Stretch your budget at the New Solanie Hotel Manila


For a budgeted holiday or business trip, experience the class and quality of one of the cheapest budget hotels in Manila-the New Solanie Hotel Manila . Located in the heart of Manila's entertainment district, Malate, this three-star hotel stretches your tight budget and allows you to experience the best of Manila with the least amount of damage to your pockets.

Just 30 minutes from the nearest airport, the New Solanie Hotel Manila & Leony's location in Leon Guinto gives its guests access to various fantastic tourist destinations in Manila. While checking in at the New Solaine Hotel, check out the gated city of Intramuros, whose cobbled streets are lined not only with restaurants and pubs, but especially by centuries-old churches such as Manila Cathedral Church and San Agustin Church. A point of interest would also be Fort Santiago, an old military fortress that also served as Dr. Jose Rizal, Cell of the National Heroes before his execution.

Also noteworthy are the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the Philippines' Hollow in the Best in Film, Theater and Visual Arts, Harbor View Square across from CCP, which has outstanding nightlife plus breathtaking views of Manila Bay and of course the world famous sunset in Manila Bay along Manila's leading sunset strip. -Roxas Boulevard.

Private bathroom services ensure guests a pleasant stay. Atmosphere is taken off immediately with the rooms & # 39; bright colors to contrast the dull shame of urban life. Each air-conditioned room has a fully equipped minibar. Colored TVs are available and you can stay connected via direct dialing equipment. Relax in the rooms & # 39; well-maintained bathrooms and fall asleep on the comfortable double or twin beds.

If such services do not earn you much, pamper yourself with the on-site extra services that include trouser press, laundry and cleaning services and car hire. The on-site restaurant offers a sumptuous menu of international fusion dishes that are both delicious and affordable.

Sports enthusiasts also find recreational facilities at the New Solanie Hotel worthwhile. Enjoy a game of darts or billiards in the hotel's sports center plus many more. After a tiring game, relax in the comfortable bar.

At New Solanie Hotel Manila, your small budget, you can go very, very far.


Miss Universe Pageant


1952: Long Beach, California. Miss Finland was the first Miss Universe. Miss Hawaii was the first Runner-Up.

1953: Long Beach, California. Christiane Martell became the first Miss France to win the Miss Universe title.

1954: Miriam Stevenson became the first American to win the Miss Universe Pageant.

1955: Long Beach, California. Miss Sweden was named Miss Universe. Miss El Salvador, Maribel Arrietta, was the big favorite. Love El Salvador was compared to Marilyn Monroe by American journalists.

1956: Miss USA, Carol Morris, was crowned Miss Universe.

1957: Long Beach (California). Miss Peru, Gladys Zender Urbina was chosen Miss Universe. She was the first Latin woman to win Miss Universe.

1958: Long Beach, California. Marina Luz Zuloaga became the first woman from Colombia to win the Miss Universe title. Miss Brazil was the first runner.

1959: Long Beach, California. Miss Italy, Maria Grazia Buccella, was the big favorite … but she did not qualify for the semi-finals. The next day, Italian newspapers criticized Akiko Kojima. Miss Universe from Japan ….

1960: Lynda Bennett, Miss USA and Miss Utah, became the third American to win the Miss Universe title …

1961: Long Beach, California. Marlene Schmidt became the first German to win the Miss Universe title.

1962: Miss Argentina, Norma Nolan, won the Miss Universe title. Miss Haiti, Evelyn Miot, was the first black woman to qualify for the Miss Universe semi-finals.

1963: Miss Brazil, Ieda Maria Vargas, won the Miss Universe title. She became the first Brazilian to win Miss Universe.

1964: Long Beach, California. Corina Tsopie was the first person from Greece to win the Miss Universe Pageant.

1965: Miss Thailand, Aspara Hongsakula, was elected Miss Universe.

1966: Miss Sweden, Margaret Arvidsson, won Miss Universe.

1967: Miss USA, Sylvia Hitchcok (20 years / 1.71 / 91-61-94m) was selected for Miss Universe.

1968: Miami Beach, Florida. Martha Vasconcelos became the second Brazilian to win the Miss Universe title.

1969: Miami Beach, Florida. Miss Philippines, Gloria Diaz, became the third Miss Universe from Asia.

1970: Miami Beach, Florida, Miss Puerto Rico, Marisol Malaret won Miss Universe.

1971: Miami Beach, Florida. Miss Lebanon, Georgina Rizk became the fourth Miss Universe from Asia.

1972: Dorado, Puerto Rico. Miss Australia, Anne Kery Wells, was elected Miss Universe.

1973: Athens, Greece. Miss Philippines Margarita Moran was elected Miss Universe.

1974: Under the leadership of Imelda Romualdez Marcos, the lady of the Philippines, Manila, the capital of the Philippines, hosted Miss Universe. Miss Spain, Amparo Muñoz was elected Miss Universe.

1975: San Salvador (El Salvador). The winner was Anne Pohtamo, Miss Finland. She looks like Grace Kelly, who was an American actress and princess of Monaco (a small country in Europe). , Australia, Hong Kong, Dominican Republic and other Third World countries. She was crowned in El Salvador, the birthplace of Maribel Arrieta, one of the most beautiful delegates in MU's chronology. Jackeline Gammarra, Miss Bolivia, was a big favorite in San Salvador. In order, she had been eliminated in the semi-finals. Miss Bolivia 1975 was one of the best South American delegates in Miss Universe history.

1976: Victory City, Hong Kong. Miss Israel, Rina Messinger, was crowned Miss Universe. For the first time, Miss USA Barbara Peterson did not qualify for the semi-finals.

1978: Acapulco, Mexico. Miss South Africa won the title. The favorites were: 1-El Salvador, 2-Peru, 3-USA, 4-South Africa, 5-Israel, 6-Sweden, 7-Wales, 8-Costa Rica. The big surprise was Miss Chile. Marianne Muller spoke three languages ​​fluently: English, French and German) … Miss Peru, Olga Roxana Zumaran Burga was a huge favorite in Miss Universe, but she did not speak English. Another eliminated was Miss El Salvador, Iris Yvette Mazorra, one of the top Latin American delegates in the Miss Universe.

1979: Perth (Australia). Miss Brazil was a big favorite until the last minute. Miss Venezuela, Maritza Sayalero won the Miss Universe title.

1981: New Yor City. Under the leadership of Osmel Sousa, president of the Miss Venezuela Organization, Venezuela's Irene Saez was crowned Miss Universe. The final placement: 1-Venezuela, 2-Canada, 3-Sweden, 4-Brazil, 5-Belgium. After Miss Universe, Miss Brazil, Adriana Alves de Oliveira had worked as a professional model in Paris. In 1984 she went to London, UK, where she was a favorite of international journalism and houses of the best. She had a perfect body and European profile … But she only came between 7 semi-finalists. She was the best delegate from Brazil since Magdalena Sbairini, another big favorite of Miss World 1977 …

1982: Lima, Peru. The favorites were: 1-Miss Chile, 2-Miss South Africa, 3-Miss Brazil, 4-Miss Finland 5-Miss Canada 6-Miss Austria 7-Greece 8-Miss Wales 9-Miss Italy 10-Miss Australia. Miss South Africa, Odett Octavia Scrooby (18 years, 173 m, blue eyes and 54 k), was born in Skeerpoort. She had been a professional model in Johannesburg, a city in SA. Her hobbies are drawing and painting. Her dream was to become an international supermodel. She did not win because her country was the birthplace of Apartheid … Miss Canada, however, won the title. Karen Baldwin was a student at the University in Canada. Her dream was to become a businesswoman. Her hobbies were water sports and playing tennis, squash and racquetball. Like Gladys Zender, one of the judges, Karen was a sportswoman. "My idol is Mother Theresa from Calcutta," said in an interview with Mario Vargas Llosa (judge). Karen had the support of Rod Duguay (Judge), her compatriot and a famous hockey player …

1984: Miami, Florida. Miss South Africa, Leticia Snyman, was a big favorite, but she did not win Miss Universe. After 1984, Miss Universe Company first accepted South Africa's participants until 1995, when Namibia hosted Miss Universe.

1985: Miami, Florida. The final rankings were: 1-PR, 2-Spain, 3-Zaire, 4-Venezuela, 5-Uruguay. Miss Zaire, Benita Mureka, was the first black African finalist in the Miss Universe. Miss Zaire had her own style and very beautiful. Miss Puerto Rico, a very ordinary girl, was chosen Miss Universe … very strange result.

1986: Panama City. Miss Venezuela, Barbara Palacios Teyde, was elected Miss Universe. Venezuela has had many judges in Miss Universe since 1984: Carolina Herrera (1984 and 1997); Irene Saez (1983 and 1995); Maria Consuelo Alonso Bustillo (1993 and 1998); Lupita Ferrer (1986); Barbara Palacios Teyde (1988); and Jose Luis Rodriguez (1991). Unlike Venezuela, Jamaica has not had a judge in Miss Universe history … such as Bolivia, Paraguay, Portugal, Austria, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Namibia, Curacao, Albania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Ireland .. .

1987: Singapore City. Miss Chile, Cecilia Bolocco was crowned Miss Universe Pageant. She had a sensational conversation with the judges. Miss Colombia, Patricia Lopez, did not qualify for the semi-finals. She won both titles: Miss South America-Universe and Miss Photogenic. Patricia Lopez became the big favorite to win Miss Universe, but she didn't speak very good English. Goodbye Colombia.

1989: Cancun, Mexico. Andrea Stelzer was Miss South Africa in 1985, but when she arrived at Miami Airport, immigration did not accept her entrance to Miami. Causes: Radical protests by American anti-apartheid activists. Like many South Africans, she became a German citizen. In 1989, she won the Miss Germany title. She went to Cancun and was a semifinalist at Miss Universe.

1990: Venezuela was the dominant force of the Miss Universe Pageant in the 1990s.

1991: Las Vegas, USA. Lupita Jones became the first Mexican to win the Miss Universe title.

