Cheap Miami Flights For You

Traveling could be a lifetime experience if you have chosen the right airline for yourself. To reach the required destination, it is wise to consider famous airlines that offer discounts and other premium offers for your trip. It certainly is dependent on the fact whether the airline is offering the optimum deal. If you avail to the right opportunity, traveling could be much more fun. That is precisely why it is smart and safe to consider options available. Cheap tickets could mean less trouble for your wallet but it could also ruin your chance to enjoy the whole journey. Here are a few cheap Miami flights for your convenience.

Since Miami is the city of exciting nightlife, vibrant colors, thrilling events and unforgettable enjoyment, an easy way to get there is the first step to the best vacation ever. If you plan on spending your vacation in Miami, consult your travel guide for more information on cheap Miami flights. Always remember to check all details relating to the airline, fare and services available on each flight. No one would like to set down for something inferior and substandard. Given below are a few cheap Miami flights.

American Airlines offer one of the best discounts on a Miami flight. Costing only an easy $ 189 on your pocket, this airline promises the lightest and most convenient trip to the city of the hip and happening. This flight will land you on the Southern end of Florida. Since it is close to Cuba, you will witness the most exciting and thrilling places of the world. American Airlines will ensure that you safely land the warm melting pot of culture and diversity of Miami. Services of the best kind are offered by the famous airline. From friendly air pilots to a well-maintained staff on-board, this airline provides premium quality at the lowest price.

Another desirable offer by the American Airlines is its $ 145 airfare for students wishing to go to Miami. With such a low price offered, many national and international students can enjoy this opportunity to enjoy and save at the same time. Lunch, breakfast and dinner are served depending on the time of departure. Amiable staff is present during the entire tenure. These flights usually take off on Tuesday's and Thursday's. If you are a citizen of New York City, several airports offer this cheap and affordable ticket to Miami. These airports include Newark International, John F. Kennedy International, La Guardia Airport and Metropolitan Area.

US Airways also offers cheap Miami tickets. Ranging from an easily affordable $ 212 to a small-offer like $ 144, this airline is famous for its confident staff, smooth service and easy journey to the destination of your choice. In this case, Miami will be heaven since US Airways makes sure that it lands you the perfect spots of Miami. The southern-most tip of the state is where you will land. Full of vibrant nightlife and beach fun, this is the place you will enjoy.

Miami Airlines also offer perfect deals at the cheapest rates on different and special occasions like The Festival of Lights in Ontario. If you love lights and sparkling carnivals then Miami Airlines has the best offer for you. With a ticket at only $ 195, you can have an experience of a lifetime. Enjoy the lights and the excitation in Canada at such a low rate. The departure usually is in the evening while the arrival takes place in the morning. Miami Airlines will take you to the city where over one million people drive through the display of dazzling lights.

Air Caribbean is famous for its cheap rates and good service. With cheap tickets to Miami at as low as $ 165, you could not ask for more. A friendly staff, adept air mechanics, smiling air hostesses and delicious food is provided at the lowest rate. Along with that, you will not have to face stops at different points during the flight. Air Caribbean realizes you want a smooth and uninterrupted journey. It will, indeed, make sure you receive such treatment.

Most cheap Miami flights could have the best offer you are searching for. However it is always wise to remember to consult local travel guides and airways for more information related to low-rate flights.

Dubai – An Emirate of Dreams

History:

As per several written accounts, Dubai was supposedly to be in existence even before the configuration of the United Arab Emirates, for as long as 150 years. But at that time, the landscape of this city was that of an uninhabitable desert, where only the Bedouin tribes could survive. Only a stream of water, an excuse for a creek, proved to be the lifeline. The camel was the only means of transport.

It was only closer to the 19th century that Dubai came into picture as travelers passing along the trading route that connected Mesopotamia to the Indus Valley, built it into a hub of sorts. Soon, signs of civilization great, starting with the fishing village at the creek. It was then that the Bani Yas tribe came to stay here, and the leader family, the Maktoums, established their rein in this desert land, and the dynasty continues to rule over Dubai even today.

But, Dubai first made news on the world scene as late as in the '60s, when, even as the British colonizers were just leaving the land, inmates there injected upon oil. And oil it is that has made Dubai a hotspot commercial and trade center if ever there was one. Within a short span of just four decades, the city reinvented its image and went on to become the role model for the several mushrooming cities, as well as the existing ones, all over the world. The economy of Dubai is reaching for the sky, and it is not just oil that is propelling it. Foreign admiration for the several man made wonders here has also helped Dubai evolve as a hot tourist destination. In fact, the city has also seen a major population explosion in the recent years, and stands approximately at 1.5 million as per the latest records. But Dubai is more cosmopolitan in its demographic makeup than any other city in the world, and the original Emirati residents account for only a quarter of Dubai's population. This is also seen as one of the reasons as to why ethnic conflicts have not really flared up in the city, as they have in the neighborhood regions of the Middle East.

Today, Dubai, as a tourist destination, boasts of some of the most spectacular and monumental structures, that has been attracting people from all over to witness man made creation in its full glory. And it sees that making grandiose, ambitious plans is almost a penchant, or fetish, for the rulers of this emirate. If Burj Arab wears the crown of being the tallest tower in the whole world, the man made islands, called as the 'Three Palms and the World', is a spectacular creation by itself.

Tourism has come to contribute almost 30% to the GDP of Dubai, and it looks like for many travelers, natural wonders have taken a back seat, when Dubai and its artificial magic is in questions.

Facts:

o Dubai is the second largest emirate in the cluster of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and has a land area of ​​almost 38885 square kilometers.
o It is located on the edge of the Dubai Creek.
o Dubai is actually not a city, but an emirate. But generally, Dubai as a term is used to refer to just a part of this emirate, known as Dubai city.
o The Dubai Creek partitions the city into two regions, which are the Diera district (in the north), and the Bur Dubai (to its south).
o Dubai has close proximity with three continents, rarely Asia, Europe, as well as Africa.
o Dubai is the commercial capital of the United Arab Emirates.
o The population here has reached the 1.5 million mark within just a short span of time.
o Almost 80% of the resident population in Dubai is represented by foreign immigrants.
o Dubai boasts of the highest population in the whole of the UAE.
o The Al Maktoum dynasty has been ruling over Dubai right since 1833.
o The emirate earns much of its revenue mainly from trade, financial services as well as real estate, and has become a hot property for housing.
o Only 6 percent of the total revenue to Dubai's economy is received from its trademark riches of natural gas and petroleum.
o The Dirham is the main currency of Dubai, as well as for the whole of the United Arab Emirates.
o Dubai is one of the only two emirates, the other being Abu Dhabi, to have the privilege of veto power in the legislature of the country, when it comes to matters relating to critical aspects of the nation.
o The main hub for the gold jewelry business in the whole of Middle East lies in Dubai.
o The Burj Dubai is the tallest building in the world, as well as the tallest built man made structure ever.
o UAE's first ever manmade island has been created in Dubai and is known as the Palm Island.
o As per recent updates and records, Dubai counts as the fastest growing city in the world.
o Even though the city is essentially located in a desert region, it now boasts of some of the best indoor ski slopes, for which snow weighing up to 6000 tons is used.
o In Dubai, the government has restrained from levying any kind of income tax or personal tax on the citizens of the city.
o Dubai as one of the highest per capita incomes in the world
o Since it is a desert region, the city receives only 13 cm of annual precipitation on a yearly average.
o Dubai has one of the most multicultural societies in the world.
o Dubai, however, is known to follow a class-based structure in its social makeup, and it is the migrant workers who form the lower class in the social hierarchy.
o The transport hub of the Emirates Airways is the Dubai International Airport, which not only operates for the emirate of Dubai alone, but also for the rest of the emirates in the UAE.
o In context of the international passenger traffic, the Dubai international airport is the 6th busiest international airport in the whole world.
o Cricket and football are the most closely followed sports in Dubai.
o The Dubai international Film Festival is a noted event that is held every year, and which attracts the biggest celebrities form all over the world.
o The nightlife party culture has spoken on frequently in this city, and Dubai was listed as New York Times travel choice in 2008 for a good partying environment.
o Although infrastructure wise and economically Dubai is highly progressive and modern, the government regulates strict censorship to protect the cultural as well as political nature in the Emirate. Some of the major things considered to be a violation include drugs, homosexuality, Darwin's theory of evolution, etc.
o The official language of the emirate is Arabic, but the other popular languages ​​spoken here are English (which happens to be a lingua franca), Urdu, Hindi, Malayalam, Persian, Bengali, Chinese, Tagalog and several others.
o Islam is the official religion of the United Arab Emirates as per UAE's Provisional Constitution.
o Apart from Muslims, the other prominent religious communities in Dubai are the Hindus, the Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, and several others.

