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Archive for October, 2008

American Airlines to buy up to 100 Boeing 787’s

Posted by thetraveldoctor on October 28, 2008


 

787 Dreamliner

787 Dreamliner

American Airlines announced this past week that they plan on purchasing up to 100 Boeing 787 Dreamliners at a cost of $15 billion dollars. This purchase could make American the largest operator of the new Boeing aircraft.

 

“This state-of-the-art aircraft will offer many cost and environmental benefits, particularly fuel efficiency and customer friendly attributes and comforts” said Thomas Horton, executive vice president and CFO during the airlines October 15 conference call with financial analysts.

American plans to buy 42 of the 787 Dreamliners for delivery between 2012 and 2018, with an option for 58 more for delivery between 2015 and 2020.

The first 787 flight was scheduled for August of 2007, with deliveries to begin in May of 2008. But due to delays and a strike at Boeing, the first flight is now planned for the fourth quarter of 2008 and initial deliveries slated for the third quarter of 2009.

The new 787-9 is designed to carry up to 290 passengers, with at range of up to 8,500 nautical mailes. The 787-9 is a stretch version of the 787-8 and will use 20% less fuel then current aircraft flying today.

These are some of the airlines that have ordered the 787 Dreamliner. 

  1. Qantas – 65 planes
  2. All Nippon Airways – 50 planes
  3. Air Canada – 37 planes
  4. Japan Airlines – 35 planes
  5. Etihad Airways – 35 planes
  6. LAN Airlines – 26 planes
  7. Continental – 25 planes
  8. Aeroflot – 22 planes

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JetBlue to Increase Service to the Caribbean

Posted by thetraveldoctor on October 26, 2008


 

JetBlue at the Gate

JetBlue at the Gate

JetBlue announced that it will add service to Nassau Bahamas from Orlando and Fort Lauderdale on February 1, 2009. And St. Maarten will be getting a new Saturday flight from Boston beginning February 14. All service is subject to government approval. So getting to the Caribbean just got a little easer. Check http://www.jetblue.com for reservations and fares.

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Holiday Inn Toronto to become Hyatt Regency

Posted by thetraveldoctor on October 25, 2008


 

The old Holiday Inn & new Hyatt Regency

The old Holiday Inn & new Hyatt Regency

The Hyatt corporation is taking over the management of the former Holiday Inn downtown Toronto. The hotel will now be known as the Hyatt Regency Toronto. The hotel is located on King Street in downtown Toronto. The hotel will be closed and renovated before being reopened in January of 2009. This will be the second Hyatt in the city. The current hotel operated by Hyatt is the Park Hyatt. 

 

So if you are a fan of the Hyatt chain, you will soon have a second hotel in downtown Toronto to chose from.

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The Deuce Bus Las Vegas – Revisited….Or do you Call it The Duce?

Posted by thetraveldoctor on October 20, 2008


 

The Deuce on Las Vegas Ave

The Deuce on Las Vegas Blvd

 

The Deuce Logo on the side of the Bus

The Deuce Logo on the side of the Bus

I just returned from my latest trip to Las Vegas and I want to give everyone an update on the great “Deuce Bus” on the Las Vegas Strip. The Duce Bus is the double decker bus that travels up and down the Las Vegas Strip 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is run by CAT, the Citizen Area Transit. The Deuce route begins at the Fremont Street Station downtown and ends at the south end of the strip at the South Strip Transfer Terminal which is on the south side of McCarran International Airport. 

I love this bus. It is easy to use and the buses are brand new! You want to make your way up to the second floor and try to get one of the front seats. This is a great way to see the Las Vegas Strip. The bus makes frequent stops along the strip and you can get to any of the Strip Hotels with the Deuce. The bus also is handicap accessible. So if you have a wheel chair, you can ride the Deuce without a problem.

The one way fare is $2 per ride or save money and buy the 24 hour unlimited ride pass for $5. You can ride all day for $5. The best deal for getting around Las Vegas. You can also use the pass on the other public buses in and around Las Vegas. You will need exact change or you can buy your passes at vending machines along the Deuce Bus route. The machines take cash or credit/debit cards.

