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For decades, a cartoon mustached Maharaja, in striped turban and pointy slippers relaxing on a flying carpet, ruled the skies between the United States and India.
The Air India mascot had zero competition wooing worldly, adventurous American tourists to visit the Taj Mahal, grand palaces and ride the elephants. Continue Reading Airline fares and perks vary widely on trips to India

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If Madison Avenue ever opens a Catchy Name Hall of Fame, Embassy Suites has my vote.
Each word conjures up visions of power, elegance, a private sanctuary for the well-heeled and well-connected. A place where diplomats hold back-channel conversations to free a political hostage or shore up a sagging currency. Continue Reading An apology is music to a frustrated traveler’s ears

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Fair warning for travelers to the City of Brotherly Love: Don’t call Philadelphia the “next New York” just because the saloon and restaurant scene here is suddenly smokin’ hot.
Locals cringe. In fact, for libation lovers, Philly may even be cooler than Gotham but on a smaller scale. Continue Reading Restaurant wines and dines locals and guests in Philly

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But Hyatt Summerfield Suites, a so-called “extended stay” hotel, doesn’t ladle on four-star perks. I wasn’t expecting any, so I wasn’t disappointed when I walked in the room. It looked like a newlyweds’ first apartment, furnished in circa 1980s Levitz. Continue Reading A suite scene at a Hyatt Summerfield, but no luxe life

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Known simply as the Metro Cafe, this urban oasis is a nice mix of cool and style that doesn’t spill over into hipper-than-thou ’tude. … In addition to the bargain-priced martini happy hours, a full 50 wines flow by the glass. Continue Reading Metro Cafe proof that Cleveland really does rock

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Finally, some good — no make that great — news for cost-conscious, comfort-seeking, style savvy business travelers who shuttle between San Francisco and Los Angeles.
After years of paying a king’s ransom to United for a nonstop between SFO and LAX and getting squished seats, bland to bad service and suspicious cancellations, the charming buccaneer of the skies, Sir Richard Branson, has parachuted in with his Virgin America. Continue Reading Virgin America’s first class is a really sweet deal

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<strong>KABUL, Afghanistan</strong> — Mark McCord of Cleveland, Tenn., has a gift for understatement. He claims he doesn’t feel unsafe working or traveling in and out of this chaotic capital city of 3 million people that’s not served by U.S. airlines or hotels and is a political hot spot.
McCord, who works and lives in a guarded compound in the center of Kabul, is forbidden to hail a cab and he’d never get behind the wheel of a car on clogged streets where traffic lanes and laws are not observed and suicide bombings are an occasional fact of life. Continue Reading Kabul: take patience but leave the plastic at home

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Business travelers and vacationers should fall to their knees and thank the god of mergers and acquisitions that U.S. Airways never got its clutches on Delta Airlines in its $8.5 million buyout offer last year when the Atlanta carrier was fighting for its life.
Chances are that shotgun marriage, an end-run wooing of bankrupt Delta’s non-secured creditors, would have been a catastrophe for passengers. Continue Reading U.S. Airways needs a passenger service flight plan

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Sami Sunchild missed the free rock concerts in Golden Gate Park, the love-ins, the drop-outs and the mellow madness in the summer of ‘67 when the counterculture went mainstream.
But today, as owner of the 18-room Red Victorian Bed and Breakfast Inn on Haight Street, she’s still stumping for peace and freedom — this time for global travelers. Continue Reading ‘Summer of love’ in San Francisco 40 years later

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Long before he jumped into the travel bag business, Jim Markel packed parachutes during his four-year tour as a Marine. Rigging ‘chutes wasn’t going to be a career, but it had a powerful impact on his mind.
“The rigger’s motto,” he said, “is ‘I will be sure — always.’ It’s a matter of life and death.” Continue Reading Ex-paratrooper jumps into world of travel bags

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