Thursday, October 2, 2014

'Lifehack' airport security lines? Not just yet

A new app designed to tell travelers which airport security checkpoints have the shortest lines has a long way to go before it’s ready to take the active runway.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Tips for smoother air travel

A recently published book written by travel industry veteran Steffan Ileman contains a number of tips that can help make your next airplane trip smoother and more hassle-free.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Two airlines launch short-term sales

Alaska Airlines and Frontier both announced sales on Sept. 30 targeting very different markets for very different reasons.

Traveling abroad? Leave your smartphone at home

When traveling overseas with a cell phone or smartphone, the concern most often cited is potentially high international roaming fees. But one industry expert says a far greater concern ought to be the phone’s physical and cybersecurity, and he is urging travelers to leave their smartphones at home.

Monday, September 29, 2014

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.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Air traffic control center fire causes major flight disruptions nationwide

An arson fire at an air traffic control center in metropolitan Chicago has caused major headaches for fliers traveling to or through Chicago and, to a somewhat lesser extent, to travelers nationwide.

Friday, September 26, 2014

A crab dinner? In San Francisco? Who'd have thought...

With the start of Dungeness crab season only about a month away, restaurants in San Francisco are gearing up and getting the word out about the best places to tuck into this delectable delicacy.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

23 interesting (and potentially useful) travel facts

One of the great things about the Internet is that is can easily connect people whose interests are similar. In that vein, I received an e-mail from Ramon van Meer who runs LetsFlyCheaper.com, luxury travel consultants with offices in San Ramon, California and Gordon, New South Wales, Australia. Ramon wanted to share his video of "23 Interesting and Potentially Useful Travel Facts" with readers of TheTravelPro.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Are airline seats really that tight?

Perhaps the biggest recurring complaint about air travel in the U.S., is how darned uncomfortable it is to be crammed in like sardines for the length of the flight. That aspect of air travel has lead to several recent confrontations and, with companies like Airbus seeking patents on seating that is even more Spartan, it is likely a continue to be a sore spot for some time to come.

But how tight are those seats, really?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Worthwhile and worth(less) books on travel

Whether working for a major national publication or broadcast network or writing for one’s own blog, journalists receive an almost amazing number of book “pitches.” Some of the publications pitched are worth reading, a few are worth keeping, but many aren’t fit for fireplace fodder.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Alaska Airlines launches daily service between Seattle and Albuquerque

Seattle-based Alaska Airlines (NYSE:ALK) has begun daily nonstop service between Seattle (SEA) and Albuquerque, New Mexico (ABQ), making the city the fifth new city to be served from the airline’s Seattle hub since June.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Town in California's wine country stakes claim of pet-friendliness

Sometimes the most interesting coincidences just happen. Within minutes of my recent post discussing “pet-friendly” vs. “pet-tolerant” hotels, I received an e-mail on behalf of the town of Yountville, California, telling me just how darned pet-friendly it is.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Airline fares plummet in August, now 3 percent below last year

A significant decline in airline fares contributed to a slight decline in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in August, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced Sept. 17.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

'Pet friendly' or just 'pet tolerant'?

Is that hotel you're considering really "pet friendly" or does it merely allow pets? There is a difference, and it can be significant.

Monday, September 15, 2014

VANCOUVER, WA: New DoubleTree Hotel

When I pulled up to the DoubleTree Hotel off Mill Plain Blvd., in Vancouver, Washington, my heart sank. Clearly, this had been a lower echelon property that had been rebranded a DoubleTree. What had I signed on for?

Friday, September 12, 2014

McKay Cottage - Bend, Oregon's best breakfasts!

During a recent visit to central Oregon, my wife and I decided to venture out for breakfast rather than take the easy way out and eat at our hotel. Were we ever glad we did!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

You won't believe the airline seats Airbus has designed

Just when you thought it commercial air travel couldn’t get any worse, European aircraft manufacturer Airbus has filed a patent application for what could be the world’s least-comfortable airline seats.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

BEND, OR: Hilton Garden Inn - A very pleasant surprise

I booked a night at the Hilton Garden Inn in the Old Mill District of Bend, Oregon for a recent weekend visit when I learned that our first choice hotel was completely booked. As it turns out, we may have found our new favorite hotel in Bend.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Ryanair to cram more passengers into new 737 Max 200

Low-cost carrier Ryanair, which boasts "Europe's lowest fares," will be cramming more passengers than ever into the new 737 Max 200 aircraft it just ordered from manufacturer Boeing (NYSE:BA).

Southwest Airlines unveils new livery, logo, and airport experience

Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) has introduced an update to its iconic brand that includes a new aircraft livery, new logo and airport experience.

PORTLAND, OR: Gustav’s/Der Rheinlander for authentic German food

Craving some good German food since my December 2013 visit to Frankfurt and München was rapidly becoming a distant memory, I decided to introduce my wife to the fare at Gustav’s/Der Rheinlander during a recent visit to Portland, Oregon. We have both already vowed to return!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Report details ancillary revenue's role in keeping airlines profitable

A survey released in July showed that, in 2013, five U.S. airlines took in more than $13bn in so-called “ancillary revenue.” Now, more detail is available about the revenue airlines gain from non-ticket sources.

GRESHAM, OR: Hampton Inn

During a recent trip to see aging friends in central Oregon, we wanted to get just a bit closer than usual before stopping for the night and decided to try the Hampton Inn in Gresham, Oregon, just outside Portland. We were quite pleased with what it provided.

