There's great truth in the old writer's joke: "I'm sorry I wrote such a long story, but I didn't have time to write a short one." Today we take the time to offer not one or two long opinions, but many small ones.

• • •

Hilton wants to move from Beverly Hills to Washington, but nobody seems to know what to make of that. Is it because the CEO is from the Washington area? Because rents are lower? Because Marriott, Choice and Interstate are already there?

Considering the pain involved in moving a corporate headquarters across a continent, we'd say the reason, whatever it is, ought to be a good one. Maybe all of the above.

• • •

Aston Resorts is getting its old name back. Congratulations are in order. No offense to the brand managers at ResortQuest, but there was never a lot wrong with the name "Aston."

• • •

Delta lost $1 billion in the fourth quarter, but it's predicting a profit for 2009. We know some travel agents who are convinced that the Debit Memo Profit Center is the reason for the projected turnaround.

• • •

Spirit's flight attendants are complaining that their aprons are getting caught up in the company's latest in-flight advertising scheme. It's bad enough that there will be another company's product logo on the apron, but it's not something tame like Sony or Coke. It's beer.

On this one, we're with the flight attendants, who say they have enough problems with inebriated passengers.

• • •

If you thought Virgin America was going to be a nice, polite competitor as it introduced the Virgin brand to the bare-knuckled U.S. domestic market, you were wrong. The upstart is seriously duking it out with Southwest, among other places at the California airport named for the Duke, John Wayne.

Southwest recently opened the books on a route to Orange County's John Wayne Airport from San Francisco Airport, with service beginning May 9 at an introductory fare of $59.

Last week, Virgin America trumped that play, taking reservations for a new service on the same route, starting April 30 and priced from $59. This could get interesting.

• • •

Greenpeace bought some land near London's Heathrow Airport for the specific purpose of impeding development of a new runway. Clever move.

We'd like to be a fly on the wall at the board meeting where airport planners have to explain to their superiors how such a strategic piece of property came to be bought and sold under their very noses in the first place.

• • •

We've heard from a number of agents mourning the demise this week of TripTailor, a dynamic packaging system offered by Sabre to all agents, independent of their GDS. It was an odd and interesting experiment. It put Sabre in the role of wholesaler, and it enabled agents to earn commissions from Sabre or add a markup to the packages they created.

During its short life, we heard only one bad thing about it: Not enough agents used it. Let's hope it doesn't discourage future innovation. Agents need good tools, and by all accounts, this was one.

Comments
JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI