The Washington Post Sunday - - TRAVEL -

Rat­ing the air­lines

The Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion al­ready keeps track of the air­lines’ on-time per­for­mance and bag­gage han­dling records. But when we want to know how they’re re­ally do­ing, we need to ask the peo­ple.

That is, the TripAd­vi­sor re­view­ers, who have saved us from stay­ing at ho­tels with Dump­ster views and tis­sue-thin walls. Last week, the Web site

added air­lines to its pub­lic opin­ion fo­rum, al­low­ing trav­el­ers to rank dozens of car­ri­ers on TripAd­vi­sor Flights, its meta-search en­gine.

Pas­sen­gers can rate air­lines in eight cat­e­gories— bag­gage han­dling, check-in ex­pe­ri­ence, in-flight ameni­ties, in-flight ser­vice, punc­tu­al­ity, rea­son­able­ness of fees, seat com­fort and value— us­ing a scale of one to five. When search­ing for a flight, sim­ply click on the name of the car­rier and the truth will come out.

For in­stance, when CoGo re­searched flights from Washington to Or­lando, US

Air­ways popped up. Of 178 sub­mis­sions, 66 per­cent gave the car­rier a thumbs up, grant­ing it 21/ stars (well,

2 they’re ac­tu­ally blacked-in cir­cles) for in-flight ameni­ties and rea­son­able­ness of fees, and 3 or 31/ cir­cles for the other

2 cat­e­gories.

Equally in­ter­est­ing are the rat­ings of the more ob­scure air­lines, the ones you have to Google be­cause you don’t know which re­gions they cover. For Win air, which flies around the Caribbean, the car­rier’s one and only rat­ing be­stowed five cir­cles for bag­gage han­dling, punc­tu­al­ity, rea­son­able­ness of fees and value, but none for in­flight ameni­ties and ser­vice. Per­haps Win air is re­ally a very large bird.

In ad­di­tion to the rat­ings, the site added an­other fea­ture: dis­play­ing the cost in­clud­ing one checked bag.

Fi­nally, if you’re signed on as a mem­ber, you can do your part and sub­mit your own rat­ing.

Amer­i­can, JAL join forces

Trav­el­ing to Asia could soon be eas­ier now that Amer­i­can

Air­lines and Ja­pan Air­lines have an­nounced a part­ner­ship be­gin­ning April 1.

The air­lines said that the joint ven­ture will al­low them to bet­ter sched­ule transpa­cific flights and con­nec­tions and of­fer a wider va­ri­ety of fares. Ja­pan Air­lines will re­lo­cate to Amer­i­can’s Ter­mi­nal 3 at

Chicago O’Hare start­ing March 27, a move the air­lines said would make for quicker con­nec­tions and shorter travel times.

Ini­tially, the part­ner­ship will ap­ply to 10 routes, with Amer­i­can op­er­at­ing flights be­tween Tokyo’s Narita Air­port and Dal­las/FortWorth, New York, Chicago and Los An­ge­les; and be­tween Tokyo’s Haneda and New York. Ja­pan Air­lines will op­er­ate flights be­tween Narita and New York, Chicago, Los An­ge­les and Van­cou­ver and be­tween Haneda and San Fran­cisco.

Pend­ing ap­proval from the Chi­nese govern­ment, Amer­i­can will also op­er­ate flights be­tween Bei­jing and Chicago; Shang­hai and Chicago; and Shang­hai and Los An­ge­les.

A new Mayflower

The his­toric Re­nais­sance Mayflower Hotelon Con­necti­cut Av­enue NW is get­ting a makeover.

A mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar re­fur­bish­ment of the ho­tel’s lobby, res­tau­rant, bar and re­tail spa­ces will be­gin this month and con­clude in midsummer. The area now oc­cu­pied by a

Thomas Pink store will be­come a new res­tau­rant and bar. The cur­rent Town & Coun­try Lounge will be con­verted into a new Thomas Pink with a look more sim­i­lar to that of its pro­to­type in London. The Cafe

Prom­e­nade will re­open as a 3,000-square-foot gala event space.

Travel Ticker

Delta Air­lines will start two daily non­stop flights from

Nor­folk to Bos­ton Lo­gan on April 1. . . . From Jan. 24 to Feb.

6, more than 30 off-Broad­way shows will of­fer avail­able seats for $20, 20 min­utes be­fore

cur­tain. Shows par­tic­i­pat­ing in the bian­nual 20 at 20 event in­clude “Stomp,” “Richard Skip­per as ‘Carol Chan­ning’ in Con­cert,” “My Big Gay Ital­ian Wed­ding” and oth­ers. For info: ... Su­perShut­tle, the air­port trans­port ser­vice, is of­fer­ing 15

per­cent off round trips booked through March 15, valid only on res­i­den­tial shared rides. Re­serve on­line, and fre­quent fliers re­ceive dou­ble miles from Delta, US Air­ways, United and Fron­tier. Info:­pershut­ de­fault. aspx? con­tent = gsale&gc= GSALE. ... Utah has opened the

new St. Ge­orge Mu­nic­i­pal Air­port (SGU), a $159 mil­lion fa­cil­ity built on 1,203 acres, nearly five times the size of the area’s for­mer air­port. The fa­cil­ity will serve south­ern Utah and ease travel to such desti­na­tions as the Zion and Bryce Canyon na­tional parks. Re­port­ing: An­drea Sachs, Nancy Tre­jos. Help feed CoGo. Send travel news to: cogo@wash­ By mail: CoGo, Washington Post Travel Sec­tion, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071


Pub­lic spa­ces in the District’s Re­nais­sanceMayflow­erHo­tel will be get­ting a mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar ren­o­va­tion this year.

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