Climate: Since Dubai is essentially located in a desert region, it experiences a hot, arid climate almost all year long. There is constant sunshine in this part of the world, and the climate is usually idyllic which brings in tourists any time of the year. Dubai receives minimum annual rainfall, and the annual precipitation that the city gets on an average is just about 13 centimeters. The summers are hostile in this region, however, and then, most buildings and places are necessary air-conditioned to keep citizens and tourists comfortable. If you are planning to travel to this city, it is advised that you do so during the pleasant and cold winter season, and preferably stay away from Dubai during the hostile and torturous summers, unless you want to just spend your vacation sitting inside your air -conceived hotel.

Health: Dubai has an internationally acclaimed standard of the most advanced medical care, in both the sectors, primary health, as well as in public hospitals. The public hospital system is highly equipped to deal with even the most dire emergencies, while private health care also provides the best in terms of medical treatment. In order to ensure complete accessibility, the hospitals in the city are strategically located to face any emergency. As many as 20 hospitals are disperse all across Dubai. The Department of Health and medical Services offers affordable medical services and employs the best professionals from over the world. However, for tourists, the medical costs can be high, and then you must decide on trips only when your health supports you.

Dubai boasts of a very highly life expectancy, which is almost 77.87 years for the females, and 72.73 years for males. The rate of infant mortality in this emirate is 9.2 deaths for every 1000 people of the population. 12.8% is the crude birth rate.

If you are planning to travel to Dubai, it is advised that you take necessary precautions to prevent being bogged down by the common infections there, particularly chicken pox (in 2006 itself, there were 3472 recorded cases of chicken pox). The other infectious diseases common in Dubai are Pulmonary Tuberculosis, as well as Viral Hepatitis B, that also account for a large number of cases. Another important health instruction that every tourist to the place is warned of is to take due care to avoid possibilities of getting a heat stroke, which can prove to be quite dangerous. Dehydration is also another threat to most tourists, and sometimes, many may even face problems related to breathing and respiration. During the summers, the temperature can go up to almost 50 degrees Celsius, and can be unbearable, particularly for tourists from the colder parts of the world, and then it is advised that you avoid traveling to this region during that specific time. The high amount of dust in this region can make a foreign national prone to some allergies and respiratory problems, and then, you must make sure that you carry enough equipment for protection from the intolerable heat and the high levels of dust and sand.

Safety: nowdays, most tourists are largely concerned about the safety aspect in a destination location and they make sure to have a good knowledge of the whole scene beforehand. One of the largest factors related to safety in Dubai would be to conform to the strict rules while you are staying there temporarily. The rulers there are highly intolerant towards violation of the basic rules that are meant to safeguard the essential values ​​that are hailed in the Islam world. So, try to keep away form drugs as much as possible, particularly since there are a lot of exploitable drug marketing networks that can easily con unsuspecting tourists.

Another measure of safety to be taken is regarding your health, and it is advised that you avoid travel to Dubai when your health has not been good, since the medical care charges here are exorbitant for foreign nationals. There are also certain infectious diseases that you should take care of, particularly pulmonary tuberculosis, chicken pox, etc. you should also take enough precautions to avoid harmful heat strokes in the city which is common due to the high temperatures during the summer seasons.

There are certain strict taboos in a highly censored place like Dubai, and it is necessary that you conform to them for the short period of your stay here. Homosexuality is an offense, and so is Darwin's theory of evolution. Stray clear of these few things and you will be safe from being convicted for violation of the law of the land.

The other safety measures to be taken include the common ones, which most tourists follow for travels to any part of the world, like taking care of your marriages all the time, avoiding contact with strangers, and so on.

Shopping: Dubai is a paradise for shoppers simply for the range of its shopping malls and the latest style and fashion that every shopping store is abundant with. The best thing bout shopping in Dubai is the attractive price range on the various items and products that the shops and markets here offer. Here's a guide to direct you to the best places to shop when in Dubai.

o One of the popular shopping malls in Dubai is the Ibn Battuta Shopping mall that is located in Jebel Ali.
o Another popular shopping mall, one of Dubai's first major ones, is the Bur Jaman Center that also boasts of the best range of restaurants and cafés as well. This mall is located in the Khalid Bin Waleed Street in Bur Dubai.
o Another one on the list of the best malls to shop in Dubai is the visually-appealing Wafi City Mall that is known more for its attractive atrium roofs shaped in the form of pyramids than the range of products available here. But the mall does not fall behind in that aspect as well, and boasts an array of over 200 retail stores, as well as a full-blown family center which includes a theater, and restaurants as well.
o The Wafi city Mall is located in the Al Garhood region, near the Grand Cineplex. The first shopping mall to be purpose-built is the Al Ghurair Center, which was constructed by the Al Ghurair family way back in 1981, on Riqqa road in the Deira region. Some of the best range of collections in merchandise can be easily found here.
o Al Mulla Plaza is the oldest mall to be built in Dubai, which is located between the two emirates, Dubai and Sharjah, on the dubai-sharjah Highway.

Transportation:

The transportation in Dubai is efficiently regulated by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), and is an added bonus to the city's tourism sector. Most travelers do not face many hassles getting here and even traveling within the city. Here's a detailed introduction to Dubai's transportation status.

a) Airports: The Dubai International Airport functions as the most important center for UAE's Emirates Airline. It in fact, is quite a state of the art airport if ever there was, and has several excellence awards to its credit, not only for design, but for service as well. This airport is located at the Al Garhoud district, almost 4 kilometers to the southeast of Dubai. The largest operating airline at the Dubai International Airport is the Emirates Airline. Apart form this, the other frequent airlines operating from this airport are the Emirates SkyCargo and the FlyDubai airlines.

Another airport under constyration is the Dubai World central International Airport in the Jebel Ali Airport City. Emirates is one of the most popular airlines to this part of the world.

b) Sea ports: tHe two important commercial seaports that are in service in Dubai are the Port jabel Ali and the Port Rashid, which are used as hubs for international trade routes. For local use, the common ports used are the Port Saeed and the Dubai Creek. In fact, the traditional way of ferrying passengers across from Bur Dubai to Deira is facilitated through Dubai Creek.

c) Public Transportation: the Roads and Transport Authority famously run an efficient public transport bus system that runs along a network of 193 routes across the city. Even the taxi system in the city is intensive, and is in fact the most popular means of public transport in the whole of the Emirate. The Dubai Metro project is still under construction and is expected to greatly improve the public transport in the always crowded city. The Downtown Burj Dubai Tram System is also planned to function as a popular means of public transport by 2011.

Attractions:

There is no dearth of spectacular attractions for tourists in Dubai. Here's a list of some great places to visit when in the Emirate.

One of the most impressive territories in the city is the Shaikh Zayed Road that marks the spectacular progress of the Emirate in all its glory. There are some splendid buildings here, like the Emirates Tower Office, the Dubai World Trade Center, and several others.

The desert Safari is a must for visitors to Dubai, and so is a trip to the magnificent Jumeirah Beach. All the fun beach activities are played out here in full form.

Ski Dubai is another spectacular destination for those who want to experience snow in the middle of a desert. The Dubai Museum is a haven for history-loving tourists.

Attractions for Kids:

Apart from the several splendid places to visit in Dubai, there are also several water parks meant solely for the complete entertainment of children. Some of the famous ones are the Wild Wadi Water Theme Park and the Wonderland theme Park Dubai, apart from several others.

Ghana – A Major Attraction of West Africa

Another beautiful and attractive destination, Ghana is the beautiful country located in West Africa which has so many fascinating places for travelers and tourists. Each one them has something unique hidden in it. Explore Ghana with your Ghana flights and travel to many destinations of this auspicious destination like Accra which is the capital city of Ghana. The varied terrain have so many dimensions like beaches, deserts, family parks, botanical gardens, highlands and so many other things as well.

The weather and climatic conditions are ideal for foreigners. The location of this country is quite close to the equator and has a serious impact on the climatic conditions of this country. That's why the weather remains hot and humid throughout the year but the air flow does not stop most of the times. flights to Ghana can bring you a plentiful source of delight as there are so many airlines providing cheap fare rates for many destinations of this country. Traveling to the heavenly places of Ghana is always a wonderful experience you can ever have in any destination of Africa. Some of the popular destinations of Ghana which are always crowded with local as well as international visitors include the following as some of them reflect the glorious historical background where as some of them represent arts, crafts, nature, glory and scenic beauty. All of these dimensions can be enjoyed if you are traveling through some cheap flights to Ghana.

