Tuesday, August 23, 2016

St. Lucia resort offers special end-of-summer rates

Looking for that perfect end-of-summer getaway? Or perhaps you’re planning a couple’s escape once kids are back in school. The upmarket Landings Resort and Spa on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia is offering luxury accommodations at a 50 percent discount for stays through mid-December.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Southwest, jetBlue offer best value for reward seats – study

Low-cost carriers Southwest Airlines and jetBlue continue to offer U.S. passengers the lowest average prices when purchasing reward seats with accrued miles, according to analysis of a report issued Aug. 22.

Friday, August 19, 2016

ANA launches next phase of 'Tastes of Japan'

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

Thursday, August 18, 2016

New website rewards business travelers who can be flexible

If you own or work for a small or medium-sized business that allows its travelers some flexibility, a web site set to launch next month could prove profitable to both the company and you, the traveler.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Eastern Safaris launches Balloons over Atacama

Provides unique view of earth’s driest location

A company called Eastern Safaris has launched a new hot air balloon experience that will give passengers a unique view of Chile’s Atacama Desert, regarded as earth’s driest non-polar location.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Airline fares dip in July CPI

Airline fares decreased significantly in July, more than offsetting the rise seen in June, according to the latest Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Indonesia regains top aviation safety rating

Indonesia’s aviation safety rating has been upgraded to Category 1 after an assessment by the Federal Aviation Administration showed the country’s civil aviation authority to be in compliance with standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

The add-ons travelers want most

A just-released survey of nearly 10,000 Americans shows that travelers are more willing to pay to stay connected while traveling than for any other travel amenity or ancillary service.

Friday, August 12, 2016

VANCOUVER, B.C.: Vij’s Rangoli

In the mood for a change of scene, I decided to head to Vancouver, B.C., and have lunch at a place I’d been hearing about for a couple of years. I didn’t make it to the place I was seeking, but stumbled upon another establishment that made me glad I’d missed my original mark.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Air China to hold weekend ‘flash sale’ with bargain fares from the West Coast

Air China will be putting economy seats on sale for the weekend of Aug. 12 through 14, with special deals from two of its West Coast gateways.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Dubai plane crash survivor double-lucky

A man who survived the crash-landing of Emirates flight 521 in Dubai Aug. 3 recently learned he has a second reason to be thankful.

Five-star Palace Hotel Tokyo introduces ‘Revitalizing Tokyo’ package

As it approaches its fifth anniversary, the upmarket Palace Hotel Tokyo is introducing what it is calling “a new stay experience that indulges the need for personal time.”

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Delta cancels flights for second day due to power, computer outage

Delta Air Lines is cancelling about 300 flights Tuesday morning in the wake of a power loss early Monday morning that continues to affect operations system-wide.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Lots of summer left in Sedona

With the Labor Day Weekend only four weeks away, the Sedona Chamber of Commerce is reminding people there is still plenty of time to visit, and plenty of things to see and do.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Website provides travelers simple access to international visa requirements

Thanks to a couple of tense moments over my last few international trips when airline personnel asked for visas I knew I didn’t need, I have become much more conscious about how misunderstood visa requirements can be. Now, a new online tool makes it a snap (or click or tap) to track down whether a visa is required for your upcoming sojourn.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Alaska Airlines to add non-stop flights to America’s heartland

Seattle-headquartered Alaska Airlines is continuing the expansion of its Seattle hub with the announcement of new daily nonstop service to two Midwest cities starting in the spring of 2017.

Americans not redeeming accrued travel rewards – survey

While a majority of Americans say that using their credit or debit card to earn travel reward points makes financial sense, few of them are actually taking advantage of those perks to save on their hotel and airline costs. That is one of the findings of a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults conducted on behalf of the American Institute of CPAs.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Emirates jet crash-lands, catches fire in Dubai

One firefighter killed; 13 pax hurt

An airport firefighter was killed and 13 of the 300 passengers and crew received minor injuries when an Emirates airliner made an emergency landing, then caught fire at Dubai International Airport early Wednesday afternoon local time.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The cost of a summer road trip

With more than a month of summer remaining and Labor Day weekend looming large, there are road trips in the immediate future of many Americans. This year, there is good news and bad news about the cost of such an adventure.

Monday, August 1, 2016

New luxury hotel opens in republic of Georgia

In an ironic twist that would only be lost on Alanis Morissette, a new luxury hotel has opened its doors in the republic of Georgia … in a Soviet-era building named for the founders of communism.

Friday, July 29, 2016

FRIDAY FRUMP: Child-free zones: It’s about time!

When I saw the article by two reporters from Bloomberg News, I almost jumped up, fist-pumped the air, and screamed, “YES!” with all the fervor of a fan whose team had just scored a come-from-behind victory in a game’s final seconds. What was the article about? Putting children in their own section on airplanes.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Photos from the Freddies

The 28th annual Freddie Awards, announced in Las Vegas in May, named the airline, hotel and credit card loyalty programs that some 3.7 million frequent fliers voted to be the best. Now, photos from the Sin City soirée have been made available by the group that sponsors the survey and conducts the awards.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Survey names favorite U.S. beaches

South Carolina has the favorite, but Florida dominates the Top 10

Heading for the beach this summer? A recently conducted survey identifies America’s favorite beaches and includes some surprising results.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Emirates retains longest passenger route, for now

Dubai-headquartered Emirates will hold on to the distinction of operating the world’s longest passenger flights by both distance and duration until at least early 2017.

