Friday, April 24, 2015

InterContinental Hotels adds new line of high-end amenities

The upmarket hospitality chain InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts has signed an agreement to add a new high-end amenity brand in InterContinental hotels across Europe.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

ANA to upgrade domestic economy seating

Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) has teamed up with Toyota Boshoku Corporation, a manufacturer of automobile interiors and seating, to develop new economy class seats for its Boeing 767 (NYSE:B) aircraft that fly the airline’s domestic routes within Japan.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

When things go wrong: taking care of the business traveler

In the hospitality industry it is a common, if not standard, practice to offer some sort of compensation when things go amiss: either a round of drinks or a complimentary dessert when something is wrong with a meal, or discount when the bad experience involves a hotel room or hotel stay. Such gestures are fine when the aggrieved party is paying their own way, but it becomes a different matter when the person who is inconvenienced is a business traveler.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The world's most powerful passports

Passports issued by the United States have long been considered the most powerful passports in the world. Now, though, four other countries’ travel documents have surpassed the U.S., according to one ranking. Which ones? The answer may surprise you.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Tips for tipping while traveling

Most of us understand that, in North America, we tip people who provide us with a service, whether that is the waitperson or bartender at our favorite restaurant; our barber or hair stylist; the taxi or car service driver. But when we’re traveling, the range of possibilities can change in ways we might not have even considered.

Friday, April 17, 2015

ANA debuts Star Wars livery on new Dreamliner

Also launches ‘Take-Off Mode’ app for anxious fliers 


When Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) takes delivery of its newest 787-9 Dreamliner, it will have a paint job unlike any other plane produced.

Airline fares drop slightly in March CPI

Airline fares in March declined for the fourth time in the last five months according to the latest figures on the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Viking Ocean Cruises launches maiden voyage

Viking Ocean Cruises’ first ship left Istanbul, Turkey for Venice on April 15, marking its maiden voyage while simultaneously launching the first entirely new cruise line in more than a decade.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Finally, an airline gets it: Southwest selects larger seats for new 737s

Dallas-based Southwest Airlines announced that it has selected innovative new seats for its future 737-800s and 737 MAX aircraft that will give its passengers (wait for it) … more room!

Menzies Aviation: Trapped ramp agent 'elected to go to sleep'

Statement adds detail, raises questions about the incident


The employer of the ramp agent who was in the cargo hold of an Alaska Airlines jet when it took off from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) on April 13 says the incident does not appear to be accidental.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Honolulu prepares for 13th annual 'SPAM Jam'

Businesses in the Waikiki area of Honolulu are busily preparing for one of Hawaii’s wackiest festivals: the 13th Annual Waikiki SPAM JAM® that will take place on Saturday, May 2.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Alaska Airlines flight takes off with ramp agent in hold

Alaska Airlines is investigating how Flight 448 from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) took off for Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Tuesday, April 13, with a ramp agent still in the cargo hold.

Three terrific days in Bangkok

By Heather T

Visiting Thailand would not be complete without spending a few days in its capital, Bangkok. Granted, the city is really huge and you would probably need a whole week to fully explore it, but most people don’t have enough vacation time to do so. To help you plan your holiday in Bangkok, I’ve compiled a list of must-see places with helpful tips and directions to make the most of your time.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Royal Caribbean takes delivery of Anthem of the Seas

Royal Caribbean International on April 10 officially took delivery of its 23rd ship, Anthem of the Seas, at a signing ceremony in Bremerhaven, Germany, home to the ship’s builder Meyer Werft shipyard.

Royal Caribbean declares tax holiday for US vacationers

Royal Caribbean International cruise line is offering a deal that may take some of the sting out of the tax season. With the April 15 income tax filing deadline quickly approaching, the cruise line announced it will pay the taxes of those who book a new cruise.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

MIAMI BEACH: No tipping necessary (it's included!)

