As it has since 1999, airline ratings service Skytrax has published the results of its 2014 World Airline Survey, ranking more than 200 of the world's airlines from best to worst. The rankings were based on responses to 18.9 million customer surveys.
Skytrax boasts that it uses sophisticated data-weighting algorithms to compensate for different sample sizes, and has fraud-detection mechanisms in place to maintain the results' legitimacy. And the research is not funded by any of the ranked companies.
Although the survey is clearly more rigorous than most, there are questions about its methodology. It's not clear, for example, how much weight is given to the various factors that, taken together, give an airline its overall score. Full transparency is reserved for airline executives, who presumably pay for privileged access. ... read more»
Do you rock a Speedo-style swimsuit at the beach? According to Expedia's 2014 Flip Flop Report, your answer might depend on which country you come from. Of the respondents, 95 percent of Brazilians approved of the skimpy swimwear, as did 94 percent of Austrians, 91 percent of Germans, and 91 percent of Spaniards. Norwegians were the shyest swimmers with only 40 percent approving of the clothing choice. (For the record, 57 percent of Americans also approved of the style.)
For the survey, Expedia questioned 11,165 adults across 24 countries in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia/New Zealand on their behaviors and preferences regarding the beach. ... read more»
Ten years ago, I compiled a list of some of the travel industry's false and misleading pricing techniques, using the metaphor of a man who observed various promotions as he walked along a city street.
First, he saw an appliance dealer featuring a "side-by-side refrigerator, only $499," with fine print explaining "for the refrigerator compartment, plus $399 for the freezer compartment."
A few doors farther, he passed a restaurant that had a big banner in the window displaying "Free Breakfast Eggs!" with tiny type noting "with the purchase of bacon for $7.99." ... read more»
If you're planning a long-distance overseas trip—one of those 18-hour marathon nonstops, or even worse, two 12-hour flights with a connection—you might want to take a stopover at an intermediate point, especially when the normal itinerary is back-to-back red-eyes. Or maybe you really want to visit two countries. Either way, you can sometimes arrange a stopover between your home airport and most distant destination with little or no extra cost.
Where You Can Stop: For the most part, easy stopovers on intercontinental trips are confined to one of an airline's major hub cities. That means the usual suspects: Dublin, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Oslo, and such in Europe; Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Istanbul, and Qatar in the Middle East; Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei, and Tokyo in Asia; Fiji, Honolulu, and Tahiti in the Pacific. ... read more»
Are you a geography nerd? Do you routinely rout your Jeopardy! opponents in the travel and places categories? Then get ready to try our hand at these four geolocation games. ... read more»
Enter the Radisson for Life sweepstakes by August 17, 2014, for a chance to win the grand prize: five free Radisson room nights per year, for up to 58 years. The winner will also receive an annual check for up to $214 to help offset the tax liability associated with the prize.
In addition to the grand prize, six free room nights will be awarded as weekly runner-up prizes.
To enter, provide the requested contact information on the sweepstakes landing page. Press "Submit." Done! Time required to participate: less than 30 seconds. ... read more»
A city people want to live in is a city people love to visit. Copenhagen is just that. Crowned (again) as the most livable city in the world by Monocle magazine, the Danish capital has garnered points for its smart urban design, stellar public transportation, and unfettered access to nature (thanks to its swimmable harbor and extensive park system). But this year, the city has an added edge: the designation of European Green Capital.
As it pioneers the ultimate sustainable lifestyle, Copenhagen is sharing its ideas and solutions with the rest of the world through special eco-themed events in 2014. And while the idea of being green can sometimes seem more prosaic than cool, in Copenhagen, it comes equipped with the rocket boosters of pleasure (sustainably powered, of course). ... 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.
This summer, the airlines are doing just fine. Flyers, on the other hand, are paying more and enjoying it less. ... read more»