Enter the BlackboardEats Austin City Limits Music Festival sweepstakes by August 11 for a chance to win the grand prize: a trip for two to the Austin City Limits Festival, including air, three hotel nights, three lunches, and festival passes.
To participate, provide your email address and zip code on the sweepstakes landing page and click the "submit" button. Time required to enter: less than 15 seconds....read more»
Flying can be painful, what with tiny seats, little legroom, unpleasant noises, and freezing air-conditioning. You can ward off tortuous travel with these 10 handy products designed to make your in-the-air experience just a little bit more comfortable....read more»
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.
Club Carlson members can earn 2,000 or 5,000 bonus points for stays at participating overseas Radisson Blu, Park Plaza, and Park Inn hotels during August and September....read more»
A caption to an online photo post of the train that derailed in northwestern Spain on Wednesday asks, "Are trains safe?" That's a good example of the false distinction between "safe" and "unsafe." In reality, safety isn't an either/or value; it's a gradation. Nothing is 100 percent safe. Nothing is 100 percent unsafe. Planes make bad landings, trains careen off the rails, buses overturn, ships run aground, people fall out of roller coasters. And no matter how hard everyone tries to prevent them, we all know these things will happen again.
The laws of physics make transportation especially vulnerable to safety problems. Transportation means moving, and moving means energy—energy to get started, more energy to stop. Stopping or turning a large moving mass takes a lot of energy and a lot of time. Go around a curve too fast and centrifugal force throws you off the rails or highway. Hitting a brick wall when you're in motion can demolish you or whatever is carrying you. Gravity accelerates mass at a rate of 32 feet per second per second. This isn't going to change....read more»
Since neither US Airways nor oneworld has confirmed the date, it must be viewed more as a strong possibility than as a given. But it's a useful reminder that, whatever the cutover date turns out to be, US Airways' participation in the Star Alliance is in its final months....read more»
Leave it to Spirit to go where other airlines fear to tread.
The latest assault on conventional notions of good taste: their ad promoting Mexico vacation packages, which refers none too obliquely to the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal currently roiling New York City.
Currently dominating the airline's homepage is an animated graphic featuring a cartoon character that's a Mexican luchador (masked wrestler) crossed with a hot dog, holding a cellphone. The ad copy alludes to Carlos Danger, Weiner's online alter ego, and gleefully proclaims, "This summer, the Weiner rises again."...read more»
According to the J.D. Power 2013 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study, released yesterday, consumer satisfaction with hotels is the highest it's been in seven years. The uptick follows two years of declining satisfaction.
Overall satisfaction scores reflect hotel guests' experience in seven areas: reservations; check-in/check-out; guest room; food and beverage; hotel services; hotel facilities; and cost and fees. Satisfaction with a hotel's loyalty program isn't gauged separately, although it probably indirectly affects travelers' experience of some aspects of hotel service....read more»
Will an Anthony Weiner reference make you want to buy a plane ticket? Spirit Airlines' marketing team says, "yes!" The carrier has released yet another tasteless ad that exploits tragic current events: an animated promotion featuring a masked hot dog that reads, "Carlos Danger, In a Spirit Airlines Production, The Weiner Rises Again." LOL!
Spirit is the worst. I'm disinclined to send traffic to the airline's site, since the obvious purpose of Spirit's unfunny advertisement is to get people like me to write about it so that curious travelers will click on the airline's website. If you really want to see the ad, alas, you'll have to go to the Spirit homepage. Sorry, everyone....read more»
Now through August 5, airline affiliates LAN and TAM are offering South American travelers incredible savings with intra-country fares from $13. Book flights to Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay from the U.S. for as little as $299 round-trip and tack on intra-country flights for as little as $13 and as much as $27 (basically the cost of the add-on flight's taxes and fees). Applicable travel is from August 15 through December 15. ...read more»