Hotel: Key Handed to Guest (Photo: Shutterstock/.shock)

At least for the remainder of 2014, IHG Rewards members can rest assured that award nights at more than 70 percent of IHG's hotels can still be booked for 20,000 or fewer points. ... read more»

Photo: American Airlines

Today's announcement that American will make a major change in award pricing for travel from June 1 amounts to a significant devaluation of the program. ... read more»

XCom Global Mobile Hotspot (Photo: XCom Global)

What Is it: The XCom Global Mobile WiFi Hotspot, a small device that you can rent and use to access the internet in over 175 countries on your web-enabled devices.

Price and Where to Buy: $14.95 flat rate per day for coverage in up to two countries; $14.95 per day plus a $30 surcharge per additional country if traveling to three or more countries. A Europe Travel Plan is also available, which charges just $14.95 per day for access throughout 40 countries in Europe with no surcharges. A monthly package is also available at $395 per month for coverage in up to four countries. ... read more»

Photo: IndexOpen

What airlines look on fondly as "ancillary revenue" hits you in the form of pesky—and often outrageous—fees and charges. A new report from the meticulous folks at IdeaWorks tells airline-industry professionals what they need to know about ancillary revenues, but it also illustrates some of what you, as consumers, need to know, and how best to game the system. ... read more»

Air: Small Airplane Landing (Photo: Thinkstock/iStockphoto)

"How safe is air travel?" The relentless media obsession with the mystery of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 again focuses attention on the broad question of airline safety. And despite the apparent tragic fate of the flight 370 passengers, last week's release of safety data by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) shows that air travel, overall, is incredibly safe. Among the highlights for 2013: ... read more»

Mumm Champagne Cellar, France (Photo: Rick Steves)

France's bustling, modern Reims greets travelers with cellar doors wide open. As the capital of the Champagne region, it features a lively center, a historic cathