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Daily Travel Dish

November 20, 2003 

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is trying to sink the Republican National Convention's plan of putting up people on a luxury cruise ship. The Republican party is planning on using Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Dawn as a hotel during the Aug. 30-Sept. 2 convention at Madison Square Garden. Mayor Bloomberg is against the plan because he feels it would be a significant financial blow to the city since the 2,200 guests on the ship will not be staying in hotels -- and perhaps not be eating in restaurants or drinking in bars. AnitaVacation asks, is this fear of losing business to cruise ships the real reason why New York City refuses to fix up its shameful outdated pier terminals?

See the ship Bloomberg's afraid of.

November 19, 2003 

Something is soaring over Philadelphia and we aren't talking about the Eagles. Seems Philly has become a choice hangout for vultures of the airline kind. Southwest Airlines recently announced they will enter the Philadelphia market in May. Now, word on the street has it that a British invasion may be about to take flight. Will the dominant airline in Philadelphia cry "fowl"? Or will the airline fly into virgin or uni-ted territory with new wings? Or will it just get the flock out of there?

Speaking of ruffled feathers…

Northwest Airlines is saying Cheap Tickets is playing cheap tricks with the airline's fare displays. Northwest claims that Cheap Tickets displayed the fares and schedules in a "biased manner" giving preferential listings to airlines that have a "business relationship" with the site. With that, Northwest pulled its fares off Cheap Tickets' website; however, they will allow Cheap Tickets to sell tickets over the phone. Cheap Tickets is disputing Northwest's accusations. You may recall, Northwest had a similar dispute last year with Expedia, which ended after a three-weeks.

November 18, 2003 

In an apparent slap in the face of conventional service industry wisdom where 'the customer is always right', US Airways decided to ban one of its top patrons. Jeffrey Gitomer, a businessman and writer based out of Charlotte, North Carolina was banned from flying US Airways and had his frequent flier miles confiscated. The tit for tat between Gitomer and US Airways played out recently in the Charlotte Business Journal newspaper. In his column, Gitomer said the airline has lousy food, unfriendly employees and poor service. US Airways' in a counter-point column labeled Gitomer a "chronic complainer who is abusive towards employees."

Gitomer has the dubious distinction of being the first and only customer ever banned from US Airways. Read the articles, take our poll and post your thoughts on our bulletin board. I guarantee you, this is one story we have not heard the last of.

November 17, 2003 

Delta Airlines' low-cost carrier, Song, is introducing the world's most sophisticated seatback entertainment system that includes satellite TV, MP3 song downloads and the ability to play computer games with other passengers. Cool! Still, this Delta frequent flier would like to see this go on their mainline jets.

This weekend's tragedy in France involving Cunard's Queen Mary 2 may delay the vessel's inaugural sailing in January. Sixteen people were killed when the gangway leading to the ship collapsed. Company officials are awaiting to hear from Chantiers de l’Atlantique (ship's builder) to see if the Queen Mary 2 will stay on schedule.

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