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Airplane Flying Around Globe (Photo: iStockphoto/kickers)

In recent weeks, Oneworld—comprising Airberlin, American, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN, Qantas, Royal Jordanian, and S7—has been deemed the world's best global airline alliance a resounding three times: by Australian Business Traveller, Global Traveler, and the World Travel Awards.

Having opined earlier this week that the Star Alliance trumped Oneworld, I found these results not only at odds with my own thinking but in conflict with the thinking of many fellow travelers of a certain geographic persuasion (see below).

And it raised the question, what make one airline alliance better than another?...read more»

Woman: Holding Blank Card (Photo: Thinkstock/iStockphoto)

Question from Mary-Lynne F.

"Now that the American Airlines/US Airways merger appears certain, what do you predict will be the fate of frequent flyers, especially those with American?

"Since US Airways will be the dominant partner, does that mean that the new airline will be part of the Star Alliance? Will elite status earned on American carry over? What about availability of award seats? There's a lot more to this issue than having one's miles 'safe.'"...read more»

Air Canada aircraft close up (Photo: Air Canada)

The Canadian government announced that it now requires airlines to feature total prices for air travel, including all mandatory fees and taxes, in online pricing, print advertisement, and other outlets. This move parallels the requirements already in effect in the U.S., Europe, and several other regions.

So far, Canadian airlines may be nearing full compliance, but they haven't arrived yet. A check of the Air Canada website for a Toronto-Edinburgh flight, for example, initially displays a low-ball price of $324, as does the subsequent matrix of dates and flight options. But when you click on any of the fare figures, a pop up reveals that the real fare is the phony $324 base fare plus a fuel surcharge of $412 and other taxes and surcharges of $212, for a total of $948. On the next page, where Air Canada tries to up sell you into a higher class, it lists the lowest Tango one-way fare of $161 each way, with Tango Plus at $304, and Latitude at $854, to which you have to add the same fuel surcharge and taxes....read more»

Airport - Departure screen full of canceled flights (Photo: iStockPhoto/Simon Smith)

Just in time for holiday travel, a major winter storm is causing flight delays in the Midwest. According to a report from USA Today, flights at Chicago O'Hare were delayed, on average, by two hours on Thursday. Other airports that are seeing flight delays and cancellations include Des Moines International, Memphis International, and Omaha Airport.

As the storm moves east, travelers in the Northeast, including those heading to or from New York-area airports, could experience some delays and cancellations toward the end of the week as well. Weather Channel meteorologist Brian Fortier told NBC News, "The worst of the weather Friday looks to be centered from the Great Lakes to New England."...read more»

Sunset over the Ocean (Photo: Thinkstock/iStockphoto)

Guest blogger Chris Miles is an accomplished travel blogger who enjoys all types of holidays, especially those that take him to the beach. He has visited a large number of continents in the world, although he usually finds himself gravitating back towards Europe and Asia.

Southern Spain is an attractive prospect at any time of year with its colorful beach-scapes, pulsing coastal resorts and access to some of the most historic cities in the country. Winter holidays on the Costa del Sol offer the irresistible chance to exchange gloomy skies and damp pavements for palm trees and warm sand underfoot, all under the shadow of the impressive Sierra Nevada mountains....read more»

Toronto skyline at dusk (Photo: iStockphoto)

Air Canada is birthing a brand-new low-cost carrier in 2013. The discount airline, called Rouge, will debut on July 1. Tickets for Rouge, which will operate 14 weekly flights from Canada to destinations in Europe, Central America, and the Caribbean, went on sale yesterday.

Some of the destinations to be served include Athens, Venice, and Edinburgh in Europe, as well as various Caribbean and Central American spots like Punta Cana, Kingston, San Jose, and Puerto Plata. The airline will fly from two departure cities: Montreal and Toronto....read more»

What Is it: The new Tide to Go Stain Eraser is a tiny single-use stain treater with a micro-fiber pad. The product is filled with a small amount of cleaning solution.

Price and Where to Buy: $2.69 for a packet of four erasers at Target. Look for it in your local drug store....read more»

Hotel: Key Handed to Guest (Photo: Shutterstock/.shock)

Marriott will be changing the requirements for earning a lifetime of elite perks.

On its Marriott Rewards Insiders blog, the company has released details of its new criteria for earning lifetime elite status in the Marriott Rewards program.

Lifetime status will continue to be awarded on the basis of a combination of points and nights earned by travelers during their memberships....read more»

Scottevest: Travel Vest - Montage (Photo: Scottevest)

A man flying from China's Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport to Nairobi, Kenya went to extreme lengths to avoid paying an excess baggage fee, reports the Guangzhou Daily....read more»

Photo: American Airlines

"Avoid fees—just pay more." That's the perverse logic of American's new system of presenting prices, and it may make some sense. A few days ago, American unveiled some major changes to its online booking system—changes designed to steer you toward arranging your American flights through its own website rather than a third-party online travel agency (OTA) such as Expedia or Travelocity. Although American's approach isn't revolutionary—it borrows from fare display systems already used by Air Canada, Frontier, Southwest, and several overseas lines—it represents American's latest move in its ongoing fight with OTAs for "ownership" of its customers.

Now, when you log onto aa.com and enter an itinerary, the initial presentation is a matrix of flight options with three tabs of fare options: ...read more»

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