Cape Coast's Castle
Saint George's Castle
National Museum of Ghana
Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park
Kakum National Park
Makola market

If you are out for shopping and not aware where to go then it is advisable to opt for Makola market as this market is the best place to search anything you desire and that's why lots of people can be found in this astounding shopping area. If you have not experience to shop in this market then give it a try and you will find it quite cheap having an amazing variety of everyday stuff and household things as well. Those travelers flying to this country by booking their flights to Ghana from the UK and want to purchase gifts and other eatables for their families and friends, this is the best place to walk through.

Enjoy New Year’s Eve in Times Square New York

If you are looking for the ultimate New Year’s Eve party then you should certainly head to New York.

Home to some of the best-known celebrations in the world, there are few better places to book flights to if you want to enjoy a special and memorable end to the year.

Times Square is the focus of all the merrymaking and with good reason – festivities have been taking place on New Year’s Eve here for over 100 years and the tradition is still going strong, attracting approximately one million people annually.

Your New York flights don’t necessarily need to cost the earth either, you may be able to pick up a bargain and with cheap flights to the Big Apple, you’ll have a little bit more cash spare to spend on the main event.

And if you needed any more encouragement to start looking for New York cheap flights, the fact that almost one billion people around the globe watch the ball drop from the top of One Times Square each year should be enough to convince you.

So, if you head to Times Square for New Year’s Eve, what can you expect?

Firstly, New Year’s Eve in the Big Apple really is an experience and you should make the most of it by arriving early at Times Square.

The best viewing spots usually start to fill up from around 16:00 (local time), so make sure that you get there in time to pick out a good location.

Screens are set up all around the square too, so even if you miss out on some of the prime places, you’ll still be able to see and hear all the action.

At 18:00, the opening ceremony takes place and the evening’s celebrations will begin! It all starts when the famous ball is raised to the top of the flagpole on One Times Square.

The ball is ‘dropped’ at midnight, descending from the top of the flagpole during the ten-second countdown to midnight.

This tradition dates back to 1907, when fireworks displays to mark the new year at the building were banned, so its owner Alfred Ochs came up with the concept of a lit ball made from steel and wood descending at midnight.

But the New Year’s Eve festivities taking place here started out in 1904 when a giant street party was held not only to see in the new year but also to celebrate the official opening of what was then the headquarters of the New York Times newspaper.

Approximately 200,000 people attended that first party, which was also thrown by Mr Ochs, and the festivities have taken place here ever since.

There have been some changes – for example the ball is now made out of more than 2,000 crystals and filled with LED lights, which enables it to produce a kaleidoscope effect by projecting billions of colour combinations as it sits at the top of the tower – but the spirit of the event remains the same.

Once the opening ceremony is concluded, the fun really begins with a host of musical performances.

Stars will take to the stage to entertain the crowds, while each hour a new countdown will begin, getting everyone excited for the culmination of the party at midnight.

Balloons and hats are handed out to revellers so you’ll really be able to get in the spirit of the occasion – even if you’re wrapped up warm in scarves and coats.

And because this is a free event, you can arrive at Times Square whenever you want throughout the course of the evening to soak up the atmosphere of the excited crowds.

Anyone who doesn’t fancy standing around in the cold for hours may want to look into booking a table at one of the Times Square restaurants with a view of the ball.

Olive Garden, Sbarro Pizza, 2 Times Square and Double Tree Guest Suites will all enable you to eat a meal in the warm and comfort, while still being able to appreciate the atmosphere outside and see the party going on.

So why not get ready to pack your bags for a night you’ll never forget as you jet off on flights to New York to see in the New Year?

Train Travel

Train travel is an ideal means of transport in the UK and the rest of Europe. Rail travel is fast, practical and convenient in both urban and more rural areas. Railway stations often allow for car hire services if you need access to a car or sometimes need to vent to an area not accessible by train.

Rail travel is often convenient even if you have blown partway to your destination. Train travel works well for personal or corporate travel, and can be an economic way to transport staff to a conference, event venue, or meetings. It can also be a luxurious and comfortable way to transport clients quickly and efficiently. Train travel is a viable option for conferences, annual meetings and other events throughout Europe. You may be pleasantly surprised to learn that you can easily opt for rail travel to or from the UK and mainland Europe.

Booking rail travel is easy thanks to online interfaces that offer planning, scheduling and trip organization services. Both personal and corporate travel arrangements can be made easily and practically online. Whether you need to simply book a rail ticket or opt for a full package, both can be done with little effort. Corporate travel to events including annual meetings, conferences, and other events can be planned quickly and easily. Many online trip organizers even allow you to book airline tickets, car hires, rail travel and accommodations in one step. A well planned trip can be especially important for group travel, or for corporate travel arrangements. Discount on rail fares are even available for groups of more than ten.

Eurostar services offer fast check in and a short trip between London and Paris or Brussels. Eurostar allows you to travel in high speed comfort, with champagne, drinks, and food available at your seat in Leisure Select and Business Premier Classes. Business Premier may be an ideal choice for corporate hospitality or business travel to general meetings, conferences and PR events. Business Premier offers even faster check in services as well as additional business amenities. Standard class offers affordable and practical travel between London and France. Eurotunnel can also offer those traveling by car a helpful and cost effective rail option as you simply drive your car onto the shuttle and make a short 35 minute trip via shuttle to Calais, France.

Train travel is ideal in many ways as a corporate travel option, or even for corporate hospitality events. Comfortable rail travel is convenient and practical, and some train travel routes even offer wireless internet access and charging capabilities for laptop computers. If you are transporting important clients for PR events, product launches or exhibitions, rail travel can be an excellent choice. Train travel is an ideal choice for corporate hospitality, allowing your clientele to use their travel time for business needs or work.

While train travel works well for shorter trips, it is also ideal for longer trips. Sleeper cars are available on some train routes, allowing for a comfortable night's sleep. While train fares can be quite economic, first class seating in the UK and Europe will allow travelers an enjoyable and relaxing ride to their destination. Long distance train services are most apt to offer first class services. These may include more comfortable seating, tables, upgraded décor, meal services and more. Business travelers will also appreciate access to first class lounges in many train stations with wi-fi, power outlets for charging mobile phones, laptops and other electronics, comfortable spaces for meetings, and more.

Rail travel can be more convenient than air travel today, particularly in terms of check in times, and some travelers may simply prefer train travel. Passengers are allowed three pieces of luggage on trains in the UK, two larger items and a smaller piece of hand luggage. Excess luggage may be transported for an extra cost, as can some larger items. Check in via many rail travel companies is quite quick, with Eurostar and others estimating a less than 30 minute check in time. Business travelers in particular may find this speed and efficiency helpful.

If you are planning a corporate event, a product launch, PR events, an annual general meeting or sometimes a corporate conference, offering train travel as an option can be ideal. Train travel is both affordable and comfortable, and can offer the kind of luxury business travelers often prefer. Ample conveniences and accommodations for business travelers will appeal to your clientele. Online booking technology can allow you to schedule your event, book accommodations, rail travel, car hires, and air travel in one easy step. Consider consulting a corporate hospitality specialist to assist you in this sort of planning and make your event a true success. Your clients, employees and others will find train travel an ideal way to begin and end any event.

Don’t Risk It, Get the Protection and Security You Need With Travel Insurance

Let’s face it, getting travel insurance can be a very overwhelming and tedious process, making it easy to put off and even forget entirely. But before you head off on your international adventure, you might want to consider getting coverage through some travel insurance, just to be on the safe side.

With some luck, you’ll be glad it’s something you have and won’t need to use. But we all know that in life things happen, so it’s a good idea to find a travel insurance policy that fits your individual needs, travel agenda, and budget. Many travel agents and private companies offer travel insurance, and they have a wide variety of types and options to choice from.

What does Travel Insurance cover?

Basic coverage of travel insurance includes some financial losses while traveling, as well as limited medical expenses, including medical evacuation. The most common type of travel insurance is trip cancellation or trip delay insurance. This type of policy covers you and your travel companions in case you need to cancel, interrupt or delay your trip. However, the acceptable reasons for canceling or interrupting your trip will depend on the insurance policy, but most likely you’ll be covered for the following reasons:

o Sudden business conflicts

o Change of mind

o Delay in processing your visa or passport

o Illness or injury

o Weather related issues

In case your flight is canceled or delayed, travel insurance companies may provide additional coverage such as expenses that the airlines won’t cover, like taxi fares to the hotel or meals during your wait at the airport.

