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.
After a three-and-a-half-month grounding, seven of eight airlines will have restored their Boeing 787s to service by June 1....read more»
Which city will be the world's most visited in 2013? Here's a hint: It's a place amply supplied with Buddhist temples, delicious street food, and legions of backpackers.
Bangkok, Thailand is the correct answer. According to the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index, Bangkok will see the largest number of international visitors—15.98 million, to be exact—in 2013. Following Bangkok are London, Paris, Singapore, and New York, as the top five most-visited cities on the planet, respectively.
MasterCard's Cities Index predicts how popular a destination will be each year, based on public data such as flight schedules and capacity. Last year, London took the top spot. This time, Bangkok edged to the front of the pack with a slim margin of roughly 25,000 more international visitors than London....read more»
It's finally over—the TSA told Congress that it has finished changing all Advanced Imagining Technology (also known as backscatter scanners) airport body scanners to Automatic Target Recognition machines (also known as the millimeter wave scanners). The backscatter scanners caused public uproar as many thought that the graphic images of passengers' bodies were too revealing, and there were concerns over the lack of privacy safeguards.)...read more»
On Saturday, June 1, LOT Polish Airlines and Japan Airlines will follow five other airlines in resuming 787 operations, after problems with the advanced-technology plane's battery system resulted in a three-and-a-half-month grounding while Boeing diagnosed the issue and retrofitted upgraded parts.
Of the eight 787 customers affected by the worldwide grounding, that will leave only LAN with no in-service 787s. The carrier tentatively plans to resume operations on July 1, with flights between Santiago, Chile, and Los Angeles....read more»
It's time to feed your morbid curiosity. The odds that you or a fellow passenger will need access to emergency medical care while in flight—a terrifying scenario, to put it mildly—are roughly one to 600. But it's very likely that a doctor or nurse will be onboard to help.
According to a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine, one medical emergency happens per 604 flights. Researchers reviewed records from five airlines over a period of a few years to gauge rates of in-flight medical emergency calls and their causes. They found that "the most common problems were syncope or presyncope (37.4 percent of cases), respiratory symptoms (12.1 percent), and nausea or vomiting (9.5 percent)."...read more»
Pity the Mexican tourism officials.
The country they're charged with promoting boasts everything a marketer could want: rich history, resonant culture, friendly people, gorgeous beaches, moderate climate. And it shares a border with the U.S.
But the horrific stories of violence and pandemonium bred of the country's pervasive narco-terrorism contradict the balmy tranquility depicted in the glossy brochures and travel posters.
No wonder the country is a hard sell....read more»
On Monday, a ship fire caused Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas to abort its planned itinerary and head for the nearest port. After canceling the remainder of the ship's seven-day cruise, Royal Caribbeean arranged accommodations for Grandeur's passengers, where necessary; arranged flights from Freeport back to Baltimore, where the cruise originated; and offered passengers full refunds plus certificates for future cruises.
Most of us would agree that Royal Caribbean's response was fair and reasonable, given the circumstances. But this was an ad hoc company decision, not a fulfillment of contractual or regulatory requirements. And cruise lines aren't always as responsive when something goes wrong. Passengers on cruises that encounter problems often get unsatisfactory compensation....read more»
Were six flyers kicked off of a Spirit flight for speaking in Russian, or for being too loud? The flyers claim that they were booted off a flight to Las Vegas last week simply for talking amongst themselves in their native language. The airline claims that they were being too loud....read more»
Enter the HSN Travel Store sweepstakes by June 18 for a chance to win the grand prize: a seven-day Haven suite cruise for two on the winner's choice of the Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Pearl, Norwegian Jewel, Norwegian Epic, or Norwegian Breakaway. Trip includes airfare to departure city, and a $500 HSN gift card.
To participate, provide the requested contact information on the sweepstakes website and press "Enter." Time required to enter: under 30 seconds....read more»