Up Front With Martin B. Deutsch for 1989
December 1: 'IF WINTER COMES...'
Once again with us were the vexing questions raised by the airline takeover game, not only in light of the precarious bulge in debt, but in a broader sense to define the role of the airlines in our current-day society. Braniff went bankrupt, again, and Eastern turned to Chapter 11 for relief. Only Midway and America West remain viable survivors of the long and forlorn roster of airlines spawned since deregulation eleven years ago.
November 1: THE HISTORY OF VERACRUZ
I donít know about you, but I get an electric jolt from that first glimpse of a pyramid or an ancient temple emerging from the countryside. I donít know if itís the mystery, the setting, or maybe the recognition that these ruins were once alive with a civilization that I can barely appreciate, after all these centuries. This is the feeling I got in Veracruz, Mexico.
October 1: THE SECRET OF VERACRUZ
Just when you think youíve run out of new travel frontiers, you discover a place thatís enticing and unspoiledóliterally in your own backyard. Anyway, amigos, there I was, south of the border, for a productive weekend in the Mexican state of Veracruz, absorbed by vibrant archeology, virgin versatile cuisine, and a viable hotel plant.
September 1: WHATTA GUY!
I was really impressed, sitting across the aisle from a man, listening in on his warm and concerned conversation, first with his wife, then his daughter, then his wife again. Inflight telephones go beyond business needs, I thought. Theyíre really handy. Then I learned my lesson.
August 1: HIGHLIGHTS AT HIGH SPEED
The Concorde is an aging miracle--and therein lies a tail. But the passage of time has not diminished the allure of this supersonic jet, with its now-familiar and piercingly slender profile. Recently, I had the opportunity to fly this mythic bird over untried waters from New York to Acapulco in a record two hours and fifty-eight minutes, and from Acapulco to Oakland, California, in a record two hours and eighteen minutes.
July 1: VEGAS: MORE THAN JUST CASINOS
Las Vegas is on a roll, in more ways than one. Some 15,000 new hotel rooms, most of them deluxe, are coming on line in the next year. Concurrently, an ambitious expansion of convention facilities is under way; and the existing hotels, goaded by competitive concerns, are upgrading their product. The buzz word in this environment is service.
June 1: READING: WITHIN THESE LINES
Summer is almost upon us, what with vacations, lots of airplane hours, and lazing in the sun. Time for the pleasure of books; itís catch-up-on-reading season. Hence these highly biased capsule reviews of some novels and other new editionsómost of them in paperbackóthat Iíve enjoyed in recent months.
May 1: HUBS AND USER-UNFRIENDLY SPOKES
Except for major city pairs, the convenience of direct air travel is just a fond, fading memory. I had another opportunity recently to experience the fallout from airline deregulation, especially as it applies to the frequent flyer. I refer particularly to the hardships imposed by user-unfriendly hubbing and, parenthetically, to the excessive fares levied on near-monopoly routes
April 1: WHERE WE'VE BEEN, WHERE WE'RE AT
Things change so quickly in travel and aviation that you need an electronic scorecard to keep pace--and to keep your psychic equilibrium. This year airline stability is the top-ranking area of concern. Airport expansion was this year's second-most-important topic.
March 1: THE CALM AFTER THE STORM
Jamaica, that Caribbean island nation, and the Mexican resorts Cancun and Cozumel bore the brunt of Hurricane Gilbertís vicious journey last September. Jamaica, at least, is a valid case history of how you can convert a natural calamity into an eventual, if not near-term, plus.
February 1: FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!
Once upon a time, the airlines were engaged in a sandwich war. Then came the charter wars, and later, even lounge wars (pianos, organs, etc.) We are now into the fare wars (which rarely, if ever, benefit the upscale frequent flyer) and the user-unfriendly hub-and-spoke wars (ditto).
January 1: HUNGARY'S WESTERN APPEAL
Hungary has been in front of its Eastern Bloc peers on economic and social reforms. These include the introduction of more individual incentives and other free-enterprise activities, as well as a fledgling (very) stock exchange. But
nothing that I felt or knew quite prepared me for what I found in this land-locked central European "socialist" state of 11 million residents.
Copyright © 1980-2007 by Martin B. Deutsch. All rights reserved.