More media attention shines on the filibuster protest. The students are now posting a schedule of when local politications will be stopping by, including their House representative, Rush Holt, who will be there at 2 pm today.
I stopped by Princeton tonight to check out the Frist Center Filibuster, now in its 61st hour. Rumor there has it Rush Holt maybe stopping by tomorrow around 2 pm.
I saw the offer on Flyertalk within an hour of it appearing Monday. Having been burned missing previous offers by a day, I debated jumping on this one. But Melbourne, Australia? It seemed far.
Then the reports started flooding in. I have days in August! July! May! November and October! December! The fare was good almost any time all year.
Finally Monday night I jumped. Why not, for $3.00? Three nights, December 27 – 30, in Melbourne. It would make a helluva way to spend the week between Christmas and New Year’s.
Then the waiting game began. What would Princeline do once they discovered the mistake?
The first answer came Tuesday to howls of disappointment and anger.
Dear priceline.com customer:
We noticed that you recently took advantage of a special promotion offered by the Langham Hotel Melbourne in Melbourne Australia for your Trip Number XXXXXXXXXXX. The promotional rate advertised was 1.00 Australian dollar per room.
Please note that this promotion requires you to present an Air New Zealand identification card upon check-in at the hotel. This is a valid promotion, however we believe that some customers may have booked multiple rooms in spite of the requirements. Therefore we are cancelling all bookings made prior to noon on April 26, 2005 with this promotional rate.
If you do qualify for the promotion please visit Air New Zealand’s Redemption site, www.airnz.com, to book your room(s). Remember you must show your Air Nz card at the hotel to qualify for the rate.
We apologize for any inconvenience.
priceline.com Customer Service
The charges against Priceline flew. “How dare they cancel this without contacting me?” “My confirmation said nothing about an Air NZ card!” “This was a valid contract between Priceline and myself.” “Priceline never let ME cancel on a mistake, how can they do so?” Recrimination abounded.
Now, as the cry of patrons rises, new word comes. Priceline is re-evaluating the situation and will contact those who booked the rate once a final decision has been made.
So, the waiting continues…
Students at Princeton University continue to filibuster Frist this evening. A
Campus activists at Princeton (yes, a college I have little love for as a proud Rutgers alum) are planning to filibuster Frist outside the Frist Campus Center. More information is available here on the latest Republican overreach.
And here come the reactions to the plan put together to upgrade the campus.
“I’m so mad at [University President Richard L.] McCormick that I cancelled my pledge to the University because of the arrogance of the plan,” said city resident Nancy Beardsly, a clergywoman at the New Brunswick Theological Seminary. “If there had been any kind of input [from students and residents], that’d be different.”
The University’s greening plan – which would eliminate automobile traffic on Easton Avenue between Alexander Library and Bishop Street – will make it more difficult to reach the seminary by automobile, Beardsly said.
I attended the Rutgers Alumni Association’s Board of Directors meeting last night, which truly wasn’t as boring as it sounds when you read it. While most of the event consisted of idle chitchat with other alums and a seemingly unending supply of committee reports, two nuggets stood out.
First (and I will get her name and title wrong), Karen Kavanaugh, Vice President of Business Services, presented to us on a set of development plans currently in the works for the University. In New Brunswick, plans are on the drawing board to replace the current space across from the Eason Ave apartments where New Jersey books is with a thirty story mixed-use (i.e. residential and commercial) building, in which Rutgers would locate a visitor’s center, the Rutgers Club, and the University Press. In an initial phase, College Ave would be “greened up”, in part by closing the section of the street in front of Brower and the student center and turning it in to an open plaza. In later phases, the current lot across from Scott Hall would be developed in to new academic facilities, Brower Commons would become the host of all the various student services offices, Records Hall would be replaced with a bus turnabout, the river dorms would be upgraded and a new dining hall would be constructed where the Student Activities Center is currently located.
On Livingston, plans are in the process of being developed to implement a “College Town” setup. The space that is currently part field, part parking lot across from the Livingston Student center would be replaced with a commercial/residential center. There would be some market-rate housing made available, some affordable-rate housing, and some student apartment housing. The plan would also create a commercial “main street” setup with stores, shops, and restaurants on a main street with several plazas as well.
In addition, the next phase of the Route 18 construction will begin in the second half of the year. Once it completes, toward the end of this decade, Route 18 will consist of two express lanes and two local lanes in each direction from almost the Raritan River through the Route 1 interchange.
The second noteworthy presentation regarded the undergraduate college system in New Brunswick. Given that the faculty have long since been reorganized in to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, leaving the current colleges primarily serving a residential function, there is a plan in the comment phase to reorganize them in to a single entity. Students would still choose a living campus to affiliate with, each with their own culture and traditions much as they exist today. However, all the undergraduates attending liberal arts colleges in the New Brunswick/Piscataway area would attend the same undergraduate college of the arts and sciences.
With all the changes being discussed, there was quite a lively debate. Our usual, quiet BoD meeting was anything but, although I have to admit I look forward to most of the changes being implemented.
The Saturday of the CO Houston event was by far the more interesting. Our day began with a tour of the new immigration and customs and the baggage handling facilities. Watching the bags zip on conveyor belts through the airport, then sort themselves to the right locations made it seem amazing that any bags actually make it where they’re supposed to go. To top it off, I caught a glimpse of the room where the TSA baggage screeners remove articles from your checked bags. Larry Kellner, the CEO, then hosted a Q&A session with all 250 attendees, giving primarily straightforward answers to the many concerns that were shared. While there was disagreement over the strategy in some locations, it was a relief to hear plain English responses.
Afterward we had a buffet Mexican dinner, then drinks at the Hyatt a few blocks away from the airport. Having met a few of my fellow Flyertalks, like vincom, xyzzy, dcrombie, and nicksterguy, I can say they’re a cool bunch.
And the most controversial item from the whole weekend? Who stole the blue elite access carpet?
From my view out my hotel window overlooking gates 62A, it appears to be a beautiful day down here in Houston.
I fled work’s unrelenting requests at 2 pm yesterday, cursing as I realized that I’d left the cell phone charger on my nightstand at home. I swung by the house, quickly consuming all the extra “meet and greet” time I’d built in to my schedule for my fellow CO51 flyers. Arriving at the airport, I chased them down, always a step behind, until I caught them at the boarding gate. Oddly enough, they spotted me first, which leaves me wondering if there’s some sort of flyertalk “look”. Either that, or my frantic deer-in-headlights expression, gave me away.
Our motley crew had an easy ride down to Houston, with those in the front being so kind as to have the flight attendants bring free alcohol to those of us trapped in the back of the bus. Since this was my first time on a CO flight since last August, I had a chance to see the new CEO’s welcome video. It wasn’t bad, really, but it missed something from the “je ne sais quoi” of the old Bethune video.
The buffet dinner Friday night at the Marriott went over well. Finally seeing some of the individuals behind the messages on Flyertalk helps make it a little more real. That, and having the CEO and other executives sign one of the Continental promotional signs makes for fun entertainment. I’ll have to pick up a few more during this afternoon/evenings’ events.