The union strikes back

Two weeks ago, I extended an olive branch to striking Northwest Airline workers, whose job action I had criticized in an earlier column. I set up a strike fund for the workers, many of whom are struggling to make ends meet. Then union leaders got wind of it, and told me to shut it down.

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Second thoughts

Two weeks ago, I wrote a column blasting low-cost airlines and striking airline workers for destroying the great American airline industry. Boy, did I get a lot of mail. This week, I share some second thoughts, extend an olive branch, and put my money where my mouth is.

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Why you should fly the big airlines

The future of American air transportation rides in the cabins of the nation's big airlines. For more than 70 years, airlines like American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines have proudly served the interests of American travelers. And what have they gotten in return? Predation, greed and indifference.

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8 tips for great car rentals

How many car rental stories have happy endings? Mine do. Take this recent experience with a Hertz rental in Denver. I arrived at the airport, sauntered right past the rental counter, and immediately boarded the shuttle bus, where I was the only passenger.

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Here's your moneysaving roadmap

I was a wide-eyed schoolboy when my grandfather, an active man of 77, told me with a beaming smile, "Travel stimulates a full life." At the time, he was off with my equally spirited grandmother on yet another trip, this time a cruise along the Turkish coast and Greek islands. He continued, Travel is an extraordinary experience, but you have to have a good plan.

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How to get the service you deserve

We all mess up sometimes. The world traveler may forget his ticket, and even a five-star hotel can lose your reservation. When mishaps happen, the best travel providers will often go out of their way to make amends. After all, their reputations are at stake.

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Getting the best seat on the plane

Having the seat I want is important to me when I fly. It ranks right up there with getting my first-class upgrade. Many travelers leave their seat assignment to chance. That just makes no sense to me. Flying is, after all, mostly sitting. You might as well be comfortable.

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Lightening the load: 9 luggage tips

Travel with just a carry-on. Never lose a bag. Skip the noisy carousel and go straight to your destination. For the air traveler, these fantasies rank right up there with getting a free in-flight meal or fawning service from a friendly flight attendant. But are they just that -- fantasies? Not necessarily.

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The seven deadly sins of travel

You don’t have to read Dante to know about deadly sins. The travel experience is filled with enough good -- and evil -- that it would probably inspire the medieval Italian poet Dante Alighieri to write a new volume of his divine comedy. Here’s my list of the seven deadly sins of travel.

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Good view = lousy service?

When I travel, I like to enjoy a nice view from my room. But over the years, I've learned that not all views are equal. Far too often, restaurants and hotels rely too much on their view and ignore what matters - service. Take Orange County, Calif., for example. I remember when the coolest hotel was the Holiday Inn along the 5 freeway. Today's "OC" offers several fine hotels with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean.

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