Every day, ferries come and go from the ferry terminal at Key West's historic seaport. For now, they're carrying passengers to Dry Tortugas National Park, 70 miles west, or from Fort Myers Beach and Marco Island on Florida's Gulf Coast.
But many on the island hope the ferry traffic to Key West will soon regain one of its historic destinations: Havana. Earlier this month, the Obama administration took another big step toward normalizing relations with Cuba when it issued licenses to at least four companies to run ferries between the U.S. and Cuba.
The Sunshine State could welcome close to 100 million visitors this year. They come from all over: the Northeast, the Midwest, Latin America, Europe, Russia and, increasingly, Asia. These visitors directly support hundreds of thousands of jobs and pump billions of dollars into the regional economy.
South Florida is known around the world for its sun, sand and surf. Those natural attributes are responsible for thousands of jobs, millions of visitors and billions of dollars. But what about service? South Florida may invite the world to come play on its beaches, stay in its hotels and eat in its restaurants, but what kind of hosts are its people?
Julie Grimes gives the overall customer service experience three out of five stars. She is the owner of two hotels in Miami: the Doubletree Hilton and the Hilton Bentley South Beach where she also is the managing partner.
About 2,500 American Airlines passengers landed without their luggage at destinations worldwide on Friday, Feb. 20.
The airline blames the baggage-handling system’s conveyor belts, which had several mechanical issues.
Hannah Sampson, a business reporter for the Miami Herald, wrote on the topic. She says the baggage-handling system was initially used by American Airlines in 2012 and then fully handed over to the airline in 2014.
Ian Schrager and Lloyd Mandell used to be neighbors.
One is an iconoclast who made a fortune (and went to prison for tax evasion) as co-founder of the famed Studio 54 nightclub in New York, and the other a Miami Beach native whose dad owned a gas station where a Starbucks now stands on West Avenue.
The two men are in the same business now, technically. But they came to it in different ways.
In the five years since travel restrictions to Cuba were eased, Cuban-American air travelers have been taking about $2 billion worth of products a year to their relatives who still live on the island.
Now Cuban authorities are limiting the amount of goods that can be brought in and have also increased customs duties on many items still allowed. The Cuban government says the new rules are meant to curtail the illegal operations of so-called "mules" who import items for black-market businesses.
Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 11:53 am
I love Key West, and I go there as often as possible: pina coladas, drag queens, shady hammocks, feral chickens — it's the best. There's just one problem: everyone gets around the island by bike, and I've never learned to ride one. Obviously that had to change.
Why didn't I learn? I really don't remember, and neither did my mom, when I asked her about the one time my parents tried to teach me. "You got on a big bicycle that was so big you couldn't really turn the wheels and got discouraged."
Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 11:09 am
Saying it has "determined that airlines can safely expand passenger use of Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) during all phases of flight," the Federal Aviation Administration announced Thursday that it is advising airlines they can let fliers use their much-loved e-books, tablets and other handhelds "gate-to-gate."
Cellphone calls, however, would still be prohibited.