Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Hack may save on airfare, but beware.

When I read the news release announcing that a company had “found an airfare hack that can save passengers 20% or more on flights (in our case 29%)”, I was dubious. As it turns out, my Spidey Sense was spot on and I had good reason to be wary.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Bumped from a flight? Your compensation just got larger

The Department of Transportation has increased the amount of compensation fliers may be entitled to if they are denied boarding.

At what cost Business Class?

I love traveling Business Class. Who wouldn’t? More legroom, better food, better treatment. But those amenities come at an additional cost that varies widely from one airline to the next.

Monday, August 31, 2015

TUKWILA, Wa: Miyabi Sushi

One of my favorite lunches on rainy days is a Japanese bento box. The starter of hot miso soup is just the thing to chase the chills, and the tempura and succulent beef or chicken are excellent next courses. And in the Tukwila area near Southcenter in Seattle, there's no better place for a bento box than Miyabi!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Beijing airports to close Sept. 3

Both airports in Beijing, China will be closed for several hours on Sept. 3 while the city holds a parade commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, and airlines are warning passengers traveling to or through Beijing to expect severe delays.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Emirates launches fare sale from US gateways

Dubai-based Emirates airline is offering bargain fares for flights from ten U.S. gateway cities for travel from Sept. 1 through April 30, 2016.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

New tool gives Delta F/As ability to provide more personalized service

When I saw the headline on the Delta Air Lines news release that read in part, “Bringing humanity … back to the skies,” I was, to say the least, dubious. As I read on, I grew more encouraged about the positive benefits Delta’s newly deployed technology will eventually be able to provide.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Norwegian: A better bargain airline?

Always on the lookout for an airline I have not yet flown, I identified another during a recent trip that took me through Los Angeles International Airport (LAX): Norwegian.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Carnival offers bargain rates on social media packages

Carnival Cruise Lines is offering a “social media Internet package” that offers guests the opportunity to post pictures of their cruise on several social media sites for a bargain rate.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

United restricts access to United Clubs

After facing a one-third reduction in the number of airport club locations available to members of United Airlines’ United Club, members are now facing additional restrictions on how they can use their club memberships.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Rugby World Cup to provide billion-pound boost to U.K. tourism industry

The 2015 Rugby World Cup, which commences on Sept. 18, is expected to generate nearly £1bn for England’s transport and tourism industry.

Airline fares down sharply in July CPI

Airline fares, which rose 2.0 percent in June, reversed course and fell sharply in July 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.

ANA to add more planes in 'Star Wars' livery

Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA), will decorate two more of its planes with Star Wars characters as part of an agreement with The Walt Disney Company (Japan) Ltd., designed to promote the Star Wars movie franchise.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Airline VIP lounges: Comparing the clubs

Airline VIP lounges can be a welcome respite from the cacophony of the airport concourse but they come in all shapes and sizes, and the amenities they offer vary fairly widely.

Monday, August 17, 2015

My Virgin redux

Although I have just completed what was only my second round trip on Virgin America, I can see myself becoming a big fan of the carrier that once referred to itself – appropriately, I think – as “A breath of fresh airline.”

Friday, August 14, 2015

Star Clippers offers special fall Mediterranean cruise

Tall ship specialist Star Clippers is offering a special fall sailing package that includes stops at the Italian island of Sardinia and several ports of call in Spain.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Uber cleared to land at Albuquerque Sunport

The peer-to-peer ride service Uber has received an official, if temporary, blessing to operate at Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ).

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

EDITORIAL: High time to re-regulate U.S. airlines

A friend who knows of my passion for travel came up to me last night and said, "Hey! Did you hear? Spirit Airlines has discontinued its toll-free reservations number!" Turns out, they did that two years ago - in May 2013 - but his shocked attitude is an indication of how fed up people are with the state of air travel and U.S. airlines today.

I say it is well past time to re-regulate those airlines.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

American River Cruises to double capacity in Pacific Northwest

American Cruise Lines will more than double its cruise capacity on two major rivers in the Pacific Northwest area of the United States when it repositions a three-year-old vessel currently plying the waters of the Mississippi River.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Newly upgraded accommodations debut in Waikiki

Visitors to the Waikiki area of Honolulu, Hawaii now have an additional upmarket accommodation to consider: the Embassy Suites by Hilton - Waikiki Beach Walk.

Friday, August 7, 2015

New paddlewheeler to ply the mighty Mississippi

The newest paddlewheeler being built to ply the waters of the mighty Mississippi River launched August 7, three weeks ahead of schedule.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Megaship Norwegian Epic to sail from Port Canaveral in 2016

Norwegian Cruise Line’s largest ship and currently the fifth largest in the world, the Norwegian Epic, will homeport in Port Canaveral, Fla., starting in November 2016.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

American, Alaska Airlines expand Mileage Plan opportunities

Dallas/Ft. Worth-headquartered American Airlines and Seattle-headquartered Alaska Airlines have expanded an agreement that will give Alaska Mileage Plan members the ability to earn and redeem miles on nearly 3,000 more flights currently operated by American’s merger partner US Airways.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

ANA expands Japan-China flights

Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) began selling tickets Tuesday, August 4, for new and expanded flight schedules from Japan to China.

