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January 2015

Flying United Airlines earlier this month was anything but a unifying experience. My wife and I were booked on a flight from Maui to San Francisco. A half-hour or so before it was to leave, gate officials told us that, because of headwinds and other factors, the plane was too heavy and that they needed 20 passengers to volunteer to take other flights. Their offer? A measly $200 U.S. Most passengers around me shook their heads, and the offer was soon upped to $500. Even then, only a few folks took the bait. I thought they’d wait for more volunteers, ... continue reading →

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Expedia’s climb in Canada has been remarkable. Fifteen years ago, Expedia.ca was just coming into existence. Most Canadians looking for hotels at the time used something called a land-line telephone at home to book hotels or even went without reservations and cruised the highways of Canada and the U.S., or the streets of Europe, looking for flashing vacancy signs in hotel windows. Now, Expedia.ca is the largest on-line travel service provider in the country and does $12 billion gross in business in Canada per year; a target they reached back in 2012. From zero hotel properties and zero airlines in ... continue reading →

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I forgot just how big the Big Island of Hawaii really is. It’s been a few years since my last visit, and I hadn’t remembered that the Big Island, the most southerly in the Hawaiian chain, was as big as the other main islands put together. Impressive, and so much diversity, too; cities and fun towns and cool villages and fiery volcanoes and so much more. Here’s a photo display of some of my favourite moments….

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WestJet Encore began two years ago as a regional division of WestJet with two aircraft serving five cities. With today’s announcement that they’re adding a whack of new flights in the Maritimes and Newfoundland (as well as new options in Toronto, Calgary and Ottawa), WestJet’s Encore division is up to 16 planes serving more than 20 destinations, officials said. WestJet executives took to the tarmac at Stansfield International in Halifax today to unveil several new flights, including Halifax-Glasgow (May 29 on regular WestJet, not Encore), Halifax-Gander (July 15 on Encore), Halifax-Deer Lake/Corner Brook (July 15, Encore) and Halifax-Sydney (July 15, ... continue reading →

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My first Globe and Mail column ran in the newspaper’s Travel section on Jan. 10 and also appears on-line. Here’s a link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/travel/travel-news/are-you-ready-for-robot-room-service/article22377873/

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