Travel Expert and Radio Talk Show Host Stephanie Abrams - Travelers411 Travel Radio Shownotes - May 28, 2011
"Travelers411" Radio Show - May 28, 2011
Nettie Douglas and her son Kenneth B Morris at the Glasnevin Cemetery Museum The Irish-American Connection in "Autobiography of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave"; Nettie Washington Douglass, Great-Great-Granddaughter of Frederick Douglass, Visits Ireland; Kathy Sudeikis of All About Travel Reports on Problems Using American Credit Cards in Europe; Tallest Member of Tall Clubs International on Fitting into Planes; June Airfares and Price Analysis from CheapOAir.

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Hour 1

Topics Include:

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Mark Leslie, Managing Director, Martello Media, Dublin, Ireland.
www.martellomedia.com

Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams and the "Travelers411" Radio Show discuss a very important book with Mark Leslie, Managing Director of Martello Media in Dublin, Ireland. Years ago, Stephanie read the first volume of the "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave." "It's about 106 pages, a very skinny book, but very powerful," she says. "If you're feeling down, go to the library and get yourself a copy. This will put things in perspective, because he began life as a slave."

Mark Leslie, Managing Director, Martello Media, Dublin, Ireland.
Mark Leslie, Managing Director, Martello Media, Dublin, Ireland.

Frederick Douglass was born on a plantation in Maryland. He didn't even have a pair of shoes until the age of 7, when he was sold into a home in Baltimore. At age 9, he was sent to work on the docks, where he loaded and unloaded cargo ships alongside Irish sailors. The sailors encouraged young Frederick to escape and offered to help him sail north. Frederick, however, was learning to read and write and decided to stay in Baltimore until he had mastered those skills.

Mark Leslie, Managing Director, Martello Media, Dublin, Ireland at Daniel O'Connell's tomb at Glasnevin Cemetary.
Mark Leslie, Managing Director, Martello Media, Dublin, Ireland at Daniel O'Connell's tomb at Glasnevin Cemetary.

The book left an enormous impression on Stephanie; over dinner with Mark Leslie, she talked about how Frederick Douglass was the historical figure she would most like to have dinner with. Stephanie encouraged Mark to read the book and finally sent him a copy on his recent trip to New York. Mark read the whole volume on the plane ride back to Ireland. A few weeks later, who showed up to lay flowers on Daniel O'Connell's grave at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin but the descendants of Frederick Douglass!

Nettie and Ken visiting Daniel O'Connell's tomb at Glasnevin Cemetary in Ireland.
Nettie and Ken visiting Daniel O'Connell's tomb at Glasnevin Cemetary in Ireland.

"I read the book cover to cover on the flight back," Mark says. "The following week, Nettie Douglass and her son, Ken, visited Glasnevin Cemetery to leave a wreath on Daniel O'Connell's tomb. They signed a copy of the book for Stephanie, as did Anna Quindlen, Daniel O'Connell's great-granddaughter. It was their first trip to Ireland and they were overwhelmed by the hospitality. The taxi from the airport refused to accept a fare when they said they were going to visit O'Connell's tomb, and President Mary McAleese invited them to tea on their first day, too."

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3849

For more information visit www.martellomedia.com


Link to this segment

Nettie Washington Douglass, Great-Great-Granddaughter of Frederick Douglass, Great-Granddaughter of Booker T. Washington, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
www.fdff.org

Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams and the "Travelers411" Radio Show have the pleasure of talking with Nettie Washington Douglass, Great-Great-Granddaughter of Frederick Douglass and Great-Granddaughter of Booker T. Washington. Nettie lives in Atlanta, Georgia. She recently visited Ireland with her son, Ken, to follow in Frederick's footsteps. It was a period of excitement for Ireland; just after Nettie and Ken's visit, the country welcomed both Queen Elizabeth II and President Obama, who specifically mentioned Nettie and Ken in his speech before the Irish Parliament.

Ken Speaks.
Ken Speaks.