1992: Bangkok, Thailand. Miss Namibia, Michelle MacLean, was elected Miss Universe.

1993: Mexico City. Maria Consuelo Alonso, international judge, did not support Miss Venezuela, Milka Chulina during the Miss Universe competition. In Caracas there were many critics against Maria Consuelo. She was born in Cuba.

1994: Manila, Philippines. The finalists were: 1-Miss India, 2-Miss Colombia, 3-Miss Venezuela. Many people think Colombia will never win Miss Universe … mainly for drug traffic. Colombia has had spectacular girls like Aura Maria Mojica and Paloma Turbay Ayala …

1995: Windhoek, Namibia (Africa). Miss USA and Miss Texas, Chelsy Smith, were selected for Miss Universe.

1996: Las Vegas, Nevada. Miss Venezuela, Alicia Machado, won the Miss Universe event. She was always controversial and charismatic …

1998: Honolulu, Hawaii. Wendy Fitzwilliam became the second Afro-Trinidadian to win the Miss Universe title.

1999: Trinidad Tobago. Miss Botswana, Mpule Kwelagobe, became Miss Universe. Since 1999, she is anti-AIDS activist in the Third World.

2000: Nicosia, Cyprus, Aphrodite & # 39; s birthplace. Miss India, Lara Dutta, was crowned Miss Universe. Miss France, Sonia Rolland, who speaks French, English and Spanish, was another bi-racial beauty. She has a Rwandan mother and a French father. Sonia was a child living at the time of the Rwandan War.

2001: Bayamon, Puerto Rico. Miss Puerto Rico, Denise Quiñones was crowned Miss Universe. She became the first person to win Miss Universe Pageant in her country …

2002: San Juan de Puerto Rico. Miss Russia, Oxana Federova was crowned Miss Universe. The People's Republic of China debuted at Miss Universe. Oxana Federova was dismissed by the Miss Universe Organization. In New York, Miss Panama, Justine Paseak, was elected Miss Universe. She became 1st runner.

2003: Panama City. The Dominican Republic, Amelia Vega, won the Miss Universe Pageant.

2004: Quito, Ecuador. Miss Australia, Jennifer Hawkins, was elected Miss Universe.

2005: Bangkok, Thailand. Miss Canada, Natalia Glebova, was crowned Miss Universe.

2006: Los Angeles, California. Miss Puerto Rico, Zuleyka Rivera, was crowned Miss Universe party girl … Did you know … Puerto Rico has had several judges in Miss Universe History: Mapy Cortes (actor / 1972); Marisol Malaret (formerly Miss Universe: 1977 and 2002); Deborah Carthy-Deu (formerly Miss Universe: 1987 and 2003); Dayanara Torres (2001); Marc Anthony (2001); and Maria Celeste Arraras (journalist / 2003 and 2006). However, Chile has had only two judges: Cecilia Bolocco (1996) and Christian de la Fuente (20001).

2007: Welcome to Mexico … Miss Universe 2007


A complete and comprehensive information guide on Palma, Majorca, Spain


Palma De Mallorca is the capital of Majorca (Majorca), the largest of the Balearic Islands.

Palma de Mallorca has beauty and charm all its own. Approaching the city from the harbor, walking or driving, the cathedral (La Seu) is instantly recognizable, a huge sandstone building of magnificent architectural design (French Gothic) with a large glass window containing 1236 pieces of stained glass. At night, Palma Catherdral is beautifully lit. This is worth a visit. There are also many other historical venues, Bellver Castle, La Lonja, Mallorca Museum, La Palau de Almundaina to name a few, 10th century Arabian bath ruins are also to be found in the historic area (see below for prices and opening hours) .

Port & Marina spans the entire length of the city and this is a complete maze of small boats, large pleasure boats and even cruise ships. In recent years, Palma has proven to be a very popular destination for cruise ships of all sizes to dock for a day or two. The number of major cruise ships visiting Mallorca between January and November 2010 was 500, breaking all previous records. In fact, 1.5 million visitors are expected in 2011. This has greatly increased tourism in Palma. Along the Port Road there are many restaurants and bars as well as popular nightclubs such as Titos. Other nightclubs include Pacha, Garito Club, Jahfarai, L & # 39; Havana to name a few. See other night terraces around Majorca.

In Palma you will also find the very famous Spanish department stores in El Corte Ingles. There are two, both in the city, the largest one on Avenida Alexandre Rossello and the other on Avenida Jaime (Jaume) III, just off the C&A, yes the shop that disappeared in the UK many years ago is still operating in Palma de Mallorca! You will also find stores such as Cartier, Boss, Zara & H&M. Check out our comprehensive Mallorca shopping guide

Why not wander into the many old sidestreets that extend from Plaza de Espana, the train station, down to Avenida Jaime (Jaume) III. In these picturesque little streets, there are many bars, cafes, designer shops, just for everyone. If you are hungry, we recommend lunch at one of the many menu-part-dia cafes or restaurants where you can get a two or three course lunch with wine, water / lemonade at a very small price (10-15 euros ) or enjoy dinner, we guarantee you will be spoiled for choice in where to eat.

Car hire is easily accessible at the airport or from resorts.

If you are staying for more than a day in Palma Mallorca, we recommend a visit to Portixol. You can reach this on foot along the seafront promenade from Palma or take a short taxi ride. This is a small oasis found on the west side as you approach Palma city from the airport by car. This original fishing port (El Molinar) has great charm and character, restaurants and bars, and a strip of stylish restaurants serving different dishes from Japanese to Italian food.

If you are unlucky enough to visit Palma in bad weather, you can visit Porto Pi, a beautiful indoor mall full of shops, cafes and bars (but mainly shops !!) .. Carrefour is also on the lower ground floor. This is a giant hypermarket that sells just about anything you could think of at very reasonable prices.

Try the Maritimo bar on Paseo Maritimo (frontline), near La Lonja for a cup of coffee or traditional tapas, they also have menu del dia.

Palma is a wonderful city with natural beauty and charm and fantastic architecture. A pleasure to visit and return time and time again.

Tour bus

Palma city sightseeing bus – is a cheap 16 stop bus jump to and from. Starting place Plaza Reina, exit Avenida Jaume III. Current cost June 2011 Adult 15.00 child / week / student 7.50. The buses run every 20 min. In summer starts from 0930 to 2200 and is reduced to 2000 in winter. Comment in several languages.

Historic center of Palma

Cathedral – La Seu (The crowning glory of Palma!)

The entry price is 4 euros, children and residents are free

Opening hours

June – September Monday-Friday 1000-1800 Saturday 1000-1400

November – March Monday-Friday 1000-1500 Saturday 1000-1400

April, May and October Monday-Friday 1000-1700 Saturday 1000-1400

Closed Sunday

Palma's most striking landmark with astonishing architiecture (Gothic).

Interior hallway was designed by Gaudi

Palace de L & # 39; Almundaina

west of La Seu (looking at the cathedral from the sea)

Calle Palau Reial

Residence of the Royals of Mallorca

The price is 3.20 euros

Opening hours 1000-1400 1600-2000 (Winter 1000-1315)

Free for all European citizens on Wednesdays

La Lonja

This building in the historic center west of La Seu (looks at the cathedral from the sea) and can be seen from Paseo Maritimi. At present, this is used for art exhibitions, a beautiful masterpiece of Gothic architecture.

Usually only open for exhibitions.

Iglesia de Santa Eulalia / San Francisco

Two churches located close to each other just east of La Seu (looking at the Cathedral from the sea), Santa Eulalia Mallorca's oldest church and San Francisco, a truly beautiful church, worth a visit. Plaza de Cort, a beautiful 17th-century building is located next to the churches (City Hall).

Opening hours (summer) 0800-1230 & 1730-2030

Arab baths

These go back to Muslim domination in Mallorca

Calle de Can Serra

(east – looking at the cathedral from the sea)

The price is 2 euros

Opening hours 0900-1900 (1800 in winter)

Castel De Bellver (Bellver Castle)

Calle Camilo Jose Cela (suburb of El Terreno)

the price is 2.50 euro, 1.00 euro children under 16 years

Considered to be one of the three jewels of Palma architecture together with La Seu & La Llonja.

This castle is located on the outer edge of Palma's historic area. You can walk, but it is very far, approx. 1 km. You can take a taxi or a No. 3 bus from Placa Rei Joan Carles.

Paseo de Borne (One of Palma's old streets)

This is one of the busiest ancient streets of Palma, a tree lined promenade with sphinxes at both ends (close to Plaza de Reina)

You can enjoy walking through some of the many old streets of Palma from here extending to Plaza de Espana (train station)

You will find a great selection of bars and restaurants in this area, you will be spoiled for choice!

Excursions around Palma by boat

You can arrange many day trips from Palma by boat, here are a few:

You can take a short boat ride (1 hour) in the Bay of Palma de Mallorca, see more than 4,000 yachts. Buy tickets from the ticket office in the port (the port). The price is 10.00 euros for adults / children, and this operato every hour March – October (Monday-Saturday).

You can also sail in a Catamaran from Palma to San Jordi 1000-1530 May – October (most weekdays) price 48 euros (children over 3 half price), lunch included 00 34 971 456 182


Flights to Panama


Panama is located between North America and South America and can really be called the land bridge between the two. To the west lies the North Pacific and to the east lies the Caribbean Sea. This makes Panama especially special as you can enjoy the beaches and marine life on both sides. The country is rich in natural resources, just as it is in its culture. If you are planning a vacation here, you would be interested in knowing the Panama flights you must consider to get to the country and also to domestic travel in the country.

International flights

Panama is well connected to the rest of the world with a wide network of flights. Most flights usually offer a route involving a stop over and a connecting flight, although some airlines offer a direct flight to the country. All major airlines including Air France, KLM and Lufthansa fly to Panama. If you are flying in from a Latin American country, Copa offers a number of flight options that may interest you. For great airfares consider All American Airpass or Hahn when booking your tickets.