UPDATE 5-8-09: There has been a fare increase for the Deuce. The new fare is now $3 one way or $7 for a 24 hour all access unlimited ride pass. They have also added a new pass, a 3 day all access unlimited ride pass for $15. These 3 day passes are only available at the vending machines and not on the bus itself.

I took some great pictures of the Deuce Bus so you can all get a good idea of what this service is all about. So the next time you are in Las Vegas, give the Deuce Bus a try. You will Love it!

 

Second Floor on The Deuce Bus Las Vegas

Second Floor on The Deuce Bus Las Vegas

Posted in airlines, airports, bus, car, Coach, deuce bus, Deuce Bus Las Vegas, disabilities, duce, Hotels, Las Vegas, Las Vegas Strip, luggage, news, seniors, tickets, tours, Transportation, Travel, Uncategorized, Vacations | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Royal Caribbean Brilliance of The Seas – A day at The Panama Canal

Posted by thetraveldoctor on October 8, 2008


 

One of the Mules that Pulls the ship through the Locks

One of the Mules that Pulls the ship through the Locks

Alan at the Midpoint at the Gatun Locks

Alan at the Midpoint at the Gatun Locks

The Brilliance of The Seas exiting the Gatun Locks

The Brilliance of The Seas exiting the Gatun Locks

The Brilliance of The Seas at anchor in Lake Gatun

The Brilliance of The Seas at anchor in Lake Gatun

Approach to the Gatun Locks

Approach to the Gatun Locks

 This past January my wife and I took a fascinating cruise thru the Panama Canal on Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of The Seas. This is a wonderful ship and a great cruise for anyone that loves cruising. The day we began to  transit the canal started early in the morning just before sunrise. Our pilot arrived at our ship as the sun broke the horizon. We then picked up our two tug boats that would help our ship into the locks.  The total transit took about 3 hours. The pictures below are my “Photo Blog” of our experience through the Gatun Locks on the Caribbean side of the canal.

If you have never been on a Panama Canal cruise then you have never experienced the excitement that you feel as you approach and then transit the canal. It does get hot during the day, so take a lot of sunscreen along so you don’t get burned.

If you have never been on a Panama Canal cruise then you have never experienced the excitement that you feel as you approach and then transit the canal. It does get hot during the day, so take a lot of sunscreen along so you don’t get burned.If you have never been on a Panama Canal cruise then you have never experienced the excitement that you feel as you approach and then transit the canal. It does get hot during the day, so take a lot of sunscreen along so you don’t get burned.

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Travel Agents, Worth their weight in GOLD!

Posted by thetraveldoctor on October 6, 2008


 

Alan On Tour In The Pacific Northwest.

Alan On Tour In The Pacific Northwest.

Have you tried to make any travel plans lately? If you have, you probably have searched and searched the web till your head was spinning. What you need to do is find a good professional consultant. A good travel consultant can find you deals that are not available on the web and can save you hundreds of dollars on cruises and tours. They can also give you great advice for your trip, such as little known places to visit at your destination. 

There has been lots of talk as of late that Travel Agents are a dying breed. Not so, they are not only alive and kicking, but more and more travelers are turing to them for help in booking their vacation travel. So a tip to the savvy traveler or the novice traveler, use a travel agent and save lots of time and money!

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What Airlines Are Charging Extra For Today

Posted by thetraveldoctor on October 5, 2008


 

O'Hare Airport on a typical day

O'Hare Airport on a typical day

Here is a rundown of what airlines are charging extra for. They have raised their fares and now they charge you extra for more and more things that use to be free.

US Airways  Charges extra for: 1st Checked Bag, 2nd Checked Bag, Advanced “Prime” Seats, Soft drinks on Board, Pollows & Blankets and Headsets.

United Airlines Charges extra for: 1st Checked Bag, 2nd Checked Bag, and Advanced “Prime” Seats.

Northwest Airlines Charges extra for: 1st Checked Bag, 2nd Checked Bag, Advanced “Prime” Seats, and headsets.

Continental Airlines Charges extra for: 1st Checked Bag, 2nd Checked Bag, and headsets.

Delta Airlines Charges extra for: 2nd Checked Bag.

American Airlines Charges extra for: 1st Checked Bag and 2nd Checked Bag.

