Monday, October 2, 2017

TheTravelPro on indefinite hiatus

In response to the damage caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, I have joined the disaster relief efforts, suspended my personal travels and placed TheTravelPro on indefinite hiatus.

Friday, September 29, 2017

US airlines assist in disaster relief efforts

The damage wrought by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and earthquakes in Mexico have motivated many to take action, including the Big Three U.S. airlines which have added flights and taken other steps to aid those in need.

FRIDAY FRUMP: Some people will never make it as a writer

It seems that lots of people want to be travel writers. Why not? See some of the world, enjoy some discounts and freebies, and all they have to do is write about it.

And there it is. For many, like today's object lesson, that last point is the most difficult nut to crack.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Israel tourism seeing rapid upswing

Tourism professionals in Israel used the occasion of World Tourism Day, Sept. 27, to publicize a rapid upswing in Israel’s tourism numbers.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Turkish Airlines wins accolades, named “Five-Star Global Airline”

Turkish Airlines has been named a “Five-Star Global Airline” in the official airline ratings recently issued by the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX).

Monday, September 25, 2017

Despite two hurricanes, resorts extends deals to attract guests

Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, an all-inclusive resort chain in the Caribbean, has extended a campaign offering specials and deep discounts for its properties in the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Mexico.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Alaska Airlines launches annual PFD sale for Alaska residents

Seattle-based Alaska Airlines has announced its annual Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) sale, offering bargains for travel within, or to and from, the 49th state exclusively for Alaska residents.

Friday, September 22, 2017

GAO study: Airlines fleecing customers with nickel-and-dime charges

New government data flies in the face of airline industry claims that it’s never been a better time to fly, the National Consumers League (NCL) said in a statement released on Sept. 22.

Delta adds trans-Atlantic routes in early to mid-2018

Atlanta-headquartered Delta Air Lines will add eight new nonstop routes to Europe from several U.S. gateways beginning during the spring and summer of 2018.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Alaska Airlines launches non-stop flights between SFO, NOLA

Alaska Airlines on Sept. 21 launched nonstop service between San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY).

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

ANALYSIS: US airlines’ opposition to ‘passenger facility charge’ rings hollow

By Kevin Mitchell, Founder
Business Travel Coalition

The Business Travel Coalition (BTC) is calling on the U.S. Senate to reject airlines’ arguments that increasing the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) would harm demand for travel.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Delta adds extra flights, caps fares & waives fees as Hurricane Maria approaches

Atlanta-headquartered Delta Air Lines is finalizing operational plans as yet another hurricane, expected to bring devastating to catastrophic impacts, bears down on the Caribbean.

REPORT: Ancillary revenue for 66 airlines reaches $44.6bn

The world’s airlines continue to reap an ever-larger windfall from the constantly increasing range of ancillary services they sell their customers. In fact, a new report shows the 66 airlines that provide financial data related to those à la carte charges raked in $44.6bn last year.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Most fun cities in the US

When planning your next trip, especially if you’re on a budget, you might want to consider this study, which looked at 150 cities across the U.S. to determine where you’re likely to have the most fun.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Figuring Out Foreign Finances

Among the challenges of traveling to other countries is figuring out your finances. There's more to consider than just converting currencies and calculating exchange rates. Here are some helpful tips.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Airline fares decline in August CPI

Airline fares resumed their string of monthly declines in August, 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.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Leipzig prepares for year of major musical milestones

Leipzig, the city of music where Bach, Mendelssohn, Wagner, Schumann, and many other musical greats lived and worked, is tuning up for a momentous year celebrating its celebrated composers.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

MIA resumes limited operations

Passenger and cargo flights at Miami International Airport (MIA) resumed Tuesday morning, Sept. 12, although on a limited basis.

Delta Air Lines makes major contributions for Irma relief

Atlanta-headquartered Delta Air Lines has announced contributions totaling $1.1 million to help aid the hundreds of thousands of people affected by Hurricane Irma, the most powerful Atlantic Ocean storm on record.

Monday, September 11, 2017

UPDATE: Delta cancels 800 flights; braces for ATL impact of Irma

Officials at Atlanta-headquartered Delta Air Lines have decided to cancel about 800 flights Monday as Hurricane Irma is expected to bring to the hub at Hartsfield-Atlanta International Airport (ATL) strong crosswinds that exceed operating limits on select mainline and regional aircraft.

Friday, September 8, 2017

UPDATE: Delta adds 5,000 seats to flights leaving Florida

Updated at 10 a.m. PDT, Sept. 8

Although downgraded to a Category 4, Hurricane Irma continues to roar through the Caribbean toward Florida. In response, Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) has added more than 5,000 extra seats and 24 extra flights in Florida, the Caribbean and the Bahamas to help customers leave those areas.

UPDATE: Hurricane Irma continues to affect flights at MIA

Updated at 6:30 a.m. PDT, Friday, Sept. 8

Hurricane Irma, which is bearing down on south Florida, continues to affect operations at Miami International Airport (MIA).

Delta to begin first nonstop flights from Indy to Europe

Atlanta-headquartered Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) will begin nonstop trans-Atlantic service from Indianapolis International Airport (IND) to its European hub at Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG) beginning in May of 2018, making it the first carrier ever to offer a nonstop trans-Atlantic flight from Indiana’s capital city.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Multi-platinum group Il Divo to set sail on four-night Caribbean cruise

Fans of the classical crossover group Il Divo will have a chance to hear and see the group – and even meet the members personally – on a four-day Caribbean cruise this fall aboard Royal Caribbean International’s Brilliance of the Seas.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Two Hapag-Lloyd cruise ships retain unmatched ratings

Luxury cruise ships MS Europa and the MS Europa 2 have retained the distinction of being the only ships to receive the rating of “five-stars-plus” by Berlitz Cruise Guide.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Holiday hiatus

Barring any urgent, breaking travel news, TheTravelPro will be on hiatus for the U.S. Labor Day holiday and will resume publication on Tuesday, Sept. 5.

