Monday, March 31, 2008

Air Sick Lesson 4 Part 2 / The Airline Seat

Let’s begin with looking at the architecture of the airline seat. The airline seat was designed by highly trained professionals who were laid off once torture was banned in most parts of the world and they needed a job for their particular skill set. Many people spent many hours brainstorming the dimentions and physics of the airline seat. They had high level meetings, drew sketches, employed state of the art software and poured millions of man-hours into the final design before realizing they didn’t take into consideration the average human is not 4’2” tall and weigh 72 pounds. Realizing that starting over again would cost too much time and money they went out, got drunk, laughed their ass off and decided “screw em, we keeping it”.


The garden variety airline seat in economy class has a pitch of 31” (the amount the seat will recline and consequently ram the serving tray into the large intestines of person behind you) and is 17” wide. Let’s examine things that are more then 17” wide… I guess we could start with YOU…..you, at least 65% of you in the world are wider then 17”. The drivers seat in your car is very comfortable isn’t it…that’s 21”, you are very comfortable sitting on your sofa right, 22”, how about your recliner 22”, your dining room chair, 20”, the chair in your office or cubicle 21” to 24” I guess depending on your position. The fact of the matter is the majority of seats in the world can accommodate most human dimensions comfortably.


Forget for a second the 17” of width you have, those airline engineers who are in desperate need of anger management dreamed up another factor to consider. Do you know what the difference is between the driver’s seat of your car, your sofa, your recliner, your dining room or office chair and an airline seat? No one is sitting next to you in any of these and they also only have 17”.


Another thing about your seat space, 17” is for those of you traveling on a full size plane, amazingly they get smaller. As more airlines have switched to smaller regional jets, if you are unlucky enough to be booked on what I affectionately refer to as a crop duster, the planes normally used to serve smaller airports or shorter routes, your seat shrinks to 16”.

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Break From Travel / My Favorite Pinoy TV People




My wife and I watch TFC quite a bit and I thought I would take a break from travel related news to do a different ranking...my favorite TFC personalities.


Luninging from Wowwowwee








Ted Faylon from TV Patrol (I learn Tagalog from him)



Pokwang

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Air Sick Lesson 5 Part 1 / Arriving at the Airport

Now that you have threaded the travel need of selecting your flight, seat, hotel and rental car you begin the pride swallowing siege of your trip. The reality of how amazingly backwards the airlines industry really is becomes readily apparent the minute you arrive at the airport. After you drag your belongings from the parking lot into the main terminal you are confronted with the check-in counter. The scene is something straight out of Gladiator, with weapon toting ogres manning the coliseum awaiting the next prey to enter their realm.


After taking your place in line, a line resembling something out of Disney World, which snakes around the terminal lobby in an endless sea of human mass, any hope of a smooth transaction fades from your thoughts. The length of the line at the check-in counter has a direct relationship between the numbers of representatives helping you. The larger the line, the less service representatives. Actually there are quite a few service personnel behind the desk, and you while away the hours trying to figure out what they are doing. For ever one airline representative actually assisting passengers behind the desk, there are five others planning their lunch, playing Nintendo, balancing their checkbook, you can decide for yourself, I have yet to figure it out.

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Worst Strip Hotel in Las Vegas - Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino


I recently stayed at the Planet Hollywood for three nights for business/convention.

I have stayed at numerous hotels on the strip over the year. The quality is definitely going downhill fast as demand out paces supply there is no real incentive for strip hotels to improve as they are booking rooms anyhow.

Out of all the hotels I have stayed at on the strip, the planet hollywood has got to be the worst hotel I have ever stayed at. It is just down right gross. It reminds you of a 1970 holiday inn, and not the good ones and I was actually in a renovated room. I guess they are trying to come up with a theme for this place but I could never figure out what it is, they just threw plastic furniture around the room, added a plasma tv and called it a day. The bed is old, not very comfortable even though they have thrown a new duvet over it.

