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.
Addicted to inflight Wi-Fi? Most of us are. Check out Routehappy's list of the airlines with the most Wi-Fi-enabled fleets, and the least.
How to ensure the security of your loyalty points? Details here. ... read more»
Beginning in March, travelers will earn significantly fewer miles when flying on discounted coach tickets on most MileagePlus partner airlines. ... read more»
If you find yourself in a taxi in South Korea with an overriding impulse to vomit, you'll want to consider the price of succumbing to the urge: 150,000 won (about $138).
That's the fine agreed to by the city of Seoul and two organizations representing the interests of professional taxi drivers.
According to coverage of the story in Stars and Stripes, a survey conducted by the Seoul Taxi Association found that 42.5 percent of the complaints filed by its drivers concerned passengers' vomiting in their cabs. An official with the Seoul Private Taxi Association described the drivers' predicament thusly: "Taxi drivers clean over and over again, but the vomit smell lasts so long that often they can't drive the taxi again the next day."
The fine, which takes effect on February 1, is designed to cover the cost of cleaning ... read more»
Yesterday, in the inboxes of many members of British Airways' Executive Club program (including mine) there appeared an email with the apparently innocuous subject line "We're making changes to the Executive Club." Of course, any traveler worth his upgrade certificates knows that such headings are almost always code for "We're making changes that you won't like."
Addicted to Wi-Fi? Most of us are. And the craving doesn't cease when we board a plane. If anything, when confined for hours in a too-tight seat in a too-packed plane, the lure of Internet diversion spikes.
The airlines, aware of surging customer demand and salivating at the prospect of a new source of revenue, have been scrambling to fit out their fleets with the hardware and software required to deliver Wi-Fi to each and every seat. But some airlines are much closer to fulfilling the promise of Wi-Fi-on-every-flight than others.
Helpfully, Routehappy's "Global State of Inflight Wi-Fi" provides a clear picture of which airlines have the most Wi-Fi-enabled flights, and which have the least.
Based on the percentage of flights with Wi-Fi, U.S. carriers fared as follows, ranked from highest to lowest:
- Virgin America
- American/US Airways
So, your odds of having Internet access on a Virgin America or Southwest flight are much higher than they would be on a United flight. (For what it's worth, the report also shows that United has increased Wi-Fi coverage the most of any U.S. airline over the past 18 months.) ... read more»
One minute you're strolling through a winery, surrounding vines heavy with ripe fruit to your left, a bustling crush pad to your right. The next, you're in a dimly lit barrel room decked out with crystal chandeliers, a long marble dining table, mannequins in various states of undress, and a wall of wigs. You've just entered JCB Lounge, Sonoma's most unexpected tasting room.
... read more»
What airlines are most likely to deliver you to the gate within 15 minutes of your scheduled arrival time? FlightStats has taken its annual look at the major airlines in the U.S. and around the world with the highest percentage of flights on time. Here are the details.
Alaska Airlines topped the list with an 87 percent on-time record, beating out Delta, Virgin America, US Airways, Air Canada, West Jet, JetBlue, Frontier, American, and Southwest.
Finnair beat out nine major European airlines with its impressive 90 percent on-time record. Close behind (and more relevant to North Americans flying to Europe), KLM had a 88 percent on-time record (making this second-place finisher on time more often than Alaska, North America's top-rated on-time airline). ... read more»
It's not clear whether incidents of loyalty accounts being hacked are increasing in number, or whether they're simply being more widely recognized and reported. What's inarguably true is that we're hearing more about them.
The latest report of hacked accounts comes from members of the Starwood Preferred Guest program, via FlyerTalk, with posters complaining that their Starwood points had been transferred to airline accounts and redeemed for gift cards. ... read more»