If you're traveling to Miami Beach, Florida, you may find it helpful to know that most of the bars and restaurants in the area add an automatic gratuity (tip) to their checks. The establishment's tip policy is usually noted somewhere on the menu and, if an automatic gratuity is included, it will be indicated on the bill by the word "gratuity," "service," or something similar.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Airlines woo members with wild, weird, wonderful rewards

If you think frequent flier miles are only useful for flying, think again! A recently released report shows otherwise.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Virgin America to begin upmarket service from SFO to Hawaii

Virgin America, the carrier that once used the apropos positioning statement, “A breath of fresh airline,” will begin flying between San Francisco (SFO) and two popular destinations in Hawaii this fall.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Delta Air Lines to launch service to Columbia

Delta Air Lines will expand its network in Latin America in December when it adds service from its largest hub in Atlanta (ATL) to Medellin (MDE) and Cartagena (CTG), Colombia.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Rosewood Los Cabos resort to reopen June 4

The upmarket Los Cabos resort Las Ventanas Al Paraiso, a Rosewood property that was damaged by Hurricane Odile in mid-September 2014, is nearing completion of the necessary repairs and will reopen June 4.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Delta, Aeromexico form joint venture to serve Mexico

Delta Air Lines and Grupo Aeromexico are seeking regulatory permission for a new joint venture for flights between the United States and Mexico.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Alaska Airlines offers bargain fares from California to Mexico

For the next week, Alaska Airlines is offering bargain fares to mark its new nonstop flights from John Wayne Airport (SNA) in Orange County, California to Los Cabos (SJD) and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (PVR).

Monday, March 30, 2015

ANA announces new head of Americas operations

Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) has appointed a new head of its operations in the Americas. Hideki Kunugi will assume the post of Senior Vice President, the Americas, effective April 1.

BaconFest debuts in the mid-Atlantic

How do you start an article about bacon? With Homer Simpson’s simple utterance, “Mmmm, bacon!” or a more thoughtful line from a comedian who described the food’s place in the culinary landscape by proclaiming, “Bacon; it’s what we wrap other foods in to make those other foods better.”?

Friday, March 27, 2015

Alaska employee helps stranded passenger; calls it ‘paying it forward’

As a career journalist, I love getting a scoop and am, quite honestly, a little jealous when someone else beats me to it. That said, I am more than happy to share this story about a proactive employee of Alaska Airlines who helped a passenger who was stranded by a competing airline get home.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

OPINION: A reality check for Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines’ latest ad campaign caused me to do some digging into how the airline represents itself to the flying public. What I found is an airline that is focusing on glory days that have long passed instead of figuring out how to market what it does - and what it is - today. With that, I would like to expand on my premise and offer the carrier some unsolicited advice.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Viking Cruises adds 12 new river vessels

Viking River Cruises continues to dominate the river cruise industry with the christening and addition of a dozen new ships to its fleet of river cruise vessels.

BC's Okanagan Valley hosts wine and food fests

Thanks to a delightful wine-tasting trip through British Columbia last fall, the email immediately grabbed my attention: Starting in late April, the Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley will be presenting what are being called the province’s “most eclectic food festivals.”

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Airline fares up slightly in February CPI

Airline fares reversed a two-month decline in February and rose 0.2 percent during the second month of 2015, according to the latest figures on the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Searching for my roots in the Polish countryside

Shortly before departing for my recent trip to Poland, I found a document my paternal grandmother had filled out on which she has listed her place of birth as “Zatoka, Poland.” A quick Internet search uncovered a town named Zatoka about 50 kilometers east of Kraków, a city I’d planned to visit. “While I’m in the neighborhood,” I thought, “I’ll see if I can find my grandmother’s birth records.”

While I did not unearth exactly what I was looking for, I nonetheless consider the attempt time well spent.

Three days to get two-for-one airfare between NYC and Milan

From now through March 26, Emirates is offering two-for-one special fares for flights between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Milan’s Malpensa Airport (MXP).

Friday, March 20, 2015

Guide to Kraków and Warsaw (now in PDF!)

The four-part Poland Travel Guide published earlier this week on TheTravelPro is now available here as a single PDF document.

SKYTRAX awards, renews 5-Star ratings

Four airlines have retained their 5-Star ratings from airline and airport review specialists SKYTRAX, while three other airlines have had the honor bestowed anew for 2015.

