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»
Does the world really need another hotel brand?
Hilton thinks so, and will begin opening hotels under the Canopy name in 2015.
Hilton is promoting Canopy as a "lifestyle brand," which seems to mean that it aspires to be whatever's considered hip and cool by Millennials. Here's how that translates into hotels:
Neighborhood-y - "Canopy is all about being local, through design, food and beverage, art and knowledge."
No Cookie-Cutter Hotels - Each Canopy hotel will be unique. ... read more»
The key to fall trips is to pack warm items while keeping baggage weight to a minimum. Finding outwear that folds up small or rolls up tight is also important, since bulky jackets can easily take over a small suitcase. Here are three lightweight jackets that look great, are warm enough for cooler days and evenings, and compress well for easy packing. Each approaches the light-small-warm equation slightly differently, but all succeed. These jackets have three different price points, but all share the same goal: to keep you warm and fashionable wherever your travels take you this fall. ... read more»
Thailand is poised to take destination marketing down a heretofore unexplored road with an ad campaign that promotes the supposed lure of visiting a country operating under martial law.
Since the democratically elected government was ousted in a May coup, the country has been under the control of the army. Tourism, which normally accounts for around 7 percent of Thailand's economy, is off 20 percent. And the Tourism Authority of Thailand was understandably under pressure to put a tourist-friendly face on the situation. ... read more»
Within the borders of the U.S., the New York/Los Angeles route is widely viewed as the jewel in the crown of commercial aviation.
The country's two largest media markets. Centers of finance and entertainment. Plenty of upscale customers willing and able to pay for front-of-the-plane accommodations. It's a recipe for profitable air service. Which means it's also a hotbed of competition.
And indeed, every airline that flies cross-country routes does so with its plushest seats, fanciest meals, and most robust menus of inflight entertainment.
And that raises the question: Which airline's transcon service is the best?
There are many ways to assess the quality of an airline's service. But George Hobica, founder of sister site Airfarewatchdog, decided to do it the old-fashioned way, by the seat of his pants. He flew transcon in first or business class on all five of the competing carriers.