It’s also a good idea to have a plan with medical coverage of up to $1,000,000 in the case you become ill, need medical assistance, or have a flight accident occur. It’s also good to review the amount deductible by your insurance plan (this is the amount you’ll need to come up with before the insurance company picks of the rest). Make sure it covers repatriation (evacuation to your home country, rather than the nearest regional medical facility); make sure that does not mean you will be sent to the country where you purchased your travel insurance plan either, but your home country. If you’re planning a visit to multiple countries, make sure all the countries are included in the region covered by your insurance policy.

To learn more about these types of coverage and more specialized coverage, read The Basics of Travel Insurance.

To invest or not? How to make travel insurance work for me.

Purchasing travel insurance is great for insuring your money, should any unforeseen events pop-up, especially if you invest large sums of money on extravagant travel packages. To determine whether you want to invest in travel insurance your not, ask yourself these questions:

o Did you invest a lot of money into your travel plans?

o Are you traveling overseas?

o Which regions or countries are you visiting and for how long?

o Are you planning on participating in any extreme sports?

o Can you afford the cost of your trip back home if any emergency arises?

o Will you be able to afford medical care if you or someone you are with gets sick and needs immediate medical attention?

o How old are you and how is your overall health?

o Do you have any pre-existing conditions that need regular, special attention?

You can purchase your travel insurance for a single trip, multi-trip, or with an annual policy, all depending on how frequently you travel and the length of your trip. Comprehensive travel insurance can cost anywhere from 4% to 8% of the cost of your trip, depending on type of coverage, the length of the trip, the destination, and the age of the travelers. It is best to purchase your travel insurance between 7 to 21 days of purchasing your travel itinerary. Usually the maximum coverage period for insurance providers is for one year abroad.

Go through the fine print on your policy and check whether you will have to pay on the spot and redeem the money later for any medical expenses, or will the insurance company pay providers directly. If you have to claim it later on, you will want to hang on to all documents.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition, get an insurance policy that will specifically cover it. Also examine which adventure sports and activities the plan does and does not cover (rarely does it include scuba diving and hang gliding). Lastly, for your benefit, a policy that is flexible and can be extended while you’re already away is recommended. You never know whom you’ll meet, and you just might want to extend your trip.

Another good tip would be to get in touch with your credit card issuer before investing in travel insurance. At http://www.creditcards.com/, a credit card information site, suggests calling your credit card issuer to see if you have any free travel benefits that you may not be aware of, for example, insurance on lost or damaged luggage. However, according to USTIA, canceling a trip at the last minute and being reimbursed by your credit card company is the most common misconceptions among travelers. And sometimes credit card companies have limitations on only cover up to 3 months of travel. It’s worth investigating.

Lastly, if you have existing health coverage, it would be wise to get in touch with them before hand, especially if you will need vaccinations and other medicine for your trip. Depending on your health insurance plan, ask for a ‘travel packet’ and they will send you important information regarding your coverage, if any, while abroad. It might turn out you might already be covered for somethings, but not for others.

Where can I purchase Travel Insurance?

There are many sites and companies offering travel insurance online. Among them are leading companies such as World Nomads, Travel Guard, and InsureMyTrip, just to name a few. A new online resource called Squaremouth, helps travelers easily and instantly compare all the major travel insurance plans at one site. You’ll be able to get immediate quotes from several major, reputable travel insurance providers and compare policies and their prices. It’s a good starting point and one that you can trust.

Helpful Tips for once you’ve purchased your Travel Insurance:

o Scan your insurance policy electronically and save it somewhere securely online

o Make one copy for yourself to bring on your trip

o Make another copy for a trusted family member to keep at home

o Have the emergency hotline number accessible during your trip, but make sure you try it out before leaving home to ensure its operating and correct

o List out any medications you are taking (including vaccinations for your trip), and a list of allergies you have; keep this with your insurance emergency number

o Keep all receipts at home

o Review all the fine print in your insurance policy and determine which adventures you will be taking and which risks might not be worth it

Finally, get ready for a trip of a lifetime! Hopefully you’ll avoid ever using your insurance plan, but it will give you and your loved ones more security knowing you’re protected.

The Fairchild-Dornier Do-328JET

1. Turbine Triumph:

The power of engines, as historically demonstrated, extends beyond the thrust they produce to move airplanes. They also move passenger-toward a particular aircraft, when it is powered by the type that attracts them.

When the first long-range, pure-jet airliners appeared at the end of the 1950w in the form of the de Havilland DH.106 Comet, the Boeing 707, and the Douglas DC-8, it was concluded that this technology would be restricted to those sectors, since its speed could not be adequately exploited over shorter ones, leaving them the domain of piston aircraft, such as the Convair CV-440 Metropolitan and the Martin 4-0-4.

What was underestimated was the power the pure-turbine had to draw passengers to such airplanes, causing them to demand and ultimately expect this engine type on all route types. And manufacturers responded.

By the early-1990s, history repeated itself. The turbine, it was thought, could never be economically viable on regional-range routes, once again leaving the piston and later turboprop airliners with capacities of between 19 and 50 to serve them. But, when Canadair sparked the regional jet revolution with its 50-passenger CRJ-100 and Embraer closely followed suit with its own ERJ-145, there seemed no market for which the turbofan was not suitable-except, perhaps, for the very thin one, supporting no more than 30 seats.

Passengers again responded. And consensus was once again proven wrong.

2. Regional Jet Revolution:

Although powerplants usually precede designs, in the case of the regional market, designs preceded powerplants and provided the crossroads between larger airliners, business jets, and turboprop aircraft. Regional jets could thus originate from four potential sources.

The first, as previously mentioned, trace their roots to business jets-in this case, to the Canadair CL-600/-601 Challenger, which bred the stretched-fuselage regional airliners that followed it. In the second case, Embraer adopted the twin-turboprop EMB-120 Brasilia into a pure-jet counterpart, the ERJ-145. In the third, an existing airliner, intended for longer-range sectors, was scaled-down to produce a lower-capacity derivative, as had occurred with the MD-95/717, a shrink of the MD-90, and the A-318, a shorter-fuselage version of the A-319. Finally, regional jets originate as all-new designs, such as the Vereinigte Flugtechnische Werke VFW-614, the western world’s first 44-seat regional jet; the Fokker F.28 Fellowship, which was succeeded by the modernized F.70 and F.100; and the British Aerospace BAe-146, which itself begot the re-engined Avro International RJ70 to -100 family.

All of these types fueled the regional jet revolution, which created a fundamental change in the market, mirroring the impact the pure-jet engine first had on the long, then medium-, and finally short-range routes, and blurring the line between the major and regional carriers. It also became the most rapidly growing segment of the industry.

According to the Department of Transportation (DOT) report entitled “Regional Jets and their Emerging Roles in the US Aviation Market,” seven US carriers operated 99 regional jets between 126 city pairs and served 103 markets from ten hubs at the beginning of 1998. The domestic regional jet fleet at the time was expected to double, to 200 aircraft, by January of the following year.

And these figures only escalated like the clockwise rotations of analog altimeters installed in climbing aircraft. Indeed, in order to remain competitive and retain market share, airlines were forced to order regional jets. Almost 80 percent of the 570 regional airliners ordered in 1998 were for pure-jets, eclipsing, for the first time, the number of turboprop deliveries the following year with 217 jets as opposed to 120 turboprops. By 2000, 726 regional jet sales were recorded, a 42-percent increase over the year-earlier period and it constituted more than 90 percent of all regional airliners ordered. The diminishing popularity of turboprop types, resulting in a 28-year low in sales, saw the sunset on once ubiquitous models, such as the British Aerospace J41 and the Saab 340 and 2000.

These sales figures, however, reflected more than passenger popularity. Compared to heavier twins, such as earlier BAC-111s and DC-9s-which had not been designed for regional routes, but which were artificially suited for some of them because of then significantly lower fuel prices-aircraft intended, from inception, for this purpose, offered two advantages: their lower structural weights burned less fuel and were rewarded with reduced landing fees, and their decreased thrust capabilities optimized them for lower cruise speeds, since a greater portion of regional flight sectors entail the climb and descent phase than do longer ones.