Delta Air Lines stops shipping hunting trophies

Bowing to pressure from a variety of organizations and individuals, Atlanta-headquartered Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) has agreed to stop transporting the trophies acquired by big-game hunters.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Pearl Seas seeks to sail to Cuba

Pearl Seas Cruises, which offers sailings to the Great Lakes, Canadian Maritimes, New England, Caribbean and Panama Canal, plans to add a series of seven- to 10-night cultural voyages to Cuba during the spring of 2016.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Overheard at National Airport

Next time you're at an airport or on an airplane, stop to listen and you'll hear some of the most ridiculous uses of the English language.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Lessons learned from a lost wallet

Losing a wallet or purse can be stressful enough. But when it happens on vacation, particularly when outside of one’s home country, the stress can go absolutely off the charts. Recently, I was party to just such an event, and I thought it would be beneficial to share some of the lessons learned.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Quality connectivity vital to business travel

When I saw the headline of the New York Times’ article, “What do travelers really want? Free hotel Wi-Fi,” I uttered the scatological equivalent of, “Well, duh!” But the article missed an important facet of what travelers – especially business travelers – both want and need: robust Internet connectivity.

Monday, July 27, 2015

New law to open more ground transportation options in France

A new law designed to modernize France’s economy, speed up growth and deregulate many industries is expected to open up more ground transportation options between smaller hubs, resulting in more options for tourists visiting France.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Alaska Air Group reports record profits

2Q15 profits are company's highest ever


Alaska Air Group, parent of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, reported record financial performance during the second quarter of 2015.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

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, July 22, 2015

An offbeat destination for winter snow sports

Even if you don’t ski (and I don’t), you’ll recognize the names of the top ski resorts in North America: Whistler, Aspen, Whiteface and Smuggler’s Notch, to name but four. Now, an upmarket travel company wants to add the name “Dizin” to that list.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Spirit supporter fires back

A supporter of Spirit Airlines and its “unbundled” pricing took issue with my July 20 article calling the carrier to task for its practices.

Monday, July 20, 2015

OPINION: Spirit Airlines, seriously?

Spirit Airlines, the carrier notorious for its bare-bones approach to ticket pricing, has gone on the offensive and is encouraging passengers of other airlines to ask for a refund of amounts they were allegedly overcharged for "bundled" services they didn't use.

ANA to begin Tokyo-Sydney non-stops

Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) is expanding its footprint in the Oceania region with the addition of non-stop flights from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport (HND) to Sydney (SYD).

Friday, July 17, 2015

a dogs-eye view of manzanita, oregon

by millie

i hate suitcases. suitcases mean mom and dad are going away. they start whispering to each other while they put their clothes there and they ask each other if they left the money for lesley and say things like don’t let on to millie. it means i have to stay at home. i love lesley but I hate being left behind.

Airline fares up in June CPI but down from June '14

Airline fares, which jumped 5.7 percent in May rose a more modest 2.0 percent in June 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.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Report: Uber eclipses taxis for business transportation

A report by travel and expense management software provider Certify shows that ridesharing service Uber has, for the first time, eclipsed taxis for business transportation.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Hilton completes deal, takes over Radisson Aruba

A deal that had been rumored for several months, if not years, has finally been consummated with Hilton Hotels & Resorts taking over the 355-room Radisson Aruba and reflagging the property the Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino.

Group IST adds new upmarket tours of Cuba

Group travel provider Group IST (International Specialty Travel) is adding more sailing dates to its upmarket Havana to Cienfuegos people-to-people program beginning in December 2015.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Viking Ocean Cruises celebrates float out of Viking Sea

A little more than a month after Viking Star was christened, Viking Ocean Cruises celebrated the float out of its second ship, the Viking Sea.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Airlines’ ancillary revenue skyrockets 21 percent in 2014

Carriers earned more than $38bn from sale of ancillary services and à la carte items


For the eighth consecutive year, airline revenue derived from the sale of so-called ancillary services continued to rise, leaping more than 21 percent to more than $38bn in 2014, according to a newly released report.

Emirates refutes US carriers' contentions of unfair subsidies

Emirates, one of three Persian Gulf airlines that have incurred the wrath of U.S. airline executives, has published a rebuttal to the American carriers’ claims that it is one of three Gulf carriers being subsidized by their governments and which are therefore engaging in unfair competition in the U.S. markets they serve.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Emirates continues US expansion

Emirates, the world’s largest international air carrier, has added a second nonstop flight between Seattle and Dubai and will commence daily service between Orlando, Fla., and Dubai in September.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Greek crisis dampens enthusiasm of many – but not all – potential tourists

Europeans less affected by recent economic crisis more deterred by Greece’s troubles


Greek’s current economic crisis and political situation is dampening the enthusiasm for visiting the country among many new potential visitors as well as those who have visited Greece in the past five years but is simultaneously causing others to consider that this may be precisely the right time to visit.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

La Quinta Inn upgrades facilities in 'Sideways' country

The La Quinta Inn and Suites in the wine country town of Paso Robles, California will soon open some upmarket accommodations that could be just the thing for vacationing vinophiles.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

What travelers want in a vacation

Survey shows what travelers prefer, how they behave


Lodging provider Wyndham Worldwide has declared July National Vacation Rental Month and recently released results of a survey that shows what travelers who prefer vacation rentals want in a vacation.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Coral Gables, Fla. named top US city for foodies

Annual list identifies and ranks America’s foodie cities 


Coral Gables, Fla., has been named the top “foodie” city in the U.S. for 2015 by the organizations Livability.com

Hapag-Lloyd offers luxury golf and cruise voyages

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is offering opportunities for amateur golfers to get some professional instruction, practice their game and play some of the world’s great golf courses while enjoying the luxury of a small-ship cruise.