Need for speed

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Preview Travel, the on-line agency, is introducing an express booking feature to speed the process by which clients obtain information and make reservations. Our resident old-schooler, Dinah Saur of Jurassic Travel, balked at this streamlining, saying, "My clients expect me to clatter furiously on my keyboard for a while and then disappear into the back room for 10 minutes. If I didn't, they'd be confused."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering issuing a fee for conducting rodent infestation inspections aboard ships that ask for them; that service currently is free. What ships are asking to be scrutinized for stowaway rats? Wouldn't you like to know.

U.S. consumers rely first and foremost on family and friends for travel advice, according to a Travel Industry Association poll. Travel agents came in second. That means most people would sooner listen to their Uncle Monty, who smells funny and gives bad stock tips, than a seasoned travel professional.

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