"For me, the most moving visit was to have Nettie and Ken at Glasnevin Cemetery," says Mark Leslie, "making inspirational speeches about the relationships between the U.S. and Ireland and the contributions of the Irish to the anti-slavery movement. Nettie spent about ten minutes reflecting at Daniel O'Connell's tomb; it was very moving. It was just a great privilege to be there with these inspirational Americans, cut from the mold of their distinguished ancestors. For me, it eclipsed the visits of President Obama and the Queen because I got to meet Nettie and Ken directly!"

Glasnevin Cemetary in Ireland.
Glasnevin Cemetary in Ireland.

Ireland was the first country where the autobiography of Frederick Douglass was published besides the U.S., back in 1845. The book is now being reissued for the first time by an Irish charity. Nettie and Ken actually visited Ireland to celebrate the book's re-release and were welcomed by a huge crowd who wanted to shake their hands and have their copies autographed. "They were good enough to volunteer to come over for the book launch and to sign copies," says Mark. "I think they sat there and shook hands with everyone who came in."

Daniel O'Connell's tomb at Glasnevin Cemetary in Ireland.
Daniel O'Connell's tomb at Glasnevin Cemetary in Ireland.

Nettie was not even aware that President Obama had mentioned her in his speech. "I didn't even know until I got a call from Ken, who was watching it live, and then I got calls and emails from friends and such," she says. "When we were flying over to Ireland at night, there was a half-moon, and most people were sleeping or watching a movie. I was talking to Frederick Douglass, as I often do, and I had the thought that I had no idea what was going to happen once we landed. But Hollywood couldn't have written a better experience than the one my son and I had: four incredible days of activity after activity. It's something I'll never forget, as long as I live."

Canon Stephen Neill shows President Obama the church records from Templeharry Church on the occassion of the visit of the President and First Lady to Moneygall - May 23 2011 (Official White House photo: Pete Souza)
Canon Stephen Neill shows President Obama the church records from Templeharry Church on the occassion of the visit of the President and First Lady to Moneygall - May 23 2011 (Official White House photo: Pete Souza)

Nettie is related to both Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington. "My mother was Booker T. Washington's granddaughter," she explains. "She was born at Tuskegee Institute, the school that he founded. My father was a surgeon during World War Two and had been commissioned to the only black hospital in Tuskegee. My mother was in California but happened to come home for the summer. They met walking across campus and were married three months later. It's an honor to be part of this family, really."

Glasnevin Cemetary shuttle bus.
Glasnevin Cemetary shuttle bus.
The new edition of Frederick Douglass' autobiography includes not only the original text, but letters and speeches from Douglass' four months in Ireland, plus a new foreword by Irish president Mary McAleese. It also includes letters that Ken and Nettie were asked to write by Newsweek magazine on the occasion of Barack Obama's election, reflecting on the fact that America had just chosen its first black president. And the book was published just in time for the now-president's first visit to Irela

Related Photo Galleries:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/album.php?albumid=575

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3849

For more information visit www.fdff.org


Guests Include:

Mark Leslie, Managing Director, Martello Media, Dublin, Ireland.
www.martellomedia.com

Nettie Washington Douglass, Great-Great-Granddaughter of Frederick Douglass, Great-Granddaughter of Booker T. Washington, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
www.fdff.org

Hour 2

Topics Include:

Link to this segment

Kathy Sudeikis, Vice President of Corporate Relations, All About Travel, Mission, Kansas, USA; Past President, American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA); Mother of Jason Sudeikis, Sister George Wendt ("Norm" from Cheers). 
www.allabouttravel.com
www.asta.org

Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams and the "Travelers411" Radio Show catch up with Kathy Sudeikis, Vice President of Corporate Relations for All About Travel in Mission, Kansas. Kathy is a past president of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), the mother of SNL star Jason Sudeikis, and the sister of George Wendt, who played Norm on "Cheers." She jokes that in her high-achieving family, it was hard to be her mom's favorite child.

Avenue Des Champs-Elysees street sign in Paris, France.
Avenue Des Champs-Elysees street sign in Paris, France.

