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Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Top Travel Service: Dial7.com (212-777-777). I love this New York City area car service -- they are efficient, have great cars and drivers, and cost no more than cabs. When I call I get an operator that recognizes my phone and quickly makes a reservation. They are always on time even to hard to find addresses in Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. I wish there was a worldwide Dial7.

Worst Travel Service: United Airlines' disastrously bad voice recognition nightmare 'customer service.' This is how they treat people attempting to spend $600?

Best Meeting to Plane Experience: At the spectacular new downtown train station in Hong Kong you can check your bag through to your final destination and take a high-speed train to the new airport.

Worst Meeting to Plane: wow, take your pick. How about Manhattan to JFK on a rainy Friday; or Denver to DIA (which, I think, is located in Kansas); but worst of all is probably DC to IAD -- traffic is bad, security lines are long, and then a bus ride to an ugly terminal.

Best Airport: China went all out for the Olympics -- Beijing and Shanghai are both spectacular, spacious, and efficient.

Worst Airport: Take your pick of third world facilities: Nairobi, LAX, LaGuardia.

Best Airline: Emirates coach service is better than most US carrier's first class.

Worst Airline: US Airways bad imitation of Southwest including $2 for a drink of water.

Best Hotel Lobby: Hudson New York. The unmarked door and escalator deliver you to a dark, funky lobby with lots of conversation nooks.

Worst Hotel Lobby: take your pick from the Sheratons and Hiltons playing world beat trying to imitate the W.

Best Red-Eye: is there such a thing? For a Seattleite, Alaska's direct to Reagan is super convenient.

Worst Red-Eye: not many choices from San Diego. Jet Blue has a cheap flight to JFK but it leaves at 9pm usually arrives at 4:30am -- 3 hours before most breakfast places open in Manhattan.

Best I-5 Stretch: I've driven the left coast at least a half a dozen times in the last two years. Mt. Shasta is certainly the highlight. Get off the highway and drive through the mountain towns of Dunsmuir or Mt Shasta and get a burger and shake.

Worst I-5 Stretch: that's easy -- the drive from Bakersfield to Stockton is long, hot, and ugly.

Add your best/worst travel comments and have a great Memorial Day!

 

Follow Tom Vander Ark on Twitter: www.twitter.com/tvanderark