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 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.

Monday, July 28, 2014

ANA's 'We fly 1st' applies to stretch Dreamliner

Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA), the launch customer that took delivery of the first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner on September 25, 2011, has taken delivery of the first 787-9, or "stretch" Dreamliner that will see commercial service.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Even in the skies, sex sells

Russian carrier Aeroflot is apparently banking on the power of sex appeal to encourage travelers to pay attention during those rote safety announcements at the beginning of each flight. At least many of the male passengers.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Consider carefully where you’ll spend the night

Just a few years ago, travelers had only a handful of options when it came to accommodations: a hotel or motel, camping, or staying with friends or family. Today, there are many more alternatives but with those additional choices come more potential pitfalls.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Flight cancelled? Here’s a way that may get you home more quickly

Back in the day, U.S. airlines that cancelled flights under most circumstances were required to put passengers on the next scheduled flight to their destination, even if that flight was on a competing airline. While the regulation that required that accommodation – Rule 240 – has largely gone the way of the dinosaur, three airlines still abide by that rule.

Details are in this informative article in USA Today.

Visit my main page at for more news, reviews, and personal observations on the world of upmarket travel.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Emirates launches A380 service between Dubai and Mumbai; DFW-DXB to follow

Emirates, which operates the world’s largest fleet of Airbus A380s, has placed the super-jumbo jets into service on the route that connects Dubai International Airport (DXB) in the U.A.E., to Mumbai, India.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Airfare increases slow dramatically in June but still outpace inflation

After a stunning increase of nearly six percent in May, airfares in the United States leveled off in June, rising 0.4 percent, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)..

Friday, July 18, 2014

Record orders at Farnborough Air show; outlook 'extremely positive' for industry

Organizers of the semi-annual Farnborough Air Show in the U.K. have confirmed the total sum of orders and commitments agreed to at the 2014 Farnborough International Air Show has reached $201bn, surpassing all previous records set for the show as well as the $150bn in contracts signed at last year’s Paris Air Show.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Qantas to introduce A380 on Dallas-Sydney route

Australia’s Qantas Airways will place the world’s largest commercial aircraft, the Airbus A380, into service on its Dallas-Ft. Worth (DFW) to Sydney, Australia (SYD) route on September 29, enabling the carrier to offer non-stop service to SYD for the first time.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Survey: Five U.S. airlines take in more than $13 billion in ‘ancillary revenue’

A just-released survey shows that, in 2013, five U.S. airlines took in more than $13bn in so-called “ancillary revenue,” the industry term for revenue from non-ticket sources including à la carte fees like baggage charges, the sale of frequent flier miles, commissions on travel-oriented services and other items.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cathay Pacific named Airline of the Year in SKYTRAX awards

Cathay Pacific Airways was named Airline of the Year in the 2014 World Airline Awards announced at the Farnborough Air Show outside London on July 15.

Horizon Air enhances fleet with NextGen turboprop

Seattle-based Horizon Air Industries has taken steps that will result in the addition of NextGen turboprops to its existing fleet of Bombardier Q400 aircraft.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

First stretch Dreamliner - in 'All Black' - lands in Auckland

The first 787-9, or stretch Dreamliner, to be delivered to an airline landed in Auckland, New Zealand July 11, 13-1/2 hours after leaving Seattle’s SeaTac Airport (SEA) with an Air New Zealand flight crew at the controls.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

New overhead bins will provide more carry-on space in new 737s

Airlines that order next-generation Boeing 737s and 737-MAXes can now opt for overhead storage bins that will provide significantly more storage for their passengers’ carry-on luggage.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

New rule will give better picture of how safe it is for your pet to fly

People who fly with their pets will soon have more detailed information available about airlines’ track records for pet safety.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Alabama gives away exotic getaways

If you have a preconceived notion of what the state of Alabama is all about, you’re probably wrong. And the Alabama Tourism Department has launched a promotion to prove it.

‘Out of this world’ hotel and dining experiences await guests of Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial spaceline, has selected Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces and World Class Gourmet of Las Cruces, N. Mex., as its first official hotel and catering partners.

Alaska Airlines offers introductory fares from Portland to Mexico

Seattle-based Alaska Airlines is offering introductory fares for its new flights from Portland, Ore., to Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Report: Tourism may help receding Caribbean reefs

A new report says increased tourism may be able to help reverse the decline of the reefs in the Caribbean, which have decreased significantly over the last half century.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Robot valet parks cars at Düsseldorf Airport

Most air travelers know to allow plenty of time to find a parking space if they plan to park their car at the airport. Now, however, passengers who drive to Düsseldorf Airport in Germany can leave their car at the curb and have it parked … by a robot.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Speeding through security: obtaining a 'known traveler number'

After writing a recent 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, June 27, 2014

New York City: Lucerne Hotel offers summer deals

The Lucerne Hotel, our favorite hotel on The City’s Upper West Side, is offering some excellent deals for summer stays.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

States profit from your airline ticket

It will probably come as no surprise that taxes are a major contributor to the cost of airline tickets. It might, however, come as a surprise to learn that the effect of taxes goes far beyond the amount added to the purchase price of tickets in the form of excise tax and special-use fees.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Speeding through security: CLEAR to expand to LAS

CLEAR, a service that employs advanced biometric identity verification to speed travelers through airport security, announced June 20 that it would launch its service at Las Vegas’s McCarran International Airport (LAS) this summer, with a target date of mid-August.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Alaska Airlines initiates two new nonstop routes; plans 11% increase in daily flights

Seattle-based Alaska Airlines initiated two new nonstop routes in June as part of its plan to increase its daily departures from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) 11% by the spring of 2015.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Dreamliner fire could have happened on any aircraft – European investigators

A report issued by a safety agency in the United Kingdom said the fire in a Dreamliner in July 2013 started in a component used on a wide range of aircraft and was not exclusive to Dreamliners.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Airfares take huge jump in May

If you’re making summer travel plans, you may already have noticed that airfares have been on the increase. On Tuesday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics told us how much.

Monday, June 16, 2014

New flights make Seattle 'Delta's newest hub' - airline exec

Delta Air Lines' launch of new nonstop service from Seattle to Hong Kong (HKG) June 16 marked the addition of Delta's fifth nonstop international route from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) in a year and marked a watershed moment in the carrier's aggressive expansion in the Seattle market.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

United Airlines announces major change to MileagePlus program

Starting March 1, 2015, United Airlines will begin crediting its passengers’ MileagePlus accounts based on the dollars spent rather than the distance flown.