A new members-only hotel-booking site has plenty of perks, but is it worth the price? ... read more»
On a recent three-week trip from my home airport, I chose to stay the night before departure at an airport-area motel. Why? Even though the airport is only 25 minutes from my home, the motel's stay-park-fly package was the best deal. The room rate was $80 for one night, with shuttles to/from the airport and up to 30 days of parking included. The airport's long-term parking lot charge would have been $180 and the round-trip taxi fare from my home would have been close to $100.
My situation wasn't unique. Airport parking at even long-term or "economy" lots can be pretty expensive. At Seattle-Tacoma, for example, the least expensive parking is $28 per day or $130 per week, and costs are in the $20 range at many large fields. Independent off-airport lots typically charge just enough less than the airport to generate business. And even when you live relatively close to your airport, taxi and shuttle rates can often cost more than one night in a motel. ... read more»
The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX), "a network of leading airlines, suppliers, and related companies committed to elevating the level of the airline passenger experience," released its latest "global survey of passengers," and the primary conclusion is that passengers want to be thoroughly connected and wired. That theme also pervades the association's 10-year travel forecast: No matter how bad the rest of your travel experience may be, you'll be connected.
Connected or no, the central conclusion about the future of air travel is contained in this excerpt from the current issue of Airline Passenger Experience, APEX's publication: "Seat manufacturers are now under constant pressure from their airline customers to focus on three design parameters: lighter seats, increased number of seats abreast with varying widths, and reduced seat pitch." In short, expect economy class to get worse, not better. "Lighter, tighter, and narrower" is the guiding principle. ... read more»
What Is It: At Toronto's Lester B. Pearson International Airport, which serves as Air Canada's hub, a simplified baggage handling process sends checked bags directly on to connecting flights so that travelers no longer have to retrieve and recheck bags for U.S. Customs inspection.
Price and Where to Buy: This is a free service offered on all flights that connect in Toronto and continue on to Air Canada's U.S. destinations.
Pros: Ease of use! I came away fully impressed with the service. No waiting in long lines, no fretting about missing a connection, no stress of any kind. I connected in Toronto en route from Beijing to New York, and I was responsible for my carry-on bag alone; my checked luggage made it from Asia to the U.S. with no difficulty. As I had a relatively tight connection for an international route, this was a real game changer for me. ... read more»
There's one quick and easy task you can do that will more than likely save you money on your next flight. Less than 24 hours after you've booked your plane tickets, hit up some airline websites and check fares. You'll thank us later.
We received an email from airfare-analysis website Hopper today that reminded us of something very important: U.S. travelers can cancel or change all plane tickets within 24 hours of booking, as long as those tickets are booked more than seven days ahead of departure. This largely unsung yet very consumer-friendly policy has been the law since 2011. The Department of Transportation (DOT) says so. If you've dropped some cash on a plane ticket and are having regrets, there's an easy way out for at least a day. File that factoid in the back of your brain and put it to use when you're planning your next trip. ... read more»
Enter the Budget "Road Trip" sweepstakes by November 4, 2014, for a chance to win the grand prize: a $5,000 Budget car-rental credit, plus a $10,000 check.
To enter, "Like" the Budget Facebook page, provide the requested contact information on the sweepstakes landing page, pick five destinations on the interactive map, and press "Submit." Done! Time required to participate: less than one minute. ... 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.
George Hobica found out the old-fashioned way: by trying each U.S. airline's New York/Los Angeles service. ... read more»
Saveur, probably the most credible of the surviving culinary magazines, has just published its 2014 Culinary Travel Awards, including its expert panel's picks of the best in inflight dining.
The inflight meal awards were broken down by class of service (first or business class, and economy) and by quality (Best, Outstanding, and Notable). ... read more»
Don't get me wrong, I definitely have some issues with the service I get from T-Mobile. Reception in my city is spotty and sometimes I feel like I'm dropping calls like it's 1999. But for all that, I still think it's a great choice for anyone who travels internationally on a regular basis.
Initially, I switched because I wanted to be able to use my phone while traveling like I use my phone at home without becoming one of those cautionary tales about that person who accidentally racked up $1,000 in overages on vacation while doing basic smartphone stuff.
So I did what I usually do, I asked an expert. In this case, it was Johnny Jet, who is always traveling and always posting both to his website and to social media. He suggested T-Mobile for its no-nonsense, no-added-data-charges approach to international use.
In the last two months, T-Mobile has announced two new features that make its service even more useful to travelers: ... read more»