Travelrific® Travel Journal

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Archive for July, 2007

Say ‘Please’

By Linda Tancs

Can you say “please” in 80 or more languages?  Learn how by subscribing to TravLang’s Word of the Day program.  Go to

The Kingdom of Nepal

By Linda Tancs

In this week’s edition of Travelrific Travel Show, the topic is Nepal.  This tiny kingdom boasts plenty of attractions in the valley for those who aren’t interested in scaling the world’s tallest mountain.  Tune in at

Las Vegas, Dubai Style

By Linda Tancs

Is there room in the world for another Strip (without the gambling)?  Dubai’s Bawadi is developing a $100 billion strip of themed resorts (think Epcot), including the world’s largest hotel.  The resorts characterizing the Americas will be the Latino Resort representing Latino culture, America Hotel and Resort (celebrating North American and South American cultures) and Wild Wild West (think John Wayne).  Other resorts will represent Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.   A Universal site will provide general entertainment.  Sounds more like a World’s Fair than a Vegas-like showplace.  Then again, maybe that’s the point.

Improved Airline Web Sites Seek to Enhance Customer Service

By Linda Tancs

In a bid no doubt to improve the customer service experience, several airlines have enhanced their Web sites to offer conveniences such as improved mileage reward retrieval and flight messaging services.  For instance, Delta Airlines ( offers award ticket FAQs, award travel tips and updated seat availability.  Also, American Airlines ( offers passengers the ability to download flight information to Palm organizers.  And not to be outdone, Southwest Airlines ( offers wireless check-in via web-enabled mobile devices.  Southwest’s Travel Tools aren’t too bad, either.  Check out their interactive route map.    Will all these “virtual” improvements translate into higher airline satisfaction ratings?  Probably not, so long as lines are long, baggage loss is up, fuel costs are high, and meals are reduced.  Perhaps seating space is more important than cyberspace.

The World’s First City to Go Green

By Linda Tancs

The Welsh have six different ways of saying “green,” so it should come as no surprise that Wales boasts the first city to adopt an all-green program.  The tiny hamlet of St. David’s has initiated an Eco City Project designed to maintain a carbon neutral lifestyle.  The project supports the planting and preservation of trees to absorb carbon emissions, harvesting of rainwater, low-energy light bulbs and solar-heated water.  Learn more at

Charles Dickens Comes to Life in Kent

By Linda Tancs

Charles Dickens alive and well in Chatham?  Bah, humbug.  But seriously, you can explore the life and times of the great storyteller in his hometown of Chatham, England along with many of his favorite characters at the newly opened Dickens World.  Check out

Alexandria, Virginia and Nearby Mount Vernon

By Linda Tancs

In this week’s edition of the podcast Travelrific Travel Show, the topic is Alexandria, Virginia and nearby Mount Vernon.  Experience the life and times of George Washington at his sprawling riverview estate, just miles from Old Town Alexandria, Virginia.  Tune in at

Your Car Key Could Cost You Money

By Linda Tancs

Is your car key “smart”?  It is if it contains embedded electronics designed to disable your car in the event of an attempted theft.  That’s a good thing, right?  Of course, it is–until you lose or damage your smarty pants key and the locksmith can’t duplicate it without access to the key’s code, and it’s a Saturday night.  Is your dealer open 24/7?  If the American Automobile Association has its way, each state will require auto manufacturers to make this information available to consumers around the clock so you needn’t waste your time or your money.  Check out for more information or ask your local legislator.

Use of Cell Phones During U.S. Flights is Scrapped

By Linda Tancs

The FCC has abandoned its plans to initiate the use of cell phones during commercial flights in the U.S.  But don’t put away those cell phones just yet.  European regulators just might green-light the idea after airlines finish testing for interference.  Why the difference in philosophy?  Undoubtedly it has something to do with the mobile phone culture in Europe, about a billion or so users strong.  How’s that for market penetration?

Proposed Change in Overbooked Flights Comp Rule

By Linda Tancs

For the first time in 30 years, the U.S. Dept. of Transportation is considering upping the ante on compensation for stranded passengers.  Current rules allow for compensation up to $200 for domestic flights delayed up to 2 hours and international flights delayed up to 4 hours.   For delays past 2 hours and 4 hours, respectively, the ante is raised to $400.

Of course, these amounts are not indexed for inflation.  That’s why one of the proposals on the table is to increase the $200 cap to $624 and the $400 cap to $1248.  There are other proposals as well, such as eliminating all compensation limits and using the ticket’s value as a guide.  What say you?  Weigh in with your two cents by September 10, 2007.  Go to and plug in docket number OST-01-9325-4 to read all of the proposals and instructions for public comment.

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