Photos from Poland

The slide show below is a sampling of the many photographs I took during my recent trip to Warsaw and Kraków, Poland.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Poland travel guide - Part 4

If you’re planning a trip to Poland, there are a number of little things I noticed during my first trip to Warsaw and Kraków, including some things I hadn’t anticipated. I am pleased to share them with you today.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Poland travel guide - Part 3

Following my first trip to Warsaw and Kraków, I wrote this guide to offer some suggestions about things to do in preparation for your trip, ways to navigate the two cities, and things you'll encounter that you might not have anticipated. This installment addresses getting around on the ground in Poland.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Poland travel guide - Part 2

I wrote this guide following my first trip to Warsaw and Kraków to offer some suggestions about things to do in preparation for your trip, ways to navigate the two cities, and things you will encounter that you might not have anticipated. This installment addresses facets of the two cities that you will encounter once you've arrived.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Preparing for Poland - a travel guide

Planning a trip to Poland? I wrote this guide following my first trip to Warsaw and Kraków to offer some suggestions about things to do in preparation for your trip, ways to navigate the two cities, and things you will encounter that you might not have anticipated.

Friday, March 13, 2015

KRAKÓW, POLAND: Wieliczka Salt Mine

Less than 15 kilometers from central Kraków is the industrial town of Wieliczka, home to an attraction that might accurately be described as a wonder of the world: the Wieliczka salt mine.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

When traveling, take your Wi-Fi with you

It seems that every time I take a trip, I find a new piece of electronic gear I absolutely must bring along. On my most recent trip, that new piece of gear was a mobile hot spot.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Touring war-torn Poland

I have relatives who lived through World War II in Eastern Europe, and I remember our family falling silent as we listened to their stories. But no matter how vivid and compelling oral histories are, seeing historical sites with your own eyes creates an impression that mere words alone, whether written or spoken, simply cannot convey.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

WARSAW, POLAND: Maison Charlotte Restaurant

Toward the end of my recent trip to Poland, after more than a week of hotel breakfasts, it was time to venture out and find a more interesting morning meal. An admitted “breakfast snob,” I wanted something special – and I certainly found it in Maison Charlotte.

Alaska Airlines anncounces new flights to NYC; more to Mexico

Seattle-based Alaska Airlines on March 10 announced the commencement of one new domestic route and its application for two new flights between the U.S. and Mexico.

Monday, March 9, 2015

WARSAW, POLAND: H15 Boutique Hotel

I checked in to the H15 Boutique Hotel in central Warsaw less than 12 hours ago, and I’m already in love. I’m not sure they’re going to be able to get me to leave!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Seeking out 'non-war' Poland

So much happened to Poland during World War II that visitors to this Eastern European country have to make a concerted effort if they wish to seek out places of interest that do not specifically relate to the war, the Nazi occupation, Hitler, or the repression and extermination of the region's Jews.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Delta jet skids off runway at LGA

Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) flight 1086, an MD-88 from Atlanta (ATL) to New York's LaGuardia Airport (LGA), skidded off of Runway 13 while landing in heavy snowfall just after 11 a.m. Eastern time Thursday morning, March 5.

WARSAW, POLAND: Polonia Palace Hotel

The Polonia Palace Hotel in central Warsaw clearly deserves the accolades it has been accorded. And if I had to choose, I would say it was my favorite of the three hotels at which I stayed during my recent trip to Warsaw.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

KRAKÓW, POLAND: Metropolitan Boutique Hotel

I chose the Metropolitan Boutique Hotel for my visit to Kraków because it was the city’s top-rated hotel on TripAdvisor at the time I made my reservation. While it is indeed very nice, it lacks some of the attributes I expect in an upmarket property.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

KRAKÓW, POLAND: Restaurant Starka

Located in the Kazimierz, the city’s Jewish Quarter, Starka turned out to be so good, it was the only place I ate dinner while in Kraków.

Monday, March 2, 2015

WARSAW, POLAND: Hilton Hotel & Convention Centre

For my first night in Poland – a country whose language I do not speak and which I had never before visited – I wanted the comfort of more or less familiar surroundings so I could recover from my jet-lag and get my bearings before plunging headlong into my next adventure. The Hilton Hotel & Convention Centre provided just was I was seeking.