David J. Danto


Business travel thoughts in my own, personal opinion



eMail: ddanto@IMCCA.org Follow Industry News: @NJDavidD


Whats Old Is New Again April 2023


The picture to the left is a ramekin of warm nuts. Or, at least it was a ramekin of warm nuts, as Id eaten most of them by the time I remembered to take the picture. I was very pleasantly surprised to be given one on a United flight in first class from EWR to LAS about a week ago. Yes, that United the one that had been serving what was essentially swill in domestic first for the last couple of years is back to serving real meals again.

It was early in my flying career perhaps the second hundred thousand miles of what is now a total of just about 1.5 million miles that I first learned what a ramekin was the little ceramic dish the airlines used to serve the warm nuts. Suffice to say I was shocked to see it on a Friday evening flight one when I knew Id be so tired from the work-week that I actually used miles to try for an upgrade. The ramekin was actually the second shock. The first one was when the mileage upgrade actually cleared a day before the flight. I pre-ordered the lemon chicken meal (and dont forget how little confidence I have in United pre-orders from my blog last week) and, after the shock of the warm nuts, I was shocked a third time to actually receive a very tasty lemon chicken dinner. If I wasnt paying attention Id have sworn that the meal service was that of a dozen years earlier. However, I was paying attention and noticed that the napkin was not linen just paper. Normally in life Id actually prefer a paper napkin, but when dining in an airplane seat the shirt button hole on the linen napkin is a must. Anyway, United probably has no greater critic than me, so in this case I have to give them credit for restoring reasonable meal service again.

Separately, on this same business trip, I also experienced some additional consistent service consistently bad that is. Avis (which new ownership of my employer has now forced me to go back to) has again shown me that the promised option for changing cars in their app NEVER works.

When I land after a long day of flying the very last thing I want to do is figure out how to drive a car Ive never driven before. I put LOTS of choices into my Avis preferred profile anything Nissan, Honda, Hyundai, a Chrysler 200 or 300 and yet they still always manage to assign me a car Ive never driven before. I always take out their app to switch to another car as they constantly advertise to me that I can, and I always get the following screen:

In fact, I believe the ability to swap is just a lie. Id like to hear from readers if ANYONE has EVER had luck switching to a different car in the Avis app.and then without included screen caps / pictures I still wouldnt believe it. (My email is - as always - shown above.) Here again I had to go to the counter and wait in a preferred line to get the car changed, and then they changed me into ANOTHER car not on my list that I had never driven before. I really, really miss Nationals Emerald Aisle.


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In the next few weeks my travels will take me to parts of Europe where Ive never been before. Ill share as many of the worthwhile highlights as I can when I get back.




This article was written by David Danto and contains solely his own, personal opinions.

All image and links provided above as reference under prevailing fair use statutes.

Copyright 2023 David Danto


As always, feel free to write and comment, question or disagree. Hearing from the traveling community is always a highlight for me. Thanks!