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Hawaii: Hanalei Bay, Beach (Photo: Thinkstock/iStockphoto)

Enter the Kona Brewing Company Plan Your Paradise sweepstakes by April 30, 2014 for a chance to win the grand prize: a trip for two to Hawaii, including air, five nights' hotel accommodations, and a $1,000 voucher for on-site activities.

To participate, provide the requested contact information on the sweepstakes landing page and press "Submit." Time required to enter: under 30 seconds....read more»

Woman: Excited at Laptop (Photo: Thinkstock/iStockphoto)

Say you buy a cheap economy ticket. But also say you're a bit on the large side or old enough that getting in and out of a sardine-can seat isn't as easy as it once was. So you'd really like to escape the cattle-car seat squeeze and lousy cabin service that come with that economy ticket. Unfortunately, at list prices, first-class and business-class tickets cost up to 20 times more than economy tickets—prices that are nonstarters for most travelers. Until recently, your only hopes for a comfortable seat were if you were at an exalted level in an airline's frequent-flyer program, if you had started with a full-fare economy ticket, or if you had enough miles or purchased certificates for an upgrade. But now, a handful of big airlines give you an additional option: Bid for available upgrades. ...read more»

Photo: Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines announced it will start flying between Dallas/Love Field and 15 new destinations this fall, as soon as the law allows.

  • On October 13, it will start linking Love Field with Baltimore, Denver, Las Vegas, Orlando, and Chicago.
  • On November 2, it will add Atlanta, Nashville, Washington/Reagan National, Los Angeles, New York/La Guardia, Phoenix, San Diego, Santa Ana/Orange County, and Tampa.
  • Southwest will announce specific schedules and fares in May....read more»
Miles & Points (Photo: Shutterstock)

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.

Why U.S. Flyers Are the World's Most Uncomfortable

Americans seem to kvetch more loudly and more often than travelers from other countries. It may be because they're flying on the world's fullest planes....read more»

Crowded Airport Gate (Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

The Department of Transportation released its latest monthly Air Travel Consumer Report, which includes information on airline-related consumer complaints for the full 2013 calendar year. The good news, according to the report: Complaints during 2013 were down 14.1 percent from the previous year.

That statistical improvement shouldn't be taken too seriously. It's simply based on the number of complaints travelers have taken the time and trouble to bring to the DOT's attention, and is at best an imprecise gauge of the level of consumer dissatisfaction with the airlines....read more»

Welcome to Upright Position, SmarterTravel's regular series in which Features Editor Caroline Costello discusses emotional and controversial travel topics. Got a question? Please send questions or comments about travel etiquette to editor@smartertravel.com.(Questions may be edited.)

I've been issuing advice on travel etiquette in dozens of Upright Position columns, covering everything from chatty airplane seatmates to SeaWorld. Now it's your turn. Below is a selection of emails submitted by SmarterTravel readers in response to Upright Position.

In Response to In-Flight Phone Calls Are Not the Devil

We live in a culture where (1) so many people are oblivious to others, (2) courtesy is a forgotten thing, and (3) flying is NOT a comfortable experience. ...read more»

Credit Card: Fan of Cards (Photo: iStockphoto/Stefan Klein)

Many travel-rewards cards have gotten the message: Savvy travelers don't want to be dinged for foreign-transaction fees of up to 3 percent. It's a gouge, and travelers know it. So there are now cards available from American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi, and so on that boast no foreign-transaction fees whatever.

In many cases, the no-foreign-transaction-fee cards are the cards issued on behalf of the airline and hotel loyalty programs, including those of American, British Airways, United, Hilton, Hyatt, and Marriott....read more»

Chair Lift Speed Dating (Photo: Big White)

Cancel your reservations at Outback Steakhouse and embrace one of the many romantic Valentine's Day activities available for people who travel. We're not just talking about couples massages and lame hotel packages. We found a few more interesting ways to honor the 14th day of February. As an addendum to our previous roundup of Awkward Dating Ideas for Single Travelers, here are some more weird ways to get your Cupid on.

Go Chair Lift Speed Dating

Big White in Kelowna, British Columbia is hosting a chair lift speed dating event tomorrow. Single skiers will be randomly matched up on the Bullet Express chair lift between 2 and 3 p.m. Once the ride ends, participants can choose to take a run together or ski away separately, in tears. It seems like a bad idea to enter an enclosed space where your only choices are to either tolerate the amorous advances of the stranger occupying your chair lift or escape and fall to your death.

A representative for the resort told me, "Big White has been doing it for five years now. They have a lot of young Australians at the resort, so it's always a hit and has been growing in popularity each year." If it's a young Australian you're after, heed the call....read more»

US Airways aircraft tail close up (Photo: US Airways)

US Airways customers departing from or arriving at Los Angeles International Airport will no longer find themselves trekking through Terminal 1.

Effective today, all US Airways LAX flights will operate from Terminal 3, together with Allegiant Air, Frontier, JetBlue, Spirit, Virgin America, and Virgin Australia.

Conspicuously missing from that list is American, which operates from Terminal 4.

Adjacent terminals make for easy connections, right? In this case, no....read more»

(Photo: Dara Continenza)

Remote and romantic, wild and relaxed, this Hawaiian island has its own distinct rhythm....read more»

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