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).

Monday, March 30, 2015

ANA announces new head of Americas operations

Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) has appointed a new head of its operations in the Americas. Hideki Kunugi will assume the post of Senior Vice President, the Americas, effective April 1.

BaconFest debuts in the mid-Atlantic

How do you start an article about bacon? With Homer Simpson’s simple utterance, “Mmmm, bacon!” or a more thoughtful line from a comedian who described the food’s place in the culinary landscape by proclaiming, “Bacon; it’s what we wrap other foods in to make those other foods better.”?

Friday, March 27, 2015

Alaska employee helps stranded passenger; calls it ‘paying it forward’

As a career journalist, I love getting a scoop and am, quite honestly, a little jealous when someone else beats me to it. That said, I am more than happy to share this story about a proactive employee of Alaska Airlines who helped a passenger who was stranded by a competing airline get home.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

OPINION: A reality check for Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines’ latest ad campaign caused me to do some digging into how the airline represents itself to the flying public. What I found is an airline that is focusing on glory days that have long passed instead of figuring out how to market what it does - and what it is - today. With that, I would like to expand on my premise and offer the carrier some unsolicited advice.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Viking Cruises adds 12 new river vessels

Viking River Cruises continues to dominate the river cruise industry with the christening and addition of a dozen new ships to its fleet of river cruise vessels.

BC's Okanagan Valley hosts wine and food fests

Thanks to a delightful wine-tasting trip through British Columbia last fall, the email immediately grabbed my attention: Starting in late April, the Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley will be presenting what are being called the province’s “most eclectic food festivals.”

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Airline fares up slightly in February CPI

Airline fares reversed a two-month decline in February and rose 0.2 percent during the second month of 2015, 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.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Searching for my roots in the Polish countryside

Shortly before departing for my recent trip to Poland, I found a document my paternal grandmother had filled out on which she has listed her place of birth as “Zatoka, Poland.” A quick Internet search uncovered a town named Zatoka about 50 kilometers east of Kraków, a city I’d planned to visit. “While I’m in the neighborhood,” I thought, “I’ll see if I can find my grandmother’s birth records.”

While I did not unearth exactly what I was looking for, I nonetheless consider the attempt time well spent.

Three days to get two-for-one airfare between NYC and Milan

From now through March 26, Emirates is offering two-for-one special fares for flights between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Milan’s Malpensa Airport (MXP).

Friday, March 20, 2015

Guide to Kraków and Warsaw (now in PDF!)

The four-part Poland Travel Guide published earlier this week on TheTravelPro is now available here as a single PDF document.

SKYTRAX awards, renews 5-Star ratings

Four airlines have retained their 5-Star ratings from airline and airport review specialists SKYTRAX, while three other airlines have had the honor bestowed anew for 2015.

Photos from Poland

The slide show below is a sampling of the many photographs I took during my recent trip to Warsaw and Kraków, Poland.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Poland travel guide - Part 4

If you’re planning a trip to Poland, there are a number of little things I noticed during my first trip to Warsaw and Kraków, including some things I hadn’t anticipated. I am pleased to share them with you today.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Poland travel guide - Part 3

Following my first trip to Warsaw and Kraków, I wrote this guide to offer some suggestions about things to do in preparation for your trip, ways to navigate the two cities, and things you'll encounter that you might not have anticipated. This installment addresses getting around on the ground in Poland.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Poland travel guide - Part 2

I wrote this guide following my first trip to Warsaw and Kraków to offer some suggestions about things to do in preparation for your trip, ways to navigate the two cities, and things you will encounter that you might not have anticipated. This installment addresses facets of the two cities that you will encounter once you've arrived.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Preparing for Poland - a travel guide

Planning a trip to Poland? I wrote this guide following my first trip to Warsaw and Kraków to offer some suggestions about things to do in preparation for your trip, ways to navigate the two cities, and things you will encounter that you might not have anticipated.

Friday, March 13, 2015

KRAKÓW, POLAND: Wieliczka Salt Mine

Less than 15 kilometers from central Kraków is the industrial town of Wieliczka, home to an attraction that might accurately be described as a wonder of the world: the Wieliczka salt mine.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

When traveling, take your Wi-Fi with you

It seems that every time I take a trip, I find a new piece of electronic gear I absolutely must bring along. On my most recent trip, that new piece of gear was a mobile hot spot.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Touring war-torn Poland

I have relatives who lived through World War II in Eastern Europe, and I remember our family falling silent as we listened to their stories. But no matter how vivid and compelling oral histories are, seeing historical sites with your own eyes creates an impression that mere words alone, whether written or spoken, simply cannot convey.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

WARSAW, POLAND: Maison Charlotte Restaurant

Toward the end of my recent trip to Poland, after more than a week of hotel breakfasts, it was time to venture out and find a more interesting morning meal. An admitted “breakfast snob,” I wanted something special – and I certainly found it in Maison Charlotte.

Alaska Airlines anncounces new flights to NYC; more to Mexico

Seattle-based Alaska Airlines on March 10 announced the commencement of one new domestic route and its application for two new flights between the U.S. and Mexico.

Monday, March 9, 2015

WARSAW, POLAND: H15 Boutique Hotel

I checked in to the H15 Boutique Hotel in central Warsaw less than 12 hours ago, and I’m already in love. I’m not sure they’re going to be able to get me to leave!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Seeking out 'non-war' Poland

So much happened to Poland during World War II that visitors to this Eastern European country have to make a concerted effort if they wish to seek out places of interest that do not specifically relate to the war, the Nazi occupation, Hitler, or the repression and extermination of the region's Jews.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Delta jet skids off runway at LGA

Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) flight 1086, an MD-88 from Atlanta (ATL) to New York's LaGuardia Airport (LGA), skidded off of Runway 13 while landing in heavy snowfall just after 11 a.m. Eastern time Thursday morning, March 5.