The bathrooms are just painful with a really wierd tub that I guess is masquerading as a spa tub but really looks like a big pail. The shower is old with no water pressure so you have to jog around it to get wet. The music is everywhere which is fine at night but not at 7 am when you want breakfast and have to listen to loud rock music. The maid service is horrible, other then making the bed I am not sure what they had done. There are only 2 towels in the room regardless if there are two of you there.

I cant think of one redeeming value to this hotel. My company paid for this room, I can assure you I would have walked out if I was paying. You would be out of your mind to pay more then $100 a night for a room at this place.

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Air Sick Lesson 4 Part 2 / Gorillas and the Arm Rest

Some of us have invisible signs on our foreheads that say a variety of things like, “please give me the crappiest table in the restaurant” or “I know there are 1000 cars in your lot but would you please put in me another tan Ford Taurus”. I have read stories in magazines about people who get seated next to a long, lean, leggy supermodel on a flight and have a romantic connection leading to a lusty liaison in some alpine villa. Well the sign I have on my head is “if you weigh over 400 pounds and smell like micro waved herring, please sit next to me”. I have long given up hope of having the seat next to me empty, now I spend the boarding process in a series of prayers to various gods to please, please, please don’t let that be the guy or gal sitting next to me as I watch sasquatch walking down the aisle.


This wouldn’t be so bad if there was some time of barrier separating you from the person next to you other then an arm rest which measure….I shit you not…2 ½” and that is for both of you to share. That tiny little arm rest is the only thing that defines your personal space from your isle mates. There is wars waged everyday in the skies above the world for that small piece of property. Since this is the only neutral ground, the utilization of the arm rest depends greatly on the level of détente you establish with your isle mate. The most congenial relationships between seat mates demands that neither actually utilize the arm rest, rather just leveraging pieces of it by defying the structure of your elbow to obtain a rest position that doesn’t cause you Charlie horses.


This state of détente rarely ever happens however and the only options are to surrender your use of the arm rest of begin a 2 hour battle of arms to establish dominance on this small battleground. It’s really a sad thing to watch two adults engaged in the behavior and once again takes us back to 4th grade when you battled the kid next to you on the school bus for the window.

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Friday, March 28, 2008

Chicago's O'Hare Airport - The Worst Airport in the US

I just got home from yet another connection turned fiasco at O'Hare Airport. I have planned flights that transfer in Denver so I dont have to go through O'Hare and I have never once had a plane that took off or landed from that airport on time.

To make matters worst, when you are delayed at O'Hare for hours on end there is no where in the entire airport to sit down and eat or rest except for the worlds worst Chili's. This is the only sit down restaurant in the entire airport and is always packed with people who's flights are delayed for hours on end making getting into Chili's a two hour ordeal.

I am not the only one who thinks O'Hare is the armpit of the worlds airports..take a look at this assortment of articles:

Leisure and Travel Magazine -

The Worst U.S. Airports

1 of 10


The Worst U.S. Airports

1. (tie) Chicago O'Hare (ORD)

Delayed flights: 35%
O'Hare's 28% delay rate last year made it No. 1; its drop means it maintains the dubious title (tied with JFK) of America's airport with the most delays.
See the 2006 Best & Worst Airports results here
See how Chicago stacks up in our list of America's Favorite Cities
Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

The Worst U.S. Airports

Most Miserable Airports

This table ranks the 47 largest hub and nonhub airports according to a combination of on-time performance and average load factor. The airports with the highest Airport Misery Index have the worst combination of late and crowded flights.

On-time performance data are year to date through April 2007. Load factor data are year to date through February 2007.

Airport City/Name of airport Pct. of flights on time Percentage of flights delayed Average load factor Misery Index ranking (lower is better)
DTW Detroit: Detroit Metro Wayne County 61.1 39.0 76.9 47
ORD Chicago: O Hare 57.7 42.3 75.8 46

Worst Airports

This just in! London's Heathrow Airport and Chicago's O'Hare International have been named the worst airports in the world.



