Friday, February 27, 2009

Ryanair is the reason that I don't fly discount airlines

Ryanair’s CEO Michael O'Leary, told the BBC that they are seriously considering “installing a coin slot on the toilet door”.
I have a bladder the size of a pea, so I will not be able to afford to fly Ryanair.

I discovered that “cheap“, can be more expensive, on a previous flight with Ryanair.. I purchased a flight from Holland to England on Ryanairs website, and then – a second later, I realized that I had booked the wrong date, so I searched franticly for a phone number for the Airline, to no avail. -Immediately sent them an email, to which they did not respond but I was able to find out after phoning a hidden number, that I would have to BUY A COMPLETE NEW TICKET. This was one of many new tickets that I had to buy for the same flight because my date of travel changed and then I fell and ended up in hospital so had to postpone my flight with no help from Rynair.... In the end I would have been able to buy a first class ticket in a decent airline like KLM or British Airways, for the amount of dollars bills I had to fork out to Ryan air.!

The Irish airline has confirmed that Ryanair plans to close all of its airport check-in desks by the end of the year in a bid to reduce the cost of its flights. This is not kind to elderly passengers that are unable to check in online.The Dutch newspaper, De Telegraaf reported that Ryanair will charge one Euro per WC visit. Perhaps someone will get their money’s worth and sit there for the entire flight, unless of course they employ an additional flight attendant to time each loo user.
See what the papers in Europe writing about this:
the Dutch Telegraaf 1
The German Bild
The German Handelsblatt
I try to go quickly to be considerate but -
Perhaps someone will get their money’s worth and sit there for the entire flight, unless of course they employ an additional flight attendant to time each loo user.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

SPG PEAK season redemptions eliminated for 2009

Starwood are going to cut the number of points we will have to pay to get a free room in their best hotels. Now that the economy is bad, it is nice to know that you can make the most of your hard-earned Starpoints and still stay in Luxury.
I will have to look at this more closely because Marriott had a lot of people complaining about what they called an “enhancement” but many thought it was the opposite, (a devaluation). I, personally don’t mind the increase in points to get free nights because all I care about is the Platinum premier elite status. I am willing to tolerate the modest increases in the number of points required for nightly stays in the upper categories, but I am not happy that Marriott told a fib about eliminating blackout dates. Well, it is not a fib it is a WHOPPER because I have not been able to book a room by redeeming points when there were only rooms available to pay with plastic. THIS IS NOT BLACKOUT FREE. I tried to book award stays at several hotels. Starwood has a better deal when they say that “if there is a room available, you can have it” That is a true blackout free award. Marriott had a better deal when they offered the “stay anytime awards”.
Starwood say that they will decrease the number of points required for nightly stays in the upper categories so they should endear themselves to their members.
SPG also score points by moving more hotels DOWN in Category, than up, where as, Marriott has re-categorized some of the most popular hotels in London, New York, Paris, California and Rome to the new HIGHER category 8 with its 40K points per night requirement.

Peak-season Starpoints pricing at category 5–7 hotels will be eliminated for 2009.¹ Together with no blackout dates, this provides ultimate flexibility when planning your 2009 getaways!
See my previous posting on this topic

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Trump Entertainment files for bankruptcy

