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Tagged With "fuel costs"

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Re: Marriott to offer free wi-fi to all its Rewards member

PortMoresby ·
And let us not forget the dreaded "resort fees". Defined as meaning anything the hotel wants it to mean. And charged whether we use the facilities it's said to cover, or not. Look in the dictionary for the definition of "chicken shit" and you'll find "resort fees". If everyone must pay it, it should rightly be included in the room rate. Even my favorite, AirBnB, makes options available for hosts - cleaning fee, security deposit, a charge for more than 1 person and even possibilities for...
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Re: New Eurostar Service, London - Provence

GarryRF ·
Sorry Paul but you've lost me ! If you fly to Marseilles and take the 760 mile train journey to London you'll avoid the APD. True. But that will cost you more than the APD and you'll waste a day. You dont see much from the window on a train doing 186 MPH. Be aware that the nation with the most heavily taxed European passengers is France, where over 60% of airport and passenger charges are in the form of state taxes to be paid by the passenger.
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Re: ...and you thought Austin was only for country music: 7th Annual Bug-Eating Festival

PortMoresby ·
I'm not even going to look - yet another confirmation that any event name ending in "festival" should be avoided for a variety of reasons and at all cost.
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Re: Americans Leaving Half Their Paid Vacations Ununsed

DrFumblefinger ·
I also can't imagine not using vacation time....I never had enough and I have more than many. Travel doesn't have to be expensive. There are inexpensive destinations and activities one can do. "Being a tourist at home" is one way -- seeing those sites others come to see and that locals never seem to get around to. Visiting family and friends. And of course, there is camping. If you've the gear, or can borrow some, a tank of gas and cost of a tent pad is your only expense. I certainly did...
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Re: London- multiple questions

DrFumblefinger ·
You've gotten some great advice! I think that as a daytrip, Liverpool pushing the fringes of what you want to do because of the cost and travel time (total 5 hours). Maybe best to make an overnight of that one?
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Re: London- multiple questions

PHeymont ·
I can only help with one of the questions...but GarryRF, one of the TG Gurus, lives in Liverpool and can certainly help with that part. For Stonehenge without a car, there are really two main options. There are a number of tour operators who run coach tours from London to the site; or you can take a train from London to Salisbury and take a bus from the station to the Stonehenge visitor center. The visitor center is new since I was there; it's about 10 minutes by shuttle from the stones...
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Re: Four Days in Berlin

PHeymont ·
I'll be posting some Berlin blogs in the next few weeks, since we visited last month...but for the moment, I'll start with one of our best experiences—a food walking tour. It's a great way to meet other visitors and to experience local foods and their history. We started at a small cafe/sweetshop and ate our way through breads and meats and pastries and ended up at a beer garden run by a small artisanal brewery, where the owner/brewmaster sat with us and then took us on a tour of his...
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Re: New York Taxis Debut App to Compete with Uber

PHeymont ·
Anything that pushes back at Uber is generally fine with me, but there are a few side issues here...starting with the "aging taxi fleet," which is actually newer than it's been in many years. The NV2000 boondoggle (and that's what it is) started with the previous mayor, Bloomberg, who decided that all owners should be forced to use the same cab..and then chose the NV2000, which does not, and cannot, meet ADA standards. For it to be wheelchair accessible requires an aftermarket conversion...
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Re: New York Taxis Debut App to Compete with Uber

PHeymont ·
Well, even without the app, it's not like the fa e is a blind guess, either. There's a meter, and a rate based on miles and time...just like almost every other big city. And there are online calculators such as WorldTaxi which will tell you about what a specific trip should cost, It's not that there aren't things that could improve, but Uber is no improvement, with its cavalier attitudes (surge pricing, drivers stiffed on rates, lack of or inadequate insurance) and its not paying its share...
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Re: Air Canada Launches Free Layover Program in Toronto

DrFumblefinger ·
I'm not sure why they're limiting it to people from the USA. Vancouver to Toronto is a 5 hour flight. A layover might be enjoyed by people traveling overseas. A few months ago a dedicated train service from Pearson airport to downtown Toronto began and this has greatly improved access to the city. And also reduced the cost of reaching downtown dramatically. http://www.metrolinx.com/en/pr...press/upexpress.aspx
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Re: Punalu'u Black Sand Beach Park, Hawaii Island, Hawaii