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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

U.S. court rejects airline passengers rights law

Today the U.S. Court rejected the NY airline passenger rights law which among other things, gave airline passengers the same rights afforded to animals at the zoo with access to food, water and bathrooms when stuck on a plane for more then 7 hours.

I think to celebrate, we should take the members of the U.S. Court and put them on a Jet Blue plane parked on the tarmac at JFK for 7 hours and tell the old farts to hold it and see if they dont reconsider their opinion. Personally, in the meantime, if you are stuck on a plane for more then 4 hours with no air, water, food, bathroom its up to you to stage a mutiny and just pop the doors open and leave. What is the worst that is going to happen, they are going to remove you from the plane...problem solved

________________________________________________________


A federal court Tuesday overturned the first state law in the country requiring airlines to provide food, water and working toilets to passengers stuck in planes for hours on the ground, saying only the federal government has authority to enact such a law.

The U.S. Court of Appeals said the New York state law is pre-empted by the federal Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, which prohibits states from regulating airline prices, routes or service.

Although the judges did not define "service" as used in the act, they concluded that requiring airlines to provide food, water, electricity and restrooms during delays pertains to service.

New York had argued that amenities such as food and water fall outside the legal definition of airline service. New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is reviewing the ruling. To continue its court fight, New York would have to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Tuesday's ruling was a victory for airlines, whose trade group, the Air Transport Association, had sued to block the law, which took effect Jan. 1. But it was a major setback for consumer activists and lawmakers seeking legal protections for passengers stranded on planes for hours by flight delays. At least nine other states have proposed similar legislation, including Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan and New Jersey, according to the ruling.

Consumer lawyer Paul Hudson, who helped defend the law, said the ruling means "airline passengers on the ground now have fewer rights to humane or safe treatment than prisoners and even animals."

In the absence of federal passenger protections, New York's Legislature overwhelmingly approved the passenger Bill of Rights last year after a Valentine's Day ice storm stranded thousands of passengers on jets up to 10 hours at New York John F. Kennedy Airport. The law empowered the state to fine airlines $1,000 a passenger if they did not provide for essential needs during long delays.

One of the law's sponsors, Assemblyman Michael Gianaris, a New York City Democrat, said the ruling "promotes corporate interests over public interests." He vowed not to give up.

The ATA said the ruling is a vindication for the industry, which argued that a patchwork of laws by states would hurt airlines. The group says long tarmac delays such as those at Kennedy are rare and that airlines are working to improve service when they occur.

Both Congress and the Department of Transportation have proposed passenger protections, but none as strong as the New York law. A DOT task force is studying how airlines and airports should handle long ground delays.

A record 80,937 flights in 2007 waited more than an hour before takeoff, up 21% from 2006.

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The Waldorf Astoria - New York, NY



I have been a hilton honors member for a long time but have never stayed at the Waldorf Astoria before, Hilton's "Flagship" hotel.

I was a bit nervous to book at this hotel based on the reviews but I figured I should at least stay at this hotel once for the experience.

Check in was very nice. Like the other reviews say, the lobby is beautiful and the staff was very helpful. I am a diamond member at hilton at they have a separate diamond reception desk to check you in which is very nice, I wish other Hilton hotels had this.

The diamond desk rep was very nice and gave me a large room overlooking park ave with a bathroom that was actually bigger then the bedroom.

While we are talking about the bathroom, let me say it was the best part of the room. The bathroom in this room was huge and had a very nice tub/shower and lots of room with a huge changing area. The room came with two robes and slippers which was nice and if you are an HH member you get free water from the mini-bar. Unfortunately that is where the amazement ends. The bedroom, while not bad, was not what I would expect from a flagship hotel. The TV was about as old as the hotel was and the furnature and fixtures are showing their age.

The architecture in the room is very impressive with vaulted ceilings, arched walkways and a huge arch above the tub. The ceiling fixtures are classic, but the old wallpaper and peeling paint really take away from it. The carpet is quite old and faded and the bed is actually not as nice as most hilton bed I stay in.