Barry Eccleston, Executive Vice President of Fairchild-Dornier Aerospace, predicted that the market for regional jets accommodating a maximum of 110 passengers would be worth some $205 billion, amounting to 9,000 aircraft, over the first two decades of the 21st century-or more than two-thirds the $280 billion-worth of ultra large capacity airlines, such as the Boeing 747-8 and the Airbus A-380-except that the regional segment of the industry represented seven times the number of airplanes. He also identified four phases of the regional jet revolution.

The first, entailing the initial breed of 50-seat Canadair CRJ-100s and -200s and Embraer ERJ-145s served to prove the concept, attract the passengers, and demonstrate the economic feasibility of it, its roots planted by Comair in the US and Lufthansa CityLine in Europe. The former initially provided feed to major carrier hubs and the latter bypassed them and instead served short and/or thin sectors between secondary city pairs.

Paving the way by demonstrating the overwhelming passenger acceptance of these aircraft, the 50-seat regional jet planted the seed for the second phase, establishing the seamless service interchange between mainline and microjets and creating demand for pure-jet service on routes even too thin for the 50-seaters. Scaled-down for accommodation of between 30 and 40, these types could altogether replace the comparably sized turboprops, especially since a design such as the ERJ-135, although a smaller derivative of the original -145, was itself a development of the Brasilia turboprop.

Like a rolling snowball, once the concept gained momentum, it was unstoppable and increased in size. So, too, did the aircraft representing the third phase, which offered capacities not unlike the traditional short- to medium-range twins, but at decidedly lower seat-mile costs. Examples of these were the Fokker F.28 Fellowship, the British Aerospace BAe-146, the Fokker F.70 and F.100, the Avro International RJ70 to -100, the Bombardier CRJ-700 to -1000, the Embraer ERJ-170 to -195, the Antonov An-148 and -158, the Sukhoi Superjet 100, and the Bombardier CS-100.

Regional jets accommodating 100 passengers, but flown by major carrier crews because of pilot scope clauses prohibiting their operation characterized the fourth phase.

Closing the gap between major and regional airline profiles, this type of operation entailed the replacement of first generation twins, such as DC-9s and 737s, with their advanced, higher-capacity regional counterparts, yet offered comparable levels of comfort, service, and speed on thinner, point-to-point, hub-bypassing sectors-in the process reducing airport congestion.

Integral to this quad-phase regional jet revolution-and particularly to the second of them-was, of course, the 37-seat Embraer ERJ-135. But, before it even flew, it had competition across the Atlantic, in Europe, in the form of another turboprop-turned-turbofan, the even-smaller Fairchild-Dornier Do-328JET.

3. From Turboprop to Turbofan:

Founded as Dornier-Metallbauten in 1922 by Professor Claude Dornier, that company was known for its massive, 12-engined, Do-X flying boat, becoming Daimler GmbH in 1972 and Daimler-Benz Aerospace 15 years later, when Daimler-Benz itself acquired a majority share holding. It was finally designated Daimler-Chrysler.

Its high-wing, twin-turboprop commuter aircraft, offered in 15-passenger Do-228-100 and 19-passenger Do-228-200 versions, amounted for 270 sales, and led to a 34-seat successor.

Seeking to divest itself of what had intermittently become a loss-making subsidiary, it sold a majority stake of Dornier Luftfahrt, located near Munich, in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, to San Antonio, Texas-based Fairchild Aerospace in 1996. Fairchild itself built the venerable 19-passenger Metro commuter turboprop, which sold in excess of 600 during a 35-year production run, and was initially an international partner in the 34-seat Saab-Fairchild SF-340, which accounted for 456 sales.

The Do-328, in the eyes of new owner Fairchild, had potential, and its strength-literally-lay in its robust, German over-engineered design. Already the second-fastest turboprop regional airliner after the 50-passenger Saab 2000, it lent itself to a minimal-modification retrofit with pure-jet engines, although former design owner Daimler-Benz had consistently failed to see the feasibility of the project.

But additional impetus came from several less-than-positive circumstances. The pure-turboprop version, already weighing 2,200 pounds more than targeted and subjected to high production costs, suffered from fierce competition with similar types, such as the Fokker F.50, itself the product of DASA’s previous Dutch subsidiary, and sales were sluggish.

Based upon Fairchild-Dornier’s survey of 50 worldwide airlines conducted between October of 1996 and January of 1997, passengers preferred turbofans, regardless of route type and length, and a turboprop-to-turbofan transition was not only logical, but left little choice, provided it could offer comparable performance and economics.

Powerplant popularity, however, was not the only factor behind airlines’ orders. One of the latest attractions was the ability of an aircraft manufacturer to offer a family of regional jets, as was beginning to occur with Bombardier and Embraer, so that derivative-associated design similarities and common pilot type ratings would offer the cost-effective flexibility to match capacity to route type and departure time.

Although Embraer’s own scaled-down regional jet was now on the horizon, the economics of such 30-seaters had yet to be proven. Nevertheless, if they could, this type of design was foreseen as fulfilling two purposes: (1). It could replace comparably sized turboprops on existing routes, and (2). It could create an entirely new market-one too long for a turboprop’s speed, yet too thin for the higher-capacity of the increasingly common, 50-passenger regional jets, thus heralding a new class of aircraft.

If successful, it could potentially replace some 1,200 aircraft in US service alone. With the ERJ-135 about to become the second member of Embraer’s regional jet family, and the Do-328 notching up less-than-stellar sales, Fairchild-Dornier had little choice but to combine its existing airframe with turbofan engines or concede the race-already as a distance third-to the other two contenders.

4. Do-328JET:

Modifications to the turboprop’s turbofan counterpart and, in many ways, successor, were few.

Because the fuselage was milled from solid material, the aluminum alloy for the pure-jet version retained more at frames 24 and 26, which corresponded to the wing and undercarriage attachment areas, while the upper-fuselage fairing, which served as the blending point for the wing, was also retained, as were the two aft, ventral strakes previously required by the turboprop’s air flow. Although the powerplant change had rendered them superfluous, they were not removed in order to avoid recertificaton costs.

The newly designated Do-328JET featured a 68-foot, 73/4th-inch fuselage and 69-foot, 9 3/4th-inch overall length.

Utilizing the same TNT (Tragfluegels neuer Technologie), supercritical wing as its Do-328 predecessor-which was originally designed for the smaller Do-228-and equally employing solid-milled skins to minimize the amount of riveting, the regional jet sported a unique planform. Aside from differing in its high-wing mounting, it featured highly-swept leading edges near the wing tip, parallel edges inboard of the engines, and a trapezoidal shape outboard of them.

Combined with the turbofans’ thrust capability, its wings, which retained the turboprop’s inflatable, leading edge boot deicing system, facilitated short-field performance, yet feisty climb rates (of 14.2 minutes to 31,000 feet), offering comparable block times to the ERJ-135 with which the aircraft would eventually compete.

High-lift devices encompassed single-slotted trailing edge Fowler flaps.

Internally, the Do-328JET’s wings incorporated a 200-liter fuel capacity increase, dual fuel pumps, and 30-percent larger-diameter fuel lines.

Sporting a 68.10-foot span and 430.6-square-foot area, they introduced a 100-mm trailing edge flap extension and thus increase in chord, rendering an 11.0 aspect ratio, for an ultimately targeted 400-knot cruise speed.

Like the turboprop -328, the regional jet retained the t-tail, but introduced a larger rudder trim tab to counteract the engines’ greater thrust.

The pylon-mounted, thrust-reverser devoid, 6,050 thrust-pound Pratt and Whitney Canada PW306B engines themselves, replacing the nacelle-shrouded turboprops, were originally developed as -306As for the Galaxy business jet and incorporated an 840-mm, 22-bladed, wide-chord fan; a five-stage high pressure compressor (four axial and a single centrifugal); a two-stage high pressure turbine; and a three-stage low pressure turbine. Compared to the corporate version, the commercial powerplant offered a 30-percent increase in core flow and higher temperature-resistant materials in the high pressure turbine.

In order to cater to the Do-328JET’s increased weights, the twin-wheeled, hydraulically-actuated, tricycle undercarriage featured a Dunlop dual-braking system, with carbon disc brakes; a reinforced trailing link; and an anti-skid system to compensate for the lack of engine thrust reversers. Its nose wheel retracted forward, while its two main units were stored in fuselage-side fairings.

An AlliedSignal GTCP36-150 auxiliary power unit (APU) provided power for cabin lighting and air conditioning and engine starts.

