Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Most expensive world cities ranked by the price of their beer

The 2015 Beer Price Index, just issued by travel cost comparison site GoEuro.com, ranks Geneva, Switzerland as the world’s most expensive city to visit based on the price of its beer.

Survey: What business travelers prefer

Employees on company dime practical and health-conscious


A survey of business travelers by travel and expense management software provider Certify reveals what travelers prefer and includes some surprises about the way those travelers behave while on the road.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Delta to expand service on two busiest cross-country routes

Transcontinental expansion complements significant investments at JFK, LAX airports 


Atlanta-headquartered Delta Air Lines plans to add additional and upgraded transcontinental service on the routes between New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO), two of the busiest routes in the United States.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Outrigger to add Blue Note music venue to Waikiki Beach Resort

I have been a jazz fan for most of my life. The month I came of age, I spent a great deal of time and almost half of my monthly salary listening to jazz greats including Cannonball Adderley, Big Joe Williams, Ahmad Jamal and others perform at a month-long jazz festival at the Phoenix Playboy Club. So I was quite pleased to learn that Outrigger Resorts has partnered with the Blue Note Entertainment Group to put a Blue Note club in the Waikiki Beach Resort.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

OPINION: US airline execs barking up the wrong tree

The heads of the major U.S. airlines have been making a fair bit of noise lately about an “unfair advantage” enjoyed by Persian Gulf airlines and are urging the Obama administration to freeze new flights by those carriers into the United States. The problem is, they are missing -- or perhaps not admitting -- an important point.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Unique upmarket tour of Greece

Perhaps because a friend of mine is Greek and grew up literally in the shadow of the Parthenon and the Acropolis, this intimate, upmarket tour immediately grabbed my attention and piqued my interest.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Hainan Airlines launches Seattle-Shanghai service

To the accompaniment of a string quartet playing traditional Chinese melodies as well as a rendition of “God Bless America,” dignitaries from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the Port of Seattle, the Washington State China Relations Council and Hainan Airlines celebrated Hainan’s inaugural non-stop flight from Seattle (SEA) to Shanghai, China June 22.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Single? Save on river cruises!

Cruise lines that ply the rivers of Europe, Asia and elsewhere are, in increasing numbers, offering solo travelers the opportunity to sail without paying a “single supplement.”

Friday, June 19, 2015

El Al flight attendants, get over yourselves

I have delayed writing about this story because I consider it more a “labor and employment” story than a travel story, but because repeated references to it keep cropping up, here goes.

The rules of the sky

With the summer travel season upon us, it is appropriate to share an open letter to those with whom we will be sharing the skies.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Airline fares up sharply in May CPI

Airline fares, which declined for the fifth time in six months in April, reversed course in May and rose 5.7 percent  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.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Qatar Airways named World’s Best Airline in 2015 Skytrax Awards

Virgin America highest-ranked U.S. airline at No. 26


Qatar Airways has received the honor of being named the World’s Best Airline in the 2015 World Airline Awards announced June 16 at the Paris Air Show at Le Bouget in metropolitan Paris.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Flight Attendant Faux Pas

Every time I fly, I hear flight attendants using words in ways that no doubt cause my freshman English teacher Mrs. Prosser to turn over in her grave.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Alaska Airlines to receive new RJs

Utah-based SkyWest Airlines will purchase eight new two-class Embraer E175 regional jets that will replace eight older aircraft the company currently operates for Seattle-based Alaska Airlines.

Friday, June 12, 2015

ANA launches Houston-Narita flights

Japans All Nippon Airways (ANA) on June 12 commenced service on its newest route, from Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) to Toyko’s Narita Airport (NRT).

Tips for smooth(er) summer 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 summer travels, if not exactly “smooth,” at least smoother.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Alaska Airlines launches fare sale for Costa Rica flights

Tickets went on sale June 11 for Seattle-based Alaska Airlines’ newly announced routes between Los Angeles and Costa Rica's two major international airports.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

EVs: Not ready for the open road

Pure electric vehicles (EVs) like the Nissan Leaf and others are becoming increasingly common on the roads of many major North American cities. The EV charging stations vital to keeping those cars “fueled” are also becoming a more prominent feature of the driving landscape, showing up at major corporate headquarters, shopping malls, mom-and-pop grocery stores and parking garages.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

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.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Record crowds flock to the Big Easy

Tourist visits to New Orleans and the state of Louisiana as a whole reached record levels in 2014, thanks in part to Hollywood’s current fascination with those areas of the South.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Lufthansa latest airline to stop shipping African hunting trophies

Delta Air Lines urged to follow suit


Germany’s Lufthansa Airlines has become the third major airline to ban the shipment of hunting trophies on its flights.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Düsseldorf’s Summer Fest rivals Oktoberfest

No need to wait for October


When one hears “festival” and “Germany” together, the country’s famous Oktoberfest immediately leaps to mind. But there is another festival that rivals the fall fest, at a time that could be far more doable for tourists on their summer vacations.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

ANA to launch Tokyo-Brussels service

Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) has announced plans to launch non-stop service from Toyko’s Narita Airport (NRT) to Brussels, Belgium (BRU), with flights beginning during the autumn of 2015.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Hainan to begin new non-stops to China from East and West Coasts

China’s Hainan Airlines will launch three new non-stop itineraries to China from the gateway U.S. cities of San Jose, California; Boston and Seattle in June.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Alaska announces Portland-Austin, Eugene-San Jose service

Seattle-based Alaska Airlines will begin non-stop flights between two new city pairs on Nov. 5 when it launches service between Portland, Oregon and Austin, Texas; and between Eugene, Oregon and San Jose, California.

Emirates places A380 on New York-Milan route

Emirates, the world’s largest international air carrier, has placed an Airbus A380, the world's largest commercial airliner, into service carrying passengers on its non-stop flights between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Milan, Italy.

Hilton opens new upmarket hotel in DC metro area

The Hilton family of properties has finished a complete overhaul of the former Radisson Hotel in the Largo area of Washington, D.C., and reopened the property as DoubleTree by Hilton – Largo, providing a new upmarket offering for those visiting the nation’s capital.

Friday, May 29, 2015

New app simplifies visa application process

Applying for a visa to visit another country can be a time-consuming, stressful and often just plain annoying experience. Now, as we seem to say with increasing frequency: "There’s an app for that."

Thursday, May 28, 2015

European hotel chain boasts world's best Wi-Fi

A report issued by the company HotelWiFiTest.com shows that the European hotel chain Nordic Choice is the world's leader in providing Wi-Fi for its guests and that U.S. hotel chains lag far behind their overseas counterparts.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A true ‘sharing’ economy for accommodations

Kudos to the person who coined the term the “sharing economy.” It is brilliant. It evokes all sorts of warm and fuzzy feelings (In kindergarten, we all learned that sharing was a nice thing to do) while simultaneously distancing itself from the alleged avarice and greed of what might be called the “corporate economy.”

The trouble is, it is total marketing hype.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Delta seeks to serve Sao Paulo, Brazil

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines has filed for permission to begin four-times-weekly non-stop service between Orlando, Florida (MCO) and São Paulo, Brazil (GRU) starting in late fall.

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.