Picture crystal-clear turquoise waters, an endless stretch of sea surrounding a saltwater lagoon. Lying back on a beach lounger, you adjust your shades and take a deep breath. You feel that kind of relaxation that comes only from a vacation well spent—one where there is no clock running, no plans for the day, no agenda except to go where the wind takes you. The only interruption to this absolute serenity is the occasional rustling of a nearby shrub as its resident iguana turns his body to better soak up the sun. Now remind yourself that it is, in fact, December. And it's 80 degrees. No, this isn't the Caribbean; this is Hawks Cay Resort, in the Florida Keys....read more»
Fortune magazine this week released its annual listing of the 50 world's most admired companies, according to a survey of 3,920 business executives from 30 countries.
It is, arguably, the Academy Awards of the corporate world, not least insofar as the results reflect the opinions of industry insiders and may be at odds with the consensus view of consumers....read more»
Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary promises to get you across the pond for 10 bucks.
Speaking at the Irish Hotels Federation conference in Meath, O'Leary vowed to sell 10 buck flights across the Atlantic, as soon as his carrier acquires the necessary aircraft. Flights from the U.S. to Europe would sell for $10, and transatlantic trips going the other direction would cost €10. According to O'Leary, budget airline Ryanair already has a business plan in place to make this happen.
O'Leary said no-frills Ryanair "would fly from 12 to 14 major European cities to 12 to 14 major U.S. destinations, and a full service would begin within six months of Ryanair getting the aircraft to do so."...read more»
With their outsized sign-up bonuses and promises of trips-of-a-lifetime, travel-rewards credit cards seemingly have a monopoly on travelers' hearts and minds, and pride of place in their wallets.
But I have long counseled that cards featuring travel rewards should be most consumers' back-up option, not their first choice.
Rewards cards typically award users with miles or points that amount to a rebate of between 1 and 2 percent, not including periodic bonuses that can improve the value proposition somewhat. The points are generally redeemable only for travel, from a limited number of suppliers. And most of the cards have annual fees, in some cases as high as $450....read more»
It has long been rumored that one or more of the legacy airlines were in the process of developing a replacement for their current loyalty programs. Like those of Southwest, JetBlue, and Virgin America, the new program was expected to reward travelers on the basis of their spend rather than according to the number of miles they flew. It was a prospect welcomed by some and dreaded by others.
Supporters and detractors of the revenue-based model can now debate the specifics of one such program-to-be, following Delta's announcement earlier today that it will launch an all-new revenue-based version of its 33-year-old SkyMiles program on January 1, 2015.
The specifics are important, since Delta's new program is almost as different from Southwest's Rapid Rewards as it is from its own SkyMiles program. It is, in short, a hybrid, featuring spend-based earning but more traditional tier-based award pricing....read more»
Last week, TripAdvisor announced this year's winners of its Travelers' Choice Islands awards. And it's a good list, full of islands that deserve the praise they're getting.
The islands were judged on the "quality and quantity of the most highly rated hotels, restaurants, and attractions listed for each island on TripAdvisor gathered during a 12-month period."
So here they are, the top 10 islands in the world:
- Ambergris Caye, Belize
- Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
- Bora Bora, French Polynesia
- Marco Island, Florida
- Lewis and Harris, Scotland
- Naxos, Greece
- Aitutaki, Cook Islands
- Nosy Be, Madagascar
- Easter Island, Chile
- Ko Tao, Thailand
American and Marriott are among the companies and lawmakers that have come out against Senate Bill 1062, passed by the Arizona Senate and currently being reviewed by the state's governor, Jan Brewer.
The bill would allow Arizona businesses to refuse service to customers on religious grounds, and is widely understood to be an attempt to allow discrimination against gays....read more»
Just about anywhere you look you see "tips" on how to "save" money on the big-ticket travel services: air tickets, hotel accommodations, rental cars, and cruises. But if you're really being careful, you will want to take advantage of ways to cut the costs of daily activities at your destination, notably food and entertainment. And, as you might expect, some folks are eager to help you there, as well. ...read more»
Probably no single issue will have a greater impact on our air-travel system than the NextGen (Next Generation) air-traffic control (ATC) system, slowly being implemented by the FAA, airlines, and other airspace users. And emphasize the "slowly" part: Even the nominal 2025 completion date looks iffy. This isn't just my own conclusion. Last week, in Washington, I met with Charlie Leocha, director of the Consumer Travel Alliance and consumer representative on the Advisory Committee on Aviation Consumer Protections, and his organization is also strongly advocating for faster installation of NextGen. ...read more»