GarryRF ·
You'd love the Canary Isles. Volcanic islands off the north west cost of Africa. Its a winter hotspot where the islands belong to Spain. Its party time all year and a favourite with the younger set. Its famous on Tenerife for young men to drive up Mount Teide in winter and collect snow from the peak in Cooler Boxes. Drive back down to the 77'f / 25'c beaches and throw snowballs at the topless sunbathers. Might be a bit too much for non-Europeans !!
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Re: SkyMall's Business Dwindles With Increased Internet Usage In-Flight

PHeymont ·
Sorry, DrF, but they ARE gone. The name and remaining assets will be auctioned, and there's a fair chance a website under that name will survive, but the paper version in the seatback is doomed. Here's why. First, from the airline point of view, the small fees received from SkyMall no longer match the cost of having cabin and ground crew maintain the placement. That's why Delta stopped placing it a few months ago, and others seemed poised to follow. Second, SkyMall only looks like a catalog.
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Re: Ryanair's 5-year plan: Trans-atlantic for 10£

PHeymont ·
But just around the corner, if they succeed, won't we hear the legacy airlines complaining they're being crushed between the ultra-low-cost-carriers and the limousines of the Gulf? Wow, what a fiesta of dueling press conferences that will be!
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Re: Airports, Airlines battle over passenger fees

DrFumblefinger ·
Good points, PHeymont. I have noticed the extremely high fees imposed by airport car rentals. Sometimes these exceed the cost of the car rental itself.
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Re: No Joke! Airplane Tickets Coming to Vending Machines!

PHeymont ·
Seems like it won't cost too much to make that a round trip...here's a sample of fares for April returning from Barcelona: Could give a new meaning to "open jaw!"
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Re: A Price War over Trans-Atlantic? TravelGumbo interviews Norwegian Air

Travel Rob ·
In one of Norwegians press releases they do raise an interesting question. "Why should a flight between New York and Europe cost three times as much as a flight between New York and Los Angeles? The flight to Europe is only about an hour longer, sometimes even less." I've noticed flights to Asia from Europe are sometimes two to three times as cheap versus flights from the US to Asia and they have roughly the same flight time.
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Re: A Price War over Trans-Atlantic? TravelGumbo interviews Norwegian Air

DrFumblefinger ·
I wish them success. And I hope they start flying into Canada. We could a new low cost carrier here. Nice piece, Rob, thanks. I found it very informative.
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Re: A Price War over Trans-Atlantic? TravelGumbo interviews Norwegian Air

Travel Rob ·
I recently saw a cheap fare from Norwegian posted on The Flight Deal website. What struck me is what they said in the post (below) and how it really demonstrates the same Skytrain price matching problem . I do think consumers have to think that if they choose the legacy carriers price match ,instead of Norwegians, there might not be these lower fares in the future that Delta or United will match. " Norwegian is a low cost carrier so they will charge you for everything – advanced seat...
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Re: Europe's cost-of-living has wide range

PortMoresby ·
There are websites devoted to helping people sort out the possibilities worldwide. This is one I've found useful: http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/rankings.jsp
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Re: Airbnb Questions

PortMoresby ·
1. "...is payment for Airbnb places always processed in the US even for stays overseas?" Airbnb processes reservations for guests in their own currency, pays out in the currency of the host. So you, in the US, will always pay in US dollars, a UK resident will pay in £s, etc. The host posts prices in their home currency and when a guest in another country logs in and searches/books, the price is converted by the website at the current exchange rate and they always see the rate in their own...
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Re: Ferry Service to Cuba Approved by US

GarryRF ·
The Ferry from Liverpool. UK to Ireland takes 8 hours. That will cost $300. For a car and 2 passengers. Only $60 (£40) for a foot passenger. And that's return too. No baggage charges. The high speed catamaran often gets stuck in port when the weather turns stormy. The Catamaran may be stuck in Havana for a few days with 200 passengers on board. Expensive. SEACAT arriving in Liverpool.
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Re: Ferry Service to Cuba Approved by US

PHeymont ·
I see that there are actually some fares quite a bit cheaper on that ferry, but I'm surprised it should be so busy when it's clearly more than the cost of Ryanair+car rental for a few days...so who is the "audience" for that route? I actually wondered the same thing about Havana...are there enough people who want to go but don't want to fly?
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Re: Airlines defend holding onto fuel surcharges

GarryRF ·
There is no excuse for collecting money for fuel surcharges. That's not what it is being used for. That's just dishonest and fraudulent. Which is what we expect from people who think they have a better use for other peoples money. It's just like taking unemployment benefit after you've gone back to work. Just not acceptable.
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Re: Airlines defend holding onto fuel surcharges

DrFumblefinger ·
I agree with Garry. It is dishonest to call something a "fuel surcharge" when it's not used for that purpose. They should just make it part of the fare.
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Re: Airlines defend holding onto fuel surcharges

PHeymont ·
Or, alternately, if it’s a time-limited charge to pay for specific capital costs of improvement, call it that—and take it off when the work is done. Although those of us who live with bridges and tunnels that were supposed to become free after they were paid off…good luck!
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Re: Visiting Cuba.

