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September 15, 2006

Flights to the Azores for $298

(Thanks Frommers...)

Looking for an out-of-the-way vacation?

Azores.com is offering a $298 round trip fare from Boston to Sao Miguel in the Azores far off the coast of Portugal.  Fares are good November 1-December 12 or January 8 through March 31st.  No, it's not prime season.  But for $298, who cares?

September 15, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

More Nonsense on the Security Front

Salon's Ask the Pilot column takes another look at the thwarted London terrorism situation and finds that the news of the possible attacks was way, way overblown.  The column quotes and article from the New York times which suggests that no attacks were imminent:

"Questions about the immediacy and difficulty of the suspected bombing plot cast doubt on the accuracy of some of the public statements made at the time," the article concludes. That's a convoluted way of saying the plotters were likely months from pulling off the massive, synchronized attack we've been told was only days away. "The reactions of Britain and the United States," the story continues, "... were driven less by information about a specific, imminent attack than fear that other, unknown terrorists might strike." As for the scope of the attack, British investigators described the widely parroted report that up to 10 U.S. airliners had been targeted as "speculative" and "exaggerated."

Smith, who writes the column, has said that he can't believe the lack of outrage about the way this whole incident has been handled.  I'm outraged, and you should be, too.  Just now the US is considering scanning all cargo on passenger planes.  If you didn't know, the US only requires random screening of cargo being loaded on passenger planes.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Your toothpaste is a threat, but a giant box of unopened cargo is not.  That's what it's come to.  It's a joke, and it's time we do something about it -- and you can, come Election Day in November.

(and that's one to grow on...)

September 15, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)

September 14, 2006

$788 Round Trip Cheap Airfare to New Zealand, Tahiti Stopover Included

(Via Travelzoo:)

Air Tahiti Nui is offering an amazing deal on flights to Auckland, New Zealand:  $788 gets you a round trip flight from JFK to Auckland AND a free stopover in Tahiti.  It's only $888 for the same deal to Sydney.  Book by September 26 and fly by December 8.  And rumor has it that load factors on the JFK-Tahiti nonstops are minimal, which means you may even get a whole row to yourself.  How can you beat that?

September 14, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Go Skiing in Innsbruck, Austria, for $598, Air & Hotel Included

A tour operator called Ski Europe is offering an amazing deal on a trip to Innsbruck, Austria this fall.  $598 gets you a flight from New York and 4 nights lodging in the ski town.  They'll even throw in breakfast.  How can you beat that?

September 14, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Delta to Offer In-Flight Seatback TV/Movies in US

Delta is borrowing a nice feature from the sadly departed Song and will offer seatback TV, movies and music on all domestic flights over 4 hours.  Their rollout schedule is more complicated than I care to explain, but if you're flying Delta on a 4 hour flight, you'll soon feel like you're on JetBlue.

September 14, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

September 13, 2006

Dead Guy Rides 1,000 Miles on Amtrak

Not an airline story, but I thought it made sense here:  A woman travelling on Amtrak with her elderly father to Chicago did not bother to tell authorities that he had died somewhere in Colorado.  Instead, she waited 23 hours until the train pulled into Chicago where the man lived.  Why'd she sit next to her dead father for a full day on the train?  To save the money of shipping him home.  In a strange way, it doesn't seem that odd.  If you've ever taken a long-distance train you're probably thinking that he wasn't the strangest passenger on there....

(Thanks to Dan Pastanchiz for the heads up)

September 13, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)

September 12, 2006

Great Fare to London in Economy Plus

British Airways has a great fare to London in their World Traveller Plus cabin.  From New York it's only $269 each way (plus out-of-control taxes) this fall.  World Traveller Plus has 38" pitch and wider seats than coach, making it feel like a domestic business class seat.   This is really a steal if you're going to London.  Fares are pretty low from other cities as well.

(Thanks to View from the Wing for the heads up).

September 12, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)

BWIA To Shut Down December 31

Long, long, long, long struggling Caribbean carrier BWIA West Indies Airways (I believe that's pronounced BWEEEEE) will shut down December 31st after a prolonged illness.  The airline, based in Trinidad & Tobago, will be re-born as  Caribbean Airlines on January 1st, focusing on "niche" routes rather than trying to compete with airlines that do not lose gobs of money every time they fly.  BWIA has been on the brink of extinction for ages, so this won't come as much of a surprise.  Unless you've never heard of them, in which case it's a surprise, but not one that you care about.

September 12, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

September 11, 2006

Please Put Your Meat Cleaver and Nunchakus in Your Checked Baggage

The TSA website has a relatively amusing list of items you may carry on to your flight (Nitroglycerine pills, Ostomy Scissors) and may not (swords, throwing stars).  It's very helpful if you were planning on bringing blasting caps onto your next flight.

September 11, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Albatros Airways Stops Flying

Albania's unfortunately named Albatros Airways has been grounded, after 2 years in business with the worst airline name ever.  The president of the airline seems to suggest that the company was sabotaged in some way and that all of its passengers were moved to a rival airline.  We may never get to the bottom of this...

September 11, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1)