Monthly Archives

Monthly Archives for November 2007.

When Your Flight Goes Mechanical, Just Commandeer Another Plane

Via Online Travel Review, Robert Mugabe commandeered an Air Zimbabwe plane to take him to Mozambique, causing the plane’s passengers to have to wait six hours at the airport for their flight. No great surprise, that’s how things work in that part of the world (and his wife has been known to take the national airline’s planes on shopping trips), though I get annoyed at news stories referring to dictators as ‘President’ as though their governance entails some form of legitimacy. Still, the one thing that’s rather shocking is the non-chalant explanation for the whole affair:“Mugabe’s plane probably developed problems. Most Air Zimbabwe planes are not working as there are not enough parts to repair them.”

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Zambian Airways Pulls Out of Harare: the Least of Zimbabwe’s Problems

Via Online Travel Review, Zambian Airways will stop flying to Zimbabwe effective November 30. Among the causes cited is Zimbabwe’s hyperinflation.British Airways, Swiss Air, Lufthansa, KLM, and Air France have also pulled out of Zimbabwe. I wouldn’t go as far as Jared Blank in saying that the country is “nearly cut off from the outside world.” I’m no expert on intra-African travel, but a quick check of Amadeus (and many smaller African discount carriers may well not list their schedules in the GDSs) shows Air Botswana, Air Zimbabwe, South African, Comair, Normandie Aviation, Kenya Airways, and LAM still flying to Harare. Air Zimbabwe even still flies twice a week to London-Gatwick despite previously having to cut its only profitable route out of fear that its Boeing 767-200 operating the route would be repossessed for nonpayment.…

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Assorted Links

Megan McArdle on the causes of poor performing high speed trains in America. (Hat tip Marginal Revolution.) Robert Stack on the true meaning of Thanksgiving (getting bumped) (Hat tip Cranky Flier.) A Slate photo essay on the architectural history of U.S. hotels. (Hat tip Claire.)

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Westin Kierland – Excellent Platinum Recognition

Earlier in the month I had my first-ever visit to the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa. Originally I had planned to stay at the Phoenician, but my wife sought to make spa appointments in advance and when she finally managed to have someone call her back they weren’t helpful or willing to describe their offerings. An unhelpful spa attendant before arriving even (when you’re looking to spend real money on additional premium services) didn’t bode well for the property. And since reports of upgrades there are mixed at best except during their lowest of low seasons in the dead of summer, we decided to bag the property and switch to the Kierland. Certainly the Westin isn’t as luxe as the Phoenician. Just looking at photos on the various trip review sites will attest to that.…

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Two Thumbs Down for Little Skywest Annoyances over Thanksgiving

Skywest out of LAX was delayed for me on Wednesday evening last week. That’s a standard risk taking scheduled flights late in the evening, of course, as delays rack up through the day. And of course a brief delay on my final connection was the worst thing that happened to me on my way out for the Thanksgiving holiday, even though I flew out of Dulles around 5pm on Wednesday evening (and I know better!). Surprised when the announcement came on that a scheduled one hour-plus flight wasn’t going to have any beverage service “due to the short duration.” This wasn’t Los Angeles – Orange County (going away early in the New Year) or even LA – Oxnard. And it wasn’t on a turboprop, either. Certainly an hour-long flight on a CRJ can offer limited…

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25% Off Virgin America

Virgin America if offering 25% off purchases through December 7 for travel through March 19 using promo code ELEVATE25. There are some blackout dates and details that vary by route, such as a 21-day advance purchase requirement for Washington Dulles – San Diego. Details here.

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Better Marriott Visa Bonuses

marriott hotel
Nov 21 2007

Again via Free Frequent Flyer Miles, Chase now has its offer of 20,000 points for signing up for a Marriott Visa (a href=”” target=_blank>personal and/or small business cards).Free the first year, the personal card comes with Marriott Silver status, and yes you can obtain both cards and even churn them.

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