Tuesday, December 6, 2016

DOJ poised to clear Alaska Air Group's acquisition of Virgin America

The Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is poised to approve the acquisition of Virgin America by Seattle-based Alaska Air Group, though technical steps remain before the approval becomes final.

Eating healthy at 35,000 feet: It IS possible

Study evaluates food offerings of North American airlines

A new study shows it is possible to eat healthy as you wing your way home for the holidays. But if you plan to eat the meals and snacks offered onboard as opposed to bringing your own, a lot will depend on which airline you’ve chosen to fly.

Frankfurt: Restaurant Taverne

I don’t usually write about chain restaurants or restaurants located within hotels, as they tend to be a bit predictable. Restaurant Taverne, located in the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center at Frankfurt, Germany’s main airport, is a pleasant exception.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Würzburg: Würzburger Rathskeller

During a trip to Würzburg to visit the famed Würzburg Residence and the town’s Christkindlmarkt, my wife and I popped in to the Würzburger Rathskeller for what we had intended to be a light snack before catching our train back to Frankfurt.

Taking the train in Germany

Train travel in Europe is a pleasant, convenient, and often economical option for inter-city travel, but there are some things you should know to make your travels more comfortable and ensure there are fewer surprises.

Friday, December 2, 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, December 1, 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 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, November 30, 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, November 29, 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.

Monday, November 28, 2016

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

Calculating the cost

With many travelers planning to escape the winter chill with a Carribbean cruise and still others planning a voyage during the summer of 2017, 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.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Holiday hiatus

TheTravelPro will be on hiatus for the U.S.Thanksgiving holiday and will resume publication on Monday, Nov. 28.

Safe and pleasant travels!

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

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Qatar Airways helps U.S. passengers give thanks

Doha-based Qatar Airways will provide a special holiday touch for all passengers travelling to the United States on Thursday and Friday: a special menu featuring traditional Thanksgiving-day fare.

Tips for smooth(er) holiday air travel

With the busiest times of the year for air travel now upon us, here are some helpful tips to make your Thanksgiving and Christmas season travels, if not exactly “smooth,” at least smoother.

Death Valley: An alternative for a warm winter getaway

If you are looking for a warm winter getaway that doesn’t require a long plane ride or a passport, there is an alternative to the tropics you may not have considered: Death Valley.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Airport info app adds security wait times

Global airport information app flightSpeak has introduced a feature aimed at helping business and leisure air travelers at what is perhaps the most stressful point of their trip: getting through security.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Private Belize island welcomes first guests

Harvest Caye, a private island in southern Belize owned and developed by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Ltd., welcomed its first guests Nov. 17.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Alaska Airlines to begin nonstop service between San Diego and Baltimore

Alaska Airlines will continue its expansion from the West Coast with the addition of new nonstop service between San Diego’s Lindberg Field (SAN) and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) beginning March 15, 2017.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Airline fares resume downward trend in Oct. CPI

Airline fares resumed a downward trend in October, dropping 2.2 percent after a 0.4 percent increase in September, 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, November 16, 2016

Airline alliance SkyTeam previews new Beijing lounge

Global airline alliance SkyTeam has offered a preview of its latest premium-class lounge, set to open at Beijing Capital International Airport (BJS) in the next few weeks.

Staying healthy in flight

With the busiest travel season of the year nearly upon us, medical professionals are offering advice about how holiday travelers can minimize health risks when flying. Some are common sense while others, though less intuitive, are equally important and helpful.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Aer Lingus to launch first-ever non-stops between Miami and Dublin

Ireland’s national airline Aer Lingus will launch first-ever service between Dublin, Ireland (DUB) and Miami International Airport (MIA) beginning next fall and will connect the two cities with three flights weekly.

ANA to become first airline to offer daily flights from Tokyo to Mexico City

Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) will launch direct flights between Tokyo’s Narita Airport (NRT) and Mexico’s capital Mexico City beginning Feb. 15, 2017, making ANA the first airline to operate direct flights daily between Japan and Mexico.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Two San Francisco hotels offer holiday bed & breakfast packages

Despite the number of people who travel to see family and friends during the holiday season, it is often a quiet season for hotels. In an effort to fill their rooms, many hotels offer bargain rates, which can benefit those who -- like me -- prefer the surroundings of an upmarket hotel to bunking on a relative’s air mattress or hide-a-bed.

Norwegian Epic arrives at winter home port

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Epic arrived at her winter home port of Port Canaveral, Fla. on Nov. 12, from which it will depart on its winter sailings on a series of Eastern and Western Caribbean and Bahamas itineraries.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Alaska Airlines begins pre-selling Premium Class seating

Many passengers of Seattle-headquartered Alaska Airlines will now be able to purchase seats in the airline’s new Premium Class section for flights on select routes beginning Jan. 5, 2017.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Alaska Airlines launches new flights from West Coast to New York and Hawaii

Seattle-headquartered Alaska Airlines has announced new flights between Portland, Oregon (PDX) and Newark, New Jersey’s Liberty International Airport (EWR) and will begin new service from Bellingham, Washington International Airport (BLI) to Kona, Hawaii (KOA).

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Delta sets industry non-cancellation record

On Sunday, Nov. 6, Atlanta-headquartered Delta Air Lines did what no other airline has accomplished: it reached 200 days in a calendar year without canceling a single mainline flight.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Airlines developing new ways to boost revenue

The selling of á la carte services by many of the world’s airlines is a two-edged sword. On one hand, the ancillary revenue generated by the sale of such services is credited for returning a large portion of the industry to profitability. On the other hand, many travelers regard them as simply being nickel-and-dimed by an industry determined to wring every dollar possible from the traveling public, particularly in cases where no genuine option exists, such as some airlines that charge for both checked baggage and carry-ons.

