January 24, 2007

ELLIOTT’S E-MAIL
Travel tips, news and information
January 24, 2007

Big news! No, I’m not forming a presidential exploratory committee — although some of you though a “let’s-clean-up-the-travel-industry” platform might take me all the way to the White House in ’08, after I hinted last week that a major announcement was imminent. I’m hosting a new TV show! Here are the details. But wait … there’s more. This week’s newsletter is full of great information about travel, including questions and commentary about an enduring hotbutton issue: kids on planes.

» Read this week’s newsletter online.

FIRST | Random thoughts about the week in travel

Burning question … What to do about children on planes? The recent removal of the family of an unruly three-year old from an AirTran flight (here are the details) has sparked an intense debate among air travelers. Should airlines make special provisions for their littlest passengers, like a “kids-only” section or free Benadryl for anyone under 16, or free sedatives for anyone older than that? Your thoughts, please. Send me a note or shoot me an IM (celliottlive on AIM).

SIGHTINGS | Noted Elliott appearances online and offline

Canceled flight, worthless vouchers — Two years ago, Orville Duggan and his wife volunteered to give up their seats on an overbooked United Airlines flight. But after they redeem their vouchers, Hurricane Katrina strikes, forcing them to cancel their vacation. Should the airline cut them a little slack when it comes to rebooking their flights? (From The Travel Troubleshooter)

Travel blogs: the caveat — Can you trust your travel blog? With millions of weblogs now being published online (some estimates put them at 30 million)—and many of them about travel—it’s a question worth asking. The answer: Not always. (From National Geographic Traveler)

A Yankee chef with a Mexican flavor — Sure, Americans traveling abroad expect to be treated like pariahs these days. But I get more than my fair share because I’m the ultimate outsider: a Yankee who prepares Mexican food. And who also happens to have a Swedish surname (From The New York Times)

BLOGGED | New posts on CSR and Ellipses

Hello, Fine Living Network — In a few weeks, you’ll probably start seeing promos for a new show on the Fine Living Network — a spinoff of the popular What You Get For The Money series about travel. And you’ll probably say to yourself, “Hey, that host looks familiar.” He should. That’s me. (From Ellipses)

How not to complain about your trip — A lot has been written by travel bloggers and journalists about how to complain about trip that’s gone wrong and to get the airline, car rental agency, cruise line, or hotel to fork over some compensation. Less has been written about how to not complain. But in the last few weeks, I’ve received more than few emails from readers that are textbook examples of what not to say, that I just can’t resist. (From Ellipses)

Death and travel — Two remarkable stories crossed the wire at virtually the same time yesterday, and both serve as reminders that travel remains a risky proposition, no matter where you go or who you are. (From Ellipses)

What’s your mission? — “Why am I here?” is a question everyone asks at one time or another. But late last year I had an opportunity to do some extensive soul-searching when I researched a feature on corporate mission statements. (From Ellipses)

Shat saves the day — As a general rule, TV ads for travel companies tend to be really, really boring. I mean, when’s the last time you forwarded a spot for an airline or car rental company to one of your friends? I rest my case. (From Ellipses)

FLASHBACK | A retrospective from the Elliott archives

Kids on planes! Might as well yell “fire” in a crowded theater …

Con Air with kids — Debbie Witt’s flight from Honolulu to Chicago was boarded and ready for takeoff when an announcement came across the loudspeaker about some passengers with “special needs” who needed to get on the plane. Moments later, seven prisoners were paraded down the aisle by four security guards and seated in the back. (From The Travel Critic)

Ban babies on board? — Ban babies on board. Stop kids from flying altogether or at least create a special children’s section on planes. That’s what a growing number of frequent travelers want to do. (From The Travel Critic)

No more kids fly free? — Is it time to end one of the travel industry’s longest-running fare sales, kids flying free? Melissa Rosen thinks so. “It’s a pretty good scam,” says the career consultant at the University of Virginia’s graduate school of business administration. (From The Travel Critic)

POSTCARDS | The latest from Elliott’s personal photo blog

My boys — We visited our great-grandmother Cookie and our cousins in Delray Beach, Fla., today. Everybody say “cheese”!

Bath time — After a hard day’s work, it’s always nice to have a relaxing bath. And being a baby is such hard work, you know!

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.

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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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Elliott’s E-Mail is published 50 times a year by Christopher Elliott. (c) 2006 Christopher Elliott.

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