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business travel
By Joe Brancatelli

Panic of 2008 — at least we hope it’s just a panic and not the early
days of a depression — does have something of a silver lining for business travel. For starters, the price of oil continues to plummet
and was selling as low as $61 a barrel on October 24. That rolls prices
back to about where they were last October and is sure to take some
financial pressure off the shaky airlines. Other developments will have
a more direct benefit for international business travelers. The dollar
is on a rampage against other currencies, which are being pummeled by
events. The Australian dollar, trading around 90 cents tothe greenback
just a month or so ago, has fallen off the metaphoric table. Today it
traded around 65 cents, its lowest level in five years. The euro, which
peaked at $1.60 earlier this year, continues to fall, too. It’s now
selling around $1.30. The dollar has also reached a recent high against
the British pound; it’s now selling at about $1.60, down from about
$2.03 earlier this year.


On-the-road intelligence to help you travel smarter: American Airlines and its American Eagle
commuter subsidiary are rolling out a new product at some of their
major airports: PriorityAAccess. Available to elite members of American
AAdvantage and full-fare and premium-class fliers, PriorityAAccess
includes: dedicated check-in areas at airline ticket counters; special
security-screening lanes; and fast-track boarding privileges. … Continental Airlines
has reinstated a 500-mile minimum for elite OnePass members. … Sun
Country Airlines, which operates a small schedule from Minneapolis, has
declared Chapter 11. It continues to operate, however. … Olympic Airlines
has labor problems — again. A strike has grounded many of the Greek
flag carrier’s flights this month during a nationwide transport strike.
… The new edition of the Michelin Guide for New York awarded its top
rating (three toques) to four restaurants: Jean Georges, Le Bernardin,
Masa and Per Se. Seven other dining rooms received two toques.

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

Tagged: Europe

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