Aircraft access was attained by means of a forward, left, out- and downward-opening, airstair- and handrail-equipped Type I crew and passenger door; a Type III emergency exit apposite it, on the forward, right side; a second Type III emergency exit on the aft, left side; and a Type II galley servicing door on the aft, right side.

Standard cabin configuration entailed 32 to 34 three-abreast, one-two-arranged seats at a 30- to 31-inch pitch and an aft galley and lavatory. Because of the 4,000-foot altitude increase in the Do-328JET’s service ceiling-to 35,000 feet-cabin pressurization was equally increased-from 7.0 to 7.4-psi, yielding an 8,000-foot elevation. Internal dimensions were 33 feet, 10 3/4th-inches in length and six feet, 2.5 inches in height.

Baggage, cargo, and mail were stored in the main deck compartment located between the aft cabin wall and the rear pressure bulkhead and accessed via a port door.

5. Flight Test Program:

Unlike clean-sheet design flight test programs, the Do-328JET’s entailed considerable comparison-between the handling and performance of what had been a 365-knot turboprop to one penetrating the 400-knot realm with pure-jet engines. The transition from one to the other had been even less of a leap than initially imagined, since the first -328JET prototype had been nothing more than the turboprop’s second prototype and even retained several of its features.

That prototype itself, registered D-BJET and rolled out for the first time on December 6, 1997 for public viewing, made its maiden flight from the 7,800-foot runway at Fairchild-Dornier’s Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, complex at 11:16 on January 20 of the following year, piloted by Meinhardt Feuersenger, Chief Test Pilot of the Do-328 turboprop program, and Peter Weger, who, in 1994, had first flown the Eurofighter EF2000.

Maintaining a southerly course over the Bavarian Alps, the aircraft, slated to gauge performance and test envelope expansion, attained a 220-knot speed and 25,000-foot altitude during its almost two-hour sortie.

Evaluating the prototype’s performance in comparison to the turboprop foundation upon which it was based, Feuersenger noted the absence of propeller wash and the smooth, over-wing air flow, no longer needing to continually retrim it as a result of power setting changes. Performance either approximated or exceeded computer calculations.

Assessing the regional jet after landing, Feuersenger said it performed “flawlessly” and “pilots will love this aircraft.”

Three other prototypes took part in the 18-month, 950-flight, 1,560-hour flight test program, which was delayed by four months because of the need to redesign the Dunlop braking system and Messier-Dowty shock absorbers to cater to the aircraft’s deceleration without propeller braking effects. Aircraft D-BWAL, first flying on May 20, was involved in performance certification testing. Avionics integration, the realm of the third prototype (D-BEIR), commenced with its July 10 first flight, and function and reliability testing began three months later, on October 15, when the fourth prototype first took to the air.

The first production-standard aircraft, featuring a five-foot wingspan increase and 8,160-pound fuel capacity, entered its intended aerial realm after the four prototypes.

6. Test Flight:

Initial Do-328JET performance could be gauged by the test flights its prototypes undertook.

The aircraft’s two-person cockpit, with a Honeywell Primus 2000 integrated avionics system, featured five, eight-by-eight-inch CRT displays, the primary flying (PFD) and multifunction (MFD) displays duplicated before each pilot and the engine instrument and crew advisory system (EICAS) located in the center.

The reclinable seats, with five-point harnesses, were equipped with storable armrests and were adjustable forward and aft.

Engine starts, using bleed air from the auxiliary power unit, were automatic, their parameters registered by the full authority digital engine control (FADEC).

After the flight plan had been entered into the flight management system (FMS) and the windshield panels had been electronically heated to prepare them for bird strikes or other foreign object impact eventualities, the twin-jet was steerable by means of its rudder pedals, provided the variation was no more than ten degrees to either the left or right, although sharper turns required the nose wheel steering tiller.

The aircraft was offered with two gross weights. The lower, designated the Do-328-300, could carry a 7,200-pound payload, had a maximum take off and landing weight, respectively, of 33,510 and 31,063 pounds, and a 740-nautical mile range with this payload and reserves at a 31,000-foot altitude. The higher, designated the Do-328-310, could carry an 8,104-pound payload, had a 34,524-pound take off weight and a 31,724-pound landing weight, and a 900-nautical mile range.

A corporate version, the Envoy 3, typically accommodated between 12 and 19 in layouts specified by the operator, but which usually included easy chairs, tables, work stations, divans, sofas, wardrobes, galleys, and lavatories. Additional fuel tankage increased its range to 2,000 nautical miles.

Calculated and entered take off reference speeds varied, of course, according to gross weight and atmospheric conditions. A 27,488-pound ramp weight, for example-including 5,000 pounds of fuel-resulted in V1, VR, and V2 speeds, respectively, of 103, 110, and 117 knots in prototype D-BJET.

Flap settings included 12 degrees for take off, 20 for approach, and 32 for landing.

With the altitude, airspeed, attitude, vertical speed, and cleared altitude visible on the PFD, and the departure track on the MFD, the aircraft, cleared for take off and brake-released, initiated its acceleration run, its throttles advanced and its PW306B turbofans under FADEC control.

A 15-degree pitch angle ensured a best rate-of-climb of a little over 5,000-fpm.

Cruising at its 35,000-foot service ceiling, it assumed a Mach 0.69 speed with a 97.6-percent N1 fan, resulting in a 1,797-pound-per-hour fuel burn. Maximum cruise speed, at 25,000 feet, was 405 knots.

A 4,000-fpm descent rate, to 20,000 feet, was accomplished with a flight-idle power setting and Mach 0.61 airspeed.

The elimination of the previous version’s propellers necessitated a 20-knot increase in approach speed and ground spoilers automatically deploy after touchdown.

7. Sales and Service:

Sales, as with any other aircraft, depended upon quality, price, and the ability to fulfill its design goals. In the case of the Do-328JET, however, that aircraft actually created-and needed to create-its own market niche and therein lay the first obstacle to its orders-namely, was there a requirement for a 30-seat regional jet with in-house competition from its own turboprop and from the likes of the British Aerospace J41, the Embraer EMB-120, and the Saab 340, and could it fulfill its mission as economically as these types?

Not all carriers were likely to follow the 30-passenger pure-jet trend, especially those that saw little benefit in operating a type which was not part of a family, a strong competitive advantage Bombardier and Embraer both enjoyed over Fairchild-Dornier.

So similar, in fact, were its turboprop and turbofan siblings that they shared the same production line and airlines were able to wait until six months before scheduled delivery to choose a powerplant type.

Several factors, however, seemed to indicate its need.

Analyses of 300- to 1,000-mile route sectors revealed that they were either too infrequently served or were done so with inappropriately sized equipment, resulting in low load factors.

Seeking to exploit the former case-in which demand often exceeded capacity-Fairchild-Dornier foresaw initial-and ideal-deployment on traditional 19-seat turboprop routes, which it envisioned as stimulating demand because of its cabin class comfort, in-flight service, and pure-jet speed, the same way the 50-seat regional jets had “recreated” the 30-seat turboprop market.

Finally, because of restrictions inherent in US pilot scope clauses, dictating the number of regional jets that could be operated by major-aligned, code-share partner carriers, orders for turbofan aircraft accommodating 50 passengers or more were limited. Falling below this restriction with its 32 to 34 seats, the Do-328JET was exempt from these regulations. At the same time, it gave carriers the opportunity to close the lower-end service gap between traditional-turboprop capacity and that of the new breed of regional jets, enabling them to substitute mainline flights with increased, businessman-attracting frequencies and those operating during off-peak, service-scarce or altogether -devoid times, particularly midday.

Orders, as with any aircraft, increased as the program progressed. Launched during the 1997 Paris Air Show, the program itself attracted initial orders for six aircraft from Proteus Airlines, based in Dijon, France, and Aspen Mountain Air of the US for four. At the time of its first flight, there were 17 firm and 15-optiioned orders, and by July of 1998, there figures had respectively increased to 51 and 28, of which 11 were for Envoy 3 business versions. Continuing to mount, these totals increased to 75 and 101 by February of 2000 and 141 and 91 by early-2002.

Skyway Airlines, “the Midwest Express Connection” established in 1993 by Midwest Express itself to serve short-range routes and provide feed to mainline flights at its Milwaukee hub with a fleet of 15 19-passenger B1900Ds, took delivery of the first Do-328JET on August 4, 1999, employing it on route-proving sectors before inaugurating it into scheduled service two months later, on October 6.

Although the B1900Ds were suited to certain routes, they created a capacity gap in mainline Midwest’s fleet, whose aircraft featured four-abreast leather seats and premium, all-business class service. Skyway’s Beech aircraft offered little more than standup headroom.

