Nobody Asked Me, But ...
I'll Tell You Anyway
THURSDAY, MAY 6, 2021 -- Nobody asked me, but ...

The answer is no. I have no idea what's happening with Europe and the travel rules. What is the value of a European Union if they won't move in lockstep on something as simple as post-pandemic entry rules?

Remember last year when Qantas insisted 14,000 times that it would resume international flights by the end of this July? And remember when they had to delay that to October 31? Yeah, well that might not be happening, either. A government minister this week suggested Australia may not open borders until well into 2022.

Nobody asked me, but ...

Avelo Air, which launched service in California last week using the "certificate" of the long-forgotten Xtra Airways (fka Casino Express), announced today it will base three Boeing 737s in Connecticut at mostly forgotten Tweed-New Haven Airport. Tweed's runway can't handle modern Boeing 737s, so the airport's third-party management firm says it will pay to extend the runway at no cost to taxpayers. The State of Connecticut, which last year took its opposition to a runway extension to the Supreme Court, says it has no objections.

Skeptical? About Avelo, about a runway extension, about the funding of it, about the state's about-face? Confused by the fact that all this was announced at a splashy press conference today even though no contracts have been signed? Of course you are. Logic tells you none of this will happen. Everyone is confused and skeptical. Everyone except the notoriously fractious Connecticut media, which gave Avelo, the state, the airport and the management company a literal free pass to spew fantasies.

Nobody asked me, but ...

Here's the Seinfeld clip you've been searching for ever since Chris Barnett and others started talking about the insane situation with car rentals.

I once rented a car--a Ford Contour--at Denver International with 23 miles on the odometer. Bloomberg reported this week that rental cars auctioned during April had an average odometer reading of around 79,000 miles.

Nobody asked me, but ...

I spent the lockdown deep diving on Everly Brothers music. They were before my time, but if you listen to the Beatles channel on SiriusXM often enough, you realize Phil and Don's influence on the Fab Four. My sweet lord, those boys could sing. Their records were slickly produced and hold up today.

Speaking of which, I never tire of that moment in A Hard Day's Night when Ringo explains he's not a mod or a rocker, but a mocker.

Nobody asked me, but ...

The future of American lodging? Marriott, Hilton and InterContinental. Brands aligned with those three chains collectively account for 69% of the new hotel projects in the U.S. lodging pipeline. Man, that is a lot of Holiday Inn Expresses and Hilton Home2 Suiteses ...

Hilton says 3% of its existing hotels remain closed due to the pandemic. At Hyatt, 4% of its hotels are down and an even greater percentage of its rooms (6%) remain shuttered.

Nobody asked me, but ...

The guy who sprays the grounds of the vast, worldwide headquarters of Joe Sent Me knocked on my office door today. After checking that he was vaccinated so I didn't have to put on my mask, I opened the door and he thrust out his hand. "When was the last time you shook someone's hand?" he asked.

Saddest part of that story? I couldn't remember how long it had been.

Nobody asked me, but ...

Most depressing travel story I've read in a while? The New York Times piece on the toxic kitchen at a famed Willows Inn on idyllic Lummi Island off the coast of Washington.

Second most depressing story? The U.S. Transportation Department is still chasing Air Canada for refunds to passengers for flights the carrier cancelled during the pandemic.

Nobody asked me, but ...

Here's a quote I think you can use in many circumstances in the years ahead, especially if you follow politics--or airlines: Your Boos Mean Nothing. I've Seen What Makes You Cheer.

That line was uttered by Rick Sanchez, one of the titular characters of Rick and Morty, an astounding animated show. Besides, Rick has his own flying car and a "portal gun" to get around. Needless to say, beats RJs.

Nobody asked me, but ...

How many of you have a second home or other holiday unit that you rent out? Get in touch with me if you do. I thought I could put together a section of the site where Joe Sent Me members offer their units for rent to other members. Seems like a win-win, right?

Bless me father, for I have sinned. It has been 484 days since my last confession flight.

Nobody asked me, but ...

Let's end as we began this week: The answer is no. I don't think airlines have learned any lessons during the pandemic. They may have (temporarily) reduced some elite-status requirements and eliminated a few fees, but they remain committed to charging the most for the least. Squeezing the most seats on a plane and then upcharging you for anything that could make the experience slightly less unbearable.

Sadly, I don't think hotels have learned much, either. They appear to be using the pandemic to do what they've long desired to do: reduce housekeeping costs, eliminate room service, cheapen the value of elite experiences and spend less per guest on services.