Dear fellow travelers:
Hello and welcome to David Rowell’s Travel Insider newsletter. Once again, this is Joe Brancatelli of JoeSentMe.com pinch-hitting for David while he’s escorting several Travel Insider groups around Europe.
Let’s talk about contrast this week. The airlines’ global trade agency wants to reduce the size of carry-on bags and didn’t consult us or bag makers. Will Allen has some choice words. On the other hand, I’ve got some good things to say about Customs, which, unlike the TSA, seems to be making good-faith efforts to speed up our clearance process at the airport. Elsewhere this week, Martin Deutsch returns to a New York entertaining landmark. Phil Baker goes to school on the Chromebook. And Bob McGarvey considers the possibility of Fourth of July deals and wonders why Delta is going to war with travel agents. And, of course, some fascinating bargains on the deals page and this week’s news in Tactical Traveler. (Most of these columns are free to read for all, but several do require a JoeSentMe.com subscription.) It’s all below, so get started.
Enjoy the weekend! Joe Brancatelli (firstname.lastname@example.org)
BRANCATELLI IN SEAT 2B: CUSTOM(S) SOLUTIONS
The TSA is living proof that government can’t run efficiently or with our best interests at heart. In contrast, however, I give you U.S. Customs and Border Protection. It’s not perfect, of course, but it does seem to understand our best interaction with it is as little interaction as possible. That’s led to a raft of improvements–Global Entry, customs kiosks, apps–that have improved the airport customs-clearance process. Surf to http://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/blog/seat2B/2015/06/tsa-customs-border-protection-airport-lessons.html
STEALS & DEALS: FALL FARE SALE FOR FIRST-CLASS FLIGHTS
+ Virgin America puts first class on sale across its network.
+ Hainan Airlines cuts business-class fares between Seattle and Shanghai.
+ A mess of messy quarterly hotel promotions.
+ HoJo Hotels wants you to go the (kids’) museums.
Surf to http://deals.biztravelife.com
WILL ALLEN: SHRINKING CARRY-ON ANGST
Business travelers’ decades-long distrust of airline management runs deep for good reason, and this week’s airline news reports of some overseas carriers’ intent to shrink carry-on bag size maximums bring yet another slap in the face. In short, it’s another example of airlines creating a problem and forcing us to adapt to their arrogance. Surf to https://allenontravel.wordpress.com/2015/06/11/shrinking-carry-on-luggage-angst/
BOB MCGARVEY: FINDING A DEAL ON A FOURTH OF JULY HOLIDAY
July 4th bargains exist for travelers, but know this: there are not that many, you need to know where to go and you also need to know where not to go. Now is prime-time to act. Surf to http://www.thestreet.com/story/13179949/1/july-4th-travel-bargains-exist-if-you-know-where-to-look.html
PHIL BAKER: CHROMEBOOK TRUMPS iPAD IN AT LEAST ONE MARKET
I recently attended an open house for my 10-year-old grandson at his public school in Marin County. On every desk in his fifth-grade classroom was a Samsung Chromebook. When I asked if they use iPads, he said. “Of course not. They’re more for games and not real computers.” Surf to http://techspertsinc.com/chromebooks-success-in-education-san-diego-transcript/
TACTICAL TRAVELER: WEEKLY BRIEFING FOR BUSINESS TRAVELERS
The briefing in brief: American tries flying to Australia for the third time. New hotels worthy of your frequency points. Delta opens private check-in and lounge services at LAX. A shake-up at the top of Philadelphia’s lodging scene. Marriott adding Netflix to in-room hotels. Chris Barnett finds a rarity (good service) at United. And much more … Surf to http://tactical.biztravelife.com
BOB MCGARVEY: DELTA DECLARES WAR ON TRAVEL AGENCIES
Delta Air Lines, Inc. has quietly declared war on online travel agencies, and the biggest losers in this war may be us, the travel-buying consumers. Surf to http://www.thestreet.com/story/13179213/1/delta-declares-war-on-online-travel-agencies-and-fliers-are-casualties.html
MARTIN B. DEUTSCH: NEW YORK CLASSIC GETS ANOTHER MAKEOVER
Its contemporaries at the top of the New York entertainment scene are long gone, but Tavern on the Green soldiers on. Not because the cuisine is great, but because the park setting is unique and undeniably attractive. Now on its third chef in year since it reopened, I return to the Tavern determined to keep an open mind and an impartial palate. Surf to http://mbd.biztravelife.com