I realize that this is a classic hotel and very old but really, does it take that much effort to keep it up, they manage it at the plaza just fine, and its a shame because honestly, even though its a classic hotel and the service was wonderful I would most likely not return. Another detractor from the hotel is the price gouging that continually gets you. Room service for a burger, coke and desert was $70, parking was $55, internet was $23 a day, you will not eat in the hotel for under $70 a person no matter what restaurant you choose. I might not have minded the prices so much if they were re-investing that money into making the hotel as classy as they would like to think it was.

I would recommend staying at the hotel once for the experiance of staying at a classic hotel, then find a better one in NY, there are many.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Air Sick Lesson 4 Part 1 / The Airline Seat

Today I flew from my home to Minneapolis MN. I have some karmic destiny to always end up with a human walrus sitting next me who is constantly flowing over into my seat so I thought I would blog tonight about the airline seat. This is part one of several blogs I will rant about airline seats.

A couple of airlines made the bold move of requiring human double wides to purchase two seats. Realizing that while most humans are larger then 17”, a good portion of Americans, particularly your garden variety business travelers are pushing the edge of weight envelope. A lot of us have watched the news reports about America’s problem with obesity, but its one thing to watch about it on TV or your local buffet, its another thing entirely to be sandwiched between two fat ass khaki clad business heifers.


I am no picture of perfect health, but I do fit in the seat that paid for and in the base case scenario when I my row mate is the size of their seat we are constantly invading each other bubble of comfort on a flight. I am sorry that there are people out there that haven’t met a side of beef they didn’t like, but that 17” is mine and I don’t share. If you cant squeeze your frame into the space you paid for, geometry tells us you interlope on others space and since you didn’t kick in for my ticket I have no problem at all with the airlines making our larger brethren pay for another seat, or at a minimum you can just pass me $100 for every inch you push me into the isle.


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Monday, March 24, 2008

Intercontinental Buckhead Atlanta / Best Hotel in Atlanta



This is my second time staying at the Intercontinental Buckhead, the last was a year ago. Just like the last time I stayed at this hotel, everything was absolutely perfect. The room is large, wonderfully decorated and furnished with a fantastic bed and bathroom with separate marble shower and large soaking tub. It is the most comfortable room I have ever stayed in with plenty of room. The room as well as the hotel is kept immaculate. The service is first rate and nothing is forgotten down to the turn down service which refreshes your towels and leaves you ice. The staff is always very nice and helpful. This is without a doubt one of my favorite hotels anywhere in the world and I wouldn't consider staying anywhere else in Atlanta. It easily beats the Ritz and Four Seasons and you will be glad you stayed there.






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Air Sick Lesson 3 / Choosing Your Seat

Next step is seat selection, there really is a difference from plane to plane and airline to airline and learning them all should earn you college credits. There are a few basic rules though to seat selection. First rule, the further back in the airplane you go, the worse your seat is in general. First, it keeps you on the plane longer the absolutely necessary, we will cover the dynamics of people getting on and off a plane later, but trust me it never goes the way it should and there is no reason to subject yourself to the confines of the plane any longer then necessary. Now I can’t prove this although it makes since to me, I really believe the seats towards the back are smaller. I have no scientific evidence to this and I am sure that the airlines would never admit it, but even a layperson can look at the shape of a plane and realize that it narrows towards the back. If the isle is the same size all the way down the plane then where does the space go? The last point on plane location is just superstitious on my part, every time you see a plane crash on the news it always involves a crane pulling out the tail section out of the water, side of a building, from the mouth of a hungry alligator, take your pick. Some of you might say that this proves if I sit in the back then I have better chance to survive because they always find that section in one piece but here is the thing; you might be able to survive falling off a 32,500 foot building, if they made building with 3,200 floors, but I am pretty sure that I wouldn’t want to go through life with my feet coming out of mouth. For me, I want to sit where it will be quick and painless…with an emphasis on the word quick, I don’t want to live through the damn thing and end up being a circus act for the rest of my life.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Best Hotel in Las Vegas JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort, Spa & Golf



I recently stayed at the JW Marriott for 1 night in a standard luxury room. This was my second trip to vegas for work this month and I wanted at least one night away from the crowds, noise and plastic hotels on the strip and I definitely found it here.


