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Nov 18th 2010 4:50PM There was no "failed" attempt to bring a nightclub atmosphere to Downtown Disney. Disney built Pleasure Island to completion and operated it for more than 10 years.
A failed attempt would have been something like what happened over by Pop Century where they started building half of a hotel and stopped mid construction.
They're just revamping and restructuring.
It's like saying because the magic kingdom went from collecting tickets for each ride (like A,B,C,D, and E tickets) to charging 1 admission that the magic kingdom was a failed attempt at a theme park.
Everyone loves to rip on American staples like Disney, Walmart, and McDonalds, but there's a reason why they're so popular.
Oct 14th 2010 9:49PM Disney world is awesome and it's cheaper than any of the other craptacular destinations if you factor int the annual pass.
And these are destinations for a reason. There are lots of people that do like them. I'd have to say that the #1 crappy destination is Wrigley Field in Chicago.
It's an old crappy ball park with a crappy team that has "fans" that aren't watching the game and don't really care about baseball. It's just a trendy hang out.
Ooops these remarks will probably offend just as many people as the above story offended. My bad...
Sep 10th 2010 8:09PM Flying is awesome. It is really fun and exciting. And it is much more convenient than driving 20 hours to the same destination. People really do lose perspective.
The "problem" that is most complained about is the trend toward more and more hassle. (Including the behavior of other passengers). Most of the hassle is caused by government, i.e. regulations that people didn't really agree to or want.
Once you wait hours to get through a security line where they're taking 30 minutes to scrutinize the 3 year old who is having trouble doing what's asked, you tend to get annoyed. Even the parking patrol nazis at the terminal entrances are horrible.
When you greet people at the airport as if they're all potential terrorists and scum, you'll get rude flyers on the plane.
The real solution is to vote for more freedom and more business freedom.
Also, Southwest was HORRIBLE to fly on when it was a huge line and elbowfest when getting on the plane. But Southwest has done a lot to try and really streamline the process and improve the experience in the terminal for everyone.
Feb 10th 2010 12:58AM It WILL take more accidents to convince me that there is an inherent safety issue. It is thoroughly investigated.
Would making a CEO risk going to jail mean that pilots would never crash, ever? No. It would mean no one would be a CEO unless their pay was REALLY REALLY high to justify the risk.
They have lower qualified people than major carriers do. It only makes sense that a plane carrying hundreds of people is more important than a plane with less than 30. Everybody starts somewhere. It's always someone's first day, or first decade. Should we demand compulsory military service for all commercial pilots so that they get "experience"? Then we'd complain that there wasn't enough experience in that type of airplane. Or have a myriad of other complaints.
People do try to save money on plane tickets (but probably not $20 considering other factors). Then again, the regional ticket is often MORE expensive than driving several hundred miles to a hub and taking Southwest. And it's business travelers not that concerned over price on the regionals often times. So, that doesn't entirely hold true.
Even if you guaranteed every pilot $100,000, that would not eliminate pilot error or people flying tired or sick.
And if more expensive pilots are mandated, does anyone honestly think that there wouldn't be more pressure to fly in worse and worse weather or do other unsafe things based on making money?
The pilots die too in a bad crash. I doubt they want to. This accident was pilot error. Whether it was caused by fatigue, inexperience, or whatever, it's still up to pilots to fly the correctly. No amount of regulation changes that fact. It sounds like their whole lives need to revolve around making good decisions to fly. If they're not capable of that, then they shouldn't be in it. That means getting enough rest. In my opinion, this falls on the pilots to be responsible, and not really on the carrier. The "carrier" doesn't fly the plane. No safeguard or better pay or whatever expect grounding all planes or making them fly themselves takes a pilot out of the cockpit.
Feb 10th 2010 12:26AM What a complete hatchet job. Frontline didn't look for answers. It just attacked a business.
It says people are buying Continental safety like people think that a little turboprop is the same as a big jet.
Also, it talked about "firewalls" between the two companies like liability was the biggest reason to separate it. But the PBS pro union types make no mention that there are probably a whole bunch of union contract issues that the business has to get around through employing the regional carriers. It's surprising that they didn't paint a picture of busting or getting around unions as something trumping safety.
But the biggest problem is probably that people who want to be pilots I read all the time on this web site think that they are entitled to a good or decent living just because they're employed. But instead they take a job that is totally untenable and then complain about it, and do supposedly unsafe things like fly in unsafe weather or fly too heavy or fly too tired or blah blah blah blah... They took the job. All the employee pilot can do is work for free or quit. There's plenty of them that are apparently okay with working for free.
It sounds like a typical union situation where people with time in the job have a much different and cushy job while they make more money, and people starting out have to take less glamorous and lower paid positions.
Flying is statistically safe. The more attempts to micromanage industry and regulate will just drive up prices but not really drive up safety. The bottom line is to get there. No solutions were offered by the show. It just painted people who were in the business of making money as evil and cruel somehow. And then it seemed to say that the majors should be in charge of safety which is a total double standard. Why would the major be so much "better" than another business. The same market pressures will exist. The same flight schedules will be in play presumably.
THE BIGGEST reason air travel is safe is that the pilot is the first one to hit the ground in a nose dive. They don't get ejection seats. It's in their ultimate best interest to get there safe. Maybe watching this, they'll think twice before making decisions that will lead to flying tired. Just like driving drunk, if you don't drink, then you're not drunk. If you get enough rest, then you're not tired.
Are other regionals any safer than continental?
Also, the general public hears a salary of $70k+ on average, and they don't get too worked up about feeling sorry for them. Especially in this economy. If you're making $20,000 in a year, is it because of your choices?
I could go on and on. But mostly, I thought the show was very lopsided against the regional carriers without any real evidence that they were being that awful. They have to optimize operations. It's crucial. The flying public demands seats at the prices that the market set through supply and demand. You just can't it both ways. The more regulation and safety and BS costs that are put into the system driving up price will decrease the amount of air service quantity demanded by consumers.
If you put Continental / Colgan out of business, then who says their replacement will be better at safety.
Jan 18th 2010 2:07AM The only valid point is the one about being unfamiliar with the web or uncomfortable with it and then not booking online. Then you can still call places directly. Also, anywhere domestic (in the US) is pretty easy to deal with directly.
One big exception: Disney World is definitely something you don't want to book online. They give better cancellation policies and other advantages to calling in and speaking with a live person. The whole process is a pain though. If you don't want to deal with pain in the but Disney reservation agents, then use a travel agent. AAA travel agents have unique packages they only offer.
The whole Disney web site really sucks compared to any other hotel's web site. If you just want to book a room or rooms, and you don't want a package, they're very annoying.
More lengthy commentary on the artice:
Here's specific reasons why booking a cruise is much better online and why the specific reasons given in the CNN article are bunk: 1st of all: airfare to be purchased (you'll always do better for yourself online there) 2nd: Hotels to be booked. Really? How hard is it to book a hotel? Either online or not. One call gets it done, but if you do it online you can browse a ton of choices that no travel agent would go over with you.
Shore excursions: Don't book those. They're a ripoff. Get your own excursion once you get to port.
Options on the ship: Those are choices you make once on board.
Round the world travel: Isn't that a cruise? Oh; you want a multi-leg airline ticket. Okay, you can't do that online. But if you're using the corporate travel agency, then why even care about it? If you're paying for yourself, then you can compare the multi-multi leg trip price with several one-way prices. And by researching online you'll be able to pinpoint specific flight times and all the choices available instead of whatever you're booked into by the travel agent.
When you don't have time: Okay, if you want someone else to do the "work" for you, then you'll get a worse product that's more expensive compared to booking things yourself. That's one time to use a travel agent. It says something about the travel agent doing the research. THEY WONT DO THAT. Only you can do that for yourself. Travel agents know their specific set of knowledge and that's it. They don't care to branch out and "research" a cool trip for you. It's about their commission or their package deal. It's still a "good" vacation, but it's not thoroughly researched at all.
Uncomfortable with the Web? Get comfortable. Or use the 80s technology -- the phone, and call directly to the vendor. How many things do you have to set up? Hotel, air, rental car, and maybe tickets or something. It's not that hard to keep track of.
Travelling internationally: I like the other comments. Get a GOOD guidebook, and follow their recommendations. Some backwater type places just aren't online I guess. But I wouldn't really know.
Something exotic: I wouldn't bother booking a whitewater trip online. But I would probably research exotic type trip companies online. Then I would try to speak to the people providing the guide services directly. (NOT A TRAVEL AGENT).
Special event: What's the difference between a honeymoon and any other vacation? A travel agent can be a big ripoff. If the engaged couple can plan a wedding, then surely they can book some hotels and flights and a rental car or whatever online. It's nothing.
Bottom line: There's no telling that you're accomodations won't suck even if you use a travel agent. The best way to ensure good accomodations is to get a review of them either online or in a travel book. The nightmare honeymoon story sounds like these people didn't know what they were doing. A travel agent could have easily taken advantage of them with an overpriced package. Maybe they would have ended up better off with a travel agent.
But more often than not, dealing with a travel agent makes me think that they're pretty useless. Even for the scenarios given in the article. You are your only advocate, and if you give up that power, (either by being stupid or by handind over your planning to someone else) then you might get a bad experience.
Dec 23rd 2009 11:33AM The scenario Alex gave is totally unlikely in my opinion. What this legislation will mean is the end of being able to get anywhere in a bad weather situation. I.e. more cancellations.
