The headlines have been full of heroes, villains, winners and losers lately. Heres a roundup of our reactions to some of the industrys recent notable notions.

First off, kudos to Westin for deciding to make the whole chain smoke-free. Its a brave move and it could cost it some bookings in some business centers and resorts, but smokers are getting used to this and travelers are expecting it. A bonus for Westin, most likely, is some savings on housekeeping and maintenance. (Now if we could only get the chewing gum off the sidewalk out front.)

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Kudos has no apparent opposite in English, except for the inelegant boo, so heres a big boo to some of the more revered names in Paris hospitality. Six high-end Paris hotels, the legendary Georges V and the Meurice among them, were found to be colluding on prices. We are very disappointed and disillusioned that such great hotels have such feet of clay. This is, frankly, the sort of behavior we would expect of lesser establishments.

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Congratulations to New York for luring a third year-round cruise ship in 2007. In that year, unless others drop out, MSC cruises Lirica will join NCLs Norwegian Spirit and Norwegian Dawn in offering year-round sailings from the Cold Apple. Not so many ships have clogged the Hudson in winter since the cruise lines left for Miami two decades ago. What accounts for the shift? Among the theories is that flying, even to Miami, is just too much of a hassle for some cruisers, who would rather be pitched and rolled on the North Atlantic for a few hours than have their baggage and bodies tossed around in todays air transport and security system.

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Boo to the American traveling public for getting caught with 1,762,571 sharp objects (excluding knives) at the TSAs airport screening stations during one recent six-month period. Assume that the confiscation of each of these objects took 10 seconds, and youre looking at 4,896 hours of wasted time, or 204 days. This is more days than the 180 days in the six-month period under review. That cant be right, but it is. Do the math.

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Congratulations to St. Louis for being the battleground for a fare war between Southwest and American. Anybody in St. Louis who pays full price for a ticket to Dallas in the next few months is going to get laughed at.

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Kudos to travel and tourism, which is expected to generate $6.2 trillion in economic activity worldwide this year, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council.

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Boo to Carl Icahn for threatening Fairmont Hotels with a takeover fight. It is the considered opinion of lots of folks in the industry that TWA might still exist were it not for Icahns efforts to enhance its value. Thats the kind of help Fairmont doesnt need.

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Kudos to Mexicana for finding a buyer in Grupo Posadas, owner of Fiesta Americana and other hotel brands. An interesting matchup.

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And, finally, boo to the Court of Appeals for permitting the DOT to retain jurisdiction over GDS systems by defining them as ticket agents. Theyre not. The faint-hearted DOT just did that because it couldnt bring itself to deliver on the promise of deregulation and let go.

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