Everything about the hotel and the rooms are first rate, better then any Marriott resort or hotel I have ever stayed at anywhere in the U.S. The rooms are beautiful. They are over sized with a wonderful bed and bathroom. There is plenty of room to spread out and enjoy yourself. The bathroom is fantastic with a spa jet soaking tub and shower with rain faucet. The rooms came with quality comfortable robes and a full walk in closet. The beds are heavenly, better then most marriott beds I have been in, fantastic quality sheets, duvet and pillows. There are plenty of restaurants on site and there is no waiting like those on the strip, actually you dont wait in line for anything at the hotel.

The pool is awesome. It is very large with a waterfall and spa pool. There is plenty of room around the pool and since this hotel is not on the strip the pool isnt a zoo and you can always find room and space for yourself.

There was nothing lacking in this hotel with the possible exception of the TV which needs updating but you wont be watching that much anyhow. Everything is quality and tasteful, not gold covered plastic that you find on the strip hotels.

The only thing that kept me from rating this hotel 5 stars was that I reserved a patio/balcony room and they told me there were none available. For a frequent traveler it is really annoying to plan a trip, book the room you want only to be told you arent getting that room and really there is no excuse for it. At a minimum I expect that if a hotel has run out of the room I confirmed they upgrade me to better room and that didnt happen here. Other then that I would return without hesitation next trip to Vegas.

The best part about this trip is that my wife came along with me. We had such a wonderful time here before we had to move to a strip hotel for my meetings.

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Hilton Ft Lauderdale Beach Resort



I recently stayed at the Hilton Ft lauderdale Beach Resort for 2 nights on business in a King Studio

Suite.

The property and facilities at the hotel are fantastic. The hotel grounds and lobby are well maintained and the staff is friendly, efficient and accommodating.


The room was fantastic. The studio suite had a separate bedroom, living room with a small kitchenette. The bathroom had a whirlpool tub and separate stand up shower with rainshower shower head. The room was immaculate and the housekeeping service cleaned the room perfect everyday. They return at night to replace towels and turn down the bed. The room has a balcony which looked out at the ocean. The balcony had two chairs with a table and two lounge chairs on it and was quite big.

The gym at the hotel was fantastic with modern equipment and lots of it. There was a gym attendant who brought me a towel while I was working out and water. The hotel concierge was very nice and offered me a bottled water when I left the hotel. The hotel, facilities and rooms are great but the staff made it a fantastic stay and what sets apart hotels.

I will definitely return to this hotel next time I am in town and its recommended to all.

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Air Sick Lesson 2 / Stay Away From Your Companies Travel Dept

The corporate travel department is comprised of individuals who’s longest trip consisted of picking their kids up from soccer practice and who’s single performance goal is based on making your trip cost the absolute minimum to ensure your company will make 20 billion this year instead of 19.999 billion. Trusting the corporate travel department to arrange your business trip is like trusting Bernie Ebbers to balance your checking account.


There are two classes of travel, regardless of what you have seen on TV, crappy and insanely crappy. The price differential between crappy and insanely crappy is a couple of dollars the corporate travel department will seize upon for a two fold objective, saving money and driving you to an early grave, both of which increase the company’s bottom line.

The conspiracy begins with your first call to travel, where the person on the other end, who is still a little miffed about being past over for the Springer show for being “a little too strange”, begins to plan your high speed bobsled to hell. Priority number one, hurry up and grab that middle seat in row 120 sandwiched between the lavatory and galley (both of which are interchangeable in case you haven’t tried airline food). This is the row where the mechanics had to place each seat in this row into a hydraulic press to condense it from its usual width in order to fit in the tail cone of the aircraft. The window and isle seat of this row are specifically reserved for people who have never met a buffet they didn’t like and whose weight assists the plane in tipping up so that it can take off, but that middle seat in the worst row and worst section is specifically reserved for corporate travel departments across the country. No one else in their right mind would ever pay for this seat so the airlines give corporate travel departments a fifty cent incentive, along with a free package of peanuts, to book their clients into it.


