Photo Of The Day: Sunrise At Monument Valley

Utah’s Monument Valley is home to some of the most iconic rock formations on earth, formations that have played host to numerous nature lovers, photographers and filmmakers who come to soak in their visual beauty. Today’s photo, taken by Flickr user oilfighter, offers us a magnificent and unique look at these world-famous geological oddities. Taken at sunrise, the two lone rock pinnacles lie in shadow, accentuated by the warm yellows and smoky oranges that herald the coming of a new day.

Taken any great sunrise photos during your travels? Why not share them on our Gadling group on Flickr? We might just pick one of yours as our Photo of the Day.

2011 Airline Quality Ratings – AirTran at number one

airline qualityThe 2011 Airline Quality Ratings (AQR) were just released, and AirTran topped the list at number one. The Atlanta based air line got top marks in the study that accounts for on time arrivals, mishandled baggage, complaints, and other metrics. The study only includes airlines in the United States and provides interesting statistics about the overall quality of domestic air travel.

The main form of complaint involved flight problems, followed by baggage. While overall complaints went up about 30% from 2009 to 2010, overall quality rating also went up marginally. This could be due to the communication channel widening to include new forms of customer feedback. AirTran handled baggage the best with only 1.63 bags mishandled per 1000 passengers. American Eagle was at the other end of the spectrum with 7.15 bags mishandled per 1000 passengers. Of all the airlines listed, Hawaiian Airlines topped the list in on time arrival. Over 92% of their flights landed on time. The full report can be viewed here.

AQR Rankings – Domestic Airlines
16. American Eagle
15. Atlantic Southeast
14. Comair
13. Mesa Air
12. United
11. American Airlines
10. Skywest9. Frontier
8. Continental
7. Delta
6. U.S. Airways
5. Southwest
4. Alaska
3. Jet Blue
2. Hawaiian
1. AirTran

flickr image via Bob B. Brown

Get everything you want in Vail this summer

I don’t know what it is about The Arrabelle at Vail Square, but that property knows how to put an interesting deal together. The RockResort property is adept at finding new and unusual ways to make itself even more attractive (which is hard to do when you consider the quality of the property and amenities). The latest gig is offered in partnership with Kessler Canyon, a wildlife retreat and luxury resort. So, prepare to head out to Colorado for six nights, all-inclusive, for a diverse experience that will take you from the mountains to the mesas.

The package allows for a customizable itinerary, so it’s not as confining as most all-inclusive packages. You can have a blast in Vail, then disappear into the Rocky Mountains for a while before heading down to De Beque to experience the mesas (the last being a somewhat magical concept to a child of the northeast who has never seen this type of natural “structure”). The list of activities is long and includes golf, rafting, off-road tours, horseback riding and hiking. If outdoors isn’t your thing, lean toward more luxurious activities such as spa treatments and wine tours.

The price may seem a bit steep at $750 per person per night, but it becomes pretty amazing when you keep in mind that it covers everything – including food and booze. The property will also take you to and from the airport (a major headache if you have to deal with it on your own.

If this turns you on, don’t put it off. You have to travel by August 23, 2009 to take advantage of this deal.

Bring your car: America’s 10 least walkable cities

It may come as no surprise that San Francisco ranks as America’s #1 walkable city, but what about the rest of the country? After compiling a list of the “walkability” of 40 American cities, Walk Score gives us a good idea of what cities are pedestrian friendly and which ones require cars. The bottom ten cities on the list give us a few places where pedestrians are far and few between and driving is the name of the game (read: expect to spend a lot of money on gas). So where can you plan on packing away your walking shoes and donning your driving cap?

  1. Jacksonville
  2. Nashville
  3. Charlotte
  4. Indianapolis
  5. Oklahoma City
  6. Memphis
  7. Kansas City
  8. Fort Worth
  9. El Paso
  10. Mesa

The listing of cities does however lay out their most walkable neighborhoods, so if you’re planning a trip to one of these places, give it a look.

[Via Huffington Post Green]