A recent bunionectomy (yes, Virginia, there is such a word) drew a
slew of get-well cards. By coincidence, Insider got several of the
same card from different well-wishers within the travel industry.
The card in
question had a travel theme and a direct reference to travel
agents, leading us to wonder if the latest commission caps had
pushed some industry pros from ticketing air to moonlighting for
Oatmeal Studios in Rochester, Vt. The front of the card bore the
message "Acapulco I could understand, Paris would have been nice,
Aruba is great anytime ..." And on the inside: "... but the
hospital? (I'd get a new travel agent if I were you.) Get well
soon." Actually, the foot surgery did not require a hospital stay,
only a doctor's order to wear one of those clunky adhesive-tabbed,
open-toed sneaker-shoes that resemble little blue battleships. To
spiff it up, Insider accessorized the thing with artificial
flowers, an idea immediately copied by our travel agent in New
Jersey, who, coincidentally, had had the same procedure. Now, when
was the last time you knew two people who had bunionectomies in the
same calendar year?
Insider encountered a weird housekeeping rule at a Jamaica
hotel. The high-rise, modern property had no hair dryers in the
rooms, as well as no clock radios, hand lotion, coffeemakers or
newspapers. The room also did not have an iron or ironing board.
Insider called housekeeping to borrow both the hair dryer and the
ironing setup. Here's what we were told, verbatim: "You can have
the hair dryer for 15 minutes. You can have the iron and ironing
board for 15 minutes. At the end of 15 minutes, we will collect the
equipment from your room." Clearly, this presented something of a
timing problem. So we borrowed the hair dryer first, returned it in
the allotted time (there was a knock on our door after 15 minutes),
then made another call, ordered up the iron and ironing board and
pressed one jacket, two shirts and a pair of shorts in 14 minutes
and 30 seconds. The knock came, we handed the equipment over and
went for a Coke from the mini-bar. There wasn't one -- either a
Coke or a minibar.
Greater than greatest
Insider attended the first International Golf Travel Market in
Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where we found the well-represented Greater
Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau patting itself on
the back in blatant style. The CVB officials had signage and other
printed matter referring to the organization as the Greater Than
Ever Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. We figure it
must have been salary-review time at the bureau. Can we expect more
of the same from the Greater Miami and other such Greater CVBs?
official: Dania, Fla., is a beach. Some background: Locally, Dania
has been known mostly for its jai alai fronton. The town always had
a mile-long beach, although it is under long-term lease from the
city of Hollywood. But few people outside the area associate the
town with the beach. In fact, Dania is one of nine communities that
share Greater Fort Lauderdale's 23 miles of beachfront. Perhaps if
Dania had more than one mile of beach, tourists would not confuse
it with Davie, a few miles inland, which is noted for the Davie
Rodeo. According to Nicki Grossman, president of the Greater Fort
Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, Dania politicians
tackled the town's identity problem and succeeded in changing the
name of Dania to Dania Beach. Now, what to do about the name of the
jai alai arena, given that jai alai cannot be played on a
Ice ice baby
Air travel to the islands during winter can be a crap shoot. Ice
storms, blizzards and sleet can -- and do -- play havoc with
airline schedules. Case in point: Many of the delegates headed to
an industrywide hotel conference in Puerto Rico were victims of a
weather system that brought not only ice and freezing rain but also
long flight delays and outright cancellations. When weather-weary
victims dragged into hotel lobbies many, many hours behind
schedule, the standard champagne-welcome conversation went
"Where are you coming from?"
"Were you de-iced?"
"How many times?"
"I got it three times."
"Where's that guy with the champagne?"