Next comes your rental car, which if booked by corporate travel, will be a beautiful 1987 Plymouth Armageddon in teal green. It will be easily recognized as it will be the only car on the lot with manual windows and an 8 track tape player. The good news is you won’t have to be bothered with the hassles of gas stations because it works on the Flintstones principal of acceleration (for your own amusement you can make the dooga dooga dooga dooga noise as you leave the parking lot).


After a leisurely lunch, the corporate travel agent will return and being polishing off your travel plans and corresponding sanity by booking your hotel. There is a tool that corporate travel relies on for this task, www.mapsofshitholes.com. By pulling up a map of the city you will be traveling to and searching out areas with demographics that most closely resemble the Gaza strip in the off season, they agent will locate and book your hotel room. Key features and amenities include a bed, which for an extra quarter vibrates on demand (although you can’t expense that because it’s personal entertainment), electricity and plumbing although not necessarily indoor, that also costs an extra quarter you insert in the door before entering.


There is no rational reason to ever allow anyone to make your travel plans other then yourself. It is tantamount to attempting to remove a brain tumor at home with a mirror and your salad shooter. The airlines, hotel and car rental companies absolutely do not care about taking care of you, why in the world would you add a corporate travel representative to this equation who along with not caring about you, also gets bonus points for your level of discomfort.

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Travel Tip One From Air Sick / Picking an Airline

When planning your voyage yourself there is an important thing to remember, the price of anything involving your trip from the airlines to the hotel has absolutely nothing to do with what you are going to get. You have to detach yourself from the reality of all the consumer transactions you perform because the travel industry doesn’t operate on any rational rule of pricing, relying instead on a complicated algorithm devised by either a MIT professor on the edge of a complete nervous breakdown or an airline CEO’s kid on the back of fruity pebbles box. Either way, as long as you remember that price does not equate to quality, quantity or even the assurance you will get what you buy, you will be fine.

There are certain rules that business travelers try to keep in mind when booking a flight. Everyone has their airline of choice, usually tied closely to their frequent flyer program and elite status which provides a few benefits but is really the airline industry’s pole and carrot. Even prisoners in maximum security would appreciate a slightly larger cell from time to time. There are legacy carriers, named this from their ability to stay alive longer then anyone else, then there is the budget carriers who while saving you money are the modern day equivalent of the greyhounds of the sky.

The rule to remember with carriers is even though you are loyal to particular airlines; do not under any circumstances believe that airlines are loyal to you. Contrary to the basic rules of business that govern the entire world, your repeat business means absolutely nothing to the Hannibal Lechter School of business graduate behind the counter. Even so it is best to try to stick with one airline for nothing less then to get a few free tickets and a chance to board before anyone else. They all are just as bad, try and pick the one that drives you to drinking the least. For those of you who are elite level flyer's on an airline, don' t think for two seconds it makes you Donald Trump, you are just like all the rest of us and remember, if you really were special you would have your own jet so shut up, sit down and eat your damn peanuts.

For those of you picking an airline for your family vacation which you squeeze in between emails once every five years, I suppose the budget carriers are fine, they will probably save a few bucks and anyone can endure one flight a year. If you want to fit in better, consider buying yourself a pair of horns and strapping them to your head, as long as you are going to be herded from line to line you might as well look the part.

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Our Home Away From Home - The Peninsula - Manila

This is the hotel in Makati where I first stayed when visiting my wife. We were engaged at the waterfall in front of the hotel and became our home away from home when we go to the Philippines, suite 314. Despite the PNP shooting the hotel's lions and Christmas tree it is still the best hotel in Manila.

I recently stayed at the Peninsula for vacation in October in one of the new Makati suites. The room was abosolutely perfect.

Very large, modern, comfortable and classy. The service was first rate, everyone was wonderful and attentive. Even with construction going on I barely even noticed and they go out of there way to make sure it doesnt interfere with your stay. The pool and spa were fantastic, had a message at the spa and it was wonderful.

