American Airlines Announces Changes to Checked Bag Fees

American is announcing changes to charges for checking a first or second bag. The charges will increase for domestic-travel tickets that are purchased on or after Aug. 14, 2009.

  • The changes apply for travel within the U.S. and U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The changes also apply to travelers on American Eagle and AmericanConnection flights.
  • For tickets purchased on or after the Aug. 14, the first checked bag will be $20 and the charge for a second checked bag will be $30, up from the current charges of $15 and $25 respectively. Current checked bag charges to and from Canada are not changing at this time.
  • Exceptions do exist for some travelers for any checked bag charge –  other exemptions may also apply – see AA.com/baggage for details:
    • American’s AAdvantage program members who have achieved Elite Status levels, as well as oneworld® Alliance Emerald, Sapphire or Ruby members;
    • Those who have purchased tickets in the First and Business Class cabins, as well as those who purchased full-fare tickets in the Economy Class cabin;
    • Those with international itineraries (except to and from U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands). Checked bag charges to and from Canada, as noted, are not changing at this time and remain at current levels.
  • Customers may pay checked bag charges at an airport Self-Service Machine, the curbside check-in counter, or at any airport ticket counter.

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* THAI CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAP

Today’s salad recipe is * THAI CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAP

*We would like to thank Royal Caribbean for giving us permission to post this recipe from their Savor RCCL International Cookbook

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One Day Royal Caribbean Sales Event For Tuesday July 14, 2009

This Sales Event is a one-day only event. These prices are valid only for NEW bookings made on Tuesday July 14, 2009.

This offer has expired

* Click on the Royal Caribbean International logo below to see their current cruise offers.

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One Day Celebrity Sales Event For Tuesday July 14, 2009

This Sales Event is a one-day only event. These prices are valid only for NEW bookings made on Tuesday July 14, 2009.

This offer has expired

* Click on the Celebrity Cruise Line logo below to see their current cruise offers.

Click the image to view the latest specials

Click the image to view the latest specials

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Protravel International Acquires Rich Worldwide Travel

As a travel agent with Rich Worldwide Travel, I am extremely excited about this merger.   As a result of the this merger, we will become a much larger and stronger entity with more bargaining power with the Travel Industry suppliers.  This will enable us to pass along some additional cost savings to our clients.  Additionally we will be receiving special offers that we will pass along to our clients.  These offer may sometimes not be available to the general traveling public.  I will keep your posted with updates as they occur.

New York, NY – June 30th, 2009 – Protravel International Inc. announced today that it had acquired Rich Worldwide Travel.  According to Priscilla Alexander, President of Protravel, “with three of the Rich offices in primary Protravel locations, it is a natural merger of similar customers and business philosophies.”

Rich Worldwide, headquartered in Westchester, NY and founded by Ina and Alan Rich in 1954, has been jointly run for the last few years by their two daughters, Michele and Donna, and their sons-in-law, Nathan Devore and Richard Esman.  The four principals will continue with the merged companies in senior management positions.  With annual sales of $60 million, Rich joins Protravel International, Virtuoso’s Top Producer, reinforcing its position in the premium travel market.

“As a family-run business it was important to find the right agency with which to merge; one that mirrored our business philosophy and direction” said Co-President Richard Esman; “When considering potential partners we looked for several things; an agency with impeccable credentials, a fine reputation for service, a similar business philosophy, smart people and a company committed to growth in the long term.  We believe Protravel is all of that, and more.”

Founded in 1984 by Priscilla Alexander, and with over 650 people in 20 locations, Protravel is one of the leading agencies in the U.S., focusing on premium leisure business and corporate accounts in the $1 – $10 million range.  Protravel has successfully established itself as an agency that combines boutique service with state of the art technology and strong cost containment, delivering measurable value.  With a similar client base and shared business philosophies, this merger makes perfect sense and by joining forces they are no longer competing in the same space.

Never one to look backwards, Alexander said that future considerations were paramount in everyone’s thinking.  “This merger affords us the ability to position ourselves for growth in a very competitive industry, allowing us to leverage expanded sales on behalf of our clients, while finding economies of scale that will permit us to invest in people and technology for continued success.”

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HIGHLIGHTS OF AMERICAN AIRLINES TESTIMONY On Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2009

“In the past decade, we see a stronger workforce in every sense.  We are instilling a more enduring sense of loyalty and commitment, and helping to motivate our LGBT employees to be all they can be and to bring their whole identity to work.  We never saw this as a special case or privilege, but simply doing the right thing in a business setting that underscores fairness, equity and inclusion.”

— Carolyn E. Wright, American Airlines

WHO: Carolyn E. Wright, Vice President, Corporate Human Resources, American Airlines, Fort Worth , Texas

WHAT: Legislative Hearing held by the House Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, Postal Service, and the District of Columbia of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

Key witnesses include Representative Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry, former Ambassador Michael Guest, and others.

