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Hartmann last won the day on January 7 2010

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  1. The A380 will run until June. It switches to a 777 in July.
  2. LAX-NRT and LAX-PVG are both supposed to go to 787s.
  3. Yep, I took advantage of one. TK badly wants to be the next EK. United and other Star Alliance haven't matched the TK fares, though some competition has (KLM-AF).
  4. Will you be there? My attendance all depends on whether or not I get stuck at LaGuardia again.
  5. I could see BOM/DEL, maybe even JNB but I doubt UA is going to try and fly to DME again. They had the IAD-DME flight and it wasn't a winner, even with no to little competition. UA going up against SQ out of IAH would be a little asinine. And I think you mean the maintenance base for the 787s will be at IAH. Once they start a couple more flights with them out of LAX they will need a number of the planes and crews based there. As far as Emirates, their advantage is not just government subsidized fuel, it's that they are essentially an extension of the government, owned by an investment subsidiary. While this has brought competition it is also forcing a lot of carriers, KLM, Lufthansa, etc. to reconsider their cost structures and expansion. Emirates has brought down the price on certain markets but they've also sliced away margins in markets where prices were already cheap. I'd be fine with seeing an EK A380 here in Houston though.
  6. I'd say your friends are smart.
  7. I currently have a business class reward ticket booked for the inaugural. Still trying to see if I can actually make it.
  8. ?? Me? If so, no, I didn't forget about them. They don't fit any of the criteria I laid out for which carriers to avoid. They are neither obscure or on anyone's "banned" list.
  9. I don't have any issues with Aeroflot. They have retired most of their rust buckets. Now, some of the other Russian and former Soviet-bloc carriers are questionable. I also feel a little hesitant when considering obscure carriers in Africa and rural parts of Asia. Some of the low cost carriers in Asia have really poor service records. I watch the list of carriers that are banned in the EU and US. I avoid them.
  10. While Air China has nice seats in business and first, their service leaves a lot to be desired. Not to mention the food on them is absolutely horrific. Then again, I won't complain about another non-stop to Asia out of Houston.
  11. Are they building a staircase/elevator at the elevated station? Would have been pretty cool had the entire length been elevated.
  12. It's also worth noting that the notion that we can entice people to live in urban environments by providing rail or at least limit traffic from suburban areas by providing rail has been pretty much a failure. All three cities that I mentioned in my initial post, Portland, Atlanta, and NY all have subways and buses linking the suburban areas to the urban areas and downtown. All three still have large chunks of the population that live in suburban areas, lured by cheaper home prices and in some cases, a lot more space (NYC) and yet all three still have major traffic issues from suburban areas. Sure, a lot of people on Long Island or in Westchester County or Connecticut take the train but a huge number drive and the morning commute proves it. I work with a lot of people who live outside of NYC and drive into the office. They have train options but still prefer to drive themselves and pay the parking prices.
  13. I have mixed feelings on light rail. I understand the desire to move a number of people that outnumber a busload from place to place but also wonder if its worth the cost in Houston. Sure, we sit in traffic but there are a number of reasons people prefer buses or their own cars to a potential light rail system all over the city (if that's even a speck in someone's eye). Look at cities with what most would consider "great" light rail/subway/train systems and you'll still find traffic. Portland has a pretty extensive light rail and bus network but there are still places that are difficult to reach without a vehicle (within the city limits). They also have a pretty bad traffic problem. Atlanta has a decent subway system linked up with a mediocre bus system. The reach is still limited and the traffic is horrific. Last but not least, the city I am most familiar with, NY. I have spent the better part of the last year commuting from Houston here for work and while the subway is great, there are still places in the city you can't reach (try getting to parts of the far east or west sides on the subway), the traffic is worse than Houston and riding the subway at rush hour in the warmer months can best be described as humbling. The bus system even more so. The airports are all reachable by public transit but all involve connections and none is particularly convenient. JFK is probably the easiest of the three and if you don't mind riding the bus, LGA isn't too bad. My point is this: we can try to emulate other systems that somewhat work or we can adapt and develop a system that works well for our city. The rapid bus system is great and needs to be expanded. METRO should look at its stops and place them in better locations if it is the right thing to do. Make real time data available about buses and make the system as easy as possible for riders to understand. And if there is a need for rail somewhere, do it. But don't just start building rail simply because the cool kids did.
  14. I definitely agree that it's not a bunch of outside the Heights traffic causing the backups, though I do watch a lot of people avoid the 610 westbound cluster by cutting down to 10. Hopefully when they're done with Shepherd/Durham the traffic will subside a little on Yale.
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