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2004 Netletter #834 Jul 4/04 - The NetLetter

#834 Jul 4/04 - The NetLetter
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Subject: [The NetLetter] NetLetter nr 834 Jul 4/04 - The NetLetter
Date: Sun, 04 Jul 2004 14:30:39 -0700
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T H E                    _| TCA |_
_|| AIR |/|_
N E T L E T T E R   >  CANADA   <
>_./|._<
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( For retirees of the new Air Canada family)

Number 834 July 4th., 2004. We first published in October 1995.
Circulation: 2700+


Chief Pilot - Vesta Stevenson   -      Co-pilot  - Terry Baker


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. Air Canada news -
Toronto (YYZ)
Join us on Tuesday, July 13 to see our new A340-500
Date                            Tuesday, July 13
Time                            1600 - 2000
Where                  Hangar 6, 6420 Silver Dart Dr.
Drop in with your family and friends to:
View the "Lie Flats" seats in J class
Check out the personal video screens in Y class
Enjoy a refreshment
Transportation 
Parking is available at the hangar until 8 p.m.
or
Take GTAA's inter-terminal shuttle bus from T1 or T2 to T3. At T3, get
off at the first stop.  Look for the AC employees wearing white t-shirts.
They'll give you more instructions.
Employees/retirees must present their airline identification.

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. Nice to know.
Non-stop flights to Bogotá and Caracas With the departure of flight AC070 from
Toronto to Bogotá, Colombia on Wednesday 30th June, , Air Canada inaugurates
three times weekly non-stop service between Canada and Colombia. On July 1, we
will continue our expansion of service to Latin America with the introduction
of three times weekly, non-stop flights from Toronto to Caracas, Venezuela.
And, in response to strong customer demand, we recently increased our service
to Santiago and Buenos Aires to four flights from three per week. In addition,
on Nov. 1, Air Canada will pursue the expansion of its network to Latin America
with the introduction of three times weekly non-stop flights to Lima, Peru.

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. Star Alliance news -
For the third time, the US Air Transportation Stabilization Board rejected
United Airlines' request for a federal loan guarantee and said it will not
accept any further submissions from the carrier with respect to its application

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. Found on the internet.
Comox Valley Airport, gateway to the world-class skiing and salmon fishing of
Vancouver Island, British Columbia, this week began offering air travelers
'Wi-Fi' wireless Internet access in its brand-new 40,000 square-foot Cottingham
Terminal. Opti-Fi Networks, Ltd. is providing the fully-managed service.

When the longest-ever nonstop airline flight went into service on Monday --
18-plus hours between New York's Newark Airport and Singapore, over a
10,000-mile route, in an Airbus A340-500 -- the pilots became inadvertent
guinea pigs. To document their response to the stresses of the flight, the crew
will be hooked up with a special watch attached to a handheld computer, which
will monitor their alertness levels, Singapore authorities told the Associated
Press on Tuesday. After each flight, the pilots are scanned with a
brainwave-measuring device to check how rested they are. The tests are to see
whether new regulations are needed for the super-long flights.


TAXIWAY LANDINGS TARGETED
When in doubt, spell it out. The NTSB hopes to make it easier for pilots flying
into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to land in the right spot by urging
the FAA to clearly mark a taxiway that has been accidentally used as a runway
several times in the last few years.
In the most recent incident on Jan. 19 an Air Canada Jazz Dash-8 landed on
Taxiway Tango at Sea-Tac on a VFR approach to Runway 16R. It was about the
fifth such incident in recent years. The NTSB hopes to put an end to it with
some old-fashioned signage.

In what appears to be one of the largest such deals of its kind in the airline
industry, Boeing and Delta Air Lines last week entered into an Integrated
Materials Management agreement under which Boeing is responsible for the
purchasing, inventory management and logistics for a number of Delta
expendables, initially focused on Boeing parts.

This one found by Vesta -
It was bound to happen one day. On Monday, June 21, the first
non-governmental rocket ship called SpaceShipOne flew to the very edge of
outer space then returned for a safe landing on a desert runway at Mojave
Airport. Civilian test pilot, now turned astronaut, Mike Melvill, brought
the craft down after flying to 100 kilometres (62 miles) in altitude,
leaving the Earth's atmosphere during his history-making sub-orbital space
ride.
To see a wonderful slide show of the flight of this little rocket ship, goto
the URL below:
http://www.rokits.org/gallery/slideshow.php?set_albumName=x-prize


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. More from netletter 832 with the Alaska cruise by your co-pilot -
Sunday May 23rd
Today we visit College Fjord. In the morning there was low cloud and drizzle
which made for very misty conditions and limited the views. The weather did
clear up in the afternoon, but still very dreary.
We had the gallery tour in the morning before we went on deck where we saw sea
otters, seals and a bald eagle which was perched on an ice floe. Just as we
arrived at the glacier, a huge chunk of ice broke away.
In the afternoon we saw the movie “Somethings got to give” starring Jack
Nicolson.
The evening show was excellent with a ventriloquist performing.

