Eye on Travel

Eye on Travel — Los Angeles — April 17, 2021

Locations in this article:  Los Angeles, CA

This week’s broadcast of Eye on Travel comes from Los Angeles. Peter has the latest updates on the battle between the cruise lines and the CDC, vaccination passports and what’s happening with airfares. We’ll check in with Patrick Smith, Airline Pilot, Author of Cockpit Confidential and AskThePilot.com, for the cockpit perspective. And we’ll stay in the air with Simon Wright from The Economist, with a report from the brave new world of flying taxis. We’ll talk with Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser with an update from the Nation’s Capital and the current, building move for D.C. statehood. And then, our extended conversation with legendary writer Paul Theroux who dives into his new book Under the Wave at Waimea and what it means about Hawaii, culture, and travel, not to mention the art of storytelling itself. There’s all this and more on this week’s Eye on Travel.

Have a travel question? Then ask Peter. E-mail him at peter@petergreenberg.com, or tweet your questions to @petersgreenberg (include #AskPeter).

Muriel Bowser, Mayor of Washington D.C., joins Peter to talk about her time as mayor as well as her past experience as a D.C. tour guide aboard the Tourmobile. Bowser shares some lesser-known information about D.C. and talks about its great shopping, food, nightlife and wonderful neighborhoods. The two then discuss recent efforts in granting statehood to D.C., an idea Bowser believes would be beneficial to the community. As she says now, there is taxation with no representation. Bowser also debunks many arguments against D.C. becoming the 51st state too. She also discusses her goals moving forward as well.

Patrick Smith, Airline Pilot, Author & Founder of AskThePilot.com, chats about what life is like for him as a pilot in this pandemic. He shares how there has been an increase in travel at some airports from the start of the pandemic, or even in recent months. Some, however, have been somewhat worse in terms of number of customers. Smith also says that globally for long-haul air travel, in the long-term, there are a lot of questions — specifically on the differences from country to country in terms of protocols, rules, and how someone can travel to a certain destination. He talks about the possibility of a vaccine passport for travelers. Then, he has the latest updates on three Boeing aircrafts, the 737 Max, 787, and the 777-200.

Edward Mady, Regional Director of West Coast USA for the Dorchester Collection and General Manager at the Beverly Hills Hotel, discusses the hotel industry and how COVID-19 has really impacted it. He talks about what the Beverly Hills Hotel did to remain open and adapt to the new norm our society faces because of the pandemic, specifically training staff to provide the same quality service that customers expect when staying at one of its hotels. Also when it comes to pricing, he says it did not alter pricing despite the lack of business for a time. Mady mentions how despite other companies in the travel industry losing money, he notes that the company is in fact making money and dealing with the demand of customers while still maintaining proper safety precautions. He also shares some of the demands his hotels have received from customers as society slowly returns to normal.

Paul Theroux, Author, Novelist and Travel Writer, dives into his new book “Under the Wave at Waimea,” a fiction novel about a surfer in Hawaii. Paul discusses the difficulties of writing about where he lives, why it has taken 30 years to finish writing the book and his opinions on the differences between writing fiction and nonfiction. He spends time talking about surf culture, and we get to hear Peter’s own surfing horror story. The two then talk about the value in road tripping across the U.S. and why this summer is the perfect time to do it. Tune in to listen for more about Paul Theroux’s writing and travel process! And he also has a social media giveaway. For how to enter, click here. 

Simon Wright, Industry Editor at The Economist, joins Peter today to talk about flying taxis. You heard it right. Aerospace, tech, and car companies are pouring money into flying taxis and Wright talks about how they may be flying above our streets as soon as 2024. What will they look like? How fast will they go? And where will they land? Wright discusses the potential traffic and safety benefits as well as the opportunity for a large number of news jobs. And it’s all at a reasonable price. Then, Wright shares some of the concerns regarding the controversial topic of pilot-less taxis and the public’s hesitancy to step into a flying car. There are a lot of questions, and he is here to answer them.

Joe Yogerst, Writer & Author of National Geographic’s 100 Parks, 5,000 Ideas: Where to Go, When to Go, What to See, What to Do, talks to Peter about which national parks people you should want to visit during the summer of 2021. It is expected that the majority of Americans will want to vacation to national parks this year. He also notes some of the national parks that could be crowded and what other ones are nearby and will see fewer crowds. Yogerst gives his take on how the habits of people have changed in national parks when it comes to mask wearing and social distancing, especially as the pandemic continues. Peter also asks Yogerst about how he rented an RV during his trip to various state and national parks with his family last August. Yogerst gives a few tips about renting an RV from his experience.