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Joe Brancatelli is editor and publisher of, a
non-commercial Web site for business travelers.


Start saying goodbye to some old favorites — and never-weres: As the high price of oil starts to bite, airlines are planning huge cutbacks. Expect the Big Six to cut up to 5 percent of their worldwide networks and as much as 10 percent of their domestic capacity. Alternate carriers are going to cut, too, or at least put the breaks on their expansions.

Want some examples? Here are two: American Airlines is cutting Oakland off its route map in September. Also going: American’s nonstop flights from Austin to Raleigh/Durham (RDU), Seattle and John Wayne/Orange County; Los Angeles flightsto Fort Lauderdale and San Antonio; and even traditional jet flights on the St. Louis-RDU, New York/LaGuardia-RDU and St. Louis-San Antonio routes. Meanwhile, JetBlue Airways has dumped plans to launch flights from Los Angeles. It had planned to begin flights to Boston and its New York/JFK hub on May 21.


The new properties — and the reflagging — keep on coming: The lodging industry has not yet hit the same slump that is causing havoc with the airlines. Hotels continue to open and reflag at a near-record pace. Here’s the latest news: Doubletree has put its flag on the 148-room Fayetteville Hotel and Conference Center in North Carolina after an $8 million renovation. And a 201-room Doubletree Hotel has opened in Springfield, Missouri. It is a $9 million makeover of the old Hawthorn Park Hotel.

Westin has opened a 195-room hotel in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The property is part of the National Harbor development. … The former Radisson in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has reopened as a 203-room Courtyard by Marriott. … In Chicago, a dual-branded Marriott has opened. One part of the hotel is a Residence Inn and the other part is a SpringHill Suites. The two properties have a total of 523 rooms.

The first W Hotel has opened in Europe. The 134-room property is in Istanbul. Elsewhere in Turkey, Swissotel has opened a 402-room property in Izmir. The property includes a conference center that can handle 3,000 people. … Ritz-Carlton has opened a resort on Hainan Island off the coast of China. The property has 450 rooms, suites and pool villas and has eight dining venues.

And Hyatt has opened a 375-room Grand Hyatt in Guangzhou, China. The hotel has four restaurants and bars; leisure facilities include a 25-meter indoor rooftoppool, a health club and spa. … The historic Dolder Hotel in Zurich has reopened after a four-year, $400 million renovation. … Four Seasons has opened a property in Mumbai, in the city’s distant, but fast-growing, Worli District.


US Airways is cashing out in Las Vegas: US Airways is planning to gut its hub in Las Vegas. Employees have been told the downsizing will begin in mid-August. US Airways once operated more than 130 daily flights to and from Sin City, but recently trimmed down by more than 20 percent. The cuts came from the airline’s late-night banks of flights, and employees are speculating that the new downsizing will totally eliminate the night flights. Continental Airlines is folding its cards at Chicago/Midway Airport. On May 31, the airline will dump its three flights to its Cleveland hub and its two flights to its Newark hub.

KLM has opened a lounge at Houston/Intercontinental Airport. The facility offers free Wi-Fi. Northwest Airlines has reopened its WorldClub at Tokyo’s Narita Airport. The renovated facility is located on the fourth floor of Satellite 2 and features a business center with 32 iMacs; shower rooms; a family room; and other new amenities. … Two branches of the Jose Cuervo Tequileria have opened at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport. One is located in Terminal A near Gate 16 and the other is at Terminal E near Gate 12. Most tequila shots cost $3. … A 77-room Microtel Inn has opened in Jacksonville Airport.

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Copyright 2008 by Joe Brancatelli. Licensed by contract for Orbitz use.

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