Monday May 24th
We are at Whittier - end of the cruise for most. The town is definitely a one
horse town. Just 290 people live here, all living in the only apartment block.
There is one hotel and another under construction. The rest of the town is
littered with fishing gear and heavy equipment. The only way to get to Whittier
is by sea or through a tunnel shared by trains and vehicles. So, if you drive,
you have to watch the schedule. There are NO car rental agencies here.
We were on a back to back cruise and myself and one other couple had the same
cabins for the return. The other couple with us were told they would remain in
the same cabin and even had a letter telling them so BUT, 20 minutes before
noon, when the new cruisers were expected, our friends were asked to relocate.
Knowing we had from 7:00 to 22:00 to while away here at Whittier, we decided to
take a mini cruise of the surrounding fjords. Just us$99.00 plus $12.00 pp.,
all you can eat dinner. Leaves at 13:30 and returns at 18:00
Although it poured all day, we , with 21 others, were snug in the cabin of the
mini cruiser. The captain took us right up close to the glaciers and, being
almost at sea level, you got a different perspective of the towering mass of
ice. We saw lots of sea otters, a mountain goat, eagles and several bird
colonies of Kittiwicks perched on the cliffs. All in all a day well spent we
thought.
. Back on board by 18:00 for dinner and to put our feet up! After all we had
already seen the Welcome show and did not have to redo the lifeboat drill!

Tuesday May 25th
Weather very overcast and rain showers for the return to College Fjord and no
real views. The cruising in the Alaska Gulf was noisy with the waves crashing
against the hull due to the high swell and wind. Several of the passengers had
that dreaded green tinge about them.

Wednesday May 26th
Into Glacier Bay with not much improvement in the weather. Some humpback whales
and Orca whales spotted at the entrance while picking up the park Rangers.
Each evening there are two shows in different venues and at the same time. On
our return we were able to see the show we had missed on the previous trip.
This evening we saw the comedian.
The sun finally broke through as we were starting our trip to Skagway our next
stop.

Thursday May 27th
Skagway again! Weather was cloudy, windy with a temperature of 54 degrees.
Today we chose to go on a dog sled tour. We boarded a bus which took us to the
other side of Dyea. Skagway, and Dyea, were the two towns created during the
famous gold
Rush days in the 1890’s. Today, there is no sign of Dyea which was a tent city
anyway but it was from here that the famous Chilkoot trail went to Bennett Lake
on the way to the gold fields. The easier, but longer, trail was from Skagway.
We arrived at the dog pound where there were separate kennels for 80 dogs. The
sled, which is pulled by a team of 18 dogs, was on rubber tyred wheels, and we
had a ride in amongst the forest on a rough hewn trail full of rocks. At the
turn point, the handlers explained about each dog, which did not look like the
traditional ‘Husky’ dog depicted by Hollywood, but all were mixtures of various
breed such as greyhound for the speed element. Our lead dog had recently run
1,000 miles in a race.There were 7 puppies loose in the dog pound and we were
allowed to feed them a handful of feed. Naturally, there were lots of photo
opportunities.
Last minute shopping, with coupons of course, collect the charms for the
bracelets and back on board for dinner and the show - oh and the feed bag.

More to come!

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. Jana & Bud Husband sent us this -
Low cost airlines!
Open any major newspaper, listen to any financial report, or read any number of
Web sites offering travel advice and you'll be sure to hear about the demise of
the major network air-carriers. For years, travel pundits have proclaimed that
the economy airlines (Southwest, JetBlue, AirTran Airways, Frontier Airlines,
and Independence Air) are the Darwinian equivalent of natural selection.

Well, it is time to call a spade a spade.

Even though the low frills mode of transportation has been glamorized in the
media as the future of travel - not unlike the way they described dot-coms as
the future economy a few years ago - these companies can't deliver the value
proposition.

And value is what travelers are really looking for.

You know, the four Cs: cost, convenience, choice, and comfort. Strict adherence
to low-cost is not as relevant as affordability and lifestyle choice.

The basic assumption of the economic carriers' business model is that people
will accept any level of service as long as it is cheap. That's where the
misunderstanding begins.

Economy carriers do not offer the best way to travel, nor do they offer the
cheapest. Typically, economy carriers over-promise and under-deliver. Maybe
that's why 95 percent of all start-up carriers fail. By far, economic carriers
provide nothing more than the simplest service -treating people like a
commodity.

In fact, some of the services can be down right demeaning. One major European
economy carrier recently announced that future aircraft will not have window
shades or seat pockets. Instead, your seat back will be plastered with
advertising. What's next, coin-operated toilets?