If you fly in from America, Air America and Copa Airlines offer more flights that you can consider. For European travelers you can fly on British Airlines, KLM or any of the other major carriers. Most of these flights have a stop in the US or Costa Rica. Qantas and Air New Zealand flights to Panama have a layover in Los Angeles, Hawaii or Honolulu.

During the peak season or the tourist season, from December to April, it can be more difficult to get airline tickets and it is wise to plan ahead. If you book your flight tickets well in advance, make sure you do not have to make any changes to your travel plans. Also, you may be able to get a cheaper fare just by booking in advance. Choosing flexible dates and flight times can also help secure discounts on your travel price. This means you save more money on travel and can spend them exploring the country.

Most international flights arrive at Tocumen International Airport in Panama City, and some flights arrive near Albrook Airport. Taxi and bus service make it convenient for visitors to travel to their hotel or rent home or apartment.

domestic flights

There is a lot to see and do in Panama, and planning your travel plans will help you make sure you enjoy your vacation. Once you know which parts of the country you want to explore, you can decide how you want to get there. The two main domestic airlines in the country are Air Panama and Aeroperlas. You may want to consider booking flights to Panama at one of the airlines when planning your vacation. While Air Panama serves the western part of the country a lot, Aerperla focuses mostly on the eastern part. You can book flights to Bocas del Toro, San Blas Islands, Contadora and to many other parts of the country.


McDonnell Douglas MD-11



McDonnell-Douglas MD-11, calculated successor to its former DC-10 and third widebody tri-jet after the DC-10 itself and Lockheed L-1011 TriStar, traces its origins to the General Electric and Pratt and Whitney engine competition to provide an appropriate power plant for Lockheed C-5A Galaxy military transport, resulting in the first high bypass ratio turbofan, while DC-10, the result of American Airlines & # 39; 1966 requirements for a 250-passenger transcontinental aircraft, had been built in five basic versions, including DC-10-10, DC-10-15, DC-10-30, DC-10-40 and KC-10 Extender, which achieved an ultimate production run of 446. Program cost overruns periodically necessitated Douglas Aircraft Company's merger with McDonnell, heretofore a military aircraft manufacturer, to ensure the survival of both the company and its aircraft.

Douglas design studies for both narrow and widebody successors, powered by turbofan with a large bypass ratio and with room for 150 passengers, were initiated as far back as the late 1970s. Although no definitive flight program had been launched, if any, detailed market analysis, along with new technological research, would later prove valuable for the possible design. The 60 orders for the KC-10 had allowed Douglas to maintain the basic DC-10 production line longer than it would have done if it had relied solely on commercial orders, thus delaying the need for a replacement. Still, because it would be based on its earlier generation counterpart, it could continue through its definition and design phase far faster than the later, competing Airbus A-340 and Boeing 777, entering the market earlier than these aircraft and tapping into an existing DC -10 customer base for potential sales.

Unlike the aircraft, however – whose five basic versions had the same body length and cross section – the expected successor of 1979 contained a 40-foot body stretch capable of accommodating 340 mixed passengers, three General Electric CF6-50J turbofan producing 54,000 pounds of pressure each, a strengthened wing and a gross weight of 630,000 pounds.

The resulting DC-10-60, parallel to the previous stretched, long-range DC-8-60 series, had offered a 75-passenger increase over the DC-10 & # 39; s of Air New Zealand and Swissair which were has been targeted as potential launch customers, but using the existing wing had greatly eroded performance, and five-foot extensions, combined with a new wing fillet and active air remover to reduce wind breath loads, had significantly improved it. In fact, revised tailgate and a larger tail knob had resulted in a 24 percent fuel reduction over the DC-10, and the seat mile cost had been lower than the cost of the four-engine Boeing 747.

Program launch, estimated for 1979, had been overridden by Douglas's further definition of its versions, which are designated "DC-10-61," "DC-10-62," and "DC-10-63," had yet more reflected DC-8-61, DC-8-62 and DC-8-63 nomenclature. For example, the DC-10-61 had been designed for a domestic variant with 40-foot body stretch and a capacity of 390 passengers and had been powered by 60,000 powertrain engines. The DC-10-62, with a reduced, 26.7-foot fuselage insert, was intended for very long-range operations, with a 14-foot wingspan increase, active air traps, and a four-wheel mid-line main chassis. It was intended to carry approx. 40 fewer passengers than -61, while -63 had combined the design features for both, resulting in a long-range, high-capacity variant.

A number of intermittent DC-10 accidents, none of which had been traced to an inherent design flaw, along with the prevailing economic recession, had ruled out further Super DC-10 development at this time, though one of its features that eventually was incorporated into its successor, had been flight tested on a Continental Airlines DC-10-10 in August 1981. Winglets extending both above and below the wing tip and varying in size had resulted in a three percent fuel reduction due to a straight fall in generated feature.

Thus, the Douglas Aircraft Company only rode down from MD-80 sales and receded. A projected DC-10 replacement, which had a MD-11X-10 designation in 1984 and offers significantly more progress than the original Super 60 series had, was closest based on DC-10-30 with a maximum start of 580,000 pounds weight, a 6,500-nautical mile full-load range and either three General Electric CF6-80C2 or Pratt and Whitney PW4000 engines. A higher-capacity version to be offered in parallel to the basic aircraft frame had a 22.3-foot body stretch, allowing 331 mixed-class passengers to be carried over 6,000-mile intervals and had a corresponding gross weight of 590,000 pounds. American, Delta, Lufthansa and Toa Domestic Airlines, considering this iteration, had proposed improvements that would later be incorporated into the final flight.

In the following year, the board approved order takings, although both versions at this time had the same body length, the medium variant, with a gross weight of 500,000 pounds, offering a range of 4,781 miles and the long-range counterpart to a gross weight of 590,000 pounds and offers a range of 6,900 miles. With room for approx. 335 passengers in a typical mixed arrangement introduced the composite construction, a two-seater cockpit and an advanced electronic flight system.

At the time of the official program launch, which took place on December 30, 1986, 92 orders and options had been ordered by Alitalia, British Caledonian, Federal Express, Korean Air, SAS, Swissair, Thai Airways International and Varig.

The MD-11, which rolled out for the first time some three years later in September 1989 in Long Beach, California, and had been registered N111MD, had exposed its engines, wings, vertical stabilizer and paint, but displayed the logos of the 29 customers who had ordered or selected the type at this time. However, as these surfaces were subsequently added, it bore a close resemblance to DC-10-30 from which it was derived.

With an 18.6-foot stretch over this aircraft, achieved using two straps, it maintained its nose and cockpit sections, but introduced an elongated, drag-reducing, chisel-shaped tailbone and offered a total length of 201.4 feet when it was fitted with General Electric engines or a total length of 200.11 feet with Pratt and Whitney power plants.

The two-spar Douglas airfoil, built of chordal ribs and skins and span, contained a 169.6-foot span, a 35-degree sweepback at a quarter-chord and six-degree dihedral, making a 7.9 aspect ratio and a 3,648 – square meter area. Low-speed lifts were enhanced by new full-span forward and redesigned, double-slotted tailgates, while roller control was provided by inboard, all-speed ailerons made of metal with composite skins and low-speed outboard ailerons that dropped with tailgates during takeoff and was entirely constructed of composite material. Each wing also contained five spoiler panels.

Fuel transported in the wing's integrated tanks totaled 40,183 US gallons.

Up and down blades, installed on the blade tips themselves, had made the biggest difference to the DC-10. Utilizing the tensile-producing vortex otherwise created using a blend of the wing tip difference, they had been composed of a seven-foot up-angled section made of a conventional rib and spar, but covered with an aluminum alloy skin and finished with a carbon fiber rear edge and a 2.5-foot downward angular portion made entirely of carbon fiber, which together comprises a 40 square foot area.

Due to the increased torque arm and computer-controlled longitudinal stability enhancement, the MD-11 & # 39; s horizontal tail had become 30 percent smaller than the DC-10 and contained a 2,000 US gallon integrated trim tank which increased range and facilitated optimization under the center of gravity. Its advanced, chambered airplane and reduced, 33-degree sweepback, coupled with an electromechanically activated variable incidence tailplane equipped with two-section, slotted, composite rear edge with lifting edges on each side resulted in a structural weight reduction of 1,900 pounds and dropped in flight

Power was provided from three 62,000 thrust-pounds General Electric CF6-80C2 or 60,000 thrust-pounds Pratt and Whitney PW4462 large bypass ratios, two of which were pylon attached to the front of the wing on the underside and one of which had been installed in it vertical tail at the back of the fin torsion box. Tracing its origins to the 41,000 TF39 engine originally developed for the Lockheed C-5A Galaxy, the former had evolved into the quieter, more sophisticated CF-6 intended for commercial operation, and its 40,000-pound engine. The CF6-6D pound had powered the domestic DC-10-10, while its 48,000-pound CF6-50C had driven the DC-10-30 intercontinental with the Airbus A-300 and some versions of the Boeing 747. The even more advanced CF6 The -80A had also been selected to operate the A-310 and 767.

Incorporation of CF-6 & # 39; s core with a larger, 93-inch, two-shaft fan, the CF6-80C2, which operates the MD-11, had offered 17 percent more pressure and had a bypass ratio of 5.05. Associated with a full-authority digital engine control system, which itself had provided electronic car throttle and aircraft control system interface, the turbofan had offered reduced fuel combustion.

Alternatively, Pratt and Whitney PW4060, whose reduced length equally reduced the overall length of the aircraft by five inches, had been the only other customer option. Rolls Royce RB.211-524L Trent, briefly listed as a third alternative, had been specified by Air Europe for its 18 fixed and option orders, but its parent company's financial collapse precluded the continuing offer.

The hydraulically actuated, three-wheeled undercarriage, like the DC-10-30, had been composed of a dual-wheel, forward-pulling nose unit; two four-wheel, laterally retractable main gear bogies; and a two-wheeled, forward-facing, middle strut in the fuselage, all equipped with oleo-pneumatic shock absorbers.