I remember walking past Trump tower 20 years ago and even though I was a kid, .(don't want you to think that I am not forever 21),- I was appalled at the kitsch brassy gold d├ęcor of the Trump tower on New York’s 5th Avenue. Trump got the mafia sounding, nickname "The Donald," from one of his ex-wife’s and despite his unattractive comb-over hair has been able to womanize extensively. Despite his humble childhood in Queens, he has amassed fortunes and lost them. This is the 3rd time that he files for chapter 11 bankruptcy.
He often rolls the dice and disregards basic business principles of economics to lower prices when there's competition. Trump's billion-dollar empire crumbled in 1990, when he was forced into bankruptcy for over $2 billion bank loans that he couldn't pay.
Some of the time he is lucky but I think that his ventured into television is the reason that he did well before the credit crunch. Publicity with Miss USA, the Miss Universe pageant and NBCs The Apprentice, attracted many investors. At the the pinnacle of fame, he once owned a $100 million yacht that belonged to Saudi financier Adnan. The Chairman Tower at the Taj Mahal Opened in 1990 where the architectural splendor attracts visitors to the casino and amusement parks exciting rides on steel roller coasters.see "de telegraaf"
The latest deadline for Donald Trump's casino company to reach a new deal with bond holders has expired so he is back in bankruptcy, according to CNBC.
His flamboyant deals, in New York, Atlantic City (Taj Mahal Casino plus shuttle airline) and the middle east have fueled his ego.-OK., so you can see the evidence above, about my age, that I also have an ego but mine is not inflamed with billions of debt.
The Las Vegas Strip is Trump International Hotel and Tower featuring 1232 furnished suites and 50 spectacular penthouses stands out with glimmering white accents gilded gold glass windows and the unique Trump flashiness.
When I have to attend a convention in Vegas I like to stay at Planet Hollywood because they are good about upgrading elites, - see - Planet hollywood hotel Las vegas. But if you can stay out of the city, I prefer the JW Marriott and it is only half an hour drive to the strip.
Bargain hotel rates now that corporate travel is scrutinized

Friday, February 13, 2009


Flight attendants avidly police the isles to scold wicked passengers using cell phones.

But now they are totally befuddled as to how dangerous it really is, since British Airways will permit cell phone use on an upcoming route between London and New York City’s JFK. Passengers will be allowed to send and receive text messages and e-mails in-flight on the all-business-class route._Emirates and BMI have been providing this service for several months, charging passengers £2 a minute for voice calls.

I’m not sure that I would like to have a bunch of people around making obnoxious calls. For some reason, people always talk much louder on a mobile phone than they do in person.
British Airways will only allow text and not voice calls. - British Airways, American Airlines and Spain's Iberia, have signed a revenue-sharing deal that,_ if approved by regulators, will see these airlines set prices and share seat capacity on trans-Atlantic flights.
The three airlines will co-operate commercially on flights between the United States, Mexico, and Canada, and the European Union, while continuing to operate as separate legal entities. They will expand their codeshare arrangements on flights within and beyond the EU and U.S., increasing the number of destination choices that the airlines can offer customers BUT passengers will loose out due to price fixing.
The airlines all are members of the Oneworld global airline alliance include:

AmericanAirlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, JAL, LAN,Malev Quantas and Royal Jordanian

Richard Branson’s, Virgin Atlantic is celebrating their 25th anniversary and will wait to see how popular the texting will be before making any decision on this. Way to go to another 25 years'!
P.S. - If you are lucky enough to be in London for a romantic Valentine’s meal try Asian - Nobu; Nobu has places all over the world and now three in London. ... 34 Westferry Circus or try the one at 15 Berkeley Street, the club / bar is open till 2 a.m. take the underground to Green Park. Robert DiNiro is an owner.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

MARRIOTT - said - Welcome back to the family

Ex-presidential contender Romney will lead Marriotts board's finance committee. He is not new to the board because he spent nearly ten years on the Board of Directors in the 1990s. Mitt Romney's first name is Willard, in honor of the Marriott founder. It is good to know that his financial proficiency and integrity will be back at the chain that I have invested 25 years with....
I realize that my contention with Marriott will not be an area that the board would deal with because it is an operational policy, but it is somewhat comforting.
Romney certainly understands Wall Street. He was CEO of Bain & Company, a management consulting firm, and was a co-founder of Bain Capital, a private equity investment firm that successfuly helped grow business.
I wish that Obama had given him a job because the stimulus bill has not much in it that will stimulate the economy. The many items buried deep within the 778 page almost $1 trillion debt package is not a solution. --- Gov. Perry hit the nail on the head when he quoted M. Friedman, by saying ,’ "If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand." –
The stock market in the US and Europe dropped sharply see de Telegraaf

