The traveldoctor's Weblog

Travel Tips and How to Travel Smart!

Archive for August, 2008

No Customer Service at United Airlines Reservation Dept

Posted by thetraveldoctor on August 30, 2008


 

United Flight Board at O'Hare Airport

United Flight Board at O'Hare

I just got off the phone with a United Reservation agent. I don’t know what country he was in, but it was no where near the United States. I was trying to use a denied boarding compensation ticket voucher I received because I was bumped off a United flight from Seattle to Chicago a few months ago. This agent did not know which end was up. I told him I was flying from Chicago O’Hare to Las Vegas. He then asked me if I was flying out of Ontario CA, I told him I just said I was flying out of O’Hare. He probably has never even been to O’Hare. I told him that I wanted to use my Denied boarding voucher. He told me I would have to mail it to a PO box and have it postmarked by Monday to use it. Well, I told him Monday was a holiday, Labor Day and there was no way I could have it postmarked by Monday Sept 1 as the post office is closed on Sunday and Monday. He said he was sorry but I had to have it postmarked by Monday. I could not believe it. I told him that he was making it very difficult for me to make this reservation and then he insulted me by telling me I was the one that was making it difficult. What a jerk! I then said, OK, I will go to O’Hare tomorrow to pick it up. He said I would have to get it ticketed at O’Hare by 7PM on Sunday as the ticket counter closes at 7PM. I told him that there are flight out of O’Hare after 7PM, how can the ticket counter close at 7PM. He told me people can check in but they cannot buy tickets. Now how ludicrous is that statement. What if you want to take a flight at 9PM but you don’t have a ticket. Well, if you talked to the agent I talked to, you could not buy a ticket. Maybe United should just close up shop and call it quits, as their employees don’t know what the hell they are talking about. Needless to say, I did not get my reservation and I just said thank you and hung up the phone in discuss. I will try this again tomorrow. Maybe I will get someone that can help me and not criticize me.

Posted in airlines, bags, Business Class, Coach, Hotels, Las Vegas, luggage, news, pillows, seniors, tickets, Transportation, Travel, travel agents, Uncategorized, Vacations | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Orient Lines Returns with the Marco Polo II

Posted by thetraveldoctor on August 21, 2008


 

 

Marco Polo II at anchor

Marco Polo II at anchor

 

Orient Lines, which was purchased by NCL a number of years ago and basically dismantled, is rising from the ashes today. Wayne Heller, CEO and owner of the “New Orient Line” announced today that Orient Line has acquired the SS Maxim Gorkly and will rename it the Marco Polo II. The 24,981 ton vessel is a classic ship in the tradition of Orient Line’s original Marco Polo, which was much loved by Orient Lines’ guests, said Wayne Heller. The ship will hold just over 600 passengers.

The new Marco Polo II will make her maiden voyage in April 2009 and sail from Barcelona on a Western Med itinerary.  You will be able to book your cruise on the Marco Polo II beginning on September 8, 2008. The cruise schedule is very destination focused with cruises ranging from 11 to 37 days. Prices will start at $2399 per person based on two to a cabin. The line will include several free shore excursions with each cruise. There will be a single seating in the dining room, which is a plus for all passengers as you won’t have to decide what seating to choose.

I am really looking forward to the launch of the new Orient Lines’ Marco Polo II. I hope it will continue the Orient Lines tradition of exceptional service.

Posted in airlines, bags, Business Class, caribbean, Coach, cruise line, cruises, disabilities, Europe, gas, Hotels, islands, luggage, Med, news, pillows, sailing, seniors, ships, tickets, tours, Transportation, Travel, travel agents, Uncategorized, Vacations | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Real S.S. Minnow Sailing Again on 3 Hour Tours

Posted by thetraveldoctor on August 14, 2008


 

The Original S.S. Minnow

The Original S.S. Minnow

The Real S.S. Minnow will start sailing from Vancouver on 3 hours cruise tours. That’s right, the Original S.S. Minnow that was used during the opening scene of Gilligan’s Island TV show’s second season will be sailing again.

