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.
Through September 30, Best Western Rewards members can earn a 1,000-point bonus for every completed Best Western stay booked through the company's new mobile app....read more»
How satisfied are travelers with the service provided by U.S. airlines?
Although they're 3 percent more satisfied in 2013 than they were last year, airlines as a group still rank near the bottom of all industries, outscoring only subscription TV and Internet service providers.
With a 69 out of 100 satisfaction rating, the airlines were trounced by cellphone companies, the U.S. Post Office, and fast-food restaurants, among others.
Delta CEO Richard Anderson see his airline through rose-colored glasses.
In an interview with the Associated Press, he boasts of the company's current run of annual profits, its low complaint rates for baggage-handling, its on-time performance, and its industry-leading inflight Wi-Fi adoption.
Indeed, in operational and financial terms, Delta has come a long way....read more»
Ever been so full of rage at a delayed flight that you just want to punch someone? Maybe don't take your anger out on the pilot, who is probably not the reason for the delay—unless you want a free trip to jail. Donald Gee was waiting for his flight from Washington, D.C. to Philadelphia (and apparently making good use of his time by hitting the airport bar, as he was allegedly highly intoxicated), when he decided that he just couldn't take the delay anymore....read more»
To nobody's surprise, this week, Delta and Virgin Atlantic announced an extensive program of codesharing. This is a logical first step toward a full-court joint venture, given Delta's recent purchase of a 49 percent interest in the British airline. A true joint venture requires further governmental reviews, including antitrust immunity, but the codesharing can start almost immediately—specifically, on July 3 of this year.
Although the initial announcement covers more than 100 routes, the crux of the deal is simple: Delta can put its flight numbers on Virgin's six daily round-trips from New York to London/Heathrow. London-New York is by far the most important transatlantic airline route, and those critical "high yield" business travelers want to use Heathrow as their London airport, not remote Gatwick or Stansted.
Heathrow is strictly slot-limited, so the only way Delta can gain additional Heathrow access is by buying slots from other airlines—which nobody is selling—or by making a deal with an airline with a lot of its own slots. That's where Virgin comes in....read more»
On my last visit to Toledo, it seemed holier than ever: Dark El Greco clouds threatened overhead, stark against bright, clear horizons. Hail pelted the masses of people clogging the streets as they awaited the Good Friday procession.
A look back at my write-up reveals nothing but superlatives: Toledo's street plan is the most confusing in Spain, its cathedral the most Gothic (and the most Spanish of all Gothic churches), and the cathedral's altar the most stunning. Toledo was once home to Europe's most powerful king, Charles V, and is papered with the vividly spiritual paintings of the city's most famous artist, El Greco. ...read more»
Boardwalks were destroyed. Homes were toppled. Amusement-park rides collapsed into the ocean. New Jersey was hit hard by last fall's Hurricane Sandy, which caused billions in damages to the area's popular shore towns. Despite the devastation wreaked by Sandy, the Jersey Shore is, in the words of Chris Christie, "open for business."
But things aren't completely back to normal. Some shore towns are still struggling to rebuild, and some businesses remain closed. But that doesn't mean you should rule out a visit. You just need to know where to go (the vast majority of area beaches are open)—and how to help. New Jersey's shore communities need your support. And, of course, you need a relaxing beach getaway featuring saltwater taffy, Ferris wheels, and ocean waves. It's a win-win....read more»