GarryRF ·
Hi HistoryDigger. We always get the leader of the Animation Team - he organises the shows and dancing inside the hotel. He knows all the local places of interest. Obviously It depends on which region you'll be visiting. He'll organise a 12 seat Hyundai van for the day 8 - 4pm. Including gas and driver it costs us around $200 equivalent. (Divide that by 10 in the group) Lunch in a restaurant another $15 each. Nice tip for the driver when you start off and he'll be your friend for ever ! The...
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Re: Airlines defend holding onto fuel surcharges

GarryRF ·
Yes Paul. We've been paying for the 3 mile tunnel under the River Mersey for 50 years. It was supposed to be free 2 years ago - fully paid for. We're still paying now - with an increase to subsidise better public transport. Again - I smell a rat in the kitchen. A greedy one as well
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Re: Germans Reflect on Reunification

DrFumblefinger ·
I was in Berlin on Saturday, the day of the 25th anniversary of reunification. There were tons of people in the city, as crowded as I've ever seen any major city. The main activities were in the Tiergarten, especially around the Brandenburg gate. By the time we made our way there, the police had closed down the area and were not allowing more people in because it was overcrowded. Still, everyone seemed well behaved and having a nice time. I think most Germans feel reunification was a good...
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Re: Do Airlines offer the Best Loyalty Rewards Programs?

PHeymont ·
A very interesting interview...and one of the points that comes clear from it is the one I've always made: What are you looking for? He gives examples, for instance, of how younger people may want low-cost rewards (dinner, say) that they can get immediately. Others may be mainly interested in the free wifi, lounges and upgrades some hotels offer. And others, like I, who seldom stay in hotels (Airbnb, thank you!) are interested mainly in convertibility to air travel. For those in my...
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Re: More airlines join PreCheck; total is now 72

PHeymont ·
Room for one more! The total is now up to 73, with Brazilian low-cost carrier Azul joining the crowd.
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Re: A Complete Guide to Buy Travel Insurance for your upcoming vacations

Dan Carter ·
Just to add a personal note to these recommendations. I traveled for years without travel insurance, thinking that I could cover or recover lost reservations, luggage, etc. but friends' experiences made me realize that the medical and evacuation coverage is the real key. And then, a few years later we had an unexpected three-week hospitalization in Europe that ended with a medevac flight back to the U.S. The hospital bill was over $30,000 (much less than it would have been at home), and half...
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Re: Museum find: GE's 'missing' electric car

DrFumblefinger ·
I have some friends with a Prius, and their greatest fuel efficiency comes when driving in the city, not on the highway. Paradoxical, but it shows how good the braking is at building up a charge. Good to know there is a backup generator. While the hybrids save on fuel, they also cost thousands of dollars more than their non hybrid counterparts. For an average consumer, it takes many years to recapture that extra cost for the hybrid on fuel savings, if they ever will. And there's the issue of...
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Re: A shout-out for Ryanair...no kidding!

GarryRF ·
Ireland's Ryanair has overtaken Lufthansa as Europe's biggest airline by passenger numbers. Lufthansa's 109.7 million passengers last year fell short of the 117 million passengers reported by low-cost carrier Ryanair last week, a 15% increase on the previous year, as Ryanair pulled in passengers with low prices. Any airline that gets me across Europe for $15 US (one way) can be as rude as they like. But Ryanair have always been a courteous and professional company to deal with. Delta and...
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Re: Campaigners ask: Can the QE2 be saved?

PHeymont ·
I read some years ago of extensive ship-breaking on the Bangladesh coast, where labor is cheap and regulations scanty...an immense amount of dangerous work, but because the labor is cheap, the scrap profits are high, or higher than they would be if the cost of recovery were high. Which leads me to wonder: what would be the economic value of that long tow to Brownsville as opposed to scrapping the ship on the West Coast? Ideas, anyone?
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Re: How do you buy your travel?

DrFumblefinger ·
I never trusted travel agents before the freedom of the internet gave us access to cost information, and I would need a great excuse to trust them now. Online travel purchasing gives us the freedom to have price information come directly to us, rather than to a middle man who may or may not have our best interests in mind. So flights I'll buy either through Expedia or from the airline directly (esp if they are having a "sale"). Rooms I almost get through booking.com, my favorite site because...
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Re: How do you buy your travel?