 

The boat made famous for running aground on the shores of an uncharted desert isle in the 1960’s sitcom is now owned by Ken Schley, one of the owners of the Quality Foods grocery chain. Stay tuned and I will keep you advised when you can book a tour on the S.S. Minnow.

Posted in airlines, caribbean, cruises, gas, investments, islands, news, sailing, seniors, tours, Transportation, Travel, travel agents, Vacations | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

When You “Got to Go!” There is Help…..

Posted by thetraveldoctor on August 12, 2008


If you travel for business or pleasure, there comes a point in your day when you “Got to Go!” Yes that’s right, you have to find a toilet and you are in a strange city and you need one BAD! What do you do? Well fear not anymore, I found this great website that works on your mobile phone. It’s called MizPee and it will direct you to the closest toilet in the area. Just go to http://www.mizpee.com on your mobile browser, click on “Find toilet” then input your location and click “Find” and presto! a list of Toilets near your current location pops up. This can be a real life saver when you are on the GO! (no pun intended).

Check it out and let me know if it worked for you. It has worked for me, thank goodness!

Posted in airlines, emergency, free, Hotels, Las Vegas, luggage, news, seniors, Transportation, Travel, travel agents, Vacations | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Seniors Save Big on Royal Caribbean

Posted by thetraveldoctor on August 10, 2008


 

Brilliance of The Sea at anchor

Brilliance of The Sea at anchor

I have been sailing with Royal Caribbean since the late 70’s. I am always look for ways to save money and take as many cruises as possible. You may not know that Royal Caribbean offers Senior Citizen fares for people 55 years of age and older. Now these reduced fares are not available on all ships on all sailings but the sailings they do offer them on can save you hundreds of dollars. If you book your cruise through a travel agent that knows their cruises, they can help you save big bucks. If you want to save $300 to $500 per person, look into the Senior Fares on Royal Caribbean. You can check out the senior deals at www. royalcaribbean.com and maybe I will see you on your next Royal Caribbean Cruise!

Posted in airlines, bags, Business Class, car, caribbean, Coach, cruises, disabilities, emergency, free, gas, Hotels, investments, islands, Las Vegas, luggage, news, sailing, seniors, tickets, tours, Transportation, Travel, travel agents, Uncategorized, Vacations | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Free Virus Protection for Your Laptop- For People on the Go!

Posted by thetraveldoctor on August 9, 2008


If you use a windows laptop, then you need virus protection software. I have found a great piece of software that will protect your computer from all that junk that can bring your computer to a standstill. It is from AVG and it is called AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition. This version is compatible with Windows Vista and Windows XP. It is available for Free from the AVG website and is only available for single computer use for home and non commercial use. Over 70 million users use this program to protect their computers. You can download it at this URL http://free.avg.com/ww.download-avg-anti-virus-free-edition

Posted in airlines, Business Class, Coach, Computers, free, investments, PC, tours, Transportation, Travel, Uncategorized, Vacations, virus protection, Wifi | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Don’t Get Scammed With “You Have been Chosen to Receive A Cruise” Offer

Posted by thetraveldoctor on August 8, 2008


 

Ship and Pleasure boast in the Harbor in Seattle

Ship and Pleasure boast in the Harbor in Seattle

There is this travel scam that has been making the rounds. It works like this. You receive a post card that says ” We have been trying to get in touch with you about an outstanding travel offer. Please call this number in the next 72 hours. And the post card has logos of big time cruise lines and hotel chains.  If you call this number, you are told that you have been selected to receive a Cruise and Hotel package to the Bahamas. All you have to do is pay the tax and port charges and they will send you vouchers for this great vacation. 

 

Don’t fall for it. The “Taxes and Port Charges” cost you more then if you would buy the same package from a local travel agent. And the hotel in the Bahamas is usually a real dump. Plus, once you get these so called travel vouchers, you will have a very hard time finding a date to use them. I have heard stories of people trying to use these vouchers for over a year and they can never get a confirmed date.

