The Best of the Rest is my effort to summarize all the travel/miles & points stories that interested me on a daily basis but didn’t have time to write about in length. It’s your shortcut to find out what’s going on in the travel world without having to read dozens of travel blogs to get all the best info. Here’s today’s version:
Should congress get perks from the airlines that us regular folks don’t get? Congress members have flexibility to book more than one flight and to change between flights without penalty. And, some people aren’t too happy about it. While there are plenty of gas bags in Congress, I consider it a pretty thankless job. I’d consider volunteering my time to help make the country a better place if I didn’t have to leave my family all week and fly back and forth on the weekend for a chance to see them (let’s set aside the fact that I live 20 miles from DC). And, I’d prefer not to get bomb threats and all the other red tape they deal with. So, until those things are gone, I’m perfectly happy to have them get preferential treatment from the airlines. And, no, I don’t think that airline industry is a drastically different place because Congress gives them leniency due to these favors. I mean, they’re still one of the most heavily taxed industries in the US.
While we’re talking aviation-related news, the US is looking to expand the number of pre-clearance facilities overseas. Some of the airports under consideration are Heathrow, Istanbul, Stockholm and Amsterdam. I’ve always enjoyed pre-clearing customs when traveling back from many Canadian airports. Generally speaking, the lines are shorter and it means I can hop off the plane when we land and go straight home. This sounds like good news to me.
A small step further on the replacement of the existing terminal at LaGuardia Airport in NYC. They’re estimating just shy of 6 years and $3.2 billion to finish the project. I’m conflicted. Those numbers actually sound reasonable. And yet, I can’t for the life of me imagine this project finishing on time or under budget.
The US has removed Cuba from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. This was about as obvious a next move by the Obama administration as possible.