Rumor mill

Travel ConfidentialThe rumors that Vacation.com was about to be acquired were swirling for several months. However, insiders say that Travel Leaders was not its only suitor. TC hears that another major travel company also made a very serious offer for V.com.

Question: When is a travel agency not a travel agency?
Answer: When it's Sabre Holdings.
A NYTimes.com business report on Jan. 5 focused on Sabre's plan to terminate its contract with American in August. But the report was unfortunately titled: "Travel Agency to End Deal With American," a mistake that TC hears irked several real travel agents.

Despite Mexicana's shutdown of operations last August due to financial woes, the carrier apparently has not left the tarmac for good. TC hears that the airline could resume ticket sales later this month, although there's been no date mentioned for a return to operation. There's been a flurry of interest by investors eager to pump pesos, lots of them, into the 89-year-old Mexicana, which, in its day, carried 22,000 passengers on 220 daily flights. If it takes to the skies again, look for its return to a handful of popular national routes and to several destinations in the U.S. and Canada, TC hears.

Queensland, Australia, inundated with floods and a burst river system affecting 20 towns and 20,000 residents, nevertheless is putting on a stiff upper lip, befitting the Aussies' British lineage. Tourism officials, busy doing damage control, say it's business as usual, "with some challenges." While warning that self-drive tours are not recommended and advising that the city of Rockhampton is a no-go, official releases assure visitors that the hot vacation spots of Brisbane, Cairns, the Gold Coast and the Great Barrier Reef are accessible, operational and welcoming. Just pack an umbrella.

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