So the next time someone wants to sell you a “Deal of A Lifetime Vacation” don’t believe it. Only buy your travel from travel agents that you know and trust. There are too many shady charters out there that want to take you and your money for a ride!

Posted in airlines, bags, Business Class, caribbean, Coach, Computers, cruises, Hotels, islands, Las Vegas, luggage, news, sailing, tickets, tours, Transportation, Travel, travel agents, Uncategorized, Vacations | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

US Airports with Free Wi-Fi

Posted by thetraveldoctor on August 7, 2008


I travel extensively around the US and I carry my laptop with me. I am always looking for a fast broadband Wi-Fi connection. As a service to all the frequent Flyers out there, here is a list of US Airports that have Free WiFi broadband access. I hope everything is correct as things change so fast in this technology age. If you find that an airport is no longer offering free WiFi, please let me know so I can update the list.

Alabama
Birmingham International Airport – Birmingham
Huntsville Airport – Huntsville
Madison County Executive Airport – Huntsville
Montgomery Regional Airport – Montgomery
Northwest Alabama Regional Airport – Muscle Shoals

Alaska
Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport – Anchorage

Arizona
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport – Phoenix
Tucson International Airport – Tucson
Yuma International – Yuma

Arkansas
Fort Smith Regional Airport – Fort Smith
Little Rock National Airport – Little Rock
Texarkana Airport – Texarkana

California
Meadows Field, WM Thomas Terminal – Bakersfield
Chico Municipal Airport – Chico
Arcata/Eureka Airport – Eureka
Hayward Airport – Hayward
John Wayne Airport (SNA) – Orange County
Livermore Airport – Livermore
Long Beach Airport – Long Beach
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – LAX
Modesto City-County Airport – Modesto
Redding Municipal Airport – Redding
BSAir at the Reedley Muni Airport – Reedley
Sacramento International Airport – Sacramento
Lindberg Field – San Diego
San Diego International Airport – San Diego
Mineta San Jose International Airport – San Jose
Santa Maria Airport – Santa Maria
Santa Ynez Airport – Santa Ynez

Colorado
Centennial Airport – Centennial
Colorado Springs Airport – Colorado Springs
Denver International Airport – Denver
Eagle (Vail) Airport

Connecticut
Bradley International Airport – Windsor Locks

Florida
Daytona Beach Airport – signal availability reported in Ticketing Area – Daytona Beach
Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport – all terminals – Ft. Lauderdale
Southwest Florida International Airport – Ft.Myers
Okaloosa Regional Airport – Fort Walton Beach
Gainesville Regional Airport – Gainesville
Jacksonville Airport – Jacksonville
LaBelle Municipal Airport – LaBelle
Melbourne International Airport – Melbourne
Orlando International Airport – all public areas and the “Cell Phone” parking lot – Orlando
Pensacola Int. Airport – Pensacola
Tallahassee Airport – Tallahassee
Tampa International – main building and both satellite terminals – Tampa
Palm Beach International Airport – West Palm Beach

Georgia
Augusta Regional Airport – Augusta
Brunswick Golden Isle Airport – Brunswick
Fulton County Airport (FTY) – Raytheon Aircraft Services Terminal

Hawaii
Honolulu Airport-Gate 13 – Honolulu

Idaho
Idaho Falls Airport – Idaho Falls
Nez Perce County Regional Airport – Lewiston

Illinois
Central Illinois Regional Airport – Bloomington/Normal
University of Illinois Willard Airport – Champaign/Urbana
Quad City International Airport – Moline
Peoria Regional Airport – Peoria
Rockford Airport – Rockford
Capital Airport – Springfield

Indiana
Fort Wayne International Airport – Fort Wayne (free Cat5/RJ45 access too)
Smith Field Airport – Fort Wayne
Montgomery Aviation – Indianapolis Executive Airport – Zionsville

Iowa
CY Aviation, Boone Airport – Boone
Eastern Iowa Regional Airport – Cedar Rapids
Dubuque Regional Airport – Dubuque
Sioux City Airport – business center and JetSun Aviation facility – Sioux City
Waterloo Airport – Waterloo

