Cuba Travel Services is adding JFK to its list of airports offering non-stop service to Havana, Cuba. The charter will be flown on 2-class Sun Country 737-800’s. Interesting that their first airport choice was Newark (EWR) because of the larger Cuban population in New Jersey. However, that airport turned them down.Sun Country Airlines

CTS already offers Cuban charter flights that originate in Florida – Miami (MIA), Ft Lauderdale (FLL), and Tampa (TPA). In addition toregular flights to Havana (HAV), CTS also has Read More…

Posted by Carol Margolis | One Comment

For sure, aircraft seating is changing though not always for the better. Nevertheless, there are some concepts out there attempting to make travel by air more comfortable. After all, ten years ago few even thought about lie-flat seats and today, some claim they can’t live without them even for flights of 5-6 hours or less.

Previously I wrote about the PaperClip Butterfly design and Factorydesign’s Air Lair pods concepts. Now comes what may be the strangest seating design of all. It seems Airbus filed for a patent where seating will be in-the-round instead of rows. It’s quite a paradigm shift in this design.

Airbus Patent

Airbus claims this will Read More…

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Saw an ad last week for a travel table. You know, the kind of thing that opens up, attaches to your carry-on bag, and becomes a table. Some of them are better than others. Not saying this is the best one made but it is the only one I know that sells for less than $7. And it includes free shipping.

Travel TableThe size when opened is Read More…

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In a surprise move, the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) has tentatively agreed to change airport concessionaires. The surprising part is that the existing company, Areas USA, which has held the contract for the past seven years, actually bid $2 million more than the apparent winner, SSP.

MCO Security LineAs one who travels through Orlando International Airport (MCO) very regularly, I can tell you the airside concessions are not particularly great but not very bad either. Also, GOAA does not have much of a history of awarding airport contracts to those firms who give them less money, much less $2 million. Indeed, taxi drivers scream about the fees they are charged, not only for picking up passengers but also waiting in line. And then there is the ongoing war with Uber at the airport because GOAA wants the drivers to pay at least as much as the taxis, if not more. Parking at the airport is $17 per day which is more than some airports but less than others.

To his credit, airport director Phil Brown is asking the committee to explain their decision but he may not have to look very deep. It seems that one of the committee members, as well as the airport authority chairman, work for a law firm that represents SSP, the low bidder. This is in the hands of the lawyers and politicians now, nothing the taxpayers can do but wait.

 

Posted by Carol Margolis | 2 Comments

Being a weather forecaster has to be one of the greatest jobs ever. What other job can you be right only half the time and still keep your job? J

TurkeyThe Washington Post says there is some nasty weather heading up the East Coast for the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. The mid-Atlantic region will be affected as well as the Northeast Corridor, everything from rain to snow. While rain will not generally delay flights, snow and wind certainly will, as will lightning.

Please remember, your flights might be affected even if you are not flying in this region. It is possible you may have a flight that has to reposition from an affected area. This creates havoc not only with aircraft but crew positioning as well.

Here are several ways to make the best of a flight delay.

While many may be delayed this holiday, remember that it is still all about arriving safely.

Hope everyone has a safe, fantastic holiday.

 

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I know, better to be safe than sorry. At least that’s what TAM Airlines was thinking when they decided to change the number of a flight just because a psychic told them if they didn’t, their plane would crash.

TAM AirlinesApparently this famous Brazilian psychic contacted the airline and told them that their flight JJ3720 from Sao Paulo would develop engine trouble on takeoff and crash in the city. Not taking any chances, TAM changed the flight number to JJ4732. There was no explanation why merely changing the flight number would be enough to avoid the engine trouble.

Looks like he was correct because after Read More…

Posted by Carol Margolis | One Comment

Last Friday, the United States and Mexico entered into an agreement, called the U.S.-Mexico Aviation Agreement, to expand access to passengers and cargo transfer. The U.S. State Department says that the beginning date will be January 1, 2016 but the Wall Street Journal reports that it will begin on January 1, 2015.

The arrangement between the two countries fell short of the U.S.-hoped for Open Skies Agreement similar to what exists with the EU and many other nations. Open Skies allows for greater Read More…

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Keeping withHoward Johnson their tradition, Howard Johnson is offering a 50% discount on reservations booked on the first Wednesday after Thanksgiving, what they call Orange Wednesday.

The offer is good only for the 40 or so participating hotels in the U.S. and Canada. Take a look at this page for a list of properties.

Howard Johnson logo

This is a great deal so no surprise, there are Read More…

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It is being widely reported today that beginning next May, Venice will ban the use of wheeled luggage. While this article mentions that the wheels tear up the walkways, the bigger problem really is the noise. It is not unusual to hear the bags rolling at all hours of the day and night due to late arrivals and departures. According to news sources, the new lawbreakers will face a shocking fine of 500 euros.

But is this even true?Venice

According to at least one source, this is actually just a Read More…

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Sometimes travel insurance is very helpful. Other times it doesn’t help much at all.

A Canadian couple decided to take a trip to Hawaii when the wife was six months pregnant. As we women know, all kinds of things can happen in the last trimester. A couple days into this vacation, the wife ruptured a membrane and required six weeks of bed rest in the hospital.

The baby was born nine weeks early so it required a couple months in the hospital’s neonatal unit. Unfortunately for this couple, most of the
hospital charge was for the baby, not the wife.

Neonatal BabyWhen the couple took out the travel insurance policy, of course it only covered Read More…

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The U.S. plans to continue expanding their international preclearance locations. Currently at 15 locations in Abu Dhabi, Aruba, Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, and Ireland, this addresses about 18% of inbound travelers. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) wants to nearly double this within ten years.

Some may recall that Delta Air Lines as well as the Air Lines Pilots Association expressed strong disagreement with the U.S. opening up preclearance in Abu Dhabi. After all, they reasoned, there is no way this will help any U.S. carriers since they fly from Dubai, not Abu Dhabi. Indeed, the big winner here was Etihad Airlines who just happens to be based here.

While it didn’t help U.S.-based airlines, the other big winner from all these Read More…

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