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Windows and Southwest Airlines are back this season to make our Customers’ travel experience jollier with the Picture Perfect Holiday. Starting December 13, Windows and Southwest Airlines will offer free holiday photos to Customers and Employees at 21 airports nationwide.
For six years, Paul Lovine and his girlfriend, Kat, have been flying between Burbank and Oakland to see each other as much as possible despite the distance. In the process, the couple has accumulated literally thousands of miles traveling the popular route, proving their loyalty to Southwest, and their love for one another.
TRAVEL firms are big pushers of new technology when it helps to get more customers through their doors and lower their costs. Buy tickets online? No problem. Check in online? Even better. These days with some airlines you don’t even need to print out a boarding pass, as it can be sent directly to your phone.
MOST airplane accidents are survivable. But when we think about plane crashes, we don't usually think about smoky cabins and emergency landings. We think about fireballs and deaths and mangled wreckage.
WE FLYERS are a fickle bunch. Although happier with North America's main airlines for a second consecutive year, we're still not as happy as we were before the recession, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 North America Airline Satisfaction Study. The reason: high fares and fees. Indeed, passengers' satisfaction with costs on traditional network carriers dropped from 582/1000 to an all-time low of 555.
LONG COMMUTES are terrible. But you already knew that. I had a long commute once, for less than a year. It was tolerable at first—I did a lot of sleeping on the train. But as veteran commuters know, a commuter train isn't the best place to sleep—and unless you can sleep standing up, you had better make sure you get on first.
ON WEDNESDAY, prompted by posts from Kevin Drum and Megan McArdle, we talked about hotel room indecency. A quick review: How common is it for hotel staff to walk in on naked or half-naked guests? Very common, according to hotel staffer Jacob Tomsky's New York Times op-ed. What should we do about it? Mr Drum suggested a "zero-tolerance" policy. Ms McArdle warned that absent-minded types like herself often forget to lock doors and are walked in on accidentally.
SUNDAY'S New York Times featured an op-ed by Jacob Tomsky, a writer who spent years working in the hotel business. Mr Tomsky argued that incidents like IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn's alleged sexual assault of a hotel maid last week in Manhattan are surprisingly common in the hospitality industry:
The trio had traveled from Oklahoma City to West Palm Beach, Fla., last Friday to attend the wedding of my nephew. They were supposed to depart West Palm Beach at 6:10 p.m. Monday, connect at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport in mid-evening and arrive back in Oklahoma City around 10:30 p.m. Monday.
JAPAN is "open for business" and "recovering at surprising speed," from the earthquake that devastated the country on March 11, Takeaki Matsumoto, the country's foreign minister, wrote in Saturday's International Herald Tribune:
INCREASED jet fuel prices are clearly causing problems for airlines' profit margins. But what if the instability in the Middle East spreads, or worsens? What if oil prices keep rising? Could the airlines survive? Would business travel itself be endangered? Reuters' Peter Myers points to some comforting data from a study conducted by the Global Business Travel Association Foundation (GBTA).
LAST AUGUST, Gulliver told you about the "eight-week rule" for buying airline tickets. According to Makoto Watanabe, the cheapest time to book your flight, all else being equal, is about eight weeks before you plan to leave. It's a good one-step rule. But what else should you take into account when trying to get a great deal on an expensive flight?
We've rarely seen a storm take a bite out of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Dallas Love Field or, for that matter, the United States, as we've seen Tuesday.
INCENTIVES, economists tend to say at the drop of a hat, are everything. Well, clearly the officials at Homeland Security don't hang out with economists much. If they did they might have learnt an easy lesson about incentives from a beagle I met on a recent trip through Newark airport.
Southwest Airlines is at it again, doing some innovative things. This time they are announcing a new and improved rewards program for frequent fliers. Their Rapid Rewards plan was already a bit different. Most airlines you collect miles. The longer the route you fly, the more miles you get. The old Southwest Rapid Rewards program was based on flights. You fly eight round trip flights, no matter the amount of miles and you get a free trip. Now, the new Rapid Rewards program will be dependent on the amount of money you spend on your ticket. Hmm, interesting.
RATHER than fly at 36,000 feet above the Christmas fray, Gulliver is going to get stuck in and ponder what Christmas means to the business traveller. Is it delight at buying gifts for loved ones—sunglasses, whisky and perfume, of course—while waiting for a connecting flight? Embarrassment at eating meals alone in distant restaurants where all other diners are enjoying Christmas parties? Or panic at the thought of all that time at home away from an airport lounge?
AS MY colleague noted yesterday, the planned national "opt-out" day to protest America's burdensome new airport security procedures was a bit of a bust.
Storms that disrupt air travel are typically the biggest threat to air travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, and this year blizzard warnings are up in the Northwest and rain stretches across a swath of the Midwest.
American Express Business Travel is predicting that airfares and hotel rates should increase in 2011. However, it sees flat or slightly lower rates for car rentals.