Despite pedestrian service, economy airlines enjoy a mass influx of converts.
Is this tectonic exodus well-deserved - or just a matter of spin?

The truth is, it's spin.

The greatest spin happens when economy carriers are called low-fare airlines.

Referring to them as "low-cost" is duplicitous. Consider a recent sampling of
fares for a round trip flight from Washington, D.C. (Dulles) to Oakland,
Calif., departing June 8th, returning June 10th. "Low-fare" JetBlue offered a
$275 fare, while "high-cost" Delta Air Lines yielded a $219.40 price, which
included a chance for an upgrade.

Here's another example. This past week while planning a trip from Los Angeles
to Philadelphia, I compared fares on Delta Air Lines and Southwest. Delta
offered an upgradeable fare for $304, while Southwest's fare was $408.

And they call Southwest a low-fare airline? Please.

Southwest Airlines and its protégés have chiefly succeeded by cherry-picking
routes and city pairs, flying between airports with the lowest landing fees -
shifting schedules to match passenger demand, operating one type of aircraft
that are cheaper to maintain, and easier to fill. They also have lower
distribution cost (selling tickets direct and on the Internet), and a cheap
labor force.

All of these variables with the exception of labor cost are easily duplicated.
However, they do not always serve the best interest of travel consumers.

By only serving a limited number of markets, economy carriers are selfishly
saying that their customer's needs are not important. They serve limited
markets to save money.

But the reality is that travelers' needs extend beyond one or two destinations.
Fact is, air travelers need access to the world.

Moreover, economy carriers typically operate from secondary airports sometimes
up to 30 miles away from the city centers. In contrast, full service carriers
offer steady global coverage from major airports with seamless connections, and
the ease of transferring to partner airlines within their alliances (Star
Alliance, One World, SkyTeam).

Oh, and one other thing. One size of aircraft does not fit all. Airlines that
only fly one type of aircraft have a fixed capacity. This makes it difficult
for flight schedulers to deal with cancelled or delayed flights. Since all
flights carry the same number of people which are usually full, passengers
whose flights are canceled due to mechanical reasons, or weather, can't be put
on another aircraft - because there is no room.

Having a diverse fleet, allows full-service carriers to increase capacity with
a larger plane when a flight is canceled, providing customers with greater
convenience and comfort.

Air travel is a complex process at best. By focusing their service through the
Internet, limiting the number of customer-contact employees available to serve
customers, the so-called "low-fare" carriers are seeking self-interest at their
customer's expense.

The Internet alone cannot resolve all ticketing issues. With limited customer
contact support, passengers of economy carriers often are forced to navigate
the Byzantine world of ticketing rules on their own. Full-service air carriers
tend to have a higher ratio of full-service employees which might go unnoticed
until there is a weather delay or flight cancellation, than these extra people
can really help.

Why should travelers choose full-service carriers? There are a myriad of
reasons, including cost, comfort, choice, and convenience. It's the ability to
fly anywhere in the world with seamless connections, the choice between
luxurious first class, an comfortable business class or an enjoyable economy
class, while being politely served.

Competitive fares that are sometimes lower than economy carriers, loyalty
programs that are not in danger of going away (despite bankruptcy. United's
MileagePlus program remains solid). There are in-flight meals, a choice of
drinks, a range of entertainment options including movies, television programs,
games and music.

In essence, it's a lifestyle choice.

The big three airlines have been serving customers for 75 years. A formidable
feat, considering they have weathered an economic depression, numerous
recessions, six wars, political turmoil, and changing consumer preference.
Certainly, newbie economic carriers have room to prove themselves.

Until then, I think I'll stick with my first-class flights, boarding priority,
flying up front at a coach price and the preferred security lines.
Joel Widzer is author of "The Penny Pincher's Passport to Luxury Travel," a
guidebook on traveling in high style at budget-friendly prices.

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. Terry's travel tips.
Spectacular Savings
Don't miss out on the vacation of a lifetime. In an effort to fill up the
remaing cabins for the 2004 season, Continental Waterways prices are being
discounted like never before. Departure dates and availability is limited, so
book today,don't delay!
Choose from barges and itineraries such as:

Anacoluthe's Normandy Beaches & Impressionist Art Cruise
Chanterelle's Upper Loire Cruise
Libellule's Burgundy & Chablis Cruise
Lorraine's Alsace & Lorraine Cruise
Provence's Lyonaise & Provence Cruise
Princess Royale's Holland-Belgium Cruise

Priced From: us$699-$1059 per person
Aero-Marine Interline | 10 Wildwood Trail | Newton | NJ | 07860
1- 800-255-2376

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. DID YOU KNOW?
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NetLetters are now located in ACFamily.net/forums area
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- Log in (if you aren't already)
- scroll down to Member Services
- Click on NetLetter
You will be able to find ALL netletters.
And there is a research engine to help you.


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