Hotel: Concierge Bell (Photo: Shutterstock/Levent Konuk)

Do you have a question or comment about travel etiquette? Send it to Miss Travel Manners at editor@smartertravel.com.

Dear Miss Travel Manners,

We, not infrequently, travel to places with large airports and other venues where getting to and from hotels is a very physically challenging task. Sometimes this takes over an hour while carrying a full complement of luggage, laptops, briefcase, etc. After finally arriving at the hotel, some clown expects me to pay $2 a bag to move my things 50 feet to the desk! Not only do I not tip them (or let them take my stuff), it's almost impossible to keep myself from going medieval on them. When you show up at touchdown and grab my stuff from the overhead compartment and take it to the hotel, then you can expect a tip.

—Rick L.

***

Dear Rick,

It could be a challenge for a bellhop to leave the hotel, travel to the airport, board your plane, and identify and remove your luggage from the overhead compartment. His superior might wonder where's he gone off to. And he would have to find some way to evade airport security and make it onto the tarmac and into your plane without getting arrested or shot. Arnold Schwarzenegger in True Lies might make a decent bellhop. Or maybe Neo from The Matrix. They would deserve a $2 tip....read more»

Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 767-300ER (Photo: Boeing)

Beginning June 5, members of JetBlue's TrueBlue program will be able to earn and redeem points for flights on Hawaiian Airlines, and members of Hawaiian's HawaiianMiles program will be able to earn and redeem miles for flights on JetBlue.

On the earning side, TrueBlue members will earn one point for every two miles flown on Hawaiian for most fares....read more»

Kim Kardashian (Photo: Shutterstock/worldswildlifewonders)

I guess Kim Kardashian doesn't read our newsletters, otherwise she'd know not to pack anything valuable in her checked luggage. The Telegraph reports that the reality show celebrity claims that British Airways baggage handlers stole sunglasses out of her luggage at London's Heathrow Airport. The glasses were given to Kardashian by her late father, and had sentimental value. The Telegraph also reports that this is just another black eye for the airport nicknamed Thiefrow, which has a poor history of airport staff stealing from passengers' baggage. Olympians, take note, and don't check your gold medals in your bags here!

At least this next guy didn't need to check a bag. CNN reports that a man was able to board a United Express plane at San Diego International Airport ... without being booked on the flight or going through security. The man allegedly walked through an emergency door (setting off an alarm), onto the tarmac, and sat down on the plane. The man was only discovered after a flight attendant realized there were too many passengers on the plane. ...read more»

Man clinging to airplane seat (Photo: Index Open)

United Airlines just released the seating chart for its new Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The bad news? The airline has opted for nine ultra-tight 737-size seats in each row, instead of a comfortable eight. (See image below.)

And although American hasn't yet posted any seating charts for its newest 777s, reliable industry reports indicate that the line is installing ultra-tight 10-across economy seats in each row instead of the more common—and much more comfortable—nine across. That's bad news for those of you who regularly fly in the back of the plane. You'll be stuffed into seats that are at least two inches too narrow to accommodate Americans on those long international flights....read more»

Panama Canal (Photo: Thinkstock/iStockphoto)

Pay a visit to one of the world's finest engineering feats—the Panama Canal. Thousands of ships pass through the canal every year, so you'll have a good chance of seeing one go through when you visit. Or, you can even book a tour aboard a crossing vessel, letting you experience the journey first-hand.

The easiest way to visit the Panama Canal is at Miraflores Locks, located just outside of Panama City. Here, there's a viewing center with stadium-style seats to watch the boats, as well as a nice historical visitor's center. You'll learn fun facts about the Canal, including one about the American adventurer who swam it—like a boat, he was charged by weight for his crossing. Entry to the exhibits and viewing center is just $8 for adults.

A trip to Miraflores Locks can easily be done in a day-trip from Panama City. It's definitely doable to visit on a self-guided trip (hire a taxi or drive your rental car to the locks). There are also a number of tour companies running short trips there and back from the city.

...read more»
Beach - Palm Trees (Photo: ThinkStock/Creatas Images)

Effective immediately, members of InterContinental's Priority Club Rewards program may redeem their points for digital rewards, including music downloads, games, and software.

To bring the digital rewards into the program's award catalog, Priority Club turned to the first club, a "global provider of digital rewards," for a turnkey solution that integrates seamlessly with the Priority Club website....read more»

Europe Globe (Photo: Thinkstock/iStockphoto)

Follow contributing editor Ed Perkins as he embarks on a round-the-world "Joan Trip." (What's a Joan Trip? Find out in Take That Special Trip ... While You Still Can.) According to Perkins, "neither frequent-flyer miles nor people improve with age," so he's working off a bundle of miles seeing the world, combining places he missed over the years with some old favorites. Read the rest of Perkins' round-the-world-trip posts.

Overall, my Joan Trip was a great experience. I loved both seeing the new places and returning to old favorites. Now, I'm paying the price: Even in business class, 20 hours from first departure to final arrival takes its toll in jet lag....read more»

Wildlife: Jaguar (Photo: Thinkstock/Medioimages/Photodisc)

This 107,000-acre reserve is home to exotic wildlife, Mayan artifacts, and cascading waterfalls....read more»

Cook Islands: Aroa Marine Park (Photo: Shutterstock/gmwnz)

Off the sandy white Aroa Beach in the Cook Islands of the South Pacific, the Aroa Lagoon is home to the Aroa Marine Reserve. The reserve is one of the world's best snorkeling spots, as the turquoise water is clean and clear, and there are no boats to worry about disturbing the marine life (or running over any swimmers)....read more»

Photo: Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau

Enter Disney's John Carter Blu-ray sweepstakes by August 31 for a chance to win the grand prize: a five-day trip for four to Oahu, including air, hotel accommodations, and a $500 room credit. There are also 50 runner-up prizes: Panasonic Blue-ray players....read more»

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