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Inflight Wireless

Slow inflight Wi-Fi got you down? Delta customers can look forward to both faster speeds and more reliable connections when 250 of the airline's planes are outfitted with Gogo's satellite-based 2Ku systems.

The upgrades will affect Delta's narrow-body aircraft used on long-haul domestic, Latin American, and Caribbean flights, and will also be deployed on Delta's new international planes when they enter service. ... read more»

(Photo: Prong)

Welcome to Smarter Travel's Pick of the Day, a new feature in which we highlight must-have travel products that we have evaluated and found worthy. We'll tell you the important details and leave the buying decision up to you. Sometimes, the products will be furnished to us free of charge, but advertisers can't pay to have their item included, so you can always trust our unbiased opinion.

What Is It: Prong's PWR case, which protects your phone and charges it. ... read more»

(Photo: Eagle Creek)

What Is it: Eagle Creek's Deviate Travel Pack 85L, a backpack that's designed for longer trips.

... read more»

Cell phone in hand (Photo: Index Open)

It was inevitable that, sooner or later, Uber would start awarding airline- or hotel-program points for using its service. It turns out to be sooner rather than later, and the loyalty points in question are from the Starwood Preferred Guest program.

Effective immediately SPG members can earn one point for every $1 spent on Uber rides, and even more when the ride coincides with a Starwood stay: two points per $1 for non-elites, three points for Gold and Platinum elites, and four points for Platinum 75 members.

Points will be awarded for a maximum of $10,000 in Uber spend annually. ... read more»

(Photo: Blake Brody)

Welcome to Smarter Travel's Pick of the Day, a new feature in which we highlight must-have travel products that we have evaluated and found worthy. We'll tell you the important details and leave the buying decision up to you. Sometimes, the products will be furnished to us free of charge, but advertisers can't pay to have their item included, so you can always trust our unbiased opinion.

What Is It: Ballet flats from Blake Brody, stylish shoes with hidden performance features. ... read more»

(Photo: Gopili)

Finding seamless, cost-effective travel in Europe requires a lot of legwork for North American travelers, especially those relying solely on English-language sites (or on the often-surreal Google translations of foreign-language websites).

But the Beta launch of Gopili.co.uk, the U.K. version of the popular French travel search engine KelBillet, creates a limited but useful way to assess all your options. Because the site is geared to U.K. travelers looking for domestic and Europe travel, it's not a one-stop shop for travelers from the U.S. and Canada. But the multimodal approach—which gathers fares and availability from 500 airlines, train companies, car rental agencies, and bus companies—is a serious time saver and one that can simplify planning. ... read more»

Our updated chart tells you which airlines allow what (and for how much). ... read more»

Did you hear about United's "mistake fares" earlier this month: business- and first-class tickets from the U.K. mistakenly priced at $100 or less? Many thousands of travelers did, and gleefully rushed to book trips at the ridiculously low fares. United was not amused and promptly voided their tickets.

The wrath of spurned deal-seekers was swift and vociferous. The DOT was deluged with complaints from the would-be bargain flyers, prompting a formal ruling by the regulatory agency on United's actions.

It was, for the DOT, a tricky case. On the one hand, there's a Department rule in place that requires airlines to honor any fares they publish, even if they're later deemed to have been published in error. The rule's intent is to prevent airlines from raising fares after they're marketed, which would amount to bait-and-switch. That rule would, seemingly, support ticket buyers' contention that their purchases should not have been invalidated.

On the other hand, as a common-sense matter, the DOT didn't want to encourage consumers' capitalizing on an airline's errors. Good-faith mistakes should be recognized as such. ... read more»

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Despite the dominance of a few giant online hotel booking and search systems, a few niche operators can sometimes steer you to deals you might miss if you rely only on the big guys.

If you've followed the recent developments, you know that Expedia and Priceline now dominate a huge share of the online hotel booking and search space. Expedia, which just acquired Orbitz, had previously founded or acquired online agencies Travelocity, CheapTickets, Hotels.com, Hotwire, Egencia, Venere, and dozens of other online agencies around the world, plus metasearch website Trivago. Meanwhile, Priceline owns Booking.com, Agoda, and RentalCars, plus metasearch Kayak. Although these subsidiaries appear to operate separately, they share much of the back-office software and databases that drive them. But they don't control the entire marketplace—yet. You might find some better results with the smaller players.

GoSeek.com is a metasearch engine that searches through the "usual suspects" of the big agencies, then identifies those hotels that are offering coupon, mobile, AAA, or senior specialized promotions. Although it displays many deals openly on your initial search, goSeek also operates on a membership basis, displaying "subscriber rate too low to show" for some hotels. On a sample search for a Boston room in mid-March, it showed some sort of promotional deals for 83 out of the total of 194 hotels. The displays also post comparison "their rates" figures from the other search systems. Some of the coupon deals are trivial—like $1 off for a Doubletree Suites hotel—but others are substantial. ... read more»

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