Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

TED | Talks | Wade Davis: Cultures at the far edge of the world (video)

October 6, 2007 Leave a comment

A multicultural, pluralistic world explained by Wade Davis…

Vodpod videos no longer available.
Categories: Travel

Airline Cancellation Policies

For the benefit of all you flying with irregular schedules that sometimes cause you to have to cancel and then fly on a credit, I will analyze my recent experiences with cancellations and bookings with credit on three major airlines: American Airlines, Delta, and US Airways.

  1. American Airlines – When I called to cancel, I had a $100 cancellation fee for changing my flying date. When I called to book my flight on credit, I received excellent and fast customer service. Fares published on the Internet were similar to those given to me over the phone.
  2. Delta -They had the lowest cancellation fee of $30. I was informed that cancellation penalties usually range $30-50. When I called to book my flight on credit, customer service was excellent and I received similar fares to those shown on the Internet.
  3. US Airways – has a $100 cancellation fee. When I called to book on credit, I was placed on hold for 20 minutes while the operator searched for available flights. A quoted price of $300 on the Internet was quoted at $500 over the phone. I asked for something better, and they offered me a sooner flight for $1100. I asked the woman to look for a better deal comparable to what they offer online. I was placed on hold again for 40 minutes and then was rerouted back to the main recording of US Airways. I called later for a different flight and again was quoted a cost nearly double of what is published online. I have not been able to book a flight with my credit on US Airways.

From my experience, I recommend booking a flight on Delta if you suspect any possibility of cancellations. Otherwise, I would go with American Airlines. Don’t buy the insurance, they are a ripoff.

Categories: Business, English, Travel

Purchase Airfare Smarter

April 22, 2007 Leave a comment

In my family, everyone mistakes me with the Internet auction, travel, credit check, payment handling, hosting, tech support guy. Whatever it is, I usually try to find the smartest tools to get the job done. When it comes to travel, I make a lot of reservations. In what has passed of this year, I am up to nine flights plus the numerous ones I’ve reserved for those family members that confuse me with a travel agent. I’ve begun to use Farecast repeatedly and find myself going back to it. The greatest advantage of this website over the traditional Orbitz, Expedia, and Travelocity of the market is Farecast’s historical pricing information, how it’s displayed, and the way you can use that to understand with higher precision when is the right time for purchasing airfare.

Another excellent offering is their Fare Guard product. Anyone can say the price is going down on a ticket you want to buy, but Farecast goes further and guarantees it. Instead of purchasing the ticket, if Farecast believes the price will go down, they offer you the chance to buy a Fare Guard, which means they guarantee the present airfare for an entire weak. The airfare protection only costs $9.99, which is a fair price for the peace of knowing your ticket won’t skyrocket in those seven days of waiting.

Categories: Business, English, Internet, Travel

Amtrak Surcharge Ripoff

March 19, 2007 1 comment

Can a lawyer please submit a class action lawsuit against Amtrak?

Last Thursday I had to take the Amtrak on my way to Davis, CA. At the information booth, I was told that the ticket could be purchased inside the train, so I did and everything was fine. However, on my way back from Davis I boarded the train once again and this time was penalized a 55% surcharge for purchasing the ticket in the train. They informed me that I was supposed to buy the ticket at the booth after boarding the train.

First, there aren’t any signs warning about this. Second, the rules are inconsistent and contradictory. Third, I was allowed in the train without being advised on this “policy”.

What impressed me the most was they were aggressive about enforcing this surcharge but failed to check my ID. They never bothered to check my ID, yet a black man was thrown out of the train for not having any ID.

Shame on you Amtrak

Categories: Business, English, General, Travel

Way up high

March 19, 2007 Leave a comment

Last week I had a flight with a good view of clouds from the airplane. Here are a few shots, enjoy:

Categories: English, General, Travel

Il Mulino @ Ritz Carlton Isla Verde, Puerto Rico

March 10, 2007 Leave a comment

I’ve been warming up in Puerto Rico for the last three weeks before going back to San Francisco and have to mention Il Mulino because of my outstanding experience there. Il Mulino is located inside the Ritz Carlton and is decorated with a dim light setting. They distinguish themselves the most with their attention and mastery of details. Whether you are into the 12 year old Parmesan, fine pesto sauce with homemade pasta, or a surprise confection from the manager, your expectations will most likely be exceeded.

Il Mulino goes beyond service. Go get pampered.

Phone: (787) 253-1700

Categories: English, General, Travel