Safe and pleasant travels!

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



Friday, September 1, 2017

FRIDAY FRUMP: Possibly the most dangerous travel accessory EVER

Call me a curmudgeon if you will, but am I the only one who thinks an espresso machine for your car is a bad idea?

Thursday, August 31, 2017

California winemakers offer Alaskan wine cruise

Whether you’re a cruise fanatic who enjoys fine wine or an oenophile who also enjoys the open ocean, here’s a cruise you won’t want to miss.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Resort fees? Key West hotelier just says ‘no’

Resort fees, which once covered high-end amenities offered by upmarket properties, have morphed into a way for hotels of all strata to lure guests with artificially low nightly rates without losing revenue. But not all hoteliers are willing to engage in this sleight of hand.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Castles by car in southwest Germany

While it may seem intimidating to rent a car and drive the roads of another country, especially if you don’t speak the native language, one of the most efficient ways for visitors to take in the breadth and depth of southwest Germany's breathtaking castles is by driving.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Alaska Airlines launches new service from San Jose to Tucson, Austin

Seattle-headquartered Alaska Airlines on Aug. 28 launched service from Silicon Valley to Tucson, Arizona and Austin, Texas.

Friday, August 25, 2017

ANA introduces upgraded amenities for economy passengers

As many U.S. airlines continue to take creature comforts away from their main cabin passengers, Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) will soon begin offering standard economy passengers more upgraded amenities.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Bargain carrier WOW air adds four US cities

Iceland’s low-cost transatlantic airline, WOW air, continues to expand its presence in North America and will add four new U.S. cities in 2018.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Alaska Airlines to upgrade in-flight Wi-Fi

Seattle-headquartered Alaska Airlines has announced plans to upgrade its in-flight Wi-Fi across its entire Boeing and Airbus fleet to provide passengers with more bandwidth and gate-to-gate connectivity.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

PGA National Resort & Spa holds ‘flash’ sale

PGA National Resort & Spa, South Florida’s world-class golf, vacation and spa destination, is holding a five-day “flash” sale that features 25 percent off rooms or 10 percent off rates for stay-and-play golf packages.

ANA launches 17th phase of 'Tastes of JAPAN'

Four years after introducing the program to its passengers, Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) will launch the seventeenth phase of its “Tastes of Japan” campaign, which will highlight the cuisine of three more of the country’s 47 prefectures.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Turkish Airlines ships aid to nation beset by famine, drought

Turkish Airlines, a leader in terms of international destinations served and Africa’s top international carrier, is also becoming a leader in giving back to countries facing some staggering challenges.

Friday, August 18, 2017

FRIDAY FRUMP: Booking multi-city airline tickets could be a costly mistake

When planning a trip last year that would include booking a multi-city flight itinerary, I learned of a nefarious twist being employed by major U.S. airlines to wring more dollars out of the traveling public. Recently, I decided to revisit the topic to see if things have changed.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

OPINION: Are Duty-Free Shops Past Their Time?

Experiences during my recent trips have caused me to wonder: Have duty-free shops outlived their usefulness?

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Eating economically in Dubai

Whether on a business expense account or using personal funds, prudent travelers want to keep expenses under control. The upmarket AVANI Deira Dubai Hotel has just introduced a special lunch offering that will help when it comes time to dine.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Norwegian to bring more bargain choices to Seattle

Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA, which operates as Norwegian, will begin service between Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and London-Gatwick (LGW) on Sept. 17, providing another low-cost alternative for frugal travelers in the Pacific Northwest.

Monday, August 14, 2017

New international arrivals hall coming to SEA

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, which serves the Puget Sound area, is about to get a new international arrivals hall to replace the current, outdated facility which entered service in 1973.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Airline fares rise in July CPI

Airline fares rose 0.7 percent in July, ending a three-month run of price declines 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.

ANA debuts Star Wars kids’ lounge at HND

Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) opened the doors to its “STAR WARS ANA Kids LOUNGE” located in Terminal 2 of Tokoy’s Haneda Airport (HND).

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Don't tease me; answer your email

I'll never understand why businesses -- particularly those in the hospitality industry -- provide an email address as an option for contacting them, but then apparently never check that mailbox. That lack of responsiveness certainly costs them business.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

U.S. News names best airline, hotel loyalty programs

U.S. News and World Report has named what it judges to be the best loyalty programs among U.S. airlines and hotel chains.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Alaska Airlines launches nonstop service from SFO, LAX to Mexico City

Seattle-headquartered Alaska Airlines on Aug. 8 launched service to Mexico City's Benito Juarez International Airport (MEX) from the major California hubs of San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Delta to commence Orlando to Amsterdam nonstop Mar. 30

Atlanta-headquartered Delta Air Lines will begin offering a direct link from central Florida to The Netherlands when it commences nonstop service linking Orlando International Airport (MCO) and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) on March 30.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Omni Hotels offer end-of-summer bargains

One of my favorite hotel chains, Omni Hotels & Resorts, is offering some tremendous deals as we approach the end of the summer travel season.

Friday, August 4, 2017

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.”