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 The Tactical Traveler

joe A BUSINESS-TRAVEL BRIEFING
FOR JUNE 14, 2000


BY JOE BRANCATELLI

This week: America West’s Internet-only sale to the Rockies and other quick-hit discounts; United reschedules at SFO; Staples debuts at Newark International; Northwest to offer coupons for delayed luggage; Starwood tweaks Preferred Guest awards; poll says majority of business travelers are satisfied with overall flying experience; Continental and JetBlue add routes; the Leaning Tower of Pisa will reopen in 2001; Grand Canyon National Park Web site debuts; London’s Millennium Bridge opens—then closes; and more.

COST-CUTTERS: Quick-Hit Airline Discounts on the Web
America West is offering an Internet-only sale on flights to six Rocky Mountain destinations: Aspen, Durango, Grand Junction, Montrose and Telluride, Colorado; and Farmington, New Mexico. Prices are as low as $124 one-way, but tickets must be purchased by Sunday, June 18. A seven-day advance purchase and Saturday-night stay are required. … Meanwhile, Delta Express, Delta's low-fare division, is offering $5 off all one-way tickets and $10 off all roundtrip tickets purchased by July 13. Tickets must be booked at the website and travel must be completed by September 30.

AIRPORT REPORT: New Staples, New Flags, New Schedules
Staples, the office superstore chain, is building an airport empire, too. The company opened its third airport location this week, inside Terminal C at Newark International. Similar Staples shops have already opened in Philadelphia and Logan Airport in Boston. Another outlet opens next month in Pittsburgh. … The Four Points hotel at New York's Kennedy Airport has been reflagged as a Sheraton. Both hotels are part of the Starwood group. … Delay-plagued San Francisco International may be getting some relief. United Airlines, which dominates the airport, says it will adjust its schedule to help minimize late flights. The airport had criticized United's policy of flying a frequent schedule of small commuter planes to many destinations rather than operating fewer--but larger-capacity--aircraft.

ON THE FLY: News You Need to Know
Northwest Airlines says it will offer compensation in the form of discount coupons to passengers whose luggage is delayed. The program is scheduled to launch tomorrow, but the airline has not yet offered details and specifics. Discount coupons will be worth at least $25 off a future Northwest flight. … Starwood Preferred Guest, the frequent-stay program covering Westin, Sheraton and other hotels, is adjusting some award levels. Effective January 1, 20 of the program's most famous hotels will have "low season" and "high season" award rates. Until now, Starwood's award chart only offered one rate for each participating property. … From the we don't make the news, we just report it department. Delta Air Lines says a study conducted by Harris Interactive reports that 84 percent of "seasoned business travelers" are satisfied with their overall experiences flying for business. The poll is based on interviews with 500 travelers. The poll also claimed 95 percent of these business travelers do not consider work their first priority during flight.

ROUTE WATCH: More Service to Key Destinations
Continental Airlines is scheduled to add two new routes from its Houston/Intercontinental hub today. The airline will launch twice-daily flights to Oakland using 104-seat Boeing 737s. Also due: seasonal daily flights to Anchorage using 183-seat Boeing 757s. The airline today will also launch daily flights between its Newark hub and the resort destination of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. Flights will operate with 124-seat Boeing 737s. … JetBlue will launch low-cost transcontinental, night flights on August 3. The fast-growing start-up will fly daily nonstops from its hub at New York/Kennedy to Oakland and Ontario, California. Flights from Kennedy will depart at 8PM; California departures will be at 11:30PM. The airline has priced all coach seats at $99 to $249 one-way. JetBlue currently uses all-coach A320 aircraft, but will probably offer a premium-class cabin on the transcontinental flights.

VACATION STATION: Bridges, Towers, Canyons and the Sound of Music
The Montreal International Jazz Festival is scheduled for June 29 through July 9. The show encompasses 400 concerts--about 300 are free--and includes performances by Sting, Ray Charles, Herbie Hancock and Jimmy Cliff. … The company that controls the lodging and visitor services concession at Grand Canyon National Park has launched a website. The site offers details of accommodations, restaurants, tours and related events. … The Italian government has decided to reopen the Leaning Tower of Pisa next June after a decade of efforts to stabilize the tilting tower. … Just days after it opened to the public last week, the Millennium Bridge in London has been closed. The slender, 1,050-foot-long footbridge, the first span over the Thames built in more than a century, isn't falling down, but it does have a serious case of the shakes.

This column originally appeared at skymalltravel.com.

Copyright © 1999-2010 by Joe Brancatelli. All rights reserved.