The MD-11 cockpit, significantly different from the DC-10 & # 39; s, had been served by a two-person crew, the third or flight technician, position replaced by digital airplane and computerized flight control and control systems, while Aircraft System Control, or ASU, had been composed of five independent two-channel computers, that automated all his past functions.

The passenger cabin, designed for flexibility, had built-in seat, galley, toilet and wardrobe installation on cable-length tracks, whose 1-inch steps facilitated multiple configurations and densities and rapid rearrangements, allowing airlines to operate the type on scheduled flights during the week and on high-density / charter services this weekend. Compared to the DC-10 cabin, the MD-11 contained light side panels and seating units; improved lighting; larger, recessed overhead storage compartments that triple the volume per passenger to three cubic feet; standard centerline garbage can aft of the other door; and opportunity for resting places above the main herd.

A typical two-class, 323-passenger configuration had resulted in 34 six-seat first-class seats on a 41- to 42-inch pitch and 289 nine-abreast economy class seats on a 33- to 34-inch pitch, while a three-class arrangement included 16 six-seat first-class seats on a 60-inch pitch, 56 seven-seat business-class seats on a 38-inch pitch, and 221 nine-abreast economy class seats on a 32-inch pitch The maximum capacity, in a ten-aperture, three- four-three configuration, had been 409.

The MD-11, with a weighted payload of 114,100 pounds, had a maximum takeoff weight of 602,500 pounds. With seating for 298 passengers in three classes, it had offered a range of 6,840 nautical miles, including FAA-required reserves.

MD-11, which first took to the skies on January 10, 1990 from Long Beach, had conducted stability and control tests over Edwards Air Force Base and achieved a maximum altitude of 25,000 feet and a speed of 300 knots before completing a very successful two – hour, 56 minute maiden flight. Three hundred fifteen orders and options had been received for the type at this time.

The certification program, which carried four General Electric CF6-80C2 and one Pratt- and Whitney PW4460-powered aircraft frame, had on July 31, 1990, wrapped up several commercial tri-jet entries, including a 980-km flight from Anchorage, Alaska, with the fourth prototype that had remained high for 16 hours, 35 minutes.

Type certification was obtained on November 8 for the CF6-80C2-powered version and December 19 for the PW4460 aircraft, while category IIIB landings were granted the following April.


Finnair, type & # 39; s launch customer, had delivered its first aircraft, registered OH-LGA, at a ceremony in Long Beach on November 29, 1990, and a representative intercontinental sector with this aircraft had been made two years later, in October 1992.

Founded on November 1, 1923 by Bruno L. Lucander, the private carrier, then designated "Aero O / Y," had inaugurated service the following March to Reval, Estonia, with Junker's F.13 aircraft before expanding to Stockholm, with a stopover in Turku, in collaboration with Sweden's ABA. Finnish domestic route development due to the country's abundance of lakes had required airplane equipment, although the post-1936 airport construction had allowed it to acquire two de Havilland Rapide Dragon biplanes and later two Junkers Ju.52 / 3ms.

Shortly after the mandated World War II flight suspension was abolished, the new airline, now 70 percent owned and renamed "Aero O / Y Finish Air Lines," restored its Helsinki-Stockholm sector and acquired nine DCs -3 & # 39; is.

The 1950s, characterized by continental route system expansion and modern, Convair 340 flight purchases, had taken it to Dusseldorf, Hamburg, London and Moscow from an ever-expanding Helsinki aircraft hub, and the type was replaced by the slightly higher capacity Convair 440.

MD-11, powered by General Electric CF6-80C2D1F engines and configured for 58 business class and 278 economy class passengers, was ordered to replace its DC-10-30 & # 39; s and was first deployed on the Helsinki-Tenerife route on December 29 , 1990, to gather the first operating experience before transferring to the North American and Far Eastern sectors for which it was intended.

Its two MD-11s served the Helsinki-Tokyo and Helsinki-Bangkok-Singapore routes, while the DC-10-30s continued to operate the New York and Beijing sectors.

The first, to Japan, had spanned 4,862 miles and had a nine-hour, 35-minute blocking time, and had been served by the first MD-11 to enter passenger transport, OH-LGA.

The tall, dense trees that surround Helsinki & # 39; s Vantaa International Airport, still wearing their yellow and gold autumn coats, seemed diffuse as the biting, 30-degree wind swirled snow flurries against the geometric pattern of ramps, taxis and runways. The goliath, blue-trimmed Finnair MD-11 tri-jet, currently the only widebody on the white dusty tarmac accompanied by a myriad of narrow-body DC-9, MD-80 and 737-300 twin beams, was towed to Gate A -4 30 minutes before the planned, 1620 departure time in the middle of the afternoon, Nordic light diminished.

MD-11 & # 39; s two-person cockpit, a radical departure from DC-10 & # 39; s, sported six eight-square-inch Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) glass display units consisting of the duplicate primary Flight Display (PFD), navigation display (ND), engine and alarm display (EAD), and system display (SD) schedules, while the automatic system controllers located on the main panel were divided into sections for hydraulics, electrical, pneumatics and fuel, each controlled by two independent computers. The Flight Control Panel (FCP) itself, located on the Glareshield Control Panel (GCP), contained controls for selecting the autopilot and flight director mode, as well as flight control system mode control controls, including speed (SPD), navigation (NAV), and profile (PROF).

The pending, trans-Siberian fly & # 39; s departure and destination points, weights, moments, flight plan, runway take-off (04) and start of calculations obtained from the station-prepared load sheet had been entered in keyboards similar to the MCDU located on the middle pedestal between the two pilots. The flight's standard instrument departure (SID) had subsequently been loaded into the flight control system during inertial reference system initialization.

The engine number three, the first to start and furthest from the vent source, had been activated by pulling the engine start switch where its starter valve moves in the open position, as confirmed by an amber confirmation light. With the N2 compressor speed equal to 15 percent, the starter handle was moved to the "On" position and the engine start switch reflecting an exhaust temperature (EGT) of between 45 and 52 percent had entered, the starting valve is now closed, and amber light lights down. The engine's N1 tachometer was down 23 percent and its exhaust temperature was hovering at the 700-degree Fahrenheit mark. The sequence was then repeated for the other two turbofans, followed by the completion of the "After Start Checklist".

Pulled from its nose-in-parking position, the MD-11, which operated as Flight AY 914, had initiated its autonomous movement with an almost imperceptible throttle, tested its flight surfaces and followed Vantaa Ground Control taxi instructions.

Navigating the snow-covered, blue light-lined taxis in virtual darkness, the incoming tri-jet made a 180-degree trip to runway 04 using its nose wheel, the steering wheel, the nose wheel itself located so far behind the cockpit that the aircraft had been emptied far out above the centerline of the strip before it had actually begun the turn toward it, its elongated, wide flight hooks that followed it in the trunk. Full rudder deflection provided ten-degree steering on the ground, while the nose wheel achieved up to 70 percent of left and right sidelines.

The MD-11, which received 25 degrees tailgate, received start-free distance, had thundered into the first acceleration as its throttle, manually leading to the 70-percent position, approached its huge diameter General Electric turbofan with a steady stream of fuel, as they swallowed enormous amounts of cold air with each, ever faster fan rotation. The AUTOPILOT button, located on the Flight Control Panel and switching on the autotrottles themselves, computer-controlled the aircraft in its proper take-off mode, combined with automatic engine synchronization.

The elevator gear in a nose wheel-releasing rotation, the tri-jet surrendered to the purple, snowflake-blurring dusk, its heavy fuel load exerting a wing-tip curvature bending load, and its wing front light rays slicing through the haze as it climbed out over the runway 15 and the spotlights represent Helsinki. By withdrawing its tricycle, the aircraft, whose pitch bars had indicated its correct pitch, automatically adhered to its standard instrument flight.

Driving into a low right bank across the coast, Flight 914 retracted its tailgate, though its front slats remained extended until an extra speed was collected. Enabling the navigation feature enabled the aircraft to fly its departure profile, while activating the autoflight system, combined with the "NAV" and "PROF" buttons, ensured that it followed its route, climb, outbound radial and either assigned air traffic control or level-off height. Airspeed had been maintained at 250 knots below 10,000 feet, at which time it had been allowed to accelerate to 355 or above, and its leading-edge lights had been withdrawn.

Flying over one of many cloud decks, the plane crossed the Gulf of Finland, whose dark purple surface had been separated from the horizon by a diffuse band of chartreuse light. Increasingly encased in howling slip currents, it passed over the coast of the former Soviet Union at a speed of 472 knots, flying southwest of St. Petersburg. Louis Petersburg in black sky, traced by a thin, glowing orange line on its western horizon, now positioned behind the left wing tip as it settled into the original 33,000-foot plateau at a speed of 509 knots, destined for the Ural Mountains and Siberia.

The passenger cabin, sporting diagonal pattern, light and dark blue upholstery, had contained six rows of seven-aabreast, two-by-two, configured business class seats in the front section, followed by another three acts on the second crossing. Economy class seating, all in a scheme of ten consecutive, three-by-three, had included nine rows behind the business class and 21 in the rear cabin, running between the third and fourth crossings.

Dinner in the latter, according to its bilingual English and Japanese menu (which, in October 1992, had ironically shown an in-flight profile of one of Finnair & # 39; s DC-10-30s), had included a selection of aperitifs, beer , wine and non-alcoholic beverages served with lightly salted peanuts and smoked almonds; a seafood salad with crab meat and mushroom on a salad bed with jumbo shrimp, slices of cucumbers and cherry tomatoes; a basket of hot whites and wheat rolls with Finnish butter; mango beef or chicken in curry-coconut cream sauce; French camembert cheese with crispy rye biscuits; raspberry mousse cake; coffee or Japanese tea; a selection of liqueurs; coins after dinner; and hot towels.