George is actually in Kansas City right now, starring in "The Odd Couple." Jason is hosting the MTV Movie Awards on June 5, 2011 and stars in the movie "Horrible Bosses," which opens July 8, 2011. "It's a wonderful movie with Jennifer Aniston and lots of other really funny people," Kathy explains. "There's Jason, Jason Bateman, and Charlie Day. Colin Farrell is one of the bosses and Kevin Spacey is another. The guys enlist Jamie Foxx to help them kill their bosses, everything that could go wrong does go wrong, and hilarity ensues."

Travelex Chip and Pinn Cash Passport card for US travelers needing a Chip and Pin compatable credit card while traveling in EU and UK currency countries.
Travelex Chip and Pinn Cash Passport card for US travelers needing a Chip and Pin compatable credit card while traveling in EU and UK currency countries.

Kathy is proud that all three of her children are living in New York City and pursuing their dreams, but is happy to go visit them – this past Mother's Day, her present was tickets to the hit musical "The Book of Mormon." When she's not hanging out with celebrities, though, Kathy has been hearing from travelers about the difficulties of using American credit cards in Europe. The problem is that American cards lack the chip-and-PIN technology that's commonly used in other countries.

Germany.
Germany.

"I just had a group in Europe, and they had a terrible time," she says. "It left me stymied. But I researched the answer Stephanie found and was very impressed. One of the superior exchange companies, Travelex, has a website that will give you a cash card with the chip-and-PIN technology. That alleviates a couple of problems when you use ATMs in Europe. It also alleviates the restraints they put on you for your own protection, like the maximum amount that can be taken out in a day. I had a problem buying theater tickets in London – I used $350 in one day for that, and then couldn't use my card at a restaurant."

Street cafe in Austria.
Street cafe in Austria.

To get around this, consumers simply pre-load the card on the Travelex website or at one of the company's storefront or airport locations. "It's the best-kept secret in the travel industry," says Stephanie. "There are a lot of banks with their heads in the sand. Countries that have changed to this chip-and-PIN technology have seen a 50% decrease in fraud and identity theft in the first year. But what happens is that the merchants actually absorb most of the fraud costs. So it comes out cheaper for banks to live with the situation than to correct it!"

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3850

For more information visit www.allabouttravel.com and www.asta.org


Link to this segment

Dave Rasmussen, Tallest Member, Tall Clubs International.
www.tall.org

Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams and the "Travelers411" Radio Show try to fit in with Dave Rasmussen, Tallest Member of Tall Clubs International. Dave is just shy of 7'4" and often finds air travel to be quite uncomfortable. "I fly six to ten times a year, mostly for leisure, and it's a real challenge," he says. "In years past, I would go up to the counter and they could put me in an exit row. But now that anybody can pay for an exit row seat, sometimes I don't get one of those seats. I can't even stand up straight walking down the aisle on a lot of planes!"

Dave Rasmussen, Tallest Member, Tall Clubs International.
Dave Rasmussen, Tallest Member, Tall Clubs International.

Stephanie thinks this borders on discrimination. "Tall people are being forced to pay for what's not a luxury, but a necessity because of the way they're built," she says. "If airlines are selling off seats with extra legroom, that goes against the needs of taller passengers." Stephanie and her husband are both quite leggy (Dave observes that Stephanie qualifies for the Tall Club) and recently paid $50 per seat each way for extra legroom on a trip. This added up to $200 – almost more than the cost of each ticket.

British Airways features seats that fold out for flat sleeping on long haul flights.
British Airways features seats that fold out for flat sleeping on long haul flights.

"What's worse is that on that flight, there were probably 16 seats with extra legroom, in various places around the plane," she recalls. "For the most part, they were empty. So when the doors closed, people moved around and sat where they wanted. But my husband and I don't have that luxury – we had to pay for the extra legroom seats." Unfortunately, this policy won't change without some lobbying from Tall Clubs International and similar groups, but Stephanie has hope, given that the organization has nearly 3,000 members nationwide. "It would be nice if we could organize," Dave agrees. "We need to fight for tall people's rights!"

Standard seating on a British Airways plane.
Standard seating on a British Airways plane.

