TRAVELING MERCIES: Given the declining economy and airline hassles, the stress level for the typical business traveler has skyrocketed. NY Times story here. Imagine this scenairo: Hearing that your flight is being delayed so the airline can switch to a smaller aircraft while the airport TVs overhead are echoing the latest news on the Dow plunge. You need to stand in line for a new boarding pass, with the possibility of being put into a middle seat, while you've just lost 15% of your entire net worth. The solution? A luxury chauffeured sedan! Operators can market to stressed out business travelers, by showing them what they can look forward to at their destination: A First Class ride to wherever they need to go. It makes up for the discomfort of flying. So while operators face a bear market in business travel, that can be offset by the bull market in stress among remaining travelers. -- M.R.
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