Maintaining a speed of 567 knots of ground, the MD-11 minus the 62-egree tropopause penetrated at a three-degree nose-high stance and passed southeast of Arkhangelsk over the frozen Siberian tundra, with seven hours, 30 minutes remaining on its flight schedule. Thinner cloud layers, which look like envelope veils, revealed periodic orange and white, represented beads in the center of the population, which moved smoothly under the prominent, massive diameter turbofans as they propelled it toward Adak and thence south of Naryan-Mar.

Unknowing passengers, upper and lower wing flats delayed the otherwise swirling wing tip differential intermixing, which reduced drag, while the horizontal stabilizer-positioned trim tank had allowed the aircraft to shift its center of gravity backward towards its 34 percent rear design limit. and coincident fuel combustion by 2.7 percent. The type had usually operated within a range of 29 to 32 percent.

Refugee 914 & # 39; The flight plan's progress, indicated by a range of ground speed measurement and measurement, was the result of IRU & # 39; s position and speed coordination with VHF omni-directional radio range (VOR) and distance measuring equipment (DME) stations between Finland and Japan. Flight Plan (F-PLN) view selected at the MCDU provided the aircraft position and route points adjusted vertically on the screen with the estimated times adjacent to them, along with the speed and altitude listed as "Position," "Estimated Time Overhead "(ETO)," Speed ​​"(SPD) and" Flight Level "(ALT).

Passing Irkutsk, the Yabblonovyy mountain range and Tsitisihar, the aircraft was still moving east, towards Vladivostock.

Cutting the darkness and opening day in the Orient, dawn's razor pierced the eastern horizon with a thin cut, through which an orange glow was poured in front of the whistle, somehow emphasizing the cylindrical nature of the planet as the triage currently illuminating. "Tomorrow," apparently eager to unleash its power, streamed through the gradually enlarged gap marking the boundary line between the 24-hour cycle & # 39; s two states, its light intensifies and transforms the black, nocturnal downfall of Siberia into a cold, partially habitable purple and ultimate darkness, before dawn blue. The amount of humanity waking up to such light below in the great wilderness had undoubtedly been endless. The sun, which appeared like a red, liquid mercury immersed in a gray-black sea, slowly triumphed at night, discerning its top, head-like edge as it revealed with shade the rest of its body, illuminating the icy coffee, undulating crust of the Russian mountains that cover the area immediately below the hull. Originally seeming to float in a dark brown sea, they became independently separable as the sun stretched its radiant light rays, like limbs, towards them.

As he passed over talking, copper-reflecting rivers, Flight 914 consumed the two hours, 11 minutes remaining on its flight schedule.

Aromas of brewing coffee enticed the groggy, mostly sleeping passengers from nightly sleep in the cabin, a process that was only partially enhanced by hot, perfumed towels for breakfast. The meal itself had orange juice, a three-egg omelet filled with creamy spinach, thick slices of Danish ham, various rolls, Swiss black cherry preserves, Finnish cheese-spread fondue, cream wafers and coffee or tea.

MD-11 knocked on a south-easterly direction using its interior airfields, after practically the duration of its cruise, for the first time, leaving Soviet airspace over snow-dusted, chocolate-brown rumors whose peaks were gently grazed by vapors of mist, which follows them to the coast and in the morning sun-reflected, copper surface in the Sea of ​​Japan. One hour, 23 minutes was left for Tokyo.

Movingly suspended over the glass-like surface of the water, it crossed the silver peak of Mount Fuji, which now maintains a nearly due south, 180 degree direction. Banking back abandoned plastics, it forged its final connection to Japan, with its time-to-destination having wound up to the 40-minute mark.

The ridge, which defines Honshu Island, appeared.

Tokyo had reported clear skies and 20-degree Celsius temperatures.

Across the coast of Niigata, the MD-11 had reached a position directly northwest of its destination, with 25 minutes remaining on its flight plan, and detached from its air plateau for the first time in nearly nine hours using the chosen cockpit "NAV" and "PROF" modes.

Introduced in a nose-down, slip-current-rising descent profile, the Flight 914 tracked the coastline before briefly passing out over the white-carded Pacific, now the ATC vector in a series of three right-bankers. Auto-controlled, the aircraft reduced speed to 250 knots as it had exceeded the 10,000-foot speed limit in compliance with its Standard Terminal Arrival Route (STAR), propelled by its three massive turbo vans whose N1 tachometers had recorded nearly stationary, 34 percent readings.

According to the speed band, a request for speed reduction for air traffic control to 200 knots had required an initial extension of the tailgate to 15 degrees.

As the plane had sunk over brown, tan and green geometric-patterned farmland at its final approach direction of 340 degrees, the captain had chosen the Approach / Land tile, the Autoland system armed with an Instrument Landing System (ILS) approach and prepared to catch glides and locator. The MCDU & # 39; s Approach Page providing landing weight, runway, barometric pressure, and final flap setting of speed readings stated the following for RJAA, the ICAO four-letter code for Tokyo Narita: a 208 knots "clean" speed, a 158-knot flap extension speed degree position, a 161-knot proximity speed with 35-degree slap, a 158-knot V reference speed, and a 150-knot touchdown rate.

Sporting markedly increased wing area with leading edge slats and 35 degrees of tailgate extensions, the blue-trimmed Finnair MD-11, projecting its tricycle undercarriage like four outstretched claws, made its final approach over Narita suburbs in the flawless blue morning passing over the runway threshold . Sinking toward the concrete in which time altitude calls had been generated by the computer, the broad-legged tri-jet was thrown into a seven-degree, nose-high flare that delayed its autotrottle to 50-foot idle and allowed ground power to cushion its main gear. Manually throttle in its inverted push mode, it had detached its upper wing surface spoilers where their handles had been moved from the retraction setting (RET) through the "1/3," "2/3," and "FULL" markings as retarded aircraft. The nose wheel slid to the ground.

By taxi for satellite four at Narita International Airport & # 39; s South Wing moved the aircraft into its Gate 44 parking lot at 0855, local time, ending its intercontinental aviation sector and ending the circular pattern of nose-in widebody airlines consisting of an Austrian Airlines A-310-300, a Japan Air Lines 747-200B, a British Airways 747-400, an ANA 747-200B, a Northwest 747-200B and a Swissair MD-11.


The original MD-11 service had not always been so routine. In fact, the aircraft had shown gross weight and drag increases far beyond performance projections, resulting in payload and range deficiencies, and Robert Crandall, then American Airlines & # 39; The CEO had refused to take delivery of the type, replacing an existing DC-10 -30 on the San Jose-Tokyo route it was intended for. En række ydelsesforbedringspakker (PIP), der var rettet mod manglerne, havde i sidste ende afhjulpet situationen.

Den 1. januar 1996 var 147 MD-11'er blevet leveret til 24 originale kunder og operatører, der kollektivt havde engageret flyet i en 11,6 timers daglig udnyttelse og oplevet en pålidelighed på 98,3 procent.

Bortset fra den oprindelige passager MD-11, var der produceret flere andre versioner, skønt i meget begrænsede mængder.

MD-11 Combi havde for eksempel en bageste, venstre, opadgående godsdør, der tillader forskellige procentsatser af passagerer, fra 168 til 240, og last, der spænder fra fire til ti paller, skulle transporteres på hoveddækket , while lower-deck space had remained unchanged. With a 144,900-pound weight-limited payload, the aircraft had a maximum range of between 5,180 and 6,860 nautical miles.

The MD-11CF Convertible Freighter had featured the main deck door relocated to the forward, port side. Martinair Holland, launch customer for the variant in August of 1991, had placed four firm orders and one option for the type.

The MD-11F, with a 202,100-pound payload, had been a pure-freighter without passenger windows or internal facilities ordered by FedEx, while the MD-11ER Extended Range, launched in February of 1994, had featured a 3,000 US gallon fuel capacity increase carried in lower-deck auxiliary tanks, a 6,000-pound higher payload, a 480-mile greater range, and a new maximum take off weight of 630,500 pounds. World Airways, selecting the Pratt and Whitney PW4462 engine, and Garuda Indonesia, specifying its General Electric CF6-80C2 counterpart, had placed the launch orders.

Dwindling sales, the result of the design's initial performance deficiencies, American Airlines' reputation-damaging public criticisms, order cancellations, and competition from the Airbus A-340 and Boeing 777, had forced McDonnell-Douglas to write down $1.8 million for the program in 1996 and by the following year, after McDonnell-Douglas's merger with the Boeing Commercial Airplane Company, it had no longer been feasible to continue its production. The original Douglas Aircraft Company Building 84, located at Long Beach Airport and incubation point for all McDonnell-Douglas DC-10 and MD-11 widebody tri-jets, had hatched its 200th and last MD-11, a freighter, for Lufthansa Cargo, in June of 2000, and the aircraft, towed across the road to the runway, bore the title, "The perfect end to a perfect era."

The complete production run had included 131 MD-11P Passenger versions, five MD-11C Combis, six MD-11CF Convertible Freighters, 53 MD-11F Pure-Freighters, and five MD-11ER Extended Range variants.

The figures, added to the 446 DC-10s built between 1971 and 1988, had resulted in a total of 646 tri-jets having been produced.

Although McDonnell-Douglas had studied several stretched, re-engined, and rewinged MD-11 successors designated "MD-12s," including a double-decked, quad-engined, A-380-resembling configuration, these ambitious proposals had exceeded the value of the manufacturer itself, and when Taiwan Aerospace had withdrawn financial support for the definitive version, which had reverted to a tri-jet design with an advanced wing, the three-engined widebody, tracing its lineage to the original DC-10, had finally ended, leaving the increasing number of passenger-converted airframes into freighters to carry their pedigrees into the early-21st century.


Does your doctor make house calls outside the country?


Doctors accompany their clientele to vacation homes and luxe spa recovery centers. Standards and accreditation are an international endeavor.

The rich and famous have for years taken discreet trips out of the country to take part in nip / tuck operations, rehabilitation and other medical endeavors. Now, the average American can enjoy an international medical getaway, taking the whole family for less than $ 40,000 into a knee surgery in America.

The United States has been ranked # 37 by the World Health Organization in health care, and a million people traveled outside the United States for medical-related services in 2008. A medical retreat at a tropical "luxe" spa seems to sound better and better for more people.

Need surgery – will travel
Medical tourism, undertaken as such recently, has been around since the Romans traveled to heal themselves in mysterious locales. In modern terms, the best services are raised for;
o Plastic and reconstructive surgery
o Cosmetic and general dentistry
o Bariactric medicine
o Addiction treatments
o General operations
o Health and well-being

If you are already one of the 1 million travelers or you are considering adding these numbers, you will know what this means.

Doctors around the world are joining their clients on flights, in foreign hospitals, and at 5-star spa recovery centers that look like deluxe hotels. Their alliance with international countries allows them profitability and exotic surroundings. Some may even be attracted to relaxed laws for more experimental procedures such as innovations of stem cell research that are not yet approved in the US

Today, providers like Johns Hopkins, The Mayo Clinic and Harvard (to name a few) boast overseas facilities. According to BusinessWeek, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of South Carolina also signed strategic alliances with seven overseas hospitals in 2008.

Your doctor may already book appointments in Guatemala, Thailand, Costa Rica or the Philippines. Just ask. For example, Thailand reported 1.5 million people to medical tourism in 2007. Doctors from all over the world are registered to practice there. The reach is global and so is the responsibility.

Medical marketing

My recent trip to Costa Rica on medical tourism included meetings with doctors, spas, government officials, and encouragement for a call to action for accreditation in medical spa and spa-related centers. Costa Rica hosted its first Medical Tourism Congress last year and is adapting quickly to be a leader in the industry.

Flashy ads, incentives and "medical tourism" packages bring a lot of attention to foreign medical institutions and their spa and leisure partners. Medical tourism can bring, economic growth, prestige, international alliances and goodwill. It also brings up the big question of medical standards and medical spa accreditation. How will care for foreign patients be cared for? The growth also encourages some sharp contrasts to high spending to attract medical tourists with sparkling centers and airport improvements compared to the lower public health care of its national people. Let this article stick to the first question. Standards.

Patient confidence and loyalty

A national call for action supported by the government, which is interested in accreditation, is a good starting point and was the topic of my meeting with Massimo Manzi, Chief of Staff of the Ministry of Competitiveness in Costa Rica. In close cooperation with the International Tourism Board, we discussed the growth expectations in medical tourism and the need for approval standards for spa / medical spas.

International standards are required to effectively blend the intersection with rising medical tourism and their spa recovery partnerships. The spa has become the enticing softer side of medical tourism and a huge part of its growth. The need, especially in Costa Rica, is to create a strong local incentive, create partnerships and form associations. Such as the Costa Rica Spa and Wellness Association, expected to be launched this year. After all, the goal here is competitiveness and secure the trust of potential clients.

When most countries use their own method to secure standards, where is the association and how far does accreditation go on a global scale?

According to the Medical Tourism Association, their "Quality of Care" program is working towards this and global standards of medical tourism. "This project should help the growth of medical tourism and help patients feel more comfortable and confident as they go abroad for surgery … our mission to provide 'transparency' in the quality of care data in medical tourism / global health care world. "Medical Tourism Association Worldwide are major hospitals providing these operations, already approved by JCI, Joint Commission International, including CIMA and Clinica Biblica in Costa Rica & # 39; s capital city of San Jose. JCI ensures that hospitals are up to standard or closing. When it comes to spas accreditation, we are committed to providing our spa quality expertise and driving the national call to action in Costa Rica. Spa standards, especially medically related ones, must also be held at a high level of responsibility or shut down.

Feedback from professionals

We spoke with the founder of the Day Spa Association, Hannelore Leavy, on the topic and her interest in working with various countries following the guidelines of the DSA, Day Spa Association or IMSA, International Medical Spa Association. According to Hannelore, "These guidelines are the basis of our accreditation programs that can be changed to the local laws of each country that regulate regulatory agencies." The DSA mission statement includes "… the continuous enhancement of professionalism and quality-driven services …" and the IMSA mission statement "… continuous enhancement of a practical but rigorous code of ethics based on the highest standards of care and regulated peer review. "

Continuous growth is a great way to promote industry growth and a key differentiation that we will work for in this case.

Statistics from the Costa Rica Tourist Board show approx. 250 health and cosmetic surgery operations are performed each month at Costa Rica hospitals. Ninety percent of these are done on foreigners. This is no surprise when you see the cost difference.

Stomach plug: $ 10,000 CR $ 4,500
Face Lift: US $ 12,000 CR $ 4,700

With several major hospitals and over 500 spa facilities in Costa Rica, you have your choice where to go. Hopefully one accredited by JCI and an international association that specializes in spa standards. In this case, follow-up on accreditation from the Costa Rica Spa and Wellness Association or DSA / IMSA as worldwide partners.

It doesn't matter if clients are asked for mandatory medical issues or mandatory wishes, health tourism is enjoying a good boom. This means more need for strict standards and fierce competition. Competition begs strategy. Strategy, creativity. Creativity, the opportunity to cut corners. Especially when underdeveloped countries can be very dependent on the number of tourists and medical tourism for economic growth.

There are many associations that dedicate themselves to being the voice of this industry, including the IMSA, the Medical Tourism Association and the Health Tourism International Chamber of Commerce, all of which are making great strides in standards and uniformity.

Join in the noise

This is an industry that has many layers of onions, with more to be discovered. Let's not allow "medical imperialism" with bigotry against foreign doctors, a "race" of prestigious US medical facilities to establish foreign satellites, or even fears of competition, exceed the real issues of patient care and international efforts to secure medical tourism / medical spa / spa standards.

I may be an idealist and I hope there are a few of us left, but I think we can continue to force foreign officials into their desire for accreditation and strike a balance for all involved. I will continue to promote the growth of standards and creativity without cutting corners.

You can join the cause and join in the noise by contacting Costa Rica officials on Spa / Medical Spa Standards and securing our national call for action and the launch of a local spa association. Send comments to officials to further your concerns and the need for an evaluation system with an association and standard requests for;

o President of ICT (Costa Rica Tourism Board) – Carlos Ricardo Benevides
o Central office: 011 506 2299 5800
o Minister of Tourism Planning – Antonio Farah
o Central office: 011 506 2299 5293
o Minister for Competitiveness – Massimo Manzi
o Central office: 011 506 2299 5293

In the meantime, enjoy your medical travels, and don't forget to enjoy some of the cultural aspects of the beautiful countries hosted by foreign medical tourists. Spread the word. Make a difference.


Starbucks Coffee – What Commercial Real Estate Investors Should Know


company Overview

Starbucks coffee, sometimes referred to as Fourbucks coffee, is the largest coffee house chain in the world. It opened its first store in 1971 in Seattle's Pike Place Market by the water of three partners: Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegel and Gordon Bowker to sell high-quality coffee beans and equipment. In 1982, Howard Schultz, the current President and CEO, took over as Director of Marketing. He was impressed with the popularity of espresso bars in Italy after traveling to Milan in 1983. Back in the US, he convinced the founders of Starbucks to sell both coffee beans and espresso drinks. However, the idea was rejected, so he left the company and founded Il Giornale coffee shop chain in 1985. In 1987, Howard Schultz and Il Giornale bought Starbucks for $ 3.8 million and renamed Il Giornale coffee shops to Starbucks and turned it into Starbucks you know in day. The company went public with the symbol SBUX on June 26, 1992 at $ 17 / share with 140 stores. Since then, the stock has split 5 times. As of May 2008, SBUX is trading at around $ 16, down from the high of $ 39.43 in November 2006.

Starbucks opened its first overseas store in Tokyo, Japan in 1996. The company currently has approx. 16,000 stores, employ 172,000 partners, AKA employees as of September 2007 in 44 countries. It has annual sales of over $ 10B, with the most recent quarterly revenue being $ 2,526B. About 85% of Starbucks revenue comes from company-run stores.

Starbucks does not franchise its activities and has no plans to franchise for the foreseeable future. In North America, most stores are company-run. You can see some Starbucks stores inside Target, large supermarkets, college campuses, hospitals and airports. These stores are operated under license agreements to provide access to real estate that would otherwise not be available. Starbucks receives licensees and royalties from these licensed sites. At these licensed retail locations, workers are considered employees of the specific retailer, not Starbucks. As of 2008, it has 7087 company-run stores and 4081 licensed stores in the United States. Internationally, it has 1796 company-run stores and 2,792 joint venture or licensed stores in 43 foreign countries. The expansion rate is slowing as the company plans to open 1020 US stores in 2008, less than 400 stores in 2009 down from 1800 stores in 2007. In addition, it also plans to close 100 stores in 2008.

Risks to Real Estate Investors

Starbucks coffee buildings are still a popular investment for many investors. When considering investing in a Starbucks-owned property, you need to understand the following risks of your investment:

  1. Recession-sensitivity: a hungry man can survive with a Big Mac & fries, but can live without a four-bucks Frappuccino. This means that Starbucks is very sensitive to the economic downturn as seen in 2007 and 2008 compared to Burger Kings and McDonald's. This may be the main reason why sales in stores in the US that have been open for at least a year are expected to see a mid-term single digit percentage decline, the first drop ever. That triggers Howard Schultz to return to CEO. The company plans to double its marketing spend to $ 100 million in 2008 to drum up sales. It launched an aggressive coupon campaign offering free drinks every Wednesday through May 28, 2008. This may be a sign of desperation. On April 22, 2008, Starbucks cut its expectations for the year, citing weak financials.
  2. Calories and sugar: Starbucks drinks have more sugar and calorie levels, with consumers becoming more and more concerned by the explosion of obesity and diabetes epidemics in the United States. For example, Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino® Blended Crème – whip 120 grams (over 1/4 lb) of sugar and 750 calories at its 24 oz Venti size. If consumers tend to cut back on sugar drinks, or stick to carbohydrates, it will impact Starbucks revenue.

