromise between security and privacy than data sharing policies of the past. For instance, any information that might reveal race, religion, political affiliation, or sexual preference would automatically be deleted, unless it was believed that that information could save the passengers life or the lives of others.

I’ll keep you informed as this policy goes into effect.

Test Site Explosion

July 27, 2007 | Posted in: Travel Safety | 0 comments

I was saddened to hear about the explosion yesterday that killed 3 and injured more at a rocket test site out in California’s Mojave Desert. Workers there were running some tests on a system for Spaceship Two, a project backed by Richard Branson of Virgin Airlines. Branson wants to eventually launch several private, manned vehicles to reach space, for his Virgin Galactic enterprise.

For more information regarding the test site explosion and the related press conference, visit the LA Times.

25-July: Rick’s Daily Read

July 25, 2007 | Posted in: Travel Tips | 0 comments

Traveling with children, a new airline, and the power of ebay all made travel news today:

  • The Perrin Post: Seeking Kid-Friendly Resort – What do you do when your romantic getaway plans suddenly become family vacation plans? Get some good advice on kid-friendly resorts.
  • New York Times: Kids on the Plane? Maybe I’ll Have That Drink – Speaking of kids; A flight attendant recounts her woes of mashed up Cheerios and crayon-scarred tray tables. Don’t worry, she blames the parents.
  • sydneysided: Hooray for choice! – While Virgin America is dominating the headlines, Virgin Blue has announced a new airline (V Australia) that will offer flights to the U.S.
  • Metro: Superjumbo seats auctioned on ebay – Seats on the maiden voyage of Singapore Air’s Airbus 380 superjumbo are being auctioned on ebay to benefit three charities. It sounds like a really good idea, but you still have to watch out for that guy who always swoops in at the last second to outbid you.
  • My Fox Dallas: American Airlines Pilot Penalized for Sticker on Plane – An American Airlines pilot is suspended without pay for 30 days after placing a sticker that was “critical of executive bonuses” on the exterior of a plane. Yep. There’s no better way to please a union than by docking one of its members about $12,000 for taking a shot at upper management.

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