Tall passengers are also unable to move around as much as airlines recommend. "You're supposed to exercise your legs while you're sitting to avoid deep vein thrombosis," Stephanie says. "Now, you can hardly get up and walk around because of security concerns." For passengers as tall as Dave, however, there are more pressing concerns. "I was stuck in a coach seat for 8 hours on a recent flight from Milwaukee to Berlin," he says. "I'm tall enough in the upper body that I didn't even get a headrest out of it. And on some airplane bathrooms, I can't even close the door. Now that's a real problem on a long-haul flight!"

Related Photo Galleries:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/album.php?albumid=578

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3851

For more information visit www.tall.org


Link to this segment

Bill Miller, Senior Vice President of  Strategic Partnerships, CheapOAir.com.
www.cheapoair.com
www.cheapostay.com

Travel Expert Stephanie Abrams and the "Travelers411" Radio Show search airfare deals with Bill Miller, Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships for CheapOAir and CheapOStay. Bill has round-trip fares for travel from June 7 to June 14, 2011. All fares quoted are round-trip, with taxes and fees included. "This is the bottom-line number that travelers will see when they come to our website," Bill says.

Fog and snow covered German Alps.
Fog and snow covered German Alps.

The fares are: New York City to Chicago, $272; Los Angeles to Atlanta, $284; Los Angeles to Minneapolis, $319; Los Angeles to Boston, $351; Boston to San Diego, $358; San Francisco to New York City, $368; and Boston to Palm Springs, $435. Bill also has a hotel deal; the 4-star Grand Hyatt in San Diego is just $153 per night. Travelers can still enter RADIO 20 at the CheapOAir website to receive $20 off their purchase.

View of New York City from the balcony of the Gotham Hotel.
View of New York City from the balcony of the Gotham Hotel.

"There are still good airfares out there, but they're going up," Bill says. "I just did an analysis of our July 4 bookings, and we're seeing year-over-year increases. I looked at travel between July 1 and July 5 in our top 10 markets from last year: Los Angeles, Denver, Orlando, Las Vegas, Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Seattle, San Francisco, and Boston, in that order.

Travel Expert Stpehanie Abrams "window" shopping at Boston Massachusetts' Quincy Market.
Travel Expert Stpehanie Abrams "window" shopping at Boston Massachusetts' Quincy Market.

"In LA, the price increase this year is 33%," Bill continues. "Last year the average fare from LA was $396; this year it's $527. It's the same thing in New York. Last year the average fare was $361; this year it's $482. Boston is up 16%, San Francisco is up 11%, and Denver is up 9%. A few markets are fairly stable; Orlando, Seattle, and Las Vegas are even marginally down. In international markets, London is up slightly; lots of competition helps there. San Juan is up 14% and Paris is up 25%. Last year Paris was at $900; this year it's at $1125."

Shopping on Dublin Ireland's Grafton Street.
Shopping on Dublin Ireland's Grafton Street.

One way to avoid expensive international flights is to travel to cheaper markets in Europe and then take low-cost carriers within Europe. "I'm going to Italy, Germany, and France the first week of July," explains Bill, "and I'm taking care of the flights to and from Europe now. I'll do the intracontinental flights later, because there's such a proliferation of cheap carriers there. They won't shop up on most flight searches, but you can just Google low-cost carriers by country. If you can get into a gateway city in Europe at a good price, you can make the rest happen – or even take the train."

Travelers411 Community Forums - This interview's thread:
http://www.travelers411.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3852

For more information visit www.cheapoair.com and www.cheapostay.com


Travel Tips:

Taller passengers who are willing to pay extra for exit row seats on flights should check the number of exit rows and pick seats in the only exit row or the first row of exit row seats. That's because the seats in front of an exit row usually will not recline in order to keep the exit row clear.


Guests Include:

Kathy Sudeikis, Vice President of Corporate Relations, All About Travel, Mission, Kansas, USA; Past President, American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA); Mother of Jason Sudeikis, Sister George Wendt ("Norm" from Cheers). 
www.allabouttravel.com
www.asta.org

Dave Rasmussen, Tallest Member, Tall Clubs International.
www.tall.org

Bill Miller, Senior Vice President of  Strategic Partnerships, CheapOAir.com.
www.cheapoair.com
www.cheapostay.com

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