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 Up Front With Martin B. Deutsch for 1992

martin December 1: Frequent Flyers by the Numbers
Frequent Flyer has just been involved in a triple play, of sorts, and it's yielded quite a statistical bounty--all positive ammunition for our readers and this magazine. Here are some highlights from this year's reader poll (some 20,000 readers responded) and some revealing data from two other research reports.

November 1: The Ethics Question--Again!
"Ethics" is a word that should be handled with care and respect. It is a word fraught with fragility. We couldn't help but revisit the tons of mail we received on the topic of the ethics of frequent flyer plans. These excerpts reflect our thoughtful, concerned, intelligent--and deeply divided--readership.

October 1: Welcome to the Hotel(s) California
The hotel ranking game has become a global preoccupation--almost an obsession--and more and more players are joining in. I favor the selections of Institutional Investor magazine. Over the years I generally have agreed with the results of the magazine's Top 75 poll, which has been published annually for more than a decade.

September 1: Martin Flies the Middle Cabin--and Some Alternatives
As a spreading phenomenon on domestic routes, business class ain't bad at all. I recently flew between Los Angeles and New York in the middle cabin on an American Airlines DC-10 and I liked what I felt and saw. In fact, it was what first class used to be. Even the price was in the neighborhood of what transcontinental full-fare first class once cost.

August 1: A Beehive of Optimism in Hong Kong
Hong Kong, the uneasy resident of an improbable wedge of real estate on the South China Coast, is home to more than 6 million residents and host to 6 million visitors each year. Despite the nagging uncertainty of what will happen when China reclaims it after July 1, 1997, Hong Kong remains a beehive of optimism.

July 1: Despite Its Uncertain Future, Hong Kong Is Booming Again
Things almost always look better in retrospect. You know, the good old days, whenever they were. But if there's one place that seems to improve with time and exposure it's that uneasy British Crown Colony of Hong Kong.

June 1: Vindication!
Vindication is heavy stuff. After more than 11 years of crying in the wilderness, the folks here at Frequent Flyer experienced a powerful rush of adrenaline when American Airlines' chief Bob Crandall unveiled his value-pricing campaign. It's nice to be vindicated. But it's even nicer that frequent flyers are finally getting much-deserved breaks.

May 1: A World of Stately Travel Advice
To fly or not to fly? U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories have been issued since the mid-1970s to provide information about physical dangers, unexpected arrests or detentions, health hazards, political unrest and the risk of terrorists. Forewarned is forearmed.

April 1: The Worst Travel Year Ever
I've spent 36 years in travel publishing and if one certainty has evolved from this experience, it's this: Hands down, without fear of contradiction, 1991 was the worst travel year ever. Looking at our list of the "Industry's Top Ten Issues" that affect business travelers makes me wonder whether 1992 will be any better.

March 1: Taxation Without Representation
The Revolutionary War was fought over the issue of taxation without representation. And the good guys won. Though not exactly analogous, a more recent situation has arisen that may lead to a tax revolt of another kind, this one led by business and leisure travelers around the world.

February 1: Last Call for the 'Chosen Instrument'
When Pan American World Airways went down for the final count on December 4, 1991, it went down with a whimper, not the bang that would have befitted the airline that once carried the sobriquet of this county's "chosen instrument." It had a glorious run--or flight--of 64 years, and its rise and fall may well hold some critical lessons for the chief executives who now drive our airlines.

January 1: Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot in 1992
I don't mourn the passing of 1991. It's been the toughest 12 months I've ever encountered, especially on the business side. Against this bleak backdrop, I proffer our annual holiday wish list for the frequent flyer community.

Copyright 1992-2006 by Martin B. Deutsch. All rights reserved.