Ask for the government rate

Radisson is extending government rates to families of U.S. military personnel, families of civilian government employees, and families of veterans through December 30th. This offer is valid at Radisson Hotels & Resorts, Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Country Inns & Suites By Carlson and Park Inn. Of course, there’s no way for them to tell whether you’re really related or not. And after all, we’re just one big happy family in this great land of ours, no?

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Iraq’s National Carrier to Fly Again

Noone appears to be in charge, and the U.S. military still occupies it’s home airports, but Iraq Airways plans to resume service. What was once a prominent Middle Eastern airline started fading with the Iran-Iraq war, and then Just before the 1991 Gulf War, the airline’s 15 Boeings were flown to Jordan, Iran and Tunisia. The airline has not been able to retrieve all of them, and Baghdad claimed Iran’s national carrier put some of those planes into its own fleet. Iraqi Airways was grounded for several years after the war because of U.N. sanctions that made procuring spare parts impossible. The company’s in-flight catering department sold meals and pastries at Baghdad supermarkets to raise money. The airline resumed limited domestic service in the mid-1990s when spare parts again became available under the oil-for-food program.…

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Repossession or something else?

Plane disappears after takeoff A BOEING 727 passenger jet, grounded at Luanda airport a year ago, has disappeared after a mysterious unauthorised take-off, Angola state radio reported today. The plane, chartered by the Angolan airline Airangol, was grounded after being banned from overflying Angolan territory on account of a series of irregularities, said Angola civil aviation director Helder Preza. A witness to the plane’s departure on Sunday, airport employee Luis Lopes, said he saw a white man start the empty plane and then take off after a few dangerous land manoeuvres.

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But Only the Federal Government Could Protect Us?

The hiring practices of the Transportation Security Administration, which permitted the employment of screeners with criminal histories, is being probed.That’s a start, but it hardly begins to address the fundamental cultural issues affecting the agency. I’ve written at great length in the past about absurd practices and violations of rights that are rampant in the federal ‘security’ operation.A new problem I hadn’t previously read about, though, is that TSA screeners aren’t particularly considerate of passengers with disabilities, either: Screeners have been accused of forcing passengers to remove prosthetic limbs, lifting them out of wheelchairs or separating blind travelers from their guide dogs. Meanwhile, when it comes to an issue involving real security concerns — whether to arm pilots — the TSA has missed a congressionally mandated deadline for a decision on stun guns in the…

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Quality Grows

Emirates wants to triple the size of it’s fleet over the next ten years. Towards that end, it has placed orders for 26 Boeing 777-300ER planes and is expected to place an order for 23 Airbus 380 super jumbo jets (bringing it’s total of on-order A380s to 45). One reason that Emirates is in a position to expand is the quality of it’s inflight service. Another reason is the success of it’s loyalty program. Emirates won several Freddie Awards in the “international” (non-U.S.) division this year: best affinity credit card, best website, best customer service, best award redemption, best elite level, and program of the year. I had the opportunity to meet a couple of folks from the Emirates Skywards program at the Freddies this year, and can report that they are a real class…

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Lower Cost, More Legroom Than the Competition

Midwest Express, known for it’s quality food and all-business class configuration, has been cutting back on it’s service and is now set to launch a low fare carrier devoid of it’s traditional 2 by 2 seating. While they’ll be trying to pack in more passengers, they are at least going to offer 33″ seat pitch (two inches more legroom than the industry standard). Delta’s low cost carrier, Song, also advertises a similar seat pitch — which is more than Delta’s mainline coach product offers. These new offerings, whie in many ways inferior to their predecessor products, are at least offering passengers some benefit. Contrast that to American’s decision to add some seats back into coach sections on A300 and 757 aircraft, and the troubled world’s largest carrier doesn’t appear too competitive.

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Open wide and say ‘Omnipotent State’

May this forever remain strictly a German phenomenon A German mother was fined $116.9 because her 8-year-old daughter refused to open her mouth for the school dentist. “The dentist wanted to check her teeth, but the girl was afraid and refused to open her mouth. So the dentist reported her,” a court spokesman in the central town of Wernigerode said on Thursday.

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