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<h2>New York City, New York</h2>
<a href="http://www.timessquarenyc.org/nye/nye.html"target="_blank">Times Square</a> is <em>the</em> classic New Year's Eve destination, with its annual celebration dating back more than 100 years. Approximately one million people jam the square every December 31 for the yearly tradition of watching the ball drop, confetti bursts, pyrotechnics, and other revelries. If you're planning on seeing the action in person this year, bundle up and get there early: The crowds start showing up in the afternoon, and first arrivals get the best viewing spots. For all the details, visit the Times Square Alliance <a href="http://www.timessquarenyc.org/nye/nye.html"target="_blank">New Year's Eve website</a>.

(Photo: Countdown Entertainment, LLC)

Most years, choosing the biggest story of the past 12 months is an agonizing process, with a slew of events contending for the title.

This year, for me, it was no contest.

The winner: the American-US Airways merger. It was a wild ride, with a sad but predictable ending whose ramifications will be felt for years to come.

There was the drama surrounding what began as a hostile takeover, with American initially dismissing US Airways' merger proposal as pathetically inappropriate....read more»

Photo: Index Open

Beginning on January 1, 2014, InterContinental Hotels Group will allow members of its IHG Rewards Club free use of on-property Internet at most of its hotels, whether they're booked at the hotels or not.

Here's the new policy in the IHG Rewards Club Terms & Conditions:

Internet Access for Members: Beginning January 2014, standard internet access will be available to all IHG Rewards Club members at no additional cost at all IHG hotels located in the Americas, Greater China, Asia, Middle East and Africa with or without a hotel reservation and/or qualifying stay. Furthermore, IHG Rewards Club Elite members will be provided standard internet access at no additional cost at all IHG hotels in Europe. Internet availability and accessibility in common areas vary by hotel. Internet accessibility, speed, and connectivity in common areas and guest rooms vary by hotel. Details regarding a property's internet accessibility will be available at the hotel's registration desk. Please note that The Venetian and The Palazzo, an InterContinental Alliance Resort, do not offer the Free Internet Access benefit, which is instead included in the daily resort fee.

Since it's free to join the IHG Rewards Club, granting access to program members amounts, almost, to granting access to everyone....read more»

Senior couple reading a map (Photo: Getty Images)

Like nostalgia, senior status in travel isn't what it used to be. Gone are those golden days of airline senior coupons and senior clubs, of 30 percent hotel discounts and such. As the bookend to my earlier column on how seniors fared in 2013, my view of 2014 shows me comparatively few improved opportunities for seniors to take advantage of their senior status. ...read more»

Man: Shocked Business Man (Photo: Thinkstock/iStockphoto)

Although many professional colleagues take the opportunity of a new year to tout the good stuff you can expect, I'm concentrating—as I often do—on the potential potholes in your 2014 journeys.

Air Travel: Air travel historically draws the major share of travel complaints and disappointments, and 2014 is likely to continue this illustrious tradition. ...read more»

Laptop keyboard (Photo: Index Open)

Passengers on eight North American airlines can use in-flight Internet to log onto Facebook for free in January....read more»

Credit Card: People Passing Card (Photo: iStockphoto/Marcus Clackson)

Class-action settlements against Visa, MasterCard, and American Express could forever alter face of travel rewards programs....read more»

Man working at computer (Photo: Index Open)

For mileage millionaires, an award trip to Ferrari's headquarters and factory in Maranello, Italy, might be just the ticket....read more»

(Photo: Flight Attendant via Shutterstock)

Last week, Southwest received 10,000 applications for 750 new flight attendant jobs. Could Southwest's secret be the lure of travel?...read more»

People: Crying Baby (Photo: Shutterstock/Felix Mizioznikov)

United has quietly amended its rules on travel for unaccompanied minors....read more»

Passenger Waiting to Check In (Photo: iStockphoto/Naphtalina)

Could the fix for air rage be as simple as more comfortable seats?...read more»

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