Friday, May 22, 2015

Airline fares continue to drop in April CPI

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

A Glauss-ary: How to Talk in Australia

By Drew Snider

Buying bread from a man in Brussels,
He was six-foot-four and full of muscles
I said, “Do you speak-a my language?”
He just smiled and gave me a Vegemite sandwich
-- from “Down Under” by Men at Work


Yesterday, I bought a jar of Vegemite. My local drug store, like many drug stores these days, carries groceries, computer and camera equipment, cosmetics, books, small appliances and, if you hunt hard enough, you may find some drugs. (True story: I actually had to ask a clerk where I would find the Tylenol.)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Low-cost carriers lead J.D. Power list in customer satisfaction

Alaska Airlines highest among traditional carriers for eighth straight year 


Low-cost carriers JetBlue and Southwest Airlines had the two highest scores in the J.D. Power 2015 North America Airline Satisfaction Study, with Alaska Airlines ranking third overall and highest among traditional carriers.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The latest in summer travel gadgets

It seems that every time I travel, I learn of a new technology aimed at making travel easier or more convenient. So, with the summer travel season upon us, I offer this list of some of the new gadgets that could be finding their way to your suitcase or your hotel room.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Flying this summer? Watch what you photograph

This recap of airline photo policies, originally posted in March 2013, is being updated as we approach the 2015 Memorial Day weekend. I have asked each airline to provide its updated policy and will update each entry as the airline provides the requested information.  

If you are among the millions of people who will be taking to the skies during the upcoming summer travel season, it would be a good idea to review your airline's policy about photography before heading to the airport.

Monday, May 18, 2015

UPDATE: Trapped ramp agent fired

Statement adds little detail


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 has been fired following completion of an internal investigation.

ANA to launch eighth phase of ‘Tastes of Japan’

Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) will launch the eighth phase of its “Tastes of Japan” campaign in June to introduce ANA customers to products from Toyama, Nara and Fukuoka prefectures.

Friday, May 15, 2015

OPINION: Calling B.S. on Alaska Airlines

The spin doctors at Seattle-based Alaska Airlines should be charged with malpractice for issuing a news release with the headline, “Alaska Airlines Eases Travel with Debut of Preferred Plus Seating Selection.”

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Southwest, airberlin top award seat availability survey

Alaska Airlines and Avianca significantly improved over 2014


The results of the sixth annual survey of which airlines are the best when it comes to using your frequent flier miles show value-oriented carriers continue to lead the pack, but also showed improvements among larger carriers.

Upmarket Cote d’Azur hotel heralds arrival of spring/summer season

The Four Seasons Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat on the French Riviera has marked the start of the spring/summer season with the reopening of its seafront Club Dauphin.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Business travelers turning to Uber over taxis - report

A report by travel and expense management software provider Certify shows some surprising trends in business spending over the first quarter of 2015.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

UPDATE: Making the most of Maui

Despite numerous trips to Hawaii since the late 1980s, my first trip to Maui didn't happen until September 2013. Now that I have made my second trip to The Valley Isle, I have updated my original post intended to help first-time visitors make the most of their time on the island.

LAHAINA, MAUI: Star Noodle update

Among the high points of our trips to Maui have been lunches at Star Noodle, the restaurant in Lahaina previously presided over by Top Chef finalist Sheldon Simeon.

Monday, May 11, 2015

10 minutes with Chef Sheldon Simeon

During my recent trip to Maui, I had the opportunity to meet and interview Top Chef finalist Sheldon Simeon at his new restaurant, MiGRANT Maui, in the Marriott Wailea Resort.

WAILEA, MAUI: MiGRANT Maui

One of the highlights of my recent trip to Maui was meeting Top Chef finalist Sheldon Simeon and eating as his new restaurant, MiGRANT Maui, located in the Marriott Wailea Resort on the island’s lee shore.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Excellence Group to build new adults-only resort in Dominican Republic

Excellence Group Luxury Hotels & Resorts will break ground later this year on its second adults-only resort in the Dominican Republic. Excellence El Carmen Resort is expected to open its doors to guests before the end of 2016.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

WAIKIKI: No longer a 'tropical paradise'

Every time I visit, I witness Waikiki's continued morphing from the tropical paradise it once was to the "tropical playground" it is today.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Courting Cuba: US authorizes ferry service

The Obama Administraiton on May 4 approved the first ferry service in decades between the United States and Cuba.

HONOLULU: The Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort

Although it had been years since my last stay at the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort, I recalled it being an excellent experience, so my expectations for my recent return visit were high. I was not disappointed.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

KIHEI, MAUI: Chez Mēmē

A self-described breakfast snob, I am always on the hunt for a great morning meal. During my most recent trip to Maui, I found one at Chez Mēmē Bistro & Bakery.

Oahu, Hawaii for Foodies

When my wife and I took off for a last-minute trip to Hawaii, we'd planned to get some sun, see a few sights, and take one significant side-trip. It didn't turn out as planned, but what did develop was absolutely delightful. It's amazing how things can change for the better when you're open to it.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Honolulu holds 13th annual homage to Spam

Tens of thousands of locals and tourists rubbed (pork) shoulders (and ham) and smacked their lips along Kalakaua Avenue in the Waikiki area of Honolulu May 2 at the annual festival celebrating the canned luncheon meat that has become a near-staple in the Hawaiian diet.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

2015 Freddie Awards name best airline, hotel loyalty programs

Travelers have spoken and selected their favorite airline and hotel loyalty programs and affinity credit cards in the 27th Annual Freddie Awards.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Alaska Airlines announces new flights to eastern US, Central America

Seattle-based Alaska Airlines will add non-stop service to four destinations in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and the south, as well as two in Central America in the fall of 2015.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

ANA to debut stretch Dreamliner on international routes

Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA), the launch customer for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, will become the first Japanese airline to place the larger 787-9 Dreamliner into international service when it introduces the Boeing 787-9 on its Haneda-Munich (HND-MUC) route on May 5.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Alaska Airlines donates to Nepal relief; offers customers opportunity to join

Seattle-based Alaska Airlines has provided a $10,000 donation to Medical Teams International (MTI) to provide disaster relief in Nepal in the wake of the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck April 25.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

End of season bargains for skiers

With the end of April quickly approaching, so is the end of this winter’s ski season. To make the most of the snow that remains, the condo booking site VacationRoost.com is offering some end-of-season deals for several sites around the U.S. and Canada.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Speeding through security: obtaining a 'known traveler number'

After writing a post about ways to expedite one's journey through airport security, I decided to apply for the credentials that would enable me to use TSA's Pre-Check line consistently rather than occasionally being chosen for Pre-Check because of my frequent flier memberships.

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).