Elliott’s E-Mail/September 23, 2008

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In this issue …

Dump this! 7 things airlines should jettison
How tAAcky! American Airlines adds elite lines while economy implodes
How is the ailing economy affecting your travel?
How to reach yours truly
Support this site

This issue of Elliott’s E-Mail is underwritten by FirstClassFlyer.com, the only tool you need to fly first class for the price of coach — or close to it. Looking for free and purchased upgrades, two-for-ones and a fast-track to elite status strategies? Look no further than FirstClassFlyer.com

FIRST | Random thoughts about the week in travel

Broken promise? Ever been offered something by a travel company — a fare, rate or amenity — that it failed to deliver? I’m interested in what happened next. Did the company ‘fess up — or ignore you? Please share your thoughts. Send me a note and please don’t forget to include your full name, city and occupation.

Love to travel? Love to social network? If you spend time on Digg, Reddit and StumbleUpon, and love to travel, maybe you’re interested in joining an invitation-only group of travel bloggers who vote each other’s content up? Shoot me a note — I’ll send you the details.

Seeing double? If you’re getting two or more copies of this newsletter, you might want to consider signing up for my free daily update newsletter and unsubscribing from this weekly one. (The technical problems on the daily newsletter have been fixed — we’re still working on the weekly one.) Here are the details.

Related story:   May 23, 2007

Elliott’s E-Mail is also underwritten by Cheapflights.com, which lets you search and compare flights to find the lowest-priced airfare for your next trip. Get the details at Cheapflights.com.

SIGHTINGS | Noted Elliott appearances online and offline

Hey, where’s my ride? — Her vacation package includes transfers from the airport to her hotel. But when she lands in Kingston, Jamaica, there’s no van to pick her up. What does N.M. Johnston’s tour operator, Apple Vacations, owe her? (From The Troubleshooter)

Dump this! 7 things airlines should jettison — Meals. Pillows. Blankets. And now, life vests. Is there anything the airlines haven’t tried to remove from their planes? As a matter of fact, yes. (From MSNBC.com)

Elliott’s E-Mail is also underwritten by Carrentals.co.uk, which provides the easiest and quickest way to search for car hire on the web. Our car rental search engine will compare the market in seconds and provide you with prices from up to 40 car hire suppliers. Cheap car hire is one search away!

BLOGGED | New posts on Elliott’s Blog

How tAAcky! American Airlines adds elite lines while economy implodes — Like most other travel bloggers, I normally ignore any press releases sent to me on Monday night or Tuesday morning, because they’re what I like to call “paper fodder” — failed pitches to the marquee business travel columns in one of the dying national newspapers. But for this one, I’ll make an exception. (From Elliott Blog)

Virgin Atlantic breaks promise, hangs downgraded passenger out to dry — As a rule, Virgin Atlantic has an excellent reputation for customer service. But there are exceptions to every rule. James Simon is one of them. (From Elliott Blog)

Related story:   What's new on Elliott: JetBlue's secret to being profitable, the Jones cop-out, neutralizing the passenger rights movement

Summer hotel rate slump could be sign of imminent fire sale — Here’s more evidence that hotel rates may be about to fall off a proverbial cliff. Earlier this week, experts predicted some modest rate declines. But after Wall Street’s meltdown, it became a more significant downturn. Now there’s evidence that the trajectory was already set long ago. (From Elliott Blog)

Elliott’s E-Mail is also underwritten by Skooba Design, designers of top-rated, award-winning cases and accessories for laptops and other tech/travel gear. Named “best buy” by a major independent consumer magazine, as well as leading technology, travel and general interest publications. Elliot’s E-Mail Subscribers get 20 percent off, plus free shipping (UPS Ground/48 States) on all Skooba Design orders of $50 or more. Just enter coupon code ELLIOTT20 at checkout. Some restrictions apply. Here are the details.

ON TRIPSO | Blog postings from the last honest travel site

How is the ailing economy affecting your travel? — You’ve watched the Wall Street meltdown — and subsequent government bailout — unfold during the last week. But how is the nation’s ailing economy affecting your next trip? (From Tripso)

It’s only a matter of time before airlines demand a bailout, too — First, Wall Street is being bailed out to the tune of $70 billion. Now, Detroit is likely to get $25 billion in federal aid. Can America’s ailing airlines be far behind? (From Tripso)

What are the greediest U.S. airlines? Here’s a helpful guide — Even though fuel costs are falling faster than a plane without wings, the airline industry continues to ratchet up fees on its passengers. Unbelievably, it insists it’s because of “high” — or for that matter “volatile” — energy costs. Do they think we’re stupid? (From Tripso)

Related story:   What's new on Elliott: JFK's curse, airlines that don't follow their rules and Dave Carroll strikes again [Brought to you by Competitours - Amazing Race for Regular People]

TALKBACK | How to sound off about this site

Read something you disagree with? Got a story idea or a gripe? Here’s how to be heard:

• Send me an e-mail.
• Call me. My direct phone number is (407) 699-9529.
• Send me an instant message on Gmail.
• Shoot me a note or chat by video on AIM.
• Skype me. My username is christopherjelliott.
• Find me on MySpace.
• Link to me on LinkedIn.
• Catch me on Facebook.
• See me on Flickr.
• Find out what I’m doing now on Twitter.
• Post a response below an article, in the “Comment on this article” field.

Please note: Unless you specify otherwise, all e-mails, letters and phone conversations are considered “on the record.” That means your name could be used in a future article.

BECOME AN UNDERWRITER | How to support Elliott

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or check out his adventures on his family adventure travel site. Contact him at chris@elliott.org. Read more of Christopher's articles here.

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