I'm writing from the road so for this edition, Talking Travel will be brief but hopefully informative this time. Starting Thursday, look for a few surprises coming over the next couple of columns, including a big comparison, a scouting trip, and, well, whatever else I think up.

The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, followed by July's shoot-down of MH17 has predictably devastated the airline. According to this article, the carrier was already losing money prior to those two events, and now is burning through cash reserves at the rate of about USD 2 million a day. Malaysia Airlines already announced it will go private – the big question is will it just go bust? Think it can't happen? The airline formerly known as Swissair never recovered from the crash of its flight 111 over the Nova Scotia coast in September 1998.

Grand Mercure has opened its second hotel in Beijing, the Grand Mercure Dongcheng. We found this announcement interesting because we weren't really aware of the first, the Grand Mercure Beijing. Regardless, welcome to the neighborhood, learn more about the new hotel here

More on this on Thursday, but following 12 hours on a United Airlines flight that had no in-seat power and no individual entertainment system, allow me to reveal half of the Talking Travel Golden Rule of FlyingNever trust an airline to entertain you. You shouldn't trust them to do one other thing, but I'll write about that in-depth on Thursday.

Until then, one road flat safe.

Photo: CBS News

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