"Ladies and gentlemen, please stow your carry-on bags underneath the seat in front of you or in a Liberty Mutual overhead bin."
Spirit, the airline that will do anything for a dollar, is hawking virtually every surface of its planes to corporate sponsors—barf bags and all. As it indiscriminately sacrifices in-flight ambiance in exchange for marketing dollars, Spirit positions itself to become the spammy Facebook timeline of the airline industry. According to a report from Skift, the ultra-low-cost carrier plans to plaster ads on air-sickness bags, tray tables, napkins, overhead bins, cups, menus, bulkheads, and window panels. Or a company could purchase a Spirit plane wrap, in which case an entire Airbus would be covered in ads—a veritable flying billboard. ... read more»
What Is it: Connected by TCP Gateway Suite: three bulbs, a "gateway" that creates a wireless smart lighting network, and a remote control.
Price and Where to Buy: $143, available at TCPI.com.
Pros: The bulbs turn any lamp into a dimmable lamp--that's particularly impressive considering that for years, most of us have been living with CFLs that can't even dim in a dimmable lamp. The system allows you to set on and off times via the app. Any fixtures containing the bulbs can be controlled from outside the home. And the app also lets you create custom "scenes" (for instance, dinner party) for lighting levels that you've perfected in advance.
Cons: It's expensive, and requires some basic set up plus a smart phone or tablet that can host an app. And it's not great for spots where you regularly use the light switch to turn lights on and off (for instance, the bathroom) because the switch needs to be in the on position for the app/remote to work.... read more»
We've seen a flurry of airline announcements over the last few weeks. And in this industry, when one big line announces some new initiative—especially when it's a bad idea—the other giants are very likely to follow. Among the more important developments for consumers: ... read more»
For travelers, Great Britain is a work in progress, richly rewarding those who visit with up-to-date information. Here are a few important changes to be aware of for 2014.
London continues to grow and thrive post-Olympics. Free Wi-Fi is everywhere, bus transportation is more efficient than ever, and the city's freshly scrubbed monuments have never looked so good. Some of the biggest changes are in East London, where backhoes and bulldozers buzz around busily turning the 2012 Olympics site into what is now Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (great for Londoners, but a bit far from the center for most tourists). ... read more»
Enter the Chico's Passport to Paris sweepstakes by March 31, 2014 for a chance to win the grand prize: a trip for two to Paris, including air, five nights' hotel, $1,000 spending money, and a $1,500 White House Black Market gift card.
To enter, provide the requested information (name, address, email, etc.) on the sweepstakes landing page and press "submit." Done!
Time required to enter: less than 60 seconds. ... read more»
According to the New York Daily News, five baggage handlers at New York's Kennedy Airport have been arrested and charged with allegedly stealing over $27,000 worth of U.S. mail that they were supposed to be loading onto international flights.The workers reportedly swiped everything from credit cards to checks to money orders, including child support checks and money orders from military members. The defendants would deposit the money into their accounts, and also use the stolen credit cards to buy iPad minis from the Best Buy vending machines in the airports. ... read more»
Airline partnerships are often compared to marriages, with all the tension and conflict that implies. The story of the American-JetBlue relationship is a case in point.
American and JetBlue have had a limited frequent-flyer relationship since 2010, and an even longer interline sales relationship. At what now appears to have been the partnership's high point, there were rumors during American's stay in bankruptcy protection that a merger of the two airlines might be part of American's long-term survival plan. ... read more»
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.
For April and May, A4A is projecting that air travel will increase to its highest level in six years. Those full flights are bound to push discomfort levels into the stratosphere. ... read more»
What do we know about the fate of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which vanished from the sky on the way to Beijing? The short answer: Almost nothing.
So far, all we really know is that the flight is missing. Searchers have already found some probable debris, and the plane almost surely crashed into the sea. Everything else is speculation.
Although no distress calls from the aircraft were heard, radar evidence suggests that the plane had turned around and might have been trying to return to Malaysia or land somewhere. This is a peculiar combination: If the plane was under sufficient control to change course, presumably someone in the crew could have had time to send out a message. ... read more»
U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster's proposed new Transparent Airfares Act of 2014 should really be called the Obfuscated Airfares Act of 2014. While claiming to offer consumers "better information," the bill's provisions would actually make matters worse. It would roll back the Department of Transportation's (DOT) requirement that airlines post all-up prices that include fees and taxes, and again allow airlines to feature ridiculously low-ball fares with an asterisk noting, "each way based on round-trip purchase, not including fees, surcharges, and taxes."
Proponents of the bill—clearly parroting words supplied by airline lobbyists—claim that consumers want to know how much of the airfare they pay consists of taxes and fees. Actually, Rep Shuster, they don't. What they want to know is how much a trip will really cost, not some phony figure designed to make them think an airline is almost giving away tickets. If they really want to know the details about taxes and fees, they can easily look at the "terms and conditions" pull-down display. ... read more»