Friday, June 23, 2017

FRIDAY FRUMP: Where are we going for the Fourth of July?

In just about a week, many Americans will begin enjoying their four-day Independence Day weekends. Where are those travelers headed? The answer may surprise you.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Condor begins seasonal flights between Seattle, Munich

Travelers intent on attending Oktoberfest in Germany now have a convenient nonstop flight option from the West Coast to Munich, the home of that famous festival.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

World’s least – and most – expensive beaches

Planning on soaking up some rays this summer? Before you slather on the sunscreen, check out the 2017 Beach Price Index that details the cost of spending a day at more than 300 seaside locations in 70 countries around the world.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Qatar Airways named World's Best Airline in 2017 SKYTRAX Awards

Delta Air Lines becomes highest-ranked U.S. airline

Qatar Airways has received the honor of being named the World’s Best Airline in the 2017 Skytrax World Airline Awards, bestowing upon it the title of "World's Best" for six of the past eight years.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Delta begins selling Delta One suites and Premium Select seats

Atlanta-headquartered Delta Air Lines has begun selling its Delta One suites and Premium Select seats for flights from the U.S. to Asia that will begin this fall.

OPINION: Airline business model must be overhauled

A corporate governance expert is the latest to add her voice to the growing chorus of those calling for a complete overhaul of the airline industry.

Upmarket Lisbon hotel invites families to summer in Portugal

Travelers planning to visit Portugal with their kids or grandkids this summer will want to consider a new, upmarket family property located in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon.

Friday, June 16, 2017

FRIDAY FRUMP: US airlines’ manipulative marketing

The purpose of marketing is to gain customers, and it is common practice to tell prospective customers why your business is better than the competition. While that often involves accentuating the positive, the marketing proffered by most U.S. airlines has, at one time or another, crossed the line and played fast and loose with the facts.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

New small ship to join Pacific Northwest cruise fleet

American Cruise Lines’ newest ship, American Constellation, will be heading to the West Coast in 2018, the result of increased demand for the line’s popular Southeast Alaska, Alaska Inside Passage, and Puget Sound itineraries.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Airline fares dip in May CPI

Airline fares continued to decline in May following an April decline that halted a four-month run of fare increases, 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.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Award-winning tour operator offers sailings along Italy’s Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast has some of the most spectacular scenery in all of Italy. Now, expedition tour operator Peter Sommer Travels is offering travelers the opportunity to explore the area by yacht this September with two new sailings in the popular destination.

Monday, June 12, 2017

More Americans planning to take a summer vacation, but duration and budgets decline

After a dip in 2016, more travelers from the U.S. and Europe will be packing their bags and heading on a vacation this summer, according to an annual consumer survey conducted by travel insurance provider Generali Global Assistance.

Friday, June 9, 2017

FRIDAY FRUMP: Fun with fotos in flight

This recap of airline photo policies has been updated to reflect the current policies as we enter the summer of 2017.

If you are among the millions of people who will be taking to the skies during the summer travel season that is just getting underway, it is a good idea to review your airline's policy about photography before heading to the airport, lest you find yourself kicked off the plane and sent back to the terminal.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Study shows most, least expensive cities for overnight accommodations

A new study by online booking platform reveals the cities and areas in which travelers can expect to find bargains and which will test the limits of the budget when it comes to a place to lay your weary head.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

My experience with Alaska’s “BEYOND” Entertainment system

Many airlines tout the wonderfulness of their in-flight entertainment systems, and Seattle-headquartered Alaska Airlines is among them. The carrier’s news releases refer to, “Alaska Beyond Entertainment [which] offers free movies direct to customers' own devices.” Maybe. Or perhaps not.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Cruise prices increase for upmarket accommodations; drop for others

A study of cruise prices shows that the price of upmarket suite accommodations are up compared to the 2016 sailing season while average prices for balcony staterooms and ocean view cabins have fallen from last year.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Delta launches new flight connecting Atlanta, Seoul

Atlanta-headquartered Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) has launched new daily service connecting Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) to Seoul-Incheon International Airport (ICN) in South Korea.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Ever wonder what happens to lost luggage? It ends up here.

It is every traveler’s worst nightmare: the airline has lost your luggage. While most bags are merely delayed or misdirected and are eventually reunited with their owners, there is a small percentage that never make it back. Many of those end up at a facility in Alabama, where their contents are inventoried, then put up for sale.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

WOW Air offers $55 fares from U.S. to Europe

In celebration of its fifth anniversary, Iceland's ultra-low fare airline WOW air began offering $55 one-way fares to eleven European cities from three of its American gateway airports this morning. That’s a great deal if you can get them, and if you’re willing to look beyond the headline.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

VICTORIA, BC: Revisiting the Magnolia Hotel & Spa

By Carl and Jamie Dombek 

As frequent visitors to Victoria, B.C., we find ourselves returning to the Magnolia Hotel time after time. Because the property and staff are so warm and welcoming, it feels like we are visiting the “old neighborhood” and reconnecting with old friends.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Win a trip a year ... for life!

A Canadian tour operator is offering a contest it claims to be the first of its kind: a chance for participants to win a trip a year for life.