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

UPGRADE PROMOTION for Valentine's day

Treat your Valentine to a spring escape or fall in love again with a romantic date by the sea.
Great offers abound; -Fly from Atlanta, GA to Ft. Lauderdale, FL for $70+ one way on AirTran or to Los Angeles, CA for $129. -AirTran has fares from 39 USD one-way to warmer climates. Some are a bit more, like Boston to Orlando for $74. -Air Tran claim to have the nation's first and only AFFORDABLE BUSINESS CLASS. You can Stretch out in two-by-two seats that offer:
• more legroom
and all the room your elbows could ever want
I really hate the 3 seats that are attached to the window in other airlines in Coach, and even worse are the 4 seats together in the middle HORROR! …I often end up paying full full coach fare (Y class) to be sure to be upgraded to make certain that I don’t land in this sort of seating despite Continentals ELITE "No Middle Seat" Guarantee.
Currently, as a special promotion, you may upgrade from any fare class on a first come, first served basis from just $49 to $99 over Y fare, on AirTran. Passengers may upgrade at time of check-in or request an UPGRADE from the agent at the departure gate.
Sample prices were found recently by Travelocity for travel from Dallas (DFW). to Chicago Flight + Hotel getaways start at just $333. In Chicago you can stay at the Four Points Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile for $100 a night.
Examples of BUSINESS CLASS UPGRADES that are available for sale are $49 from Atlanta to Chicago, New Orleans or Houston. With A+ Rewards you can now earn reward travel on any airline, anywhere in the world. With A+ credits earned from flying AirTran Airways, you can get Elite level benefits not available to all A+ Rewards members. When you earn 20 or more A+ credits flying AirTran Airways within any 90-day period or earn 50 or more A+ credits flying AirTran Airways within any 365-day period, you qualify for A+ Rewards Elite Membership.
Complimentary Business Class upgrades available at the gate 40 minutes prior to departure
Complimentary Business Class upgrades from Y and B fares at time of booking Higher priority tand-by status and other benefits.

For a really outstanding, sexy valentine go .exciting - international;
I had a memorable !! trip when I flew to Singapore from London for the weekend.

Sample prices were found recently for travel from Dallas (DFW). to-San Francisco, or SFO-Cancun, Mexico for $146+ OR New York, NY Cancun, Mexico for $201+ on Continental, United or Mexicana Airlines. Remember - many discount fares require that you make a reservation 7, 14 or 21 days in advance. Be savvy to get the best deal.
Singapore Airlines offers fare deals from destinations around the globe and use their KrisFlyer miles for upgrades on selected Star Alliance airlines. KrisFlyer or PP club ELITE members can fly from Frankfurt to N.Y for EUR 351. The new OpenSkies has an offer for $417 in business class comfort and Executive Club members can earn BA Miles on this N.Y. to Amstedam flight.

Monday, February 2, 2009

AirTran flights grounded in Atlanta

A computer problem in one of AirTran planes flight dispatch system was the reason that they ordered a full ground stop at the Atlanta hub for several hours today, preventing planes from taking off or landing.

I am going to say that I told you so …… my previous post pointed out that technology has to be updated:
We have to trust that despite many airlines making bad fuel hedges, that they will take advantage of lower fuel costs to invest in newer equipment. The lower operating costs can help the strong airlines like United, Delta and Continental, to invest in newer technology and better elite customer retention methods.

Passenger revenue per available seat mile is growing for several of these well managed carriers. AirTrans fourth quarter profits were not good due to bad risk of selling their hedges. They reported a non-operatons loss of $147.7 million related to fuel hedge contract sales of 2009 negatively hedged contracts traded. Another discount airline, Southwest, is also having trouble with bad fuel hedges even though they have historically been one of the best hedgers.
Lower fuel prices, capacity cuts, checked bag fees and aggressive fare sales have not prevented the airlines from huge losses. I know that they report that their hedges did not work out as guessed and the economy is not good, but you would think that some of the carriers should fare better than others. They can’t all have made bad fuel hedges. I don’t think that it is good risk management to gamble a big percentage of profits, but they can always go to the Government to get a bail out of taxpayer money if it does not work out for them.