The food in the lobby and for room service was great. The location of the hotel is perfect for getting around and I like the size not being as big as some of the other hotels in the area for more personalized service. I really felt at home here and never was uncomfortable the entire week. The charges for services around the hotel get a little steep so you might want to monitor those, like laundry and food, but other then that for level of service you get, the price is acceptable. I plan on returning in a month for another 2 week stay and consider this hotel my home away from home in the Philippines.

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Loews Coronado Bay Resort

I recently stayed at the Loews Coronado Resort on business for three nights.

I found this hotel very comfortable. The hotel grounds and common areas are very well maintained. The facilities are nice, I enjoyed the pool area and fitness area and found both very functional. They might not be as nice as some places I have been but worked well for me. I was with a group, otherwise there is a $10 charge for the fitness area and frankly if I paid I would have been a little disappointed as it needs some updating and more equipment, but for free it was just fine. The pool area is very comfortable with nice loungers. The bar by the pool isnt open during weekdays which is a bit of a drag as you have to walk inside for refreshments but otherwise I enjoyed it. The hotel has one restaurant and it is nice although I wouldnt want to eat there for more then 2 nights, it could get old quick. There is beach access from the hotel via a tunnel and the beach is very nice as well.

The room is very comfortable, clean and well maintained. The bathroom is large with a soaking tub and separate shower. The bed was wonderful!! and I always enjoy hotels where all rooms have balconies. There were plenty of amenities in the room including one of the best coffee makers I have seen in a hotel (Krups Cup) with a full supply of coffee and tea which is unusual, most hotels just give you 2 of each and they gave you 4 regular and 2 decaf. The room had a plasma HDTV which is nice and robes with slippers are in the room.

The only downside was the front desk which is the weakest link at this hotel. The front desk staff are pretty uninterested in you and just going through the numbers but after you get past them you will be very pleased.

The upside is that every other staff member I met was fantastic. They all cheerfully greet you and are very nice and housekeeping is fantastic with twice daily service.

I would easily stay at this hotel next time I am in the area. Overall a terrific visit.

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Welcome to the World of Air Sick

Hello Everyone

Welcome to the beginning of my blog detailing the my trials and tribulations, joys and sorrows of my life on the road.

Having a job that requires 60-70% of my time crammed into a small aluminum tube at 35,000 feet week after week does give you an opportunity to watch humanity in a new light. An airport is like a big giant aquarium, people from every state, from all backgrounds and classes, crammed together like a heard of cattle. It is the perfect place to observe the good, bad and the ugly without regard of who we are or where we come from.

In this blog I will pass along my observations of the travel industry (airplane, hotels and rental cars) and the people forced to interact with them. There will be useful travel tips, hotels reviews, best placed to get a latte in the airport while at the same time, logging my observations of people at their best and worst along the way.

Just remember, at the end of the day, after dealing with airlines, hotels, the great unwashed sumo wrestler in the seat next to me...all I really want to do is get home to the people I do this for in the first place...just like all of us I would imagine.

Enjoy, have fun


Introduction to Air Sick:

If there is any occupation that you can choose on the planet that is a virtual Petri dish of socially retarded, self important, mindless autotrons it is the insurance industry. If that isn’t enough all you need to do spend a good portion of your time in an airport. While the insurance industry definitely has a lock on the garden variety asshole market the airport is where all the other garden variety assholes which didn’t choose the insurance industry as a career all come together in supercollider of overwhelming obnoxious behavior. Every loathsome quality the human race can demonstrate, and even some which haven’t been discovered yet, are drawn like a magnet to the worlds airports.

Having reached a certain psychological breaking point, and just not willing to self medicate myself anymore to get through being crammed into another supersonic toilet tissue roll like a mutant gerbil and hurled to my next destination I have taken to whiling away the hours writing down my observations like a kind of aeronautical wild kingdom episode. One this is for sure, we haven’t come that far from 4th grade.


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