JetBlue Charges extra for: 2nd Checked Bag, Advanced “Prime” Seats, Pollows & Blankets and Headsets.

AirTran Charges extra for:  2nd Checked Bag, and Advanced “Prime” Seats.

Frontier Airlines Charges extra for: 2nd Checked Bag.

Alaska Airlines Charges extra for: 2nd Checked Bag. 

US Airways wins the award for the most additional fees charged. I guess that is why in 2007 US Airways was ranked dead last as the worst airline for customer service by consumer reports.

Also in 2007, the Today/Zagat Airline Survey rated US Airways as the worst airline overall in the United States, ranking it 10/30 for comfort, 5/30 for food, 10/30 for service, and 15/30 for its online reservations system. On August 1, 2008, US Airways ceased providing their passengers with free drinks, including water. Passengers must now purchase bottled water or soda for $2 US, or $1 US for coffee and tea.

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Southwest to Launch Minneapolis flights from Chicago

Posted by thetraveldoctor on October 4, 2008


 

Southwest Airlines in flight

Southwest Airlines in flight

Southwest Airlines announced on Wednesday that it will launch new service between Chicago Midway and Minneapolis St. Paul beginning in March. Southwest is moving into the Minneapolis St. Paul market right at the time that Northwest and Delta are expected to merge. This merger is expected to reduce service for Northwest at Minneapolis.  

Southwest is a great carrier and then know what they are doing. They would not launch service into a new market if they didn’t think they could make a profit. The Minneapolis market needs a good low cost carrier as fares to that city have been very high and with the entry of Southwest, it will bring fares down in the market.

Southwest plans to release more details about the Minneapolis service in the coming months.

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Carnival Cruise Line to Rework Three Ships with More Balconies

Posted by thetraveldoctor on October 3, 2008


 

The Theater on the Carnival Liberty

The Theater on the Carnival Liberty

Carnival Cruise Lines announced that they will be taking 3 ships out of service over the next three months to add cabins with balconies. The three ships are the Carnival Destiny, Carnival Triumph and the Carnival Liberty.  A total of 48 balcony cabins will be added to these ships. These cabins will feature floor to ceiling windows.

 

Ruben Rodriguez, Carnival’s executive Vice President stated that “Balcony staterooms continue to be in great demand. In fact, they’re often the first cabin category to sell out.” 

Carnival will also add two, 750 square foot “deluxe penthouse suites,” to the Carnival Liberty. These two penthouse suites have a separate bedroom, living room and two full baths and can accommodate up to five passengers.

I am looking forward to these upgrades to these great Carnival Ships.

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AirTran to Cancun starting in February

Posted by thetraveldoctor on October 2, 2008


 

 

AirTran 737 in Flight

AirTran 737 in Flight

For all of you living in the Atlanta area and The Baltimore/Washington area, AirTran will begin service to Cancun from your airports. The Atlanta  service will be daily and the Baltimore/Washington service will be on weekend only. The Atlanta service will begin on February 25 and the Baltimore service will begin on March 7. 

 

 

A press release states “Cancun is a premier vacation destination, and we will begin offering flights just in time to drive down fares and accommodate heavy passenger traffic for Winter and Spring Breaks,” said Kevin Healy, senior vice president of marketing and planning for AirTran Airways.  “AirTran Airways is committed to providing our customers with high quality service and low fares to the destinations they prefer.”

Here is the schedule for both Atlanta and Baltimore.

 

Nonstop Service Between Cancun and Atlanta

From   To   Flight   Departs Arrives Frequency
Atlanta   Cancun   41   10:00 a.m. 11:30 a.m. Daily
Cancun   Atlanta   42   12:15 p.m.   3:50 p.m. Daily

The following nonstop flights between Cancun and Baltimore/Washington will be available beginning March 7*:

Nonstop Service Between Cancun and Baltimore/Washington

From   To   Flight   Departs   Arrives   Frequency
Baltimore /Washington   Cancun   84   11:35 a.m.   2:00 p.m.   Sat / Sun**
Cancun   Baltimore /Washington   85     2:45 p.m.   7:10 p.m.   Sat / Sun**

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