Kansas
Hays Regional Airport – Hays
Wichita Mid-Continent Airport – Wichita

Kentucky
CVG Airport – Hebron
Bluegrass Airport – Lexington

Louisiana
Lafayette Regional Airport – Lafayette
Lake Charles Airport – Lake Charles

Maryland
Hagerstown Municipal Airport – Hagerstown

Michigan
Gerald R. Ford International Airport- Grand Rapids
Ford Airport – Kingsford/Iron Mountain
Capital City Airport – Lansing
Sawyer International Airport – Marquette
Muskegon County Airport – Muskegon
Pellston Regional Airport – Pellston

Minnesota
Beltrami County Airport – Bemidji
Duluth Int. Airport – Duluth
Rochester International Airport – Rochester

Mississippi
Golden Triangle Regional Airport – Columbus
Gulfport/Biloxi International Airport
Hattiesburg-Bobby L. Chain Municipal Airport – no commercial flights – Hattiesburg
Jackson Airport – Jackson
Tupelo Regional Airport – Tupelo

Missouri
Taney County Airport – Branson
Columbia Regional Airport – Columbia
Joplin Regional Airport – ask ticket agent for access location – Joplin
Kansas City International Airport – Kansas City
Springfield-Branson Airport – Springfield

Montana
Bozeman Gallatin Airport – Bozeman
Great Falls International Airport – Great Falls
Helena Regional Airport – Helena
Missoula International Airport – Missoula

Nevada
Henderson Executive Airport – Henderson
McCarran Airport – Las Vegas
North Las Vegas Airport
Reno-Tahoe International Airport – Reno

New Hampshire
Manchester, Boston Regional Airport – Manchester

New Mexico
Albuquerque International Sunport/Airport – Albuquerque
Taos Municipal Airport – Taos

New York
Binghamton Airport – Binghamton
Elmira-Corning Regional Airport – Elmira
JetBlue Airways – Terminal 6 – JFK Airport – Jamaica, Queens
Tompkins County Regional Airport – Ithaca
Rochester Airport – Rochester
Syracuse International – Syracuse

North Carolina
Charlotte Douglas International Airport – ask at Info Desk for access area info – Charlotte
Asheville Regional Airport – Fletcher
Albert J. Ellis Airport – Jacksonville
Kinston Airport – Kinston
New Bern Airport – New Bern
Wilmington International Airport – Wilmington

North Dakota
Bismarck Municipal Airport – general aviation lounge – Bismarck
Hector International Airport – Fargo
Grand Forks Airport – Grand Forks

Ohio
Akron Airport – Akron
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport – Concourse C, ticketing and baggage claim areas of Terminal 3, ticketing, baggage claim and holding areas of Terminal 2
Ohio State University Airport – Columbus
Port Columbus International Airport – Columbus
Dayton International Airport – Dayton
Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport – Vienna

Oklahoma
Will Rogers International Airport – Oklahoma City

Oregon
Eugene Airport – Eugene
Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport – Medford
Southwest Oregon Regional Airport – North Bend
Portland International Airport – Main Level – Portland
Redmond Airport – Redmond

Pennsylvania
Lehigh Valley International Airport – Allentown
Erie Airport – Erie
Harrisburg International Airport – Harrisburg
Arnold Palmer Regional Airport – Latrobe
Pocono Mountains Municipal Airport – Mt Pocono
Philadelphia International Airport – look for ATT WiFi – Philadelphia
Pittsburgh Airport – Pittsburgh
Brandywine Airport – West Chester
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Airport – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton

North Carolina
Charlotte-Douglas International Airport – Charlotte

South Carolina
Charleston Airport – Charleston
Columbia International Airport – Columbia
Florence Regional Airport – Florence
Greenville/Spartanburg Airport
Myrtle Beach Airport – Myrtle Beach

South Dakota
Rapid City Airport – Rapid City

Tennessee
Tri-Cities Regional Airport – Blountville
Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport – Chattanooga
KnoxAir at TYS – McGee-Tyson Airport and DKX – Island Home Airport – Knoxville