Monday, July 25, 2016

OPINION: Airlines’ nickel-and-dime pricing must be controlled

A recently released report detailing the increase in so-called ancillary revenue being raked in by many of the world’s airlines renewed my ire about what the airlines call à la carte pricing but which I and many of my fellow fliers refer to as “being nickel-and-dimed.”

Friday, July 22, 2016

Motorized, rideable travel bag gets second bite at the apple

Two Chicago-based entrepreneurs seem to have embraced the proverb, “If at first you don’t succeed try, try again.” This time, it seems to be working.

Alaska Airlines adds four flights to NYC from West Coast

Seattle-headquartered Alaska Airlines is adding new flights from four West Coast cities to Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), providing travelers with more options and additional access to the New York City metropolitan area.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Uber broadens lead over taxis, rental cars among business travelers

Ride-hailing service Uber continued to widen its commanding lead over other forms of paid ground transportation among business travelers during the second quarter of 2016.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Airline ancillary revenue continues to skyrocket

Airline revenue derived from the sale of so-called ancillary services continued to rise last year based on the newly released report, 2015 Top 10 Ancillary Revenue Rankings.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

FAA rescinds ban on flights to Turkey

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has rescinded its ban on flights to Turkey.

New web resources allow fliers to rate individual airline flights

While air travelers have been able to share their experiences with the world’s airlines through a wide range of social media websites, there have been few ways to rate individual flights. Until now.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Travelers to Rio Olympics win virtual medals

With the 2016 summer Olympic Games slated to start Aug. 5, the people at travel search engine KAYAK.com decided to play some games of their own focusing on how people from around the world will be traveling to the upcoming games.

Friday, July 15, 2016

ANA adds new design to its Star Wars fleet

Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) is adding another Star Wars-themed aircraft to its fleet of planes that feature Star Wars characters as their livery.

Airline fares rise in June CPI

Airline fares increased 1.6 percent increase in June, more than offsetting the 1.5 percent decline in May according to the latest Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Alaska names Virgin America transition team

Acquisition provides unique opportunity

Seattle-headquartered Alaska Airlines has named the two senior leaders who will be responsible for running Virgin America as a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group from the time the transaction closes until the airlines obtain approval to operate as a single carrier.

ANA to increase flights between Tokyo and Vietnam’s largest city

Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) will double the frequency of its flights between Tokyo and Ho Chi Minh City to two flights per day starting Oct. 30.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

STUDY: Hotel ‘perks’ becoming standard expectations

The hotel industry may be reaching a plateau with regard to customer satisfaction as guests increasingly expect special perks to be offered as standard features, according to the J.D. Power 2016 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study.

Alaska increases flights to Sun Valley

Ski and sun enthusiasts in the Pacific Northwest will soon have greater access to some of the region’s best slopes when Seattle-headquartered Alaska Airlines adds more flights to Sun Valley, Idaho.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Emirates tops 2016 Skytrax awards

Virgin America highest-ranked U.S. airline; most U.S. carriers show improvement

U.A.E.-based Emirates airline has received the honor of being named the World’s Best Airline in the 2016 Skytrax World Airline Awards announced July 12 at the Farnborough International Air Show outside London.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Our Alaska cruise aboard the Ruby Princess

By Carl and Jamie Dombek

The day our Alaska cruise departed from Seattle was Chamber of Commerce-perfect. The sun was shining, the temperature was in the upper 70s, Mt. Rainier was out and the party was quickly in full swing.


What happens to the swimming pools when cruise ships encounter 12-foot seas?

Friday, July 8, 2016

FRIDAY FRUMP: When in Rome…

Among the reasons we travel to countries not our own is to experience their culture. And yet, a startling number of people have apparently never heard the proverb, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”

Thursday, July 7, 2016

US airlines receive OK to fly to Cuba

DOT allocates limited routes among eight carriers 

Four months after all of the major U.S. air carriers and several regional carriers filed applications with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for permission to begin daily service to Cuba, the DOT has announced how limited routes will be parceled out among the carriers applying for permission.

NCL bans bottled water, soda

Effective July 15, passengers on Norwegian Cruise Lines will no longer be allowed to bring their own beverages to consume while they sail and will instead have to purchase their drinks on board.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Photos from our Alaska cruise

We have just returned from our seven-night cruise to Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway, Alaska aboard the Ruby Princess. Here are a few of the many photos chronicling our voyage.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Counting the cost of a cruise

Having just returned from my first real cruise and my wife’s first cruise ever, I have a new appreciation and more complete understanding of the all-in cost of such an adventure.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Counting the cost of a cruise (Part 5 of 5)

Wherein we add up the figures and hit ‘total’ 

As we have been examining all week, the total cost of a cruise on many, if not most, cruise lines serving North America will certainly be more than the price of passage and, depending on personal choices, could be considerably more. In our final installment, TheTravelPro will look at the all-in numbers.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Counting the cost of cruise (Part 4 of 5)

Abundant options can bloat the bottom line

Considering cruising? In advance of our first real cruise, TheTravelPro did a fair bit of research into the all-in cost of that journey. This week, we are examining many of the expenses that go beyond the price of the ticket, taxes, fees and port charges.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Counting the cost of a cruise (Part 3 of 5)

Dining and sightseeing options: At what cost?

The all-in cost of a cruise will almost certainly be greater than the price of the fare. In some cases, it can be significantly greater than the price of the ticket, taxes, fees and port charges. All this week, TheTravelPro is examining many of the options that add to the all-in cost.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Counting the cost of a cruise (Part 2 of 5)

Assessing the options

The all-in cost of a cruise will almost certainly be greater than the price of the fare. In some cases, it can be significantly greater. In the next several installments, TheTravelPro examines many of the expenses that go beyond the price of the ticket, taxes, fees and port charges.