WARSAW, POLAND: Polonia Palace Hotel

The Polonia Palace Hotel in central Warsaw clearly deserves the accolades it has been accorded. And if I had to choose, I would say it was my favorite of the three hotels at which I stayed during my recent trip to Warsaw.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

KRAKÓW, POLAND: Metropolitan Boutique Hotel

I chose the Metropolitan Boutique Hotel for my visit to Kraków because it was the city’s top-rated hotel on TripAdvisor at the time I made my reservation. While it is indeed very nice, it lacks some of the attributes I expect in an upmarket property.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

KRAKÓW, POLAND: Restaurant Starka

Located in the Kazimierz, the city’s Jewish Quarter, Starka turned out to be so good, it was the only place I ate dinner while in Kraków.

Monday, March 2, 2015

WARSAW, POLAND: Hilton Hotel & Convention Centre

For my first night in Poland – a country whose language I do not speak and which I had never before visited – I wanted the comfort of more or less familiar surroundings so I could recover from my jet-lag and get my bearings before plunging headlong into my next adventure. The Hilton Hotel & Convention Centre provided just was I was seeking.

Friday, February 27, 2015

‘Old school’ still rules

Well into the 21st century, businesses of all sizes have websites. Whether basic or sophisticated, almost all have a “contact” page or email link. What is far less predictable is whether the business will actually respond to inquiries submitted electronically.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Airfares, overall CPI drop slightly amid sharply lower energy costs

Airline fares continued to decline in January and fell less than half a percentage point in the first month of 2015, 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.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

ANA to launch seventh phase of 'Tastes of Japan' campaign

Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) will launch the next phase of its “Tastes of Japan” campaign in March to highlight the cuisine of three of the country’s lesser-known prefectures.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Exchanging currency and other foreign financial matters

International travel, even to countries as close as Canada or Mexico, can result in a host of hidden charges and unforeseen hurdles. But there are ways to minimize your chances of getting some rude surprises, either while on the road or when you return home.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Traveling overseas with electronics - easier than you might think

Not too long ago, traveling with electronic devices required a fair bit of pre-trip homework, advance preparation and maybe additional purchases. Today, it’s almost as simple as throwing your gear in a bag and heading for the airport.

Friday, February 20, 2015

OPINION: Social networking travel sites or your favorite blogger?

Which is a better source of travel advice: your favorite social networking site or your favorite blogger? The answer is “it depends." It depends on how you use the cornucopia of information available to us today.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Alaska State Ferries: Deal or No Deal?

Ever since I moved to Seattle in 1983, people have been telling me that the Alaska state ferries are an economical way to see Alaska from the water. I recently decided to investigate and see exactly how economical they are.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

THE LIGHTER SIDE: Mistranslations

In the midst of planning a trip to a country where the primary language is other than English, I am anticipating being able to add to my growing collection of examples of how my mother tongue is -- often humorously -- mangled.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Especially when traveling, cash is king

When traveling to another country, it’s a good idea to carry a modest amount of the local currency. Doing so is not only convenient for making small purchases but can help you avoid being scammed when you use your credit card.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Alaska Airlines offers double mile deals

Seattle-based Alaska Airlines is offering double Mileage Plan miles on some of its most popular routes from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and Salt Lake City International (SLC).

Friday, February 13, 2015

Virtual Mardi Gras goes live

Ever wanted to attend Mardi Gras in New Orleans? Or wanted confirmation that your decision to avoid it is the right one? Either way, a company that specializes in webcam content is making it possible to see what goes on at what is arguably one of the world’s most famous parties.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

23 interesting (and potentially useful) travel facts

Among the things I love most about travel are amassing new stories and acquiring new bits of trivia to add to my quiver. It was therefore with great interest that I read an e-mail from a Ramon van Meer.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Favorite B.C. hotels win top honors

Several of my favorite hotels in the Canadian province of British Columbia have just been accorded top honors by Forbes Travel Guide.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tips for surviving a long-haul flight

In preparation for a long flight from Seattle (SEA) to Frankfurt (FRA), I have been compiling a list of tricks and tips for surviving ten hours in the main (economy) cabin or, as I tend to refer to it, “steerage.”

Monday, February 9, 2015

Voting opens soon for airline, hotel loyalty programs

Voting opens Sunday, Feb. 15, for travelers to select their favorite airline and hotel loyalty programs and affinity credit cards in the 27th Annual Freddie Awards.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Public gets first glimpse of upmarket Viking Star cruise liner

Viking Cruises - long a purveyor of cruises along inland rivers in Europe, Russia, Egypt and Asia - has released a video that gives the first glimpse of the flagship of Viking Ocean Cruises, which is set to carry its first paying passengers in May.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

ANA adds upmarket service to Southeast Asia routes

Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) in March will debut new, upmarket travel classes on flights between its two airports in Tokyo and Singapore, Bangkok and Jakarta.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Delta Air Lines to move headquarters to Seattle?

Nah. A rumor made up of whole cloth. Pure speculation on my part. But considering the carrier’s aggressive growth in and courting of the Seattle market, nothing would surprise me.

Monday, February 2, 2015

The cost of a 'free' ticket

In the midst of planning a trip to Poland using my frequent flier miles, I am being reminded of how much a "free" trip can cost.

Friday, January 30, 2015

A romantic Valentine's Day weekend at Whistler

If you've been waiting to find that perfect Valentine’s Day getaway before making your special weekend plans, your wait may be over.