Life aboard a 15-hour flight — The fliers on American Airlines’ new USA-to-India flight know they are facing a long haul — the longest that American offers worldwide — and they’re steeling themselves for it. Fifteen hours on a plane. Fifteen non-stop hours. On a plane. With no stops. (USA Today)

Advice to mileage misers: use the hoard now — While miles seem easier to earn than ever before, many airlines have made it harder and more expensive actually to redeem them for airline seats or upgrades. (The New York Times) (Free registration required.)

Bumped? It’s a pain in the neck, so get something for it — Travelers who get bumped may be able to lessen their pain or even profit from it, but only if they keep their wits about them and understand their options. (The Los Angeles Times) (Free registration required.)

Sniff. Say ‘ahh’ or ‘achoo’ — It’s not enough these days to have a great stay at a hotel. Operators of higher-end properties want you to have a great-smelling stay too. Signature scents, one example of “sensory branding,” are an avenue to making you a repeat customer. (The Los Angeles Times) (Free registration required.)


Average daily lodging costs 6.8% more
— Smith Travel Research says the average daily rate at U.S. lodgings was $96.56, up 6.8% from the first six months of 2005. Average occupancy was up 2.1%, to 63.5%. (USA Today)

The $1 ‘straight up’ charge has drinkers stirred up — Pay extra for a fancy ring tone? Sure. Another 50 cents to super-size those fries? Fine. $15 to upgrade to a seat with actual room for your legs in economy class? OK. But $1 extra because you don’t want ice in your martini? Frank Sinatra is rolling over in his grave. (USA Today)

Hawaii approves plans to develop Honolulu waterfront — A $300 million plan to develop a stretch of waterfront near Aloha Tower got a boost from the state with approval last week to begin work on about 300 condominiums. (AP)


Flight plans: Lambert expands inspections
— This month, Lambert-St. Louis International said it became the only airport in the USA to use specially trained dogs to inspect all its cargo packages flown in passenger airlines for traces of bombs. (USA Today)


Carrie Charney, Christopher Elliott, John Frenaye, Charles Leocha, Marge Purnell, Valerie Schneider, Mary Staley, Stephanus Surjaputra, Richard Wong.