The airline won't just pay crews or idle airplanes that aren't going to go anywhere.
I also doubt that it would be just one person raising their hand to get off. It could be a small amount of people, or it could be a good majority.
What the airlines should do is just make a "mandatory" waiver that would make people would just sign away their right to the rights provided in the bill.
But that contract would probably be illegal. After all, that's essentially what they have said to date: it's our way or the highway.
Personally, I like less regulation in most situations, and I'm sure there were quite a few regulations that probably contributed to the stupidity involved in keeping people on a plane for very long periods of time. Maybe rolling back those regulations could have been tried first before imposing more regulations.
Because now, there's likely to be cancellations even in mild weather delays.
Dec 22nd 2009 2:27AM Opportunistic Camping is a great idea that makes this story a nice interesting read. In practice, it's probably not going to save that much money.
Consider that a typical KOA charges almost more than $20 per night, and that with hotel competition, and that it's often typical to find a Motel 6 type place to stay for near $35.
The real money saver is to just KEEP ON TRUCKIN. If you are driving without a backup driver, utilize a rest area and sleep in the car (for free). Use truck stop showers (they're private) if you need a shower, but not an expensive hotel.
If you are driving with companions, make a rotation, and keep it. If somebody gets too tired, then pull off and nap.
But I don't understand the point of shelling out good money for a camp site just to sleep on the ground and get going the next day. If you're that cheap, then why not sleep in the car somewhere that's free?
Having a good road trip car that is comfortable to sleep in makes this much easier. VW Jetta would be THE worst car for this strategy. But then again, if you're driving to somewhere that requires an overnight, then you probably don't have room in the trunk for a tent and sleeping bag in a VW Jetta.
Also, tents and sleeping bags are not free, so it's not really a money saver if you go out and buy those items.
So, in my opinion, opportunistic camping is more a conversation starter than a practical way to save money.
Also, is there a web site that tracks the price of gas station soda like gasoline? Some gas stations have fountain soda 32 oz for less than $1. That's cheaper or closer to the cost of some grocery store items even in bulk. And if you buy 1 "overpriced" something and eat that one item, it's still cheaper than buying a case of that item at a grocery store and eating it just because you have it.
Also, on ditching the car in the big city: Just find a convenient place to park the car that isn't the hotel. There's bound to be a cheaper garage nearby your hotel if you just look. You don't have to mess with the inconvenience of riding a commuter train. You're on vacation for Pete's sake. But I would never leave a car unsecured for days on end at a commuter lot. You're just asking for your car to get robbed in the evening when all the other cars have gone home for the day. The savings from parking there will be eaten up quick by the costs of recovering from a broken window or missing items.
For example, there is free parking in New Orleans under the big highway that goes over the river, and it's really convenient to the trolley. Would you trust your car to sit there for a week?
Nov 5th 2009 1:48PM Your article is a nice contrast to the road trips suck article.
Flying is really nice in its ways, but driving is a nice alternative. You're in control. There's always something to do. I love to browse truck stop stores or those roadside souvenier places.
I like to pick up a few relishes like onion relish or peach salsa or something "homemade" (which probably just looks that way). Then when that souvenier is all gone, it's time for another road trip.
It's nice to have deisel on a road trip too. Train your bladder, listen to that book on tape, watch a movie, and drive for 5-6 hours. Nothing like skipping over a whole state without stopping once. I've driven from Illinois to Georgia without stopping once in Kentucky or Tennessee.
Nov 4th 2009 11:37AM Get a motor home or a multimillion dollar prvost coach. Those things are way better than flying. You only unpack once.
And if you hire a few chaffeurs you can just keep right on truckin.
In all seriousness though. Who considers a drive from LA to NY?
Driving vs. flying is a 10 hr or less or in my case 21 hours or less vs. flying comparison. 48 hrs of driving vs flying is not really the same.
But keep in mind not everybody lives within an hour of an airport that will take them anywhere directly. A lot of people live within 2 hours of an airport that will connect somewhere and then go where they need to go.
So, the time factor begins at home. And you have to consider the "wait" as well.
For example: if you have 3 flights a day out of a regional airport and the "next" flight is 4 hours from when you could just hit the road, and that flight connects so that time involved in flights is 6 hours, then that's 10 hours right there.
There's no TSA on the road, and there's no power hungry airport officials, and you can bring a whole lot more stuff with you too.
And if you're not an inpatient selfish prick, then you can use the car time well. The book on tape is a nice deal it can make 10 hours go by really fast. And your travelling companions can all ge tto know each other better.
But one thing is right: road trips are hell when you go with the wrong PEOPLE. With the right people, road trips are great. Unfortunately if YOU are the wrong people, then you can't get away from yourself, and every day is hell for you.