WHY:  A majority of Fortune 500 corporations today extend employment benefits equally to same-sex partners that are available to married couples.  American Airlines  was invited to testify at today’s hearing because of its private sector expertise on diversity, inclusion and benefits policies that include LGBT households.

[The complete testimony is available at www.witeckcombs.com/aarainbow/testimony-07-08-09.pdf]

Highlights of American Airlines testimony:

“American recognizes that being a global airline means we are in the business of connecting people and cultures from around the world.  Our company will only be successful if the experience we deliver, and the environment we create, is safe, welcoming and respectful of everyone.  American also recognizes the relationships among its customers, employees, business partners and suppliers, and the communities that we serve.  We must embrace the diversity that exists within each of our key constituencies, and operate in an inclusive manner, for all of these groups to thrive.

“As a company that bears the name “American,” we also know that much is expected of us, and we hold ourselves to a high standard.  From hiring the industry’s first African-American flight attendant in 1963, to the first female pilot in 1973, to the creation of our supplier diversity program in the 1980s and our multicultural sales teams in the 1990s, American has a long history of leadership.  We also know that promoting diversity is a journey, and American is committed to making further progress as we weave it into the very fabric of our company.

“Philosophically, we have always tried to recognize employees as individuals with their own families’ needs, talents and ambitions.  All deserve equal respect and acceptance for the true worth and unique experiences and skills they bring to their jobs.  We determined that treating employees in committed relationships with same-sex partners as a family, rather than as single people, was consistent with that philosophy.  So, in 2000, we became the first major airline to offer benefits to the same-sex partners of our employees as we had long done for married spouses.

“What are the upsides?  In the past decade, we see a stronger workforce in every sense.  We are instilling a more enduring sense of loyalty and commitment, and helping to motivate our LGBT employees to be all they can be and to bring their whole identity to work.  We never saw this as a special case or privilege, but simply doing the right thing in a business setting that underscores fairness, equity and inclusion.

“In our diverse segment marketing strategies, we now can tell a more complete story to all customers about our welcome that is authentic and meaningful.  There is no question that it helps us to be a much stronger contender as a world-class marketing organization during this very difficult economy.  We know all of our customers consider service, value, convenience and comfort.  However, in a very competitive market, we have learned that many appreciate inclusion and equal respect, too.

“… we can report that America ’s top corporations are showing the way on best practices.  According to research from the Human Rights Campaign, roughly 80% of the Fortune 100 now offers equal, same-sex partner benefits, and the same can be said of 57% of the Fortune 500.

About American Airlines

American Airlines, American Eagle and AmericanConnection® serve 250 cities in 40 countries with, on average, more than 3,400 daily flights. The combined network fleet numbers more than 900 aircraft. American’s award-winning Web site, AA.com®, provides users with easy access to check and book fares, plus personalized news, information and travel offers. American Airlines is a founding member of the Oneworld® Alliance, which brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business, enabling them to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. Together, its members serve nearly 700 destinations in more than 130 countries and territories. American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle Airlines, Inc. are subsidiaries of AMR Corporation. AmericanAirlines, American Eagle, AmericanConnection, AA.com, We know why you fly and AAdvantage are registered trademarks of American Airlines, Inc. (NYSE: AMR)

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Looking For A Festival in the United States?

Several weeks ago one of my clients asked me to arrange a trip for him. For the most part, it was a pretty clear-cut domestic trip to arrange. But my curiosity started to awaken and take over. I call it my “OCD” factor, my imagination started running away with me.

As I said, it is a domestic trip, and I discovered that my local library had a copy of the Federal Writers Project book for that particular state. The Federal Writers Project was started as part of the New Deal established by President Franklin Roosevelt.

Over 6,600 writers from all over the nation were contracted to document local written and oral history, attractions, and folklore (my particular favorite) of the regions within the State.

The more I researched and delved into this book, and similar books dedicated to other states, the more impressed I became that we really do indeed live in an incredible Nation.

We just celebrated our 233rd year of Independence; we are a nation of immigrants of all races, religions and nationalities. While it is very true that we are only 233 years old, because we are comprised of immigrants from practically every country in the world, our collective history goes back many centuries.

Each and every state celebrates in many different ways, with festivals for Community Pride, Music, Art, Food, Crafts and Folklore, some of which are unique to their region. Our population is intertwined in a glorious crazy quilt of cultures in which we can all partake and enjoy.

I do hope that you take some time to explore the events and festivals for each state and the United States Territories, for there is so much being offered for your enjoyment and education.

Should you find something of interest I would be most pleased to help you in planning your experience.

Here are links to each of the 50 states and some US Territories, where you can find all kinds of events and festivals

Alabama

Alaska

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

District of Columbia

Florida

Georgia

Guam

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Northern Marianas Islands

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Puerto Rico

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Virgin Islands

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

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