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A Delta Air Lines program that whisks “high-value customers” from gate-to-gate in a Porsche has expanded to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. For the service, which started as a trial in Atlanta, a “Delta Elite Services representative” surprises select customers at the aircraft door and escorts them via a Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid vehicle to their connecting gate. Delta says it is looking for ways to “enhance the travel experience for our most valued customers.” In this case, that refers to Diamond Medallion members, most of whom have flown at least 125,000 miles. “We’ve found a unique opportunity to surprise and delight customers,” Delta says. Let’s hope those Porsche’s have horns so they don’t surprise other unsuspecting fliers in the process.
Do you feel all warm and cozy when a crisply groomed check-in clerk hands you the keys, but just a little offput of he happens to be sporting a sprouting of facial hair? Just in time for Movember, the November-long moustache growing charity event, a Cornell study found that facial hair is a no-no for most men in the hospitality industry. A study published in Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, a publication of the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, found that hotel guests feel most confidence in smiling and attractive men and women behind the check-in counter and elsewhere in a hotel. No surprise there. The head-scratcher, though, is that when it comes to facial hair, white men should get out their razors for a clean cut, but African-American men can bring on the goatee. Hotel guests assigned greater "assurance ability" to clean-shaven men, but for reasons that aren't clear, this held true only for Caucasian men and not African-American men. "Assurance," for the sake of the study, translates to "an employee's knowledge and courtesy and their ability to convey trust and confidence."
Three airlines have begun allowing passengers to use portable electronic devides throughout the flight in the past week. Delta and JetBlue implemented the change in policy on Friday; American followed suit yesterday.
Flyers with those airlines can now read e-books, listen to music, watch videos and work on documents (but not talk on the phone) from the time they get on the plane to after they land. Devices must be in airplane mode. The Federal Aviation Administration approved the policy changes. Before allowing any such change, the administration ensures planes can safety operate with devices turned on. Other airlines will likely make similar policy changes soon.
The FAA had long contended that the radio signals from electronic devices could interfere with an aircraft's navigation systems, a particular safety concern during takeoff and landing, but a panel convened by the FAA to study the issue found that most commercial planes can safely operate even with electronic gadgets up and running.
A dreidel spins in the aisle. Santa helps himself to an oxygen mask before assisting his neighbor, an elf. An oversized nutcracker stows his top hat in the overhead bin.
Delta is at it again, with a plan to entertain cramped and harried fliers with a new amusing in-flight safety video. The airline has produced a new holiday-themed video, which will take to the air in the coming months but can already be seen on youtube.com.
These vidoes are serious business, devised to convey vital safety information to fliers. Why the injection of silliness? No doubt, the airlines bring out their fun side in the hope that fliers will actually watch -- and probably as a way to say "happy holidays" to customers during a busy flying season.
The naming game: Lutsen Mountain has added two new runs for the upcoming ski season, and they want your help to name them. By offering a suggestion, you’re entered in a drawing to win a 3-day, 3-night ski vacation at Lutsen Mountains. Offer up the winning name? You’ll receive a free season pass. Submit your suggestions this weekend at the Mall of America Ski Show, Oct. 18-20, or click here to make a web entry.
When concocting monikers, think adventure: The two new runs, located near The Plunge on the north face of Moose Mountain, are double-black diamonds, meant to draw advanced skiers and adrenaline junkies.One run features a similar drop to The Plunge, a steep drop-off that poses a test of skill for even the most avid skiers. The other offers a more consistent grade, though still challenging.
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