Friday, September 5, 2014

10 tips for women traveling alone

As sexist as it may sound, women traveling alone, whether on business or for pleasure, are at greater risk than men traveling solo.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Alaska Airlines fumbles the ball with latest Wilson promotion

A promotion launched by Alaska Airlines on the eve of the opening of the 2014 NFL season misses the mark rather dramatically.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Knee Defender Incident: Airlines should have seen this coming

By now, you’ve probably heard the story about the United Airlines flight that was diverted in mid-route because two passengers got into a squabble over intrusions into personal space. The airlines should have seen this coming.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Cathay Pacific to launch first service connecting New England and Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific Airways will begin four-times-weekly non-stop service from Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) to Hong Kong (HKG) in May 2015, connecting New England directly to Hong Kong for the first time.

Alaska Airlines commences nonstop service between Seattle and Baltimore

Alaska Airlines began round-trip service Sept. 2 between Seattle (SEA) and Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI), complementing the carrier’s existing service to Reagan National Airport (DCA) from three West Coast cities.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Thursday, August 28, 2014

United offers smartphone access to Uber, with conditions

Chicago-based United Airlines (NYSE:UAL) is officially embracing the so-called “ridesharing” service Uber, even as some airport officials and others call for sanctions against the company and similar operations.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fly European airlines for greater protection in the event of flight delays

If you’re planning to fly to or within Europe, you will want to know about a European law that provides specific protections for travelers whose flights are delayed or cancelled.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Alaska Airlines launches two-pronged award sale

Alaska Airlines has kicked off a two-pronged fall award sale that will benefit members of its Mileage Plan frequent flier program.

Monday, August 25, 2014

United upgrades premium-class meals

Back in the day, young women were given the advice that, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Apparently, what’s old is new again as Chicago-based United Airlines (NYSE:UAL) recently announced it was upgrading the lunch, dinner and beverage choices as it attempts to reach the hearts of its domestic upmarket passengers.

Friday, August 22, 2014

World's least sincere apology letter

Chicago-based United Airlines (NYSE:UAL) has sent what could well be the world's "least sincere" apology letter: a form letter with critical information -- including the customer's name! -- omitted.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Survey: Getting around the U.S. costs less than many countries worldwide

A survey conducted by the on-line platform GoEuro.com shows that trips by train, bus and plane in the U.S. are below the middle of the range when compared to 50 other countries across five continents on a dollars-per-distance basis.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Top U.S. Senator opens inquiry into airline fees

The chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation has launched an inquiry into how airlines disclose certain additional fees to consumers.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Air fares dip sharply in July

A sharp decline in the index for airline fares helped keep the July Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI) nearly flat, at a seasonally adjusted increased of just 0.1 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Monday, August 18, 2014

Horizon Air to launch service from Vegas to Mammoth Lakes

Alaska Air Group is offering bargain airfares for twice-weekly service it will operate between Las Vegas (LAS) and Mammoth Lakes during the first three months of 2015.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Willamette Valley Vineyards announces ‘Why I Love Pinot’ winner

A resident of Portland, Oregon is the winner of the Willamette Valley Vineyards 10th annual ‘Why I Love Oregon Pinot Noir’ contest.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Delta moves LGA-BOS shuttle to new terminal Nov.2

Delta Air Lines’ New York-Boston shuttle will move from the Marine Air Terminal at LaGuardia Airport (LGA) to Terminal C effective Nov. 2.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

When flying 'First Class' isn't enough

For those who insist upon a higher level of upmarket air travel than is available in the so-called “first class” cabins of domestic airliners, travel aboard a private jet may provide precisely the right experience.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Getting the Most out of Social Media

Social media -- including sites like Twitter, Yelp!, TripAdvisor, UrbanSpoon, and blogs like this one -- are perhaps today's most popular ways to gather information about things to do, places to see, restaurants to experience, hotels to stay. But the dirty little secret about social media is this: Using it effectively takes work.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

365 Guide delivers dining deals in Manhattan

When I first visited Manhattan, ranked by one firm as 2013's most expensive area in the U.S., we stayed on the Upper West Side at a small hotel with knowledgeable personnel who directed us to excellent, but economical, local eateries that helped stretch our vacation dollars. Now, there’s a handy little book that can help you do the same thing.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Alaska Airlines kicks off annual fare sale

Seattle-based Alaska Airlines kicked off its annual, week-long fare sale on Aug. 5, offering bargain fares throughout its network stretching from Philadelphia (PHL) to San Francisco (SFO) to Maui (OGG).

Emirates to halt flights to northern Iraq

Amid continuing unrest in Iraq, Emirates, the Middle East's largest airline, announced Aug. 5 that it will be halting flights to the northern Iraqi city of Irbil.

Monday, August 4, 2014

SkyTeam alliance launches Asia and Southwest Pacific pass

SkyTeam Alliance, the global airline alliance of which Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) and AeroMexico are the major North American members, has introduced a pass aimed at making travel around Asia and the Southwest Pacific more convenient and affordable.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Southwest Airlines, SeaWorld pull plug on marketing partnership

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) and SeaWorld announced July 31 that they have decided to end their 25-year-long marketing partnership.

Escape from New York, Jersey style

No matter how much you love where you live, there are times when you simply need a change of scene. With that in mind, the city of Jersey City has launched a campaign to encourage residents of New York City’s five boroughs, as well as visitors to The Big Apple, to take a short train ride and spend a day in the city that has claimed the nickname “The Sixth Borough.”

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

MIAMI BEACH: Beverly Hills has nothing on this neighborhood

If you thought the words "self-absorbed," "plastic," and "materialistic" applied primarily to bastions like Beverly Hills, think again.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Google Street View goes 'off-roading'

Google Street View, the service that has been both praised and pilloried for allowing virtual visits to virtually any street in North America and most around the world, has gone ‘off-roading’ in ways that travelers could find beneficial.