Now, a new report details services many airlines are offering that can be considered truly optional and which also add value.

Monday, November 7, 2016

World’s three largest cruise ships rendezvous at sea

The three largest cruise ships in the world met at sea on Friday, Nov. 4, for the first and possibly the only time.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Delta debuts new class of service, upgrades Delta One

Atlanta-headquartered Delta Air Lines will debut a new cabin class on select international flights in the fall of 2017, bringing to six the number of different cabin classes the carrier offers. At the same time, it will upgrade the Delta One section in some of its new long-haul aircraft.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Explore Europe this winter with a dozen different getaways

There are plenty of good reasons to take your vacation in winter, whether you dislike hot weather, hate crowds or simply love the cold and snow. Now, a Toronto-based adventure tour operator has come up with a dozen more.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

KLM returns to MIA

Ending a five-year absence, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines resumed operations at Miami International Airport (MIA) Nov. 1 to operate three weekly, seasonal flights between MIA and Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport (AMS).

Delta offers frequent flier credit for stays at Airbnb

Delta Air Lines is offering its SkyMiles members the opportunity to earn miles on Airbnb bookings, making the Atlanta-based carrier the only major U.S. carrier to partner with the accommodations provider.

Americans set gasoline consumption record in summer ‘16

Thanks in part to more Americans taking driving vacations during the summer of 2016, the consumption of U.S. finished motor gasoline reached a new record high of 9.7 million barrels per day in June 2016.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Free in-flight Facebook and email postcards for long-haul Lufthansa passengers

Travelers of a certain age will recall the days when trips included sending friends and family postcards from the road. Now, German airline Lufthansa has teamed up with an in-flight apps developer to provide many of the airline’s passengers the opportunity to send post cards from the sky.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Survey quantifies wine prices worldwide

My wife and I love wine and are always eager to taste local wines when we are traveling, whether at home or abroad. Accordingly, I was very interested to learn of a new study comparing the cost of wine in 65 countries around the world. I found some of the results surprising.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Turkish passport system failure resolved

This updates the story originally published Oct. 26

A passport system failure that struck the nation of Turkey, resulting in travel delays for thousands of travelers at major transportation hubs, has been resolved.

Delta completes installation of Wi-Fi on all long-haul int’l aircraft

Delta Air Lines announced it has completed installation of Wi-Fi on its entire long-haul international fleet, allowing passengers to stay connected on more than 200 daily flights from the U.S. to the more than 50 countries to which the airline flies.

UK offers expedited customs clearance to many foreign nationals

U.S. citizen or Canadian citizen enrolled in the Global Entry or NEXUS program, as well as certain citizens of seven other countries, may be eligible to apply for an expedited entry program for travel to the United Kingdom.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

ANA and Vietnam Airlines launch codeshare, frequent flier partnerships

Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Vietnam Airlines will launch both a codeshare partnership and a frequent flier partnership at the beginning of their 2016 winter schedules, which commence Oct. 30.

American Airlines offers bonus frequent flier miles

From now through the end of October, American Airlines is offering bonus miles to AAdvantage® members who buy additional miles. Depending on when, where and how you travel, purchasing additional miles could make financial sense.

Emirates takes delivery of 85th super jumbo A380

U.A.E.-based Emirates, the airline that operates the largest number of Airbus A380 super-jumbo jets, took delivery of its 85th A380 on Oct. 25, further entrenching its position as the largest operator of the double-decker airliner in the world.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Luxury St. Lucia resort extends bargain rates into spring '17

The upmarket Landings Resort and Spa on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia has announced a new sale that makes luxury accommodations available at a 50 percent discount for stays during the first quarter of 2017.

Four-star Turks and Caicos resort offers luxury Thanksgiving alternative

The Blue Haven Resort located at the northern end of Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, is offering a package that provides a 180-degree departure from what can be a cold – and exhausting –Thanksgiving holiday.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Delta gives customers first-ever map view of bag’s journey

Everyone who flies is intimately familiar with their journey from the curb to the plane to baggage claim at their destination. But what about their luggage? Taken from us at the check-in counter, its journey – and hopefully our eventual reunion with it – has been a mystery. Until now.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Take care when buying code-share

Code-sharing, which allows a passenger to purchase a ticket through one airline for a flight operated by another carrier, is a very common practice in the airline industry. There are benefits, but there is a potential pitfall that travelers should know about.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Book Dubai, win the Seychelles

AVANI Deira Dubai Hotel is offering guests who book online the chance to win a weekend getaway in the Indian Ocean paradise of the Seychelles.

Holiday travel: When, where and how

Hot on the heels of our article offering tips for smooth(er) holiday travel comes a survey about how, where and when we intend to go. The results may surprise you. Or not.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Staying cyber safe while traveling

Whether you are a road warrior for business or a frequent – or even moderate – traveler for leisure, you are at greater risk of falling victim to cybercrimes than people who don’t often venture far from home. But there are things you can do to minimize your risk.

Ride-hailing services now score majority of business rides

Ride-hailing services Uber and Lyft now control the majority of paid ground transportation among business travelers, according to a report based on business expense reports filed during the third quarter of 2016.