Because 75 percent of Skyway’s traffic was origin-and-destination in nature, and these passengers seldom experienced its parent’s full-service product, its reputation was less than it should have been.

What was needed was an airplane that could accommodate half that of its DC-9s, but offer comparable speed, comfort, and service. The 50-seat CRJ-100/-200 and ERJ-145, considered too close in capacity to them, were quickly discounted.

The solution lay in Fairchild-Dornier’s microjet, of which five were ordered, with another ten on option, and they were seen as serving four purposes.

1). Increase capacity on existing Skyway routes.

2). Inaugurate service between city pairs too dense for its 19-seat B1900Ds, yet too thin for Midwest Express’s own 60-seat DC-9-14s.

3). Replace these DC-9s on short, low-density sectors

4). Add frequency to existing Midwest Express routes during off-peak times.

Featuring the same leather seats, carpets, and sidewall patterns as its parent’s DC-9s, it was able to offer identical service, with cocktails, hot towels, hot snacks, and freshly baked cookies from the aircraft’s dual-oven equipped galley.

Inaugural Do-328JET routes, from Milwaukee, included Grand Rapids, Pittsburgh, Nashville, and Toronto, with the number of daily, per-aircraft sectors, like those of its B1900Ds, nine, except the replacement type considerably reduced their block times-from two hours to 1.20 in the case of Nashville. Its only “inconvenience,” however, was its very speed: although it was higher than that of its turboprops, or about Mach 0.66, it was far lower than the Mach 0.8 of, say, the mainline 737s plying the same airways between VORs, forcing it to accept lower flight levels to avoid traffic conflicts.

Gandalf Airlines, of Bergamo, Italy, became the first European operator of the type, inaugurating service with the first two of 12 ordered aircraft in September of 1999 with three daily round-trips between Milan/Bergamo and Paris.

Atlantic Coast Airlines, like Skyway, was another regional operator aligned with a major US carrier through branding and code sharing agreements-in this case, United and it thus flew under the United Express banner.

Operating 19-passenger Jetstream 31s and 29-passenger 41s, mostly to United’s Washington-Dulles hub, it was able to substitute its 25 Do-328JETs according to demand, frequency, and time of departure.

8. Do-428JET:

Seeking to offer the crucially needed second member of its regional jet family, yet avoid the already-crowded 50-seat market, Fairchild-Dornier launched a stretched version on May 19, 1998 at the Berlin International Air Show, partially in response to often-requested capacity increases.

Having already experienced neck-and-neck competition with the ERJ-135, Fairchild-Dornier anticipated similar conflict with Embraer’s also recently launched, 40-passenger ERJ-140, which shared a 96-percent commonality rate with its smaller predecessor. Both the ERJ-140 and the Do-328JET’s larger brother, the Do-428JET, were aimed at operators that needed a step-up of about ten seats over the smaller-capacity model upon which they were based.

Although it was initially envisioned as a simple-stretch derivative, it quickly became apparent that to do so would have sacrificed its short-field performance, since it offered higher structural and gross weights and only a higher-capacity engine could remedy this deficiency.

According to Stanley Deal, Fairchild-Dornier’s Vice President for the Do-228, -328, -328JET, and -428JET regional airliners, “Our strategy is to add a member to the -328JET family, offering 44 seats… and giving us enough differential between the (-328JET).”

Incorporating forward and aft section insertions, the aircraft, with a new 83.4-foot overall length, introduced a repositioned Type III emergency exit and a second, aft Type I door, accommodating between 42 and 44 passengers at a 31-inch seat pitch in a “new look” cabin, which was 44.7 feet in length. The enlarged baggage compartment behind it had a 336-square-foot area.

A modified wing, with a 71.5-foot span and 516.7-square-foot area, introduced a 1.7-foot greater chord and rounded wingtips, while enlarged, inboard sections facilitated the installation of wider, 33.2-inch-diameter engines. Bleed air replaced its predecessor’s boot deicing system.

The engines themselves, 7,400 thrust-pound Pratt and Whitney Canada PW308Bs designed for the Hawker Horizon business jet, represented a 25-percent power increase over the PW306Bs of the -328JET and introduced thrust reversers.

With a 44,533-pound maximum take off weight, the type had a 425-knot cruise speed and a 900-nautical mile range, now provisioned with a 1,510-US gallon fuel capacity.

Production entailed wings built in and shipped from San Antonio, Texas; fuselage sections assembled by Aermacchi in Italy; final assembly by Israeli Aircraft Industries (IAI) in Israel and external painting and cabin fittings in Oberpfaffenhofen.

With the cockpit commonality between the -328 and -428JET, and common pilot type ratings, Fairchild-Dornier marketed them as the ideal pair of entry-level regional jets, envisioning them as 19- and 30-seat turboprop replacements, respectively, because of the market growth expected to be created as a result of their pure-jet appeal.

Launch customer Atlantic Coast, with an order for 30, foresaw considerable flexibility in operating both types, able to tailor capacity to demand.

Fairchild-Dornier’s own strategy, however, soon proved less than successful. A weaker than expected sales foundation created by the original Do-328JET and a dramatic increase in nonrecurring development costs-by some $100 million for its larger-capacity successor-began to cast doubts on its ultimate reality, with unanticipated design changes–including a 4.7-inch rearward wing repositioning, the addition of an aerodynamic fairing, the relocation of the undercarriage, and a reduction in weight-causing first deliveries to Atlantic Coast to be rescheduled from the last quarter of 2002 to the first of 2003.

Although a vitally needed cash infusion from investment firms Clayton, Dubilier, and Rice, and Allianz Capital Partners ultimately kept the company afloat, its much-needed pairing sank, changing market conditions and the paltry number of orders rendering the stretched version unfeasible and forcing its cancellation. Orders and options, totaling 113 from Atlantic Coast, Skyway Airlines, and Air Alps were worth $1 billion at the time.

With amended US pilot scope clauses now permitting an increasing number of 50-seat regional jet operations, and the consistent-and costly-redesign from the smaller baseline version, the Do-428JET had become less attractive, and the decision to cease its development came down to the lesser of two evils-namely, leave a hole in Fairchild-Dornier’s product line or one in its profits.

The company won out, but only until its cash ran out, and on April 2, 2002, now mired in $670 million of debt, it was forced to declare bankruptcy, ceasing to exist.

9. AvCraft Aviation:

Following the path of its former Fokker subsidiary, it only lay in waiting for a financial lifeline to resurrect it, and that was cast from Leesburg, Virginia-based AvCraft Aviation, itself founded in 1999 by pilot and now CEO Ben Bartel as an aircraft completion center then located in Akron, Ohio.

Having already been an approved maintenance facility for both the turboprop and turbofan versions of the Do-328, it was a logical step for it to purchase these and the Do-428JET programs, along with five aircraft still on the production line and 18 completed, but unsold ones; the name, type, and production certificates; and the tooling, spares, and parts, as it did on December 20, 2002.

Although it intended to restart the production line after it had sold these 18 aircraft and actually succeeded in placing a few of them with Hainan Airlines of China, it never realized its goal of targeting the type more to the corporate than airline market, following in Fairchild-Dornier’s footsteps and declaring its own bankruptcy in early 2005, thus ending a program full of promise, but short on profits.

Travel Europe by Plane, Train, Bus Or Car – It’s Easy

Map out your trip – travel Europe by train, plane, bus or rent a car. This saves you time and money. If you are on a budget, compare prices against train, plane or bus. Check departure, arrival times and length of travel.

By train

Travel Europe by train is still the most popular way to go around. If your life’s motto is to travel light, this is a great way to get to your favorite cities! Find out how many countries you will be visiting. There are certain types of train fares to match your needs. Do you travel during the day when you can admire the scenery? Or at night, while you sleep it out and wake up at your new destination, saving you one night’s stay at a hotel? Travel Europe the way Europeans do! Mix in with the locals. One piece of advise, as back home, please keep your belongings close to you, particularly in the larger cities such as Rome.

I’ve traveled around Europe alone. And for women traveling alone, Europe can be pretty safe. I’ve never had the need to travel at night as I do prefer sleeping in a warm comfy bed. 🙂 While traveling, bring along your drinks. Most train stations have stores and kiosks. It’s hard to be thirsty on board and praying for that guy selling the snacks to show up!