PHeymont ·
Few more thoughts, following HistoryDigger and DrFumblefinger... 1. Definitely check all your affiliations on car rental; after years of getting better price through AAA than any other way I knew, I recently found that going to the same vendors through USAA (my car insurance) gets me even better. 2. Not only does Priceline have good pricing on cars, I've often found I can get 30-40% lower through their blind-bidding (Name Your Own Price) service. 3. RailEurope is something of a red flag for...
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Re: Neighborhoods in Santiago de Cuba

GarryRF ·
I'm not familiar with Santiago de Cuba. Casa particulares will provide you with meals and drinks. Stores and Restaurants are hard to find and most food is still rationed to the Cubans. Cuban water is safe for the locals but carries a high mineral content, which may cause gastro problems. Bottled "Montero" water is available and low cost. Quite nice too. Santiago de Cuba is not on the tourist lists for us Brits. Most Cuban food uses - Rice -Beans - Eggs - Chicken - Pork (No Beef) - Fish...
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Re: U.S. taxes on flying among world's highest

PortMoresby ·
Oh, darn. I thought this was about paying a fee to sit in a section with our fellow stoned passengers.
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Re: U.S. taxes on flying among world's highest

PHeymont ·
That comes free with a stopover in Denver...
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Re: easyJet's founder launches cut-rate food store

GarryRF ·
Stelios is a clever man. Lots of free advertising for a new cut price food store. Many basic items such as sugar - tea - canned drinks - bottled water - beer - vegetables and milk can be found below 25 pence / 35 cents in lo-cost stores in the UK already. And next month when it all goes to 50 pence he'll once again be on a winner !
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Re: Cost of Japan flights to plummet in 2016

GarryRF ·
With fuel charges at a 12 year low all the Air carriers should stop gouging the public and give us all a refund.
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Re: American to drop seatback entertainment

DrFumblefinger ·
Now that I can download Netflix features to my tablet, this is not an important feature for me on a domestic flight. But I would think the incremental cost for a flight's passenger is rather small and it seems pretty small of American to do this.
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Re: American to drop seatback entertainment

Jonathan L ·
Most people were interested in having the wifi entertainment, especially if there were some levels that came at no extra cost. BTW this did not include wifi connections that extended off of the train. only to give passengers access to entertainment
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Re: It's not a train, it's not a plane, but it's superfast!

DrFumblefinger ·
If not cost prohibitive, it would be an excellent way to travel around Europe.
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Re: NYC's Laguardia gets builder for new terminal

PHeymont ·
So you're taking the low end of the pool? LOL! Actually, there is a smallish incentive to keep the cost low as possible, because the consortium's $2.5 billion share is meant to be made back out of operating profits once the terminal is open. So, if they run the cost up, it will take them longer to get their money back. On the other hand, my guess at the scenario is that they'll have arranged for most of any overrun to come from PA or state funds...
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ToNiagara

ToNiagara
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Re: Is a stopover in Iceland worthwhile

PHeymont ·
Well, I said so much about Iceland, I decided to leave the rest for another post. Getting from Barcelona (or Madrid) to Lisbon: the only practical way is to fly. Train takes too long for this one, and costs more! From Barcelona to Lisbon, flights on Vueling, Iberia, TAP, etc. run from $35 one-way to about $80 before you hit the high-priced ones. I just looked in May; Vueling and Iberia have $68 in the morning and $35 at 7:30 pm. Madrid-Lisbon, there's a $40 mid-day flight, but most other...
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Re: A visit to Great Basin National Park

DrFumblefinger ·
Costs for the existing parks is mostly maintenance and salary. In the face of a broke federal government, I would favor increased user fees. $10-20 for a family to visit a national park for a week is the greatest bargain out there. People who love the parks would happily pay twice as much and I don't think the extra cost would be a deterent. Also, it's reasonable for those with concessions to pay up more than they are. They are given a monopoly and some of those profits should go back to the...
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Re: Need help planning Morocco trip

PortMoresby ·
To add to Mac's suggestions, with the week you have I'd recommend either a combination of Fes & Chefchaouen OR Marrakech & Essaouira. The first gives you an interesting medina experience combined with a very pretty mountain town and the Roman ruins of Volubilis between. The second a large city with all it has to offer plus a much smaller and very beautiful seaside fishing town with good tourist infrastructure. For that time of year I'd recommend Marrakech/Essaouira. If you're passing...
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