Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tips for smooth(er) holiday air travel

With one of the busiest times of the year for air travel upon us, I thought it would be helpful to share some tips to make your holiday travels, if not exactly “smooth,” at least smoother.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Delta Air Lines continues aggressive growth in Northwest

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines is continuing to aggressively increase its presence in the Seattle market by announcing the commencement of new daily non-stop service from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) to five new destinations.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Follies: 22 fun flight facts

Berlin-based flightright, a company that helps passengers get the compensation they're due when their flight to, from, or within Europe is delayed or cancelled, has compiled some interesting factoids from around the world.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Air fares rise amid flat October CPI

Airline fares rose in October, one of several indexes with increases that offset declines in other indexes, resulting in a seasonally adjusted Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) that was unchanged from the September figure.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Priority Pass: Excellent value for airline club access

As a fan of airline clubs for the respite they offer from the cacophony of the concourse, I am always looking for ways to access them economically. Recently, I learned of another way to make the price of admission more affordable: Priority Pass.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Winter vacation spots prepping for the season

With the start of the holiday season just days away, winter vacation spots are preparing their facilitates and gearing up their people and their P-R for the upcoming onslaught of tourists.

Monday, November 17, 2014

World's best all-inclusive resort

The world’s best all-inclusive resort, as voted by members of TripAdvisor, is in a country most Americans have never visited.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Alaska Airlines begins service to Washington-Dulles Airport

Alaska Airlines will institute daily nonstop service from Seattle to Washington, D.C.’s Dulles International Airport (IAD) on March 11, 2015, giving the Seattle-based carrier’s passengers access to all three of the area’s major airports.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Allegiant adds five destinations, 14 new routes

Low-cost, no-frills carrier Allegiant (NASDAQ: ALGT) is adding five new cities and non-stop jet service on 14 routes to its existing flight network.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

‘Taste of Groupon’ infographic shows food capitals of the U.S.A.

Groupon, the popular purveyor of discount purchases, has published a map depicting what it calls the food capital of the United States.

Monday, November 10, 2014

ANA named Asia-Pacific Airline of the Year

Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) has been named Asia-Pacific Airline of the Year by aviation think-tank CAPA - Centre for Aviation at the recently concluded CAPA Aviation Awards for Excellence in Singapore.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Festival of the Cranes comes to New Mexico

Where you are a bird lover, bird watcher, or simply appreciate the grandeur of nature, take note: a truly awe-inspiring event is about descend, quite literally, on northern New Mexico.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Outrigger relaunches upmarket beach resort brand

Outrigger Enterprises, which operates a range of accommodations in Hawaii and other tropical regions of the world, has relaunched its upmarket beachfront resort brand.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Wending down British Columbia's wine road

Erstwhile residents of the U.S. Pacific Northwest since 1983, we had yet to visit the wine regions of British Columbia. This year, we finally ticked that box on our travel list.

Monday, November 3, 2014

OSOYOOS, BC: Watermark Beach Resort

A two-night stay at the Watermark Beach Resort in Osoyoos, British Columbia was exactly the right way for us to wrap up our recent wine-tasting excursion to Canada’s famed Okanagan Valley.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

KELOWNA, BC: Delta Grand Okanagan Resort and Conference Centre

For our first visit to Canada’s famed Okanagan Valley, we chose to stay at the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort and Conference Centre in Kelowna, a decision that proved an excellent choice indeed.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

VANCOUVER, BC: The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

My first Fairmont experience was in 1973 when I stayed at the historic Mayo Hotel in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which was then part of the Fairmont family, and I have visited several Fairmont properties in Canada and the U.S. in the years since. It was therefore with great expectations and anticipation that I booked a room at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver for part of our recent trip through British Columbia.

Monday, October 27, 2014

VICTORIA, BC: The Magnolia Hotel & Spa Revisited

Revisiting the Magnolia Hotel & Spa in Victoria, BC after a two-year absence I was pleased to see what had changed, but more pleased to see that many things were still the same.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Surfing the shoulder seasons

With Labor Day behind us and the holidays still a couple of months away, the “shoulder season” can be a great time to travel.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

San Antonio named top Texas destination

The readers of Texas Highways magazine have voted, and San Antonio is their favorite destination in the Lone Star State.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Air fares decline; CPI nearly flat in September

Airline fares declined slightly in September, helping offset higher prices for food, shelter and medical care, and contributing to a nearly flat Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Oct. 22.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Embassy Suites Las Vegas Convention Center unveils honeymoon suite

The Embassy Suites Convention Center hotel in Las Vegas has unveiled its honeymoon suite and is making it available to non-honeymooners.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The basics of blogging

This post is a bit of a departure from this blog’s usual focus on upmarket travel. Instead, I’d like to share some tips on blogging in general.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Book holiday travel by Halloween for best deals

For the best prices and the best chance of getting the flights and rooms you want, you’d best make your holiday travel plans before Halloween.

Holland America offers cruise deals

Holland America Line is offering a number of special promotions for the 2015 and 2016 sailing seasons.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

It's leaf-peeping time in the East

Experts are predicting that leaf-peeping season in the East could come a bit early, making the next week prime time to view fall color in one area of the mid-Atlantic.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Getting the most out of social media

I tend bar a few nights a week at The Greek House in Burien, Washington, a friend's restaurant that celebrates its first anniversary this weekend. At least once a night, we welcome new guests who say, "We found you on Yelp!" or another social media site.

For us, that's great, of course. But using social media effectively means more than seeing how many stars a business has received or reading the last two or three reviews. Using social media effectively takes work.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Sailing the seven seas in style

Among the items on our travel “to-do” list is to cruise more often. However, the industry trend toward larger and larger ships is exactly the opposite of what appeals to my wife and me, so it was with great interest that I read the email from Group IST (International Specialty Travel) announcing the launch of Arcadia Small Ship Cruises.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Travel goodies to go

No matter how much you enjoy traveling, there’s no denying it can be stressful. Why add to that stress by trying to make do without things you’re used to using every day? With the panoply of travel gadgets and goodies on the market today, travelers today can keep using their favorite items from home while they’re on the road, for practical reasons as well as personal preference.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

U.S. to add temperature screenings at five airports to combat Ebola

Security checks at five U.S. airports will include temperature screenings of passengers arriving from West Africa as early as this weekend in an effort to combat the Ebola outbreak.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Alaska Airlines launches contest to 'test drive' a 737

Alaska Airlines is celebrating its latest order of Boeing 737-900ER aircraft by launching a contest to ‘test-drive' a 737.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Los Cabos on the rebound from Hurricane Odile

Despite the impact of Hurricane Odile, a Category 3 storm that make landfall in Los Cabos on Sept. 14, the destination is reportedly bouncing back quickly.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Rosewood Beijing to open in mid-October

As an unabashed fan of the Rosewood Hotel Georgia in Vancouver, B.C., I was pleased to learn that  Rosewood Hotels & Resorts® will open its first hotel in China in mid-October when it opens the doors of the 5-Star Rosewood Beijing.

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.