Eurorail or eurail passes can only be purchased while you are still outside Europe. There are special passes depending on the length of your stay, how many times you will be traveling and how many countries you will be seeing. This is handy although if you are covering a few cities at a time, it is best just to purchase point-to-point tickets. During these cases, I buy mine on the spot.

A green way to travel around the UK: Get around on the Virgin train! They’ve got rates from as low as GBP 12.50 one way. And if you book early, they have great deals for first class. First class and saving the environment, what a great combination.

By plane

With people wanting to get to their destination faster and cheaper, European regional airlines come up with promo flights sometimes even cheaper than train fare! Wow! That’s a great way to travel Europe! So instead of travelling overnight on a train, you can choose to fly! There are lots of cheap airlines out there to make us female travelers happy!

British Midland flies from London to several European cities. My Paris to London flight with a group was delayed but the service made up for it. Despite that delay, I still fly British Midland.

I’ve also tried easyjet from Dortmund to Rome Ciampino and Jet2 from Leeds to Amsterdam Schiphol. These are low budget airlines. If I booked fast enough, I could have gotten my Leeds to Amsterdam fare for only GBP 1 (excluding taxes)!

Flying within Italy? Try out My Air. They also fly to several international cities within Europe.

Be aware that you pay for the drinks and snacks on board so make sure you have coins or small bills ready. The flights left on time and in about an hour, you’re in your destination!

On the other hand, there is also a possibility of renting a private jet. Check out Net Jets Europe if you don’t want to wait for flights (like the rest of us mortals).

By car

If you’re the type who loves driving during your vacation and consider map reading a stress-free hobby, then go ahead and rent a car! Driving in Europe is a breeze… that’s what Jan (my hubby) says… I can’t say the same because I don’t know how to drive!

By bus

Europe bus travel is an alternative to going around by train. It’s simple. Hop on, hop off. Coaches now are turning ultra modern. The ride is as smooth as when you’re on board a plane! Bus ride’s your thing the next time you travel Europe? There are several bus companies to choose from.

I travelled on Eurolines’ Amsterdam to Paris drive. We left Amstel Station at about 8pm and arrived in Paris at 6am. There are several toilet stops through the night and because the seats were comfortable, I felt pretty much OK on arrival.

National Express is a UK coach operator that goes to about a thousand places in the United Kingdom and to popular destinations in Europe (with Eurolines) as far as Moscow and St. Petersburg! There are some really great offers so you might just get a chance on a great deal. The trip may take longer than a train but you won’t worry about your luggage since all luggage are stored underneath the coach.

By private coach

The best in land travel, you and your friends and family have the privacy of your very own coach! Plan out your itinerary and have your very own professional driver take you around the continent for the entire duration of the trip. The latest family group I had decided to travel Europe (well, Italy and France) in the comfort and security of their very own deluxe coach, a big plus in their vacation! The kids claimed the back seats to chat all day long and their parents stayed in front enjoying the view!

By ferry

This is a great alternative for those who easily get bored. You get to do different activities on board the ferry so there is never a dull moment while you travel Europe on your own.

Golf Travel Bags – Choose Wisely to Protect Your Investment

Planning a golf vacation? Do not forget to protect your golf clubs by choosing the right golf travel bag. How do you choose the golf travel bag that is right for you? Let's take a quick look at three different styles to help you make the right choice.

Remember, choosing the right golf travel bag is not only about the bag itself. Golfers planning a golf vacation or just looking for protection on short golf trips should ask themselves a few questions before making a purchase.

What is your budget for a golf travel bag?

Do you travel frequently with your golf clubs?

Do your golf tours mostly include air travel or auto travel?

With these questions in mind, let's take a quick look at the different styles of golf travel bags and the benefits and negatives each offers.

Hybrid Travel Bags

These types of golf travel bags are essentially a golf bag with a hard top to protect your clubs. Unlike other styles, hybrids do not protect your day-to-day golf bag.

Hybrids will help golf travelers with space restrictions. They require less space than other models and also weigh less.

However, hybrid golf travel bags are not your golf bag. Therefore you must unpack and pack all of your golf gear each time you travel. These types of bags are also not the best choice for airline travel.

For golfers who travel more often by automobile and have an extra set of golf clubs, hybrid golf travel bags are a good choice.

Golfers can pick up a hybrid golf travel bag for as little as $ 60 with top of the line bags going for around $ 230.

Soft Golf Travel Bags

Think of this style of travel bags as a soft, padded, glove that covers your day-to-day golf bag and clubs. Usually, these bags come with a rigid bottom and wheels to help golfers carry them from location to location.

If you love to carry a lot of golf gear on your travels, then soft-style cases might be the right choice for you. You can travel with your day-to-day bag and stuff it with your other gear and golf accessories. These travel bags also breaks down easily and take up less storage space than hard case bags.

Some of the negatives associated with soft-style golf travel bags are mobility and protection. Soft bags usually do not roll as easily as hard cases. Also, these bags do not offer the same protection as hard cases. Your club heads are especially vulnerable in a soft-style bag.

If you choose a soft-style golf travel bag, I highly recommend that you pick up a Stiff Arm accessory. This will protect your club heads in the event of a direct impact to the top of your bag.

The best soft-style bags can cost anywhere from $ 120 – $ 300.

Hard Case Golf Travel Bags

This style of travel bag encompasses your bag and club. They provide the highest amount of protection but do not have space for the golf "pack rat".

Hard cases are a great choice for the golfer who travels by air to most golf vacation spots. This style provides the most protection and highest security for your golf clubs. Unlike other styles of golf travel bags, airlines will often cover any damage incurred when your clubs are in a hard case travel bag.

Hard cases take up more room than other styles when it comes to storage. They also do not hold all of your golf gear. For the golfer who plans more trips by automobile, hard cases might not make as much sense as hybrids or soft-covers.

Hard case golf travel bags average $ 130 with top of the line cases costing around $ 300.

Now that you have a little more insight into golf travel bags, you will be able to choose the right bag for your golf travel and golf vacations. Remember to think about the type and frequency of your golf travel, how much protection you need for your golf clubs, and what type of budget you have for a golf travel bag.

Choose wisely. Protect your investment. And, most of all, enjoy your golf vacation!

Copyright 2005 Evans Putman http://www.PerfectGolfVacations.com – All Rights Reserved. Reprints allowed see below.

The Importance of Wisely Choosing an Airport Transfer Service

You have been travelling around the world for months, and now you are on your way back home. You have landed at the airport and collected your luggage. You are mentally and physically tired, and the long wait for your chauffeur at the terminal is only going to frustrate you more.

You keep on looking at your phone to see if there are any missed calls or messages by chauffeur service provider, to inform you that there will be a delay in picking you up from the airport.

After waiting for an hour, you hire a taxi from the airport, and rush back home. As soon as you reach home, you get a call from the chauffeur that the cab is waiting at the airport. Such things happen with people quite often. Thus, you need to avoid making some common mistakes while hiring an airport transportation service.

Mistakes made while hiring airport transportation services:

  • Not booking chauffeur service in advance: Not booking chauffeur service in advance could get in trouble. There are chances of not finding cabs in the peak hours, and you will have no choice but travel on your own. Not to forget the luggage that you will have to pull with you.
  • Booking with unreliable service providers: Before making your bookings online, try to research a bit about the company, and then make an informed choice. Make sure that you book your cabs only with the companies that are known for their professionalism. You wouldn’t want any hassles in the last part of your travel.

Tips for choosing airport transfer service

  • Choose a company that you are already familiar with. If you don’t know any reliable car rental company, then check on the net for reviews.
  • Select companies having online booking system, so that you can book your travel anytime from anywhere. Before booking your ride online, don’t forget to read the company’s customer feedbacks.
  • Go with a company using modern technologies such as proper navigation and traffic notification system.
  • Try to learn about the quality of vehicles used by the company. You can also choose vehicles with various luxury features for a more comfortable ride.
  • Lastly, don’t forget to check original car and driving license documents, before sitting in your airport ride.

Services provided by reputed airport transportation companies

Professional drivers: Reputed limo companies hire only educated and experienced drivers. Their drivers will know all the routes very well, and they also know which routes can be taken to avoid rush hour traffic and bad roads. Pollution and traffic are the major problem everyone faces while travelling, but these professional drivers choose the shortest possible routes to drive you to your destination on time.

Personalized service: Companies always try to develop long term business relationships with their customers, which is why they provide personalized services. Their drivers are well mannered, and they drive their passengers across the city with all due courteousness. They also help customers with their luggage.

Avoid mistakes while choosing your limo services in order to enjoy a safe, stress-free, and comfortable ride.