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Chicago’s Lost Olympics Bid: Security to Blame?

October 2, 2009 | Posted in: Destinations,News,Passengers,Security,Travel Tips | 2 comments

Was U.S. airports and federal immigration onerous security to blame? The New York Times asked the question, and the answer seems to be: Maybe.

As the Times reported, during the Q & A session after Chicago’s official “pick me!” presentation, an IOC official from Pakistan noted that entering the U.S. can be “a rather harrowing experience”.

Which prompted this response from the U.S. Travel Association:

“We need to take seriously the challenge of reforming our entry process to ensure there is a welcome mat to our friends around the world, even as we ensure a secure system.” -Roger Dow, Pres. and CEO, U.S. Travel Association

Something else: the U.S. Senate has now approved legislation to lure foreign tourist by creating a “Corporation for Travel Promotion” – but as I noted a few months back, it would penalize the very people we want to lure here:

“In a stupefying display of absurdity, the corporation would be funded in part by a $10 fee collected from – yes – foreign tourists!” - Rick Seaney, June 19, 2009

Now the bill gets referred to a House committee – let’s see what happens…

How to Get a Free Lunch from the Airlines

October 2, 2009 | Posted in: Airline News,Ask Rick,Passengers,Travel Tips | 0 comments

Be on the right flight.

At least that’s how it worked for a young couple I know, flying from Jamaica to Dallas this week on American Airlines.

These folks were in economy class, and decided to forgo the $7 “for purchase” sandwiches as a further measure of frugality. Then, toward the end of the flight, they were delighted when the flight attendants started giving them away. Overheard: “Might as well, since we’d just have to dump them.”

My friends enjoyed a ham sandwich and an Italian grinder. One man – who’d earlier paid for his sandwich – was seen grimacing, but that was it for drama.

UPDATE: It’s possible that when the flight attendants said, “dump them”, they meant returning the unused subs to the caterers; an American spokesman told us, “We are very mindful of the amount of time that food may be safely stored aboard an aircraft.”

Anyway, next time you hear, “there’s no free lunch” – well, here’s your answer.

Cheap Flights from New Mexico? Yes. Alcohol Drinks? Uh…

October 1, 2009 | Posted in: News,Passengers,US Airways | 1 comment

An interesting legal case out of Albuquerque:

In Nov. of 2006, a US Airways passenger was served two drinks despite reports that he was “visibly intoxicated“. Three hours later he drove head on into a van, killing 6 people, including himself.

New Mexico officials then pulled US Airways liquor license; the airline sued to get it back.

New a federal judge has ruled that what state officials did was legal, and as of this writing, US Airways cannot serve alcoholic drinks while in New Mexico airspace, or while on the ground there.

We spoke briefly with a US Airways spokesperson who had no comment beyond “we are reviewing the decision.”

For what it’s worth, there are cheap flights available out of New Mexico – but don’t expect to unwind with a drink on US Airways, in New Mexico airspace anyway.

Conan O’Brien Put on “No Fly” List by Newark Mayor (Video)

October 1, 2009 | Posted in: Favorites,Multimedia,Travel Tips | 1 comment

Did you happen to catch this?

Conan O’Brien made a crack about Newark last week, and here it is:

“The mayor of Newark, New Jersey wants to set up a citywide program to improve residents’ health. The health care program would consist of a bus ticket out of Newark.” –Conan O’Brien

Newark Mayor Cory Booker responded via YouTube. He personally placed Conan on his own “No Fly List” for Newark and the deadpan mayor revealed a few flashes of humor himself (watch at the end, where Booker tells the late night host to, “Try JFK, buddy”).

Top Halloween Destinations for Famous Ghosts (Video!)

October 1, 2009 | Posted in: Deals,Destinations,Holiday Travel,Multimedia | 0 comments

I’ve already told you about the hip Hollywood hotel supposedly haunted by the ghost of Marilyn Monroe - but she doesn’t go to the Roosevelt to scare anyone – just to comb her hair.

This video explains:

Haunted Hotel – Hollywood Roosevelt – Marilyn Monroe Ghost

And now, more famous ghosts – and where to find them.

Find Cheap Flights to Halloween Destinations with FareCompare’s deal finder

This is a completely arbitrary list of ghosts, ranging from melancholy figures like Edgar Allan Poe, to seemingly happy haunters like Liberace – and more.

Keep reading to see if your town made my list of the Top Halloween Destinations for Famous Ghosts…

Top Halloween Destinations for Famous Ghosts (Video!)

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