Pee Before you Fly...Conquest Founder Aims for New Tour Biz in 2010...NYCGo!
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water...
Nippon Airways, according to the Daily Mail, has announced that 'loo monitors' will be positioned by the boarding gates in terminals to ask waiting passengers to use the toilets before entering the aircraft.
The company reportedly thinks that empty bladders means lighter passengers and a reduction in carbon emissions. Maybe other kinds of emissions, too (sorry about that).
Ryanair earlier this year was talking about charging people to use on-board toilets, although I was never sure if it wasn't just a publicity gag by a company that knows a thing or two about manipulating the media.
Either way, it sounds absolutely silly. I didn't want to get into specifics but the Star's Katie Daubs was braver than I and figured that the average human bladder holds up to a litre of fluid, which weighs about one kilogram. On a flight with 247 people, the number on a Nippon Airways Boeing 777, that would mean 247 kilos; or about the weight of three people.
Nippon Airways officials are said to have figured that the weight saved could lead to a five-tonne reduction in carbon emissions over the course of a month.
But it's crazy. Does anyone arrive at an airport gate with a kilo worth of liquid in their bladder? Maybe it's just cuz I'm (barely) over the half-century mark in age, but doesn't everyone stop and use the toilet before they get on board, unless you're making one of those last-minute dashes because you were at Pearson changing flights and it took them 45 minutes to get your bag I mean?
Our correspondent didn't get Air Canada to comment, but thank goodness for the response from Robert Palmer of WestJet, who said the company feels the responsibility to save money is theirs, not their customers. And it's honestly that kind of talk that makes people fans out of West Jet, don't you think?
Personally, I'd say that getting rid of stale, leaden sandwiches might save more money. Or how about replacing water with Champagne? Didn't I read a study once that said Champagne weighs less than water?
CONQUEST FOUNDER RISES AGAIN?
Open Jaw reports that Conquest Vacations founder Robbie Goldberg has announced that he'll be launching a new tour operation business in November of 2010, and that's excellent news for Canadian travellers.
"With changes in the marketplace of late, the supply and choices will become limited for consumers and prices will rise and a new tour company will offer more choices," Goldberg said. The new company, which he will own and operate, will specialize in packaged holidays to major southern sun destinations from major Canadian cities; almost certainly including Florida, the Caribbean and Mexico.
Further details on the new company are expected next month. Goldberg in 2007 sold Conquest Vacations, the company he had started 35 years earlier, to a management group headed by Errol Francis.
There's been no shortage of news in the travel biz in Canada this year. Sunwing recently announced it wanted to snap up Signature Vacations, although it says nothing will change with Signature over the next few months. Some experts have suggested that could lead to higher prices, but if Goldberg is coming back to the tour business that should help moderate any price hikes.
Earlier this year, Conquest - which Goldberg sold just two years ago - announced it was suddenly going out of business.
WesJet has been raising money, and some observers feel the company might be trolling for a tour operations business. Or even for Porter Air, which keeps expanding and which had its first-ever flight from Toronto to St. John's Newfoundland on Monday, Oct. 5.
Interesting times, for sure.
NEW YORK CITY ON THE GO
The folks in New York are ramping up the savings. Go to www.nycgo.com for the least deals on theatre, spas, restaurants and more.
And keep an eye peeled for a coming story in the Star and on our website on some cool hotel options in the Big Apple.
GREAT SPOTS IN CANADA
Lonely Planet has come up with a new book for Christmas, called 1,000 Ultimate Experiences. The publicist says the Ultimate Canadian destinations include:
Best Road Trips -- Cabot Trail, Cape Breton Island
Classic Train Trips -- Rocky Mountaineer
Most Extreme Environment -- Banff National Park (I bet they didn't stay at the Banff Springs)
Best Adventure Travel Ideas -- Cycling the Icefields Parkway
Top 10 Boys (and girls) - own Adventures -- Cattle drive, Alberta
Best Party Cities -- Montreal, Canada (guess they've never been to a Queen's homecoming)
The World's Best Human Races -- Grouse Grind Mountain Run
Most Lip-Smacking Street Food -- Poutine (Toronto hot dogs lose out again)
JIM'S DEAL OF THE DAY
Globus’ Exotics brochure outlines tours and packages in such far-flung destinations as South America, Asia, South Pacific,