Texas
Rick Husband Inernational Airport – Amarillo
Harrison Aviation – Arlington Municipal Airport – Arlington
Brownsville-South Padre Island International Airport – Brownsville
Easterwood Airport – College Station
Admiral’s Clubs – DFW – Dallas/Ft.Worth
Valley International Airport – Harlingen
East Texas Regional Airport – Longview
Lubbock International Airport – Lubbock
McAllen-Miller International Airport – McAllen
San Angelo Municipal Airport – San Angelo
San Antonio International Airport – San Antonio
Tyler Pounds Regional Airport – Tyler

Vermont
Burlington International Airport – South Burlington

Virginia
Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport – terminal area
Leesburg Executive Airport – Leesburg
Lynchburg Regional Airport – Lynchburg
Newport News/Williamsburg Airport – Newport News
Richmond Airport – Richmond
Roanoke Airport – Roanoke

Washington
Bellingham International Airport – Bellingham
Grant County Airport – Moses Lake
Tri-Cities Airport – Pasco
Pullman Moscow Airport- Pullman
Walla`Walla Regional Airport – Walla Walla
Pangborn Field Airport – Wenatchee

West Virginia
Yeager Airport – Charleston
Tri-State Airport – Huntington

Wisconsin
Gen. Mitchell Int. Airport – Milwaukee

Austin Straubel International Airport – Green Bay (Thanks to Tom for the Update!)
KOEO FBO’s – Top Dog Aviation (Northeast Hangar Base), Ward Aviation (Northeast Hangar Base), Terminal Building (South West Side) – Osceola

Wyoming
Natrona County International Airport – Casper
Cheyenne Regional Airport – Cheyenne

Posted in airlines, auto, Business Class, car, caribbean, Coach, Computers, cruises, disabilities, Hotels, investments, Las Vegas, luggage, news, tickets, tours, Transportation, Travel, travel agents, Vacations, Wifi | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

AA Hawaii Bound Jet Makes Emergency Landing

Posted by thetraveldoctor on August 6, 2008


 

American aircraft at the gate

American aircraft at the gate

An American Airlines jet in route to Honolulu Hawaii had to turn around over the Pacific Ocean and make an emergency landing at Los Angeles on Tuesday. 

 

The Pilot reported smoke in the cockpit and requested clearance to return to Los Angeles. The plane was about 1 hour into the flight. The aircraft landed safely at LAX and passengers and crew evacuated through the aircraft’s inflatable chutes.

The cause of the smoke is still under investigation.


Posted in airlines, Business Class, caribbean, Coach, emergency, futures, gas, Hotels, islands, Las Vegas, luggage, news, tickets, tours, Transportation, Travel, travel agents, Uncategorized, Vacations | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

No Free Pillows for YOU! On Jet Blue..

Posted by thetraveldoctor on August 4, 2008


 

Jet Blue aircraft on taxi

Jet Blue aircraft on taxi

Well, here is the next thing that an airline has found to charge the traveling public for. Pillows and blankets, that’s right,  Jet Blue is selling a pillow-blanket kit for $7 on flights of 2 hours or more. What will those marketing geniuses come up with next!

Now there is an upside to this. There has been a lot of talk about how airline pillows and blankets on the aircrafts harbor all types of germs. So with this sealed pillow-blanket kit, it is a one use deal and it is made from MicronOne fabric which blocks all micro-toxins larger than one micron in size, such as dust mites, mold spores, pollen and pet dander. Oh, and you can take it home with you and bring it on your next flight.

So, if you don’t want to pay $7 for a pillow and blanket, you will have to bring your own from now on on Jet Blue. I am still waiting for the airlines to charge fifty cents to use the toilet!

Posted in airlines, auto, bags, Business Class, car, caribbean, Coach, cruises, disabilities, Hotels, investments, islands, Las Vegas, luggage, pillows, tickets, tours, Transportation, Travel, travel agents, Uncategorized, Vacations | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »