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Tuesday 1 September 2009 

2009 Reader Fundraising Update and Request

Good morning

A very short note on a single point.  I know not everyone reads every newsletter, and so hopefully this special newsletter might be more prominently noticed.

It is presently our annual reader fundraising appeal.  We have a target of 630 supporters (ie 3% of readers), and after two weeks, 339 readers have very kindly responded.  Jim K was the first reader to respond after last Friday's newsletter, and special thanks must go to the 'super supporters' - Jim T, Frank S, Don B,  Bob J, Allen H, Tim L, Lila H, Peter M, Roger L, Kathleen H, Duncan T, Deborah C, Nathan F, Carol W, Ray P, Steve N, Pete R, and Alain C.

A wonderful surge in support after last Friday's newsletter helped move us a long way further forward.  This is marvelous - thank you - but we're still 291 readers short of our target, and with the average contribution being almost 20% below last year, we need more readers helping out this year to reach the total dollar target.

Please remember that we survive on a 'PBS model' whereby your support is a key part of keeping everything viable (and free).  You get unlimited access to thousands of pages of web content, hundreds of thousands of words of new articles and features each year, and of course, our weekly newsletter/compendium giving you the 'other side' of the news that is featured elsewhere.

This year we also have a special 'thank you' offer to supporters - everyone who contributes is sent an article on how you can get thousands (some people have already received tens of thousands) of frequent flier miles for free.  This is worth hundreds of dollars to you - for example, if you get yourself 7,500 miles, that would cost you something more than $150 if you were buying them direct from an airline.  (Note this article relates primarily to people in the US, but if you're living elsewhere, you can of course tell your US friends about it).

A question also.  I noticed on the website reporting that, at times, almost one hundred people were simultaneously visiting the 'How to Help Out' page, but the number of people actually contributing were vastly fewer.  Is there something missing on the How to Help Out page that is making it difficult to respond?

So, whether you're responding for altruistic reasons, or out of interest about the frequent flier mile bonus (or both), please do support The Travel Insider and send in (conveniently by credit card online, or regular check) whatever amount you feel appropriate and convenient.

Lastly for this special edition, the concept of no-frills flying is one we're all being confronted with more and more often.  Here's a list of things you may encounter/experience the next time you fly a no frills airline....

1. They don't sell tickets, they sell chances.
2. All the insurance machines in the terminal are sold out.
3. Before the flight, the passengers get together and elect a pilot.
4. If you kiss the wing for luck before boarding, it kisses you back.
5. You cannot board the plane unless you have the exact change.
6. Before you take off, the stewardess tells you to fasten your Velcro.
7. The Captain asks all the passengers to chip in a little for gas.
8. When they pull the steps away, the plane starts rocking.
9. The Captain yells at the ground crew to get the cows off the runway.
10. You ask the Captain how often their planes crash and he says, "Just once."
11. No movie. Don't need one.
12. Your life keeps flashing before your eyes.
13. You see a man with a gun, but he's demanding to be let off the plane.
14. All the planes have both a bathroom and a chapel.

Let's hope that The Travel Insider does not become a 'no frills' newsletter and website!  Please help keep us 'full service'.

The normal newsletter will come out on Friday morning, of course.  Until then, please enjoy safe travels

              David M Rowell aka The Travel Insider

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