A Three-Airline War Erupts in Boston: After months of promising to launch flights to Chicago, Virgin America has bailed, claiming that it couldn't find gate space at O'Hare Airport. Instead of Chicago, Virgin America says it will try Boston. The 18-month-old carrier says it will begin twice-daily flights from Boston to both Los Angeles and San Francisco on February 12. That announcement drew an immediate response from JetBlue Airways, which has emerged as the new power player at Boston's Logan Airport . After abandoning its nonstops from Boston to both San Francisco and nearby San Jose in September, JetBlue says that it will restore a seasonal summer service to San Francisco beginning on May 1. JetBlue has continued flying its Boston-Oakland route and it also flies from Logan to Long Beach near LAX. And American Airlines has its own Boston plans. It will launch a daily nonstop to San Diego on April 7 and resume seasonal flights to Paris/CDG on May 1. American is also adding frequencies on its existing routes to Los Angeles, its Dallas/Fort Worth hub and London/Heathrow.
HOTEL HOT SHEET
Recession Be Damned, The New Hotels Keep Coming: The global hotel industry is melting down — an industry analyst said this week that a record number of new lodging projects are being abandoned — but there are still lots and lots of properties in the pipeline. And not a day passes when a new one doesn't open. The latest crop: The Doubletree Guest Suites Fort Shelby has debuted inside the shell of the long-abandoned Fort Shelby Hotel in downtown Detroit. It's the second high-profile opening in Detroit this fall. Westin recently broughtthe Book-Cadillac back to life. … Fairmont has a 150-room hotel in the Battery Wharf district of Boston. It's the second luxury hotel opening in Boston this fall. The Mandarin Oriental opened in Back Bay in October. … Marriott has opened a 648-room hotel near Hong Kong's International Airport. The SkyCity Marriott is in the SkyCity development near the AsiaWorld Expo. It's a 25-minute train ride from Central. … The former Atlantic hotel in Nice, France, has been renovated and reopened as the Boscolo Exedra Nice. The 113-room property, which dates to 1913, is operated by the Boscolo chain of Italy.
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Joe Brancatelli is editor and publisher of JoeSentMe.com, a non-commercial Web site for business travelers. Copyright 2008 by Joe Brancatelli. Licensed by contract for Orbitz use.