  3. Competition: McDonald's, Wendy's and Dunkin Donuts now also offer espresso at lower prices to compete with Starbucks. They will collect some revenue from Starbucks, especially from cost-conscious customers. The current Starbucks prices are already quite high; it is very difficult for Starbucks to raise prices in the near future without affecting traffic to its stores.

  4. High cost business model: While Starbucks profit margin is high as it pays an average of $ 1.42 per pounds for the non-roasted coffee, its business is very labor intensive like all other food businesses. It takes between 10-20 employees to run a store. All eligible part-time and full-time partners in the United States and Canada receive a benefit package consisting of stock option plan, 401k with company matching, medical, dental and vision. Starbucks has been voted the 7th best company to work for in the United States in 2008 by the Fortune employee survey. What is good for employees may not be good for employers. These benefits are usually only available to key employees or restaurant industry executives. Historically, the cost of these health benefits is rising faster than inflation. In the long run, they can have a negative impact on Starbucks bottom line. Should Starbucks not perform well, it could be under pressure as a public company to close more stores.

  5. special Building: Starbucks freestanding building is a special building designed specifically for Starbucks. Should Starbucks decide not to close or not to renew the lease, it is difficult to re-let the property. There are few renters out there willing to pay the high rent like Starbucks. It is difficult to use it as a fast food restaurant because of a relatively small square footage. Besides, it does not have a commercial kitchen. When the property is vacated by Starbucks, property value is likely to fall.

Starbucks real estate operation

Starbucks divides the United States and Canada into 17 real estate areas, each with its own store development office to develop the market in its area. The developers designed freestanding buildings around 1800 SF with driving through in a place of high visibility, heavy traffic. Once the location is approved by the Territory Office, Starbucks typically signs a 10-year NNN lease with 2 five-year options where landlords are responsible for the roof and structure. All leases usually have a corporate guarantee, which means Starbucks continues to pay rent should it close the store. The lease often has a 10% increase in rent every 5 years. The rent is between $ 1.65 / SF in a Utah store to $ 5.84 / SF in New York. This rent survey is based on the rent of only 30 Starbucks properties, 18 of which are freestanding, in the US 2008 sales market.

Starbucks location with minimal store closure options

In hard times, e.g. In 2008, when sales are declining, Starbucks will try to cut costs and shut down underperforming stores. As a real estate investor considering investing in a Starbucks building, you do not want to invest in a property that will be closed in the future.

Location —— 1 mile —— 3 mile ——- AHI / year —– Size (SF) —- Base rent / year — Rent / SF / mo –Price —– Cap (%)

Ohio …………… 296 …….. 2609 ……… $ 88375 …. 1613 …….. . $ 58,590 ……….. $ 3.03 ………. $ 868K … 6.75

Florida ……….. 9186 …… 55270 …… $ 68595 ….. 1816 ……… $ 75,000 ….. .. …. $ 3.44 ………. $ 1.2M ……… 6.10

Georgia ……… 5717 …… 57201 ….. $ 143936 …. 1750 ……… $ 74,000 ……… .. $ 3.52 ………. $ 1,091 …….. 6.75

Mississippi …. 188 …….. 4923 …….. $ 77372 ….. 1816 ……… $ 112,184 …….. . $ 5.15 ………. $ 1.558M ….. 7.2

Texas …………. 5944 ….. 40,970 ……. $ 75043 ….. 1752 ……… $ 92,914 … .. …… $ 4.42 ………. $ 1,327M …. 7.00

Table 1: Rental rates for freestanding Starbucks buildings

Location —— SBUX rent / year — SBUX Size — SBUX rent / SF / mo — Other bearings Size — Rent / SF / mo — Difference

California ……. $ 30096 …….. 1248 SF ….. $ 2.01 ………………… … 1245 SF …………….. $ 2.50 ………….- 19%

Kansas ………. $ 43200 …….. 1600 SF …. $ 2.25 ………………. …. ..1600 SF ……………… $ 1.33 …………. 68%

Utah …………… $ 38568 ……… 1950 SF ….. $ 1.65 ………… ….. …….. 1200 SF …………….. $ 1.86 …………- 11 %

New Mexico .. $ 92004 ……… 2000 SF …. $ 3.83 ……………………. 2500 SF .. …………… $ 1.92 ………… 100%

New York ……. $ 125004 …… 1785 SF …. $ 5.84 ………………….. .. 2819 SF ……………… $ 2.75 ………… 112%

Table 2: Rental difference in multi-tenant Starbucks retail centers

Since Starbucks does not release sales revenue for a particular location, just make a well-educated guess. Based on the annual revenue and number of stocks operated by Starbucks, the average annual revenue per Shop approx. In addition, there is a good chance that the location is profitable if the annual rent to income ratio is less than 10%. For example, if the base rent for Starbucks in Ohio is $ 58,590, annual revenue should be more than $ 585,590. In addition to choosing a store in a good location (see the article titled "What & # 39; Location & # 39; Means in Commercial Real Estate" by this author), and the ceiling rate, consider the following:

  1. Densely populated area: more people means more customer sizes and thus more revenue. Starbucks in FL, GA and TX on Table 1 are more promising. Note: the author tries to be sensitive by not revealing the exact locations.
  2. Low-rent: Starbucks in MS pays $ 112,184 for base rent. To be reasonably profitable, it must have an annual revenue of $ 1.12M. Since there are only 188 people within 1 mile and 4923 residents within 3 miles radius of the store, the store is less likely to ever achieve this revenue. In addition to Starbucks paying $ 5.15 / SF, which is very high compared to just $ 3.52 / SF in a fast-growing, high-income, densely populated GA, where there are 57,201 residents within 3 miles of radius and average household income ( AHI) of over $ 143K / year. It's hard to understand how Starbucks in MS can be an irreplaceable location in an area with only 188 people within 1 mile radius of the property! Although the property with the highest ceiling of 7.2% appears to be a good investment, it actually has the highest risk of underperformance and may be closed in the future. Alternatively, Starbucks could try to renegotiate the lower-rent lease in tough times. While Starbucks has not yet requested a rent reduction, it is not surprised if Starbucks will do so to improve the bottom line in the future. In either case, the property value will fall.

  3. bearing Prize: While most Starbucks properties are freestanding where they occupy 100%, you may see a Starbucks in a small multi-unit strip mall along with a few other tenants. It usually takes up the unit while driving through and is therefore expected to pay a premium compared to the adjacent unit. However, most of the time Starbucks pays significantly higher rent. For example, in Table 2, it pays $ 5.84 / SF compared to only $ 2.75 / SF of a tenant in the unit next door in a downtown New York or 112% higher. In this strip center, the rent for the unit occupied by Starbucks should be reduced (due to closing or negotiating a lease) substantially reducing the value of the center. You certainly do not want to invest in this property.


Beauty and The Snitch


Always suspicious of being seen for my own protection, I often wonder how everyday life in a police state can be. Certainly, we can gather nuggets of insight about a visit to an airport or courthouse or enjoy a depressing citizen education from the Key West Building Department. But I'm talking about the details of daily life in a total state of surveillance. It's harder to imagine.

For that experience, short of moving to public housing or going to work at the Department of Homeland Security, I recommend the movie, Others life (which I will spoil for you below.) I stumbled upon it in a video rental store here in San Jose, Costa Rica & # 39; burbs. I have since heard that it won an 2006 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. It has received almost uniform praise from as many different critics as Roger Ebert and William F. Buckley. We are not exactly at the forefront of cinema here in Central America.

The action is filmed in German by director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, and the action takes place in 1984 in communist East Germany. It paints a gloomy and, from most firsthand accounts, an accurate picture of life in a society where everyone was closely watched for signs of disloyalty to the state. Agents from Stasi, short of the impossibly German mouthful "Staatssicherheitsdienst" or the state security service, were everywhere. At the same time, private citizens – blackmailed, bribed or eagerly patriotic – number in the hundreds of thousands. Kids steering wheel about parents, men on wives, friends on friends. Failure to snitch can mean jail or ruin or both. The now dormant TIPS program proposed by the Bush DOJ a few years ago is thinking about.

As the taste of German socialism changed from fascism to communism after Hitler's defeat, little else changed with it. Stasi agents were not very different from Hitler's Gestapo. Although notably violent and less prone to mass murder, they were much thicker on earth. Stasi-spooks were the number of Gestapo waves ten to one. The East Germans, as always, with respect for authority over a mistake, fell in line with the new bosses and cooperated lavishly in their own humiliation.

The film's history turns on the conflict between totalitarianism and art. The protagonist is a strict, ruthless apparatchik named Wiesler, brilliantly portrayed by Ulrich Mühe. He finds his humanity and abandons his ideology when exposed to the intimate details of two artists' lives, a playwright, Georg Dreyman (Sebastian Koch) and his beautiful actor partner, Christa-Maria (Martina Gedeck).

Weisler's job is to monitor the two through hidden listening devices planted in their apartment and find a way to discredit Dreyman. Weisler's boss, the ugly head of the Ministry of Culture, wants the writer out of the way of his uncomfortable interest in the lame actress.

But the reliable snitch and loyal party man are adored by beauty. When the author is in mourning for a friend driven to suicide by Stasi, a Beethoven piano player plays, Sonata for the good men, it moves the stony-hearted Weisler to tears.

Weisler moves a book of Berthold Brecht's poetry from the author's apartment. In his own lonely apartment late at night, Brecht's words push him down the path to his pending compassion. He is also smitten by the beautiful, symbolically named Christa-Maria, and tries to save her from the hard sex his slimy boss extort from her.

At a terrible cost, Weisler rescues the author from prison. The Berlin Wall is coming down. Shocking revelations of abuse of power and the moral bankruptcy of communism flow from gloomy stasi-prisons in daylight. Freedom and art prevail in a successful novel by the rescued author and eventually by restoring something that is much more like political freedom for East Germany.

