AIR FARES CREEPING UP IN U.S., PEARSON APOLOGY & NAKED HIKING
Big ads in the papers up our way the last few days with more seat sales by Air Canada, West Jet and Porter. But things aren't looking as rosy down south for travellers.
USAToday reports that American and United hiked fares by a modest $10 to $20 on some round-trips, although they also reported some huge deals to Hawaii from several American destinations. It wouldn't be a big thing on its own, but there was another increase a couple weeks back.
"I have been cautioning consumers for the past month that they procrastinate on purchasing airline tickets at their own risk," said Rick Seaney, CEO of Farecompare.com. "Two airfare hikes in the past few weeks is the strongest signal I have seen that the bottom is either here or near."
Got a nice email from the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, which runs Pearson. I complained, rather bitterly as I recall, that I ordered some food at the airport last week and gave the cashier $20 U.S. The Canadian dollar was at about 88 cents to the American buck at the time, but the cashier said my $20 American bill was worth only $19.60 in Canadian currency.
That was crazy, obviously, and I wasn't shy about how Americans would just love to come up here and get ripped off. Anyway, Scott Armstrong of the GTAA sent me a nice apology, explaining that the exchange rate was calculated incorrectly (I'd think it was all done by computer and not the cashier, but I'll take him at his word).
Armstrong said HMS Host, which operates the concession, will be in touch with me and that they were dealing with the company to make sure all currency exchange issues are handled accurately and properly.
HIKING IN THE BUFF
What is it about Germans and wanting to be naked in public?
Associated Press reports that an aerial tramway in eastern Switzerland is advertising that tourists might see not only mountains but mounds of flesh.
Toggenburger Bergbahnen AG has a new ad campaign that says folks can see "mountain goats, eagles and maybe even a few naked hikers," making their tram "a real experience."
Voters in one Swiss canton, Appenzell, passed a law earlier this year that bans naked hikers. AP says that came about after "dozens of nudists, mostly German, started rambling through their picturesque region."
Probably the same people who doff their clothes at nude beaches in the world, and not really the sort of people one needs or wants to see nekkid. Not even from a gondola.
Starwood is offering deals of up to 40 per cent off on Canadian destinations, but the promotion ends July 1. Visit www.starwoodhotels.com for information. Best Western has a deal through Aug. 16 where a member of their loyalty program, Rewards, can stay two separate times at any Best Western in the U.S. or Canada and get a voucher redeemable for a free night at many hotels around the world. Go to www.bestwestern.com for details
GRETZKY CLASSIC COMING UP IN THORNBURY
The Great One himself will tee it up at the Ford Wayne Gretzky Classic presented by Samsung, which takes place in Thornbury July 6-12. Other celebs taking part include his wife, Janet, as well as Brett Hull, Damon Allen, Marty Turco, Catriona Lemay Doan, Donovan Bailey and Cassie Campbell.
For more information go to www.gretzky.com/golf.