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May 172015
 

Dear Traveler:
Hello and welcome to a special edition of The Travel Insider newsletter. David Rowell, you usual host and commentator, is guiding back-to-back Travel Insider tour groups in Europe. He’s asked me to fill in for the next few weeks while he’s mostly incommunicado.

Who am I? Fair question. I’m the Joe of JoeSentMe.com, the noncommercial website for business travelers. I also write the Seat 2B column for the Business Journals, nearly four dozen regionally focused business newspapers around the nation.

With David away taking care of Travel Insider readers in Scotland and aboard ship, I’ll offer you a collection of the best travel columns and blogs that appear each week at JoeSentMe. Our site is subscriber-only, but many of our pieces are free for all to read. The others do require you join the site. But I’m not here to sell you anything, simply put before you some columns and blogs that will inform and enlighten your weekly travels.

That said, descriptions of and links to what is on tap this week are below. I hope you find them useful. I’ll see you next weekend, too. And as David says each week to close the newsletter, enjoy safe travels!

Joe Brancatelli // JoeSentMe.com // JBrancatelli@joesentme.com

BRANCATELLI IN SEAT 2B: HOW TO ESCAPE ‘ECONOBOX’ RENTALS NOW
Tired of the same old Chevys, Hyundais and Toyotas when you rent a car? Rental firms have occasionally offered better cars, but the process has always been a pain. But National Car Rental’s new program offers snappy vehicles–even Maseratis–at a flat rate over your existing reservation. Just choose your car and go. And a start-up called Silvercar is building a rental business around a single type of upmarket Audi sedan. Surf to http://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/blog/seat2B/2015/05/car-rental-biz-turns-away-from-the-econobox.html

STEALS & DEALS: THE BEST BARGAINS ON THE WEB IN CONTEXT
+ Complete coverage of the indutry-wide summer business-class fare sales to Europe. Prices are much as 70 percent off standard fares.
+ Hilton knocks 25-30 percent off summer and fall rates at hotels in Southeast Asia.
+ Huge bonuses from Oneworld carriers for transatlantic flights.
+ Choice Hotels dangles $50 gift card for spring and summer stays.
+ Cathay Pacific slashes business-class fares to Asia for summer travel.
Surf to http://deals.biztravelife.com

WILL ALLEN: MY AMTRAK SOLUTION
We have allowed Amtrak to be the whipping boy of Congress and those doing the whipping are folks we’ve elected and reelected to represent us. I say put Amtrak out of its misery. Parse its network into whatever regional systems can attract the political will to guarantee adequate funding in the future. Surf to https://allenontravel.wordpress.com/2015/05/15/my-amtrak-solution/

PHIL BAKER: LUGGAGE THAT TELLS YOU WHERE IT’S LOST
The Internet of Everything was inevitably headed here: There is now luggage that tells you where it is even when the airlines can’t find it after they’ve lost it. But is it overkill or a brilliant way to guarantee your luggage is never truly lost? Surf to http://techspertsinc.com/luggage-that-can-tell-you-where-it-is-san-diego-transcript/

CHRIS BARNETT: MY WIDEBODY DOMESTIC FLIGHT ON UNITED WAS A DREAM
Shoehorned into Boeing 737-800s on three legs of a United Airlines roundtrip between San Francisco and Guatemala City, the fourth and final flight was a dream. More specifically, one of United’s Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners. It was also a front-row seat on how United treats its domestic passengers and how it pampers foreign-bound flyers–not just premium, front-of-the-plane customers, but economy-class travelers, too. Surf to http://cb.biztravelife.com

CAROL PUCCI: LATVIANS HAVE MORE FUN
Latvia represents the New Europe. Not in a historical sense because it’s 800 years old. But because it’s populated with “Let’s try anything” 20- and 30-something entrepreneurs who were children when Latvia declared its independence from the Soviets in 1991. Surf to
ROBERT MCGARVEY: EUROPE, STILL AS GOOD, ONLY CHEAPER
Europe is filled with cities just as enticing as better-known places and they are cheaper to visit, too. Where are this year’s value destinations on the continent? Here are my choices. Surf to https://www.mainstreet.com/article/alternative-europe-the-great–and-cheap–cities-you-need-to-know

BRANCATELLI IN SEAT 2B: PLAYING THE RIGHT CLUB CARD
It’s time to bury an old and reliable traveling companion: Priority Pass, the global network of airport lounges. What I once called “the magic card” is passe now, doomed by modern airline economics and convoluted banking partnerships and replaced by other ways to access the growing global network of airport lounges. Here’s how to play your cards (and clubs) now. Surf to http://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/blog/seat2B/2015/04/how-to-pick-both-the-right-airport-club-and-credit.html

 

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