Sunday, 11 July 2004
The Amazing Race 6 filming underway now or soon
Casting of The Amazing Race 6 is already complete, and filming is or will be underway in July or August 2004. Watch for the yellow and red flags, epecially in airports. If you see a couple with backpacks being followed through an airport by a videographer and sound technician, take their picture or note their description, and try to figure out what flight they are coming from or to. If there are several teams, note the order in which they arrive or leave. If they are leaving the airport, and you know the area, offer them a ride, or offer to be their local guide, and you might wind up on TV!
The Amazing Race 6 will be broadcast on CBS in the USA in the fall of 2004, probably starting almost immediately after the finale of "The Amazing Race 5", in a new time slot on Saturday nights.
Only citizens of the USA have been considered as participants in "The Amazing Race". No Canadians need apply. I didn't make this rule, but I don't expect it to change. Please direct all comments, bouquets, and brickbats (not really, that's a joke) concerning the rules to CBS-TV and/or to the producer of "The Amazing Race", Elise Doganieri, World Race Productions, Inc., 4120 Del Rey Avenue, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292, USA.
And as always, if what you want is a trip, rather than a race, don't wait until you get picked for the cast of a TV show. Just buy yourself a ticket (and a copy of The Practical Nomad: How to Travel Around the World, of course) and do it! It's easier and cheaper than you think, and tens of thousands of people do it every year.
I also got lots of feedback, in blog comments and Usenet postings and by e-mail, from travellers and travel agents (a surprising number of whom turn out to be reading this blog) on my analysis of CRS deregulation and the different responses to flight queries given by computerized reservations systems used by travel agents and by retail Web sites, even when they have the same owners.
Some people asked about ITA Software (which found better conections than some other retail airfare Web sites, but not the optimum ones for the racers), and whether it is "the search engine for Orbitz.com". It's not exactly: ITA Software licenses some software to Orbitz.com, but Orbitz.com has turned off some of its functionality so as to produce higher prices, as I've previously reported after seeing ITA Software demonstrate one of the disabled options.
Orbitz.com power user and amateur travel agent John Levine, who writes a FAQ of long standing in the "rec.travel.air" Usenet newsgroup and is on Orbitz.com's "Consumer Advisory Committee", figured out a way to get Orbitz.com to display the optimal connections. But it requires that, instead of selecting the racers' actual criteria (a known departure time), one search by arrival time, to the nearest hour.
If you guess the right hour, it shows up at the top of the list of "shortest flights". But if you select "anytime", or if you select the departure time, it's not included at all, even though more than 100 slower options are shown.
Maybe it's a bug -- John says Orbitz.com has recently "upgraded" its software. But it's very strange that "anytime" doesn't actually show all flights that Orbitz.com would prioritize for specific times . And Orbitz.com's user interface seems much better suited for those customers who are brand-loyal to one or another of Orbitz.com's airline owners, and want a specific airline regardless of how slow, indirect, or expensive it is, rather than the more typical, less loyal travellers who want either the fastest flights or the cheapest flights, regardless of airline or route.
[Addendum, 26 July 2004: Applications open through 11 August 2004 for "The Amazing Race 7".]
[Further addendum, 3 October 2004: How to apply for "The Amazing Race 8".]Link | Posted by Edward on Sunday, 11 July 2004, 21:45 ( 9:45 PM)