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Archive for March, 2008

Travel May Affect Insurance–Part Two

By Linda Tancs

In follow up to our 26 February post, New Jersey has now passed a law forbidding life insurance companies from adjusting premiums based on the travel predilections of policy owners–for the most part, that is.  Exclusion is made for the application of sound actuarial principles or past experience.  You can read the new law at

The Luxury of Monaco

By Linda Tancs

Monaco is synonymous with luxury, from its five-star hotels and famous casino to the slew of Rolls-Royces, Aston Martins and Bentleys that cascade around the tree-lined streets and boulevards.  Experience the grandeur at

Passenger Bill of Rights Gets Tossed

By Linda Tancs

A New York appellate court has invalidated the nation’s first passenger bill of rights passed in that state, declaring that it conflicts with federal law designed to establish airlines’ rights and obligations regarding service.  As travelers increasingly suffered the indignity of lengthy confinement on the tarmac sans food or drink, the idea of a passenger bill of rights gained ground around the nation among legislators.  These bills intended to guarantee delayed passengers certain amenities such as food, water, clean toilets and fresh air.  Now, unless Congress decides to legislate airline service in such circumstances, the treatment accorded New York’s bill doesn’t bode well for similar legislation proposed in states such as New Jersey and Washington.

Dealing with Air or Sea Emergencies

By Linda Tancs

Ever wonder who helps air or sea crews deal with passenger emergencies–besides other passengers with medical training?  One emergency service provider is MedAire, whose services came to light recently when an air passenger died on a flight from the Caribbean to New York.  According to their Web site, MedAire provides an array of services, including real-time medical assistance, medical training (including physiology as well as CPR) and medical equipment.  Not all commercial carriers subscribe to their services, however.  So before you travel, maybe another question you should get answered is how your carrier is prepared to deal with medical emergencies beyond standard crew training.

Pan-Asian Dining on Holland America

By Linda Tancs

Eurodam, Holland America’s newest build debuting this summer, promises Pan-Asian surf to rival the best fare available on turf.  According to the Eurodam news blog, here’s a sampling of the dishes to be available in the reservations-only eatery on Deck 11:  shrimp wanton, ginger-infused scallop consommé, steamed lobster with garlic, ginger and chili, baked snapper in rice paper, and a paella-style seafood hot pot.  The menu is in English, but something tells me it would sound great in any language.

Cruise Ports Unite in Marketing Alliance

By Linda Tancs

In a bid for attention among the better known (and used) ports of the Mediterranean and Baltic, fifteen European ports have united to market their appeal to cruise travelers.  Calling themselves the Atlantic Alliance, the fifteen members of this cooperative are:  Hamburg, Bremerhaven, IJmuiden, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Cherbourg, Saint-Malo, Brest, Nantes, La Rochelle, Bordeaux, Santander, Vigo and Lisbon.  More West European ports are expected to join in the future.

Cheap Flights to Germany

By Linda Tancs

Hamburg, anyone?  Air Berlin offers a one-way ticket to Hamburg (via Dusseldorf) from JFK for $338, including all taxes and fees–a rare find these days.  Flights within Germany start at 29 euros.  Find out more at

Airlines Shuffle in Response to Rising Costs

By Linda Tancs

It’s been no secret that the airlines are feeling the pain of rising fuel costs.  Now, in a move attributed to those costs, Delta has announced a buy-out package for a whopping 30,000 employees.  U.S. carriers aren’t the only ones reeling from expenses, however.  Alitalia has a deal in the works to combine with Air France-KLM.  The billion dollar deal is being hailed by Alitalia’s board as a means to achieve higher critical mass and create synergies that cannot be otherwise accomplished through traditional alliances, particularly in this cyclical downturn worsened by rising fuel costs.  Of course, tour and cruise operators have likewise responded to fuel costs by raising or implementing surcharges on customers.  And, as any visit to the gas pump shows, the end is nowhere in sight.

Oh, Canada!

By Linda Tancs

Canada’s motto is “from sea to sea.”  And that’s no exaggeration for this country covering the Atlantic in the east, the Pacific in the west, and the Arctic in the north.  Explore this vast expanse at

St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations Abound

By Linda Tancs

More than just a holy day, the feast of St. Patrick is celebrated with song, parades and, of course, lots of comfort food.  Whether or not you’ve made it to the festivities in or around locales like Dublin, Galway, Belfast or Cork (or anywhere else in the world), you can virtually be there in the online community of Second Life.  Or watch the movie at  Either way, as the Irish say, céad míle fáilte!

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