Category Archives for Commentary.

It’s Probably Much Safer To Travel Right Now Than You Think (Though Not To New York)

Mar 29 2020

We don’t want people to travel from highly infected areas (because they might be infected) to areas where the virus isn’t spreading (because that could bring it in).

Having someone with the virus traveling to an area where there’s already significant spread doesn’t really change anything. If you don’t have COVID-19, you won’t make other people sick. And with so few people on planes, social distancing is easy, the actual travel itself is fairly low risk for passengers – though higher risk for flight attendants.

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Rhode Island Will Hunt Down New Yorkers House-To-House To Fight Coronavirus

Mar 28 2020

Rhode Island doesn’t want any loopholes in their new ban on New Yorkers seeking refuge in the state. The U.S. now has over 112,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, nearly 40% more than China has reported. And half of all U.S. cases are in New York and New Jersey.

Police in Rhode Island are now stopping cars with New York license plates and the state’s National Guard is conducting house-to-house searches to find New Yorkers and impose a 14 day quarantine. According to the Governor of the state, their “risk is called New York City.”

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When Everybody’s Bailed Out, Nobody Is

Mar 17 2020

Hotels are in line right behind the airlines looking for a bailout – even the Walt Disney Company. So are airport workers, and now Boeing is raising its hand too. We need to reserve government’s response for where it makes the most leveraged difference to society as a whole. There are lessons from China on what’s coming down the road.

The economic challenges aren’t primarily in travel, that’s just what’s slowing down first, and when everybody is bailed out no one is.

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Travel Shouldn’t Get A Government Bailout

man speaking on microphone
Mar 11 2020

President Trump said on Tuesday that the federal government would help the airline and cruise industries. Details, though, are limited. However economic stimulus proposals being batted around Washington are bigger in nominal dollars than 2008’s Troubled Asset Relief Program and the 2009 stimulus law.

When Congress starts talking big dollars, industries line up. After 9/11 Congressman Jim Moran said “It’s an open grab bag, so let’s grab.” And that’s what the travel industry seems to be starting to gear up for.

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Your Chance To Say What Airline And Hotel Loyalty Program Is Really Best

freddie awards
Feb 24 2020

There are awards where a panel of experts gets together to give out an award based on their own opinion. There are awards where companies pay sponsorship fees and keep winning their sponsored award. And then there’s the oldest and largest consumer-driven awards in airline, hotel and credit card loyalty: the Freddie Awards.

Voting in the Freddie Awards is now open and runs through March 31st. The Freddie Awards are the voice of the frequent traveler. Each year millions cast their ballots for the very best in loyalty, and the industry comes together at the awards ceremony.

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5 Reasons The Trump Administration’s Ban On Global Entry For New Yorkers Is Bad Policy

Feb 06 2020

In December New York State law began allowing undocumented immigrants to get drivers licenses and stopped sharing applicant information with immigration enforcement agencies.

Wednesday evening the Trump administration announced that because New York passed this law, “New York residents are no longer eligible to enroll in these Trusted Traveler Programs” including Global Entry.

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Why Do Foreign Carriers Re-check Your Boarding Pass When You Enter the Aircraft?

Jan 22 2020

US airlines check your boarding pass before you enter the jet bridge, and that’s it — while many international airlines have flight attendants standing at the door of the aircraft who will look at your boarding pass again.

Flight attendants on most airlines around the world will see you’re on the right plane, direct you to the correct class of service, and tell you which side of the plane to proceed down in the case of a widebody. Although it’s common on single aisle aircraft as well.

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Two Award Booking Requests Where I Failed to Deliver and One Where I Refused to Help

Jan 21 2020

We’ve had thousands of successfully booked awards. Things aren’t as easy as when I started. I once helped a family of 7 fly together non-stop roundtrip in Lufthansa first class. Getting started booking awards during the Great Recession with airline premium cabins empty and award space plentiful made it seem like this would always be easy.

Now it’s harder work, and there are more tradeoffs. Sometimes all we can offer are connections and a passenger will only fly non-stop. My job is to explain the tradeoffs and help a client make an informed decision. And my job is also to know when I can’t (or am not comfortable) helping someone and be straight with them about it up front.

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President Considers New Travel Ban

Jan 10 2020

Three years ago, shortly after President Trump entered office, he issued an executive order that, among other things, banned visas for people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — even for those who have been living in the U.S. in valid employment or student status but who need new visas for re-entry.

Now the Trump administration is considering an expanded travel ban that targets additional countries.

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