We owe some belated
praise to several travel industry entities for recently displaying
signs of higher intelligence.
First off, kudos to
Universal Studios for its clever new TV ads urging viewers to get
serious about taking their vacations. In one version of the TV
spot, a man claiming to represent the pharmaceutical industry
thanks hard-working Americans for working themselves to death,
creating a windfall for the drug companies because of the rise of
stress-induced illness and depression.
Its not immediately
obvious that the ad is a message from a travel company but when the
message comes through, we think it does so loud and clear:
Vacations are good for you.
As an official at
Universals ad agency put it, Its a highly motivating premise to
remind consumers that skipping their vacation usually benefits all
the wrong people.
Hats off to America
West, also, for deciding to be a bit more selective about matching
its competitors rock-bottom fares during periods of high demand, a
new policy described in our news pages a week ago.
Theres an old gag
among airline-pricing people that youre always at the mercy of your
dumbest competitor, a gag that begs the question: If you match your
dumbest competitor, what does that say about you?
And we also owe a
salute to Sheraton for its ventures into fuel-cell technology to
provide power for a handful of its hotels. Fuel cells alone, of
course, wont save the earth, but neither will business as
Travel is an
energy-intensive business. Its not always as kind to the
environment as it could be and our travelers often leave more than
footprints. Most responsible travel companies are aware of these
problems and take steps to mitigate them. But its nice to see
Sheraton taking an extra step.
Ill have a hot dog,
please, with ketchup and a little onion.
Got it. Thatll be
two bucks, plus the $2.50 bun fee.
Its $4.50 all
together -- $2 for the hot dog plus the $2.50 bun fee.
Youre charging me
$2.50 for the bun?
No, the buns
included with the dog, but I need to charge a bun fee because of
the high cost of stocking so many different kinds of buns. In the
dog business, we call it the bun channel. Its
I just wanted a
Right, but I gotta
stock regular and foot-long, plus you got plain, sesame, potato and
low-carb in each size. Thats eight kinds of buns. Like I said, its
proliferating -- heres yer dog, man. You want a drink with
Coke, Diet Coke,
Caffeine Free Coke, Caffeine Free Diet Coke, Cherry