I can hardly say more than the hundreds of critics have praised for this fine work. It is a film that everyone should watch for the truth, it talks about how power over others destroys those who have it, about the danger of trusting the state and finally about the banality of evil and the power of beauty and human dignity to oppose it.

The powers that Stasi had in East Germany are those we have now assigned to government agencies in the United States. In the name of protecting ourselves from Arab terrorists, a group likely to be the number of federal employees, we have provided a swarming host of three-and-four-letter unprecedented government agencies.

Any number of US government agencies can now do what Stasi did so well in East Germany – search, fresh, snoop, eavesdropping, identifying, identifying, disarming and ultimately arresting without charges anyone accused of aiding "terrorism". "Terrorism" is so wrongly defined that an accurate résumé would be "to do or think about bad things."

Such power is much more likely to result in excessive abuse than to reduce the already small dangers posed by "terrorists". The lives of others show us how it happens more vividly than I can describe it. It also reminds us how rare redemption is for ordinary men who abuse undeserved power over others. Weisler is remarkable because he is the exception. Art and beauty will always be the enemies of tyranny, but it does not diminish the power of art, beauty or human compassion to observe that the author, Dreyman, was lucky.


Driving in Baja California: Updates and Tips for the Baja Journey in 2013


Driving in Mexico: 2013 safety update

I & # 39; d bet you read this article, hoping you will soon be sailing in the stark landscape and stunningly beautiful coastline of Baja California Sur. I had the opportunity to drive the coveted Baja Peninsula in January 2013: It was the ultimate road trip, or so you've probably heard. From Tecate, Mexico to Cabo San Lucas, I drove slowly throughout the peninsula. If you hurry, the whole trip of thousands of miles can be done in three days. If you would like to enjoy the unique and beautiful cities of Mulege, Loreto, La Paz and Todos Santos before you round Los Cabos & # 39; Southern Cape, I recommend at least two weeks. The topic of Cartels and Banditos is often at the center of attention when discussing a potential trip to Mexico. Fear not: When it comes to driving in Baja, these two issues should not be on your mind. However, security should be your primary focus; Driving in Baja can be potentially dangerous. However, with enough attention and understanding, your drive through Baja should be totally fun and completely stress free. There are certain things that a foreign driver in Mexico must remember to ensure a safe ride.

Drive in Baja without a car visa

First, an American does not need a car visa to drive in Baja California. In mainland Mexico, a foreign driver will have to obtain a tourist visa for his person and a separate visa for his person. Both visas have a maximum duration of six months. Getting a car visa on the mainland of Mexico can potentially involve a certain amount of paperwork. To legally drive in mainland Mexico, you & # 39; Package your passport, driver's license, title of your car, Mexican car insurance, US registration, etc. These document requirements are subject to change at any time. In Baja, however, driving a car is much simpler: After acquiring your personal tourist visa at the border, you are free to drive south as far as you wish. If you drive to Baja, I recommend crossing at the Tecate border station. Even if you have to drive 15 minutes east of San Diego extra, you will be rewarded with lightning quick customs inspections, few lines and friendly locals in this sleepy border town. Both Tijuana and Mexicali border stations often live up to their reputation as patience testers and hassles. If you detest waiting in line as much as I do, I recommend crossing in the morning before 7 p.m. 9:30; You are probably the only car passing through customs.

Preferred Baja driving routes

The route from Tecate to either Tijuana (Hwy 1) or Ensenada (Hwy 3) is easy to find when in Tecate. If you want to get around Tijuana, stay on Route 3 toward Ensenada and often follow poorly maintained Highway 3 right to Ensenada. A general and valid concern for many drivers is the overall road quality of Baja California Sur. There are certain sections of freeway 1 that are lined with holes and intertwined with barely visible peaks or speed bumps and fast-stopped construction sites. As I mentioned, freeway 3 from Tecate to Ensenada is a hard, slow drive. Like many of Baja's rural roads, parts of good and bad can vary from mile to mile. The quality of the roads is pretty good until you pass El Rosario. From El Rosario to Guerrero Negro, I highly recommend avoiding driving after dark. The roads are thin, and apart from your headlights, you have no other source to warn you about inexplicable peaks, freely roaming livestock and fearless truck drivers. These can all be valid concerns when driving in Mexico. As you travel south, after Guerrero Negro, the road runs out and your drive is without hairpin as you cross from one side of the peninsula to the other. However, the roads are becoming thinnest here and drivers will want to exercise caution in this stretch. The road loses altitude quickly within 10 kilometers of Santa Rosalia. You drive some of the windy stretches of 1400 kilometers of road. If you take care during your descent, you will be rewarded with spectacular views and your first glimpse of the Cortez Sea. But beware: Hairpin turns and bumpy roads have taken their toll for many motorists on this stretch; Memorials line the highway as mile markers on this stretch of highway.

The dangerous left hand signal from Mexico

In Baja you don't have to drive as fast as the locals. However, to ensure safety, you must understand a very important aspect of driving in Baja: Using your left turn signal often means for the driver behind you that it is safe for them to pass you. Whether signage dictates its legality (or lack thereof) is to pass by open highways in Mexico. Baja is no exception. The car being passed sends a sign to the driver behind him, signaling that it is safe to pass using his left turn signal. This small cultural difference accounts for significant damage. Just remember, if a driver is behind you and you are using your left signal, he probably assumes you are ready for him to pass.

Avoid driving at night in Baja

Whether in mainland Mexico or Baja, most locals and experienced travelers know that for many reasons you should avoid driving at night. In rural areas, you will encounter potholes and peaks that are almost invisible on the poorly lit rural highways. You & # 39; ll cavort with freely roaming livestock and truck drivers; Both tend to hike at night and possibly into your lane. And if you break down at night, many of the rural areas of Baja do not have telephone reception. Because of these reasons, I personally avoid driving the night in rural areas, keeping most of my evening runs between Todos Santos and San Jose Del Cabo. Military checkpoints dot the highway one from Tijuana to La Paz. At the last count, I went through six. As long as you do not carry illegal drugs or weapons, you should have no trouble with the federal police. Before traveling, always do your part to ensure legal protection: In this aspect, having a doctor's phone number for any prescription you take is an important precaution. Personally, I've never had a problem with checkpoints while driving in Baja. Driving in Baja is infinitely easier than taking the mainland Mexico road trip. Just remember a few important tips: You do not need a car visa to drive in Baja. Do not bring illegal weapons or drugs to Mexico and keep a prescription phone number good if you are taking any medication. Avoid driving after dark in rural areas. Take it slow and get a feel for the road, even during the day if you don't know a stretch of highway. Most importantly, the left turn signal has a very different meaning in Mexico. Remember these few facts when traveling in Baja California Sur and you will be rewarded with some of Mexico's most amazing scenery. By taking these precautions, you will certainly enjoy a safe and happy road trip.

Copyright (c) Baja Atlas 2013


Tips for finding a good, reliable limo rental company


Limousines light up every occasion, creating an element of class for the entire event, whether it's a wedding, party night, bachelor party or just about anything. But if the limousine is in bad shape or the services the company provides are not good, it can ruin the mood.

As the market is flooded with numerous limo rental companies, it becomes imperative to investigate to make sure you choose the right limo rental company so everything goes smoothly.

Here are a few important things to keep in mind while deciding on choosing a limo company:

Huge collection of limousines

Make sure the company has a large selection of limousines to offer on hire. More variety means you would have more options to choose from. Just having a huge fleet of limousines is not enough. Find out if the company owns the latest collection of limousines, such as brand new 2007 models by Lincoln, etc.

If the company has only 10 or 15 years old rusty Cadillac to offer, it is best to approach another company. You should thoroughly research what options are available to you before deciding to hire a limousine from a particular company. If you are looking to rent a limousine from companies in big cities such as San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, etc., you are likely to find a company that offers a wide variety of limousines to choose from.

Check reliability

The quality of a business can be judged by the professional level it exhibits while providing its limo services. Choose a company that has a good market status and can meet all your needs.

Punctuality, vehicle cleaning, drivers, etc. matters a lot. And only a reliable and competent company can secure all these things. Check from your friends who have rented a limousine before and ask them if the company was reliable and professional and if they had arrived on time to pick up. If you book online, you can check the testimonials.

Limousine drivers

The man behind the wheel is crucial. After all, your safety depends on them. Whether you want to hire a limousine for your daughter for her prom night, or you hire for a business purpose or for airport transfers, limo drivers are the ones who will escort you and your group. Therefore, make sure that the company you choose provides experienced, well-trained and well-trained limo drivers. In addition, the drivers must also be well dressed in formal attire.

Pay extra for superior service

Don't give in to the temptation to hire a limousine from a company that offers limousines at cheap prices. You might be glad you hired a limo for a far cheaper price, but imagine what would be the horror if a 1990-colored limo model arrives right outside your door. Sure, you don't want this to happen. Remember that if you pay well, you will get good quality services. After all, if you pay so much to hire a limo, then why not hire a good shiny limousine from a good, reputable company, even if you have to pay a little extra.

Please inquire about discounts

If you hire more than one vehicle for the apartment, don't forget to inquire about discounts as many companies offer discounts if you rent more vehicles from them.

Requests for additional fees and alcoholic beverages

Find out how much extra money is charged if you run late or if you need a limousine for an extended period of time. Collect this information in advance. Usually, companies supply fully equipped bars in their limousines. Find out if you are allowed to bring your alcoholic beverages in the vehicle.


Another important thing to consider is insurance. Find out if the company is fully licensed and insured. The company's insurance must cover both the vehicle and the passengers. If you are looking for limo services from big cities like San Francisco, New York, Chicago, etc., finding a reputable and reliable limo hire is not at all difficult.

If you want your money's worth, keep these things in mind, do your research carefully, and choose the company known for high-level customer satisfaction and guarantee top-notch services.