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People in Bourbon Street at Night (Photo: Thinkstock/iStockphoto)

Help visitors to your hometown know what not to do (or just vent your annoyance). We want to know: What is the most annoying thing that tourists do in your city? Tell us in the comments.

Be sure to keep an eye out for our round-up of the best answers in the next few weeks! ... read more»

Miles & Points (Photo: Shutterstock)

Following is our regular summary of the latest travel news and best frequent traveler promotions reviewed during the past week.

If it was a good deal—or a notably bad deal—from an airline, hotel, or car rental loyalty program, you can read all about it here, and plan your travel accordingly.

The Airline with the Best Award-Seat Availability Is...

A study of award availability from the five largest U.S. airlines has yielded a winner. Guesses?

Work in Progress: American Lounges Get Makeover

Beginning with its facilities in Phoenix and Sao Paulo, American has begun renovating its network of more than 50 Admirals Club lounges at airports worldwide.

Voters Pick the Six Best Travel Loyalty Programs

If there were a best loyalty program, there's probably no better indicator than the results of the latest Freddie Awards. Here's what the voters say ... ... read more»

Man with bags walking down empty road (Photo: iStockphoto/Johnny Habell)

There is no best frequent-traveler program. What there is, crucially, is a best program for you, given your goals, your travel and shopping patterns.

But if there were a best program, there's probably no better indicator than the results of the latest Freddie Awards.

Since 1988, the Freddies, named for Sir Freddie Laker, have given travelers a chance to vote for their favorite programs, best promotions, best award availability, and so on. This year, more than 3.2 million votes were cast. ... read more»

My grandmother—who is 95 and still feisty—recently told me a story of travel in the late 1920s. She and her family took a car trip, and lashed their suitcases to the outside rear of the car. There was a huge storm while they were driving, and when they got out, the suitcases (which were made of cardboard, which she insists was fairly standard then) had melted into a pulp that mixed with their clothing and glued everything to the side of the car.

Clearly, suitcases have come a long way in the last century. No suitcase I've seen lately makes that point more assertively than the Barracuda, a carry-on currently in its Kickstarter phase and scheduled to launch in Fall 2015.

It's got a lot of unusual features. Most revolutionary is that it's a hard-sided suitcase that can be collapsed flat for storage. According to the company, the bag can be collapsed down in 10 seconds. Even at double the time, it's appealing to anyone who has recently sustained an injury while trying to remove a suitcase from a precarious stack of bags in a closet. (Me. Earlier today.) ... read more»

Plane and Palm (Photo: Thinkstock/iStock)

"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble; it's what you know for sure that just ain't so." That old saying, variously attributed to Mark Twain or Will Rogers, has never been more appropriate than when you're trying to find cheap transatlantic airline tickets. Over the last year or so, competitive developments have rendered much of the old conventional wisdom obsolete. Icelandair undersells everyone? No longer. Low-fare airlines undercut major carriers? Sometimes, sometimes not. The big airlines raise and lower fares in lockstep? Not always.

... read more»

In 1962, the Trans World Airlines terminal opened at JFK Airport—then called Idlewild—becoming an instant icon. Created by architect Eero Saarinen, the TWA terminal had a swooping aerodynamic design that symbolized the notion of flight.

The building also helped transform the airport experience with its endless innovations: enclosed jetways, a public address system, and baggage carousels, a rarity at the time. ... read more»

<h2>Seattle, Washington</h2>
Copy Editor Carl Unger was pleasantly surprised by <a href="http://www.visitseattle.org/" target="_blank">Seattle's</a> cheap eats and glorious weather last May. "It turned out to be an amazing walking city, which you wouldn't expect because it has a reputation for bad weather," he says "We walked and walked all over, finding tons of great places to eat for cheap, including the Crumpet Shop, Hattie's Hat, Bimbo's Bitchin Burrito Kitchen, <a href="http://www.ddir.com/"target="_blank">Dick's Drive-In</a>, and <a href="http://www.beechershandmadecheese.com/"target="_blank">Beecher's Handmade Cheese</a>. We also made use of the endless produce at <a href="http://www.pikeplacemarket.org"target="_blank">Pike Place Market</a> and took picnics. We spent four very enjoyable days there and really didn't spend too much money."

To search for flights and compare prices to Seattle, use our <a href="http://www.smartertravel.com/compare-prices/flights/?arrival_city=SEA">price-comparison tool</a>.

(Photo: Carl Unger)

Could Delta be regretting its decision to attack Alaska Airlines at its primary-hub airport, Seattle?

Since Delta began bulking up its services to and from Seattle, Alaska has responded with frequent-flyer program initiatives and its own new flights, including the launch of new or expanded service to Delta strongholds like Salt Lake City and New York. ... read more»

Woman: Arms Up, Sitting at Laptop (Photo: Shutterstock/Syda Productions)

Although the proliferation of revenue-based programs and dynamic award pricing is changing the game somewhat, the availability of award seats remains one of the key factors in determining the real-world value of any loyalty program. It would seem, then, that a definitive comparison of award-seat availability among the various airline programs would be a natural.

Easier said than done. ... read more»

Wanderu, an astonishingly inexpensive website for U.S. bus travel, has just added a search capability for Amtrak trains. ... read more»

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Beginning on May 1, award prices at 450 InterContinental Hotels Group properties will change, with 300 hotels shifting into higher-priced award categories and 150 hotels shifting into lower-priced categories.

With around 4,500 hotels in the network, the changes affect 10 percent of IHG's hotels, with a 2-to-1 split between increases and decreases. That doesn't capture the full extent of the downgrade, however. Of the price increases, most are rising 10,000 points, while the price decreases tend to be by 5,000 points.

Making the bad news even worse is the timing of the announcement. IHG waited until the week before the new prices take effect to publish a list of the affected hotels, making it unnecessarily difficult for members to work around the changes. ... read more»

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