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View Full Version : Flighing high in economic storms



MattCasters
12-02-2008, 07:30 PM
Next week I’ll be in Orlando for another week of brainstorming, planning scheming, plotting for world domination and yes, even coding.

Q : “What are you going to do next week?”
A : “The same thing I do every time when I’m in Orlando - Try to take over the world!”
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/4/47/Pinky_and_the_Brain_vol1.jpg/250px-Pinky_and_the_Brain_vol1.jpg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinky_and_the_Brain)
So I went to kayak (http://www.kayak.com) and entered my flight preferences: leave and return on Sunday giving me a full week over there. I was almost shocked to see that the same flight I took 2 months ago now costs less than a third:

July 13th 2008 : BRU/MCO - MCO/BRU (over FRA) : 2,400 USD (summer time folks!)
October 12th 2008 : BRU/MCO - MCO/BRU (over IAD) : 2,000 USD
December 7th 2008 : BRU/MCO - MCO/BRU (over PHL) : 600 USD Typically I’m not selecting the cheapest flight as that would put me on 18 hour layovers in Bankok (http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/11/25/thailand.protests/index.html?eref=rss_topstories) or something like that. In the past I’ve once spent 8 hours at Chicago airport and trust me, it’s not worth the 100 USD you can save. You’ll spend it on Internet access, food, “beverages”, magazines, etc.
That being said, the December 7th flight is the cheapest flight with “only” 1 layover.
In the past I’ve noticed that the airlines added more and more options for me to fly to Orlando or at least across the Atlantic ocean. Now that the economic downturn is upon us, perhaps there’s finally a bit of over-capacity. After all, the last 5 flights I took from Brussels to the US had been fully booked flights. That’s right folks: listening to hollering kids with Mickey Mouse ears for 9 hours straight. Even noise canceling headset have a hard time with that kind of noise.
https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/images/estabanner2.jpg
(https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/esta.html)
Another thing of interest for the geeks among you is that you are now encouraged to apply for authorization to enter the US well in advance to replace the manually written green “Visa Waiver” documents. Nobody makes a fuss about it, but registration for us Europeans is obliged (http://www.dhs.gov/xnews/releases/pr_1212498415724.shtm) or so you can read from January 12th 2009 on. I’m sure there are going to be freedom fighters here and there that are going to be up in arms over this sort of program, but personally I’m glad that we can finally fill in those green “waiver” documents electronically at home. From the looks of it, there’s nothing on there that you don’t already fill in manually now. (it felt kinda familiar filling them in)
I’ll let you know how they perceive my eagerness to fill in these “hidden” electronic documents at the US border next week http://www.ibridge.be/wp-includes/images/smilies/icon_smile.gif
Until then,
Matt


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