OPINION: Mr. President, US airlines MUST be held to account

An open letter to President Donald Trump recounts themes that are common among members of the U.S. flying public: The quality of service aboard U.S. airlines is abysmal, and something must be done to fix it.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Holiday hiatus

TheTravelPro will not publish on Monday, May 29, due to the U.S. Memorial Day holiday. Publication will resume Tuesday, May 30.

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

Friday, May 26, 2017

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, May 25, 2017

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 last summer, 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, May 24, 2017

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, May 23, 2017

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.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Counting the cost of a cruise (Part 1 of 5)

Calculating the cost

With the summer cruise season just underway, it seems appropriate to share a series of article that will provide a more complete understanding of the all-in cost of such an adventure.

Friday, May 19, 2017

FRIDAY FRUMP: No love lost between airlines and their customers

A new survey shows what many frequent air travelers have already expressed in articles, op-ed pieces and conversations at airport bars: Airline passengers feel neither valued by, nor loyal to, U.S. airlines.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Alaska Airlines now selling tickets to Mexico City

Seattle-headquartered Alaska Airlines has begun selling tickets for service that will resume later this year from California's three largest cities to Mexico City’s Benito Juarez International Airport (MEX).

Alaska to expand Seattle-area service to Snohomish County

Pending government approvals, Seattle-headquartered Alaska Airlines will begin scheduled commercial air service from Snohomish County in the fall of 2018, making it the first carrier to offer scheduled service from Paine Field (PAE).

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Southwest Airlines tops annual reward seat ranking

A just-released survey shows budget airlines are the best when it comes time to redeem accrued miles for an award seat but, overall, fewer seats are available when using accrued miles on the world’s airlines.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

WOW air to begin flights from US to Tel Aviv

No-frills carrier WOW air will begin flights connecting several of its U.S. gateway airports to Tel Aviv, Israel starting this fall.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Coming soon: First biometric bag check

Atlanta-headquartered Delta Air Lines is testing facial recognition technology and this summer plans to introduced the first biometric-based self-service bag drop in the United States.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Airline fares reverse course, decline in April CPI

Airline fares declined in April after four months of increases, 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, May 11, 2017

Alaska Airlines inaugurates new service from Seattle to Indianapolis

Alaska Airlines began nonstop daily service between Seattle and Indianapolis International Airport on Thursday, May 11, offering the only nonstop service offered from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) to IND.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Budget airlines continue to top major customer satisfaction study

Low-cost carriers continue to lead U.S. airlines in the J.D. Power 2017 North America Airline Satisfaction Study as overall satisfaction with the nation’s airline industry continues to increase.

Some Like It Hot: Abu Dhabi announces Summer Season line-up

If you like hot weather and are seeking something a bit more adventurous than usual for your upcoming summer vacation, a visit to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, could fill the bill nicely.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Marriott opens Waikoloa Ocean Club on Hawaii’s Big Island

Marriott International has opened the new Waikoloa Ocean Club overlooking ‘Anaeho‘omalu Bay on the western shore of Hawaii’s Big Island.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Top tips for surviving summer travel

With the start of the summer travel season just a few weeks away, travel experts are offering their advice on how to stay safe while traveling.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Forty percent of travelers affected by electronics ban - survey

A new survey confirms the recent ban on electronics, including laptops and tablets, on flights to the U.S. from targeted airports in the Middle East and North Africa regions will affect in-flight activities for many business and leisure travelers.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Consumer group tells Congress: Fix US airlines

Consumer and worker advocacy organization the National Consumers League is calling on the Senate to take immediate action to address the lack of competition among U.S. airlines.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

EL AL to begin non-stop service from MIA to Tel Aviv

EL AL Israel Airlines, the flag carrier of Israel, will begin non-stop service in November with three weekly round-trip flights connecting Miami International Airport and Tel Aviv.

Royal Caribbean adds sailings from the Gulf Coast in 2018

Royal Caribbean cruise lines has announced ship changes and repositionings that will mean new and resumed sailings from two cities on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico during the 2018-2019 winter sailing season.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

U.S. Bank introduces new upmarket travel card

Carrying what may be the longest name of any credit card on the market, U.S. Bank has introduced the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Credit Card, targeting busy professionals who “live life on the go and value little touches of luxury.”

Monday, May 1, 2017

Holland America kicks off 70th Alaska cruise season

Two ships from Holland America Line arrived in Seattle over the weekend of April 29 and 30, making them the first two ships to arrive for the start of the city’s 2017 Alaska cruise season, and the line’s 70th season serving The Last Frontier.

2017 Freddie Awards name best airline, hotel loyalty programs

More than four million travelers had their say and named their favorite airline and hotel loyalty programs in the 2017 Freddie Awards.

Best credit cards for international travel

Experienced travelers know that a credit card that does not charge a foreign transaction fee is an excellent traveling companion. But there are other factors to consider when choosing the best card for overseas sojourns.

Friday, April 28, 2017

United settles with ejected passenger, promises to do better

United Airlines has reached a settlement with Dr. David Dao, the passenger forcibly removed from a United Express flight earlier this month, has issued a public apology for the incident and outlined some changes it hopes will keep similar incidents from occurring in the future.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Relaxing or active vacation? 'Relaxing' by almost 2:1 - survey

Despite the increasing popularity of adventure travel, results of a just-released survey shows that nearly twice as many people prefer relaxing get-aways to active vacations.