Hello, travelers. I've been out of pocket this past week, bawling over my 401K statements, but I'll do my best to catch you up on what's been going on in travel circles. Here are a few gems:
1. American Airlines is thinking about "a la carte" pricing of its flights. That would mean instead of paying a single fare, passengers would have the option of chosing a base fare plan and then adding on the services they require: baggage, blanket, oxygen mask. Whatever makes you comfortable. The term is called "unbundling" and it's the next trend for airlines.
2. A travel writer, of sorts, is the winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize for Literature. French author Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio, 68, has lived all over the world and his life's work reflects the impact of many journeys to different cultures. The Nobel committee described him as a "traveler, a citizen of the world, a nomad." Something to aspire to.
3. Um, airporn? I don't want to think about it. And neither do the flight attendants. That's why American Airlines is doing something to block, ahem, certain viewing from their in-flight internet channels.
4. A couple of rockslides at Yosemite National Park damaged nearly a third of the 500 or so cabins in the Curry Village area. Three people in rental cabins were injured and a hsot of others had to be evacuated when 1,800-cubic-yard chunk of rock tumbled from Glacier Point.
5. And in the you don't say arena: Economic problems are hitting the travel industry pretty hard with the number of airline passengers dropping quite a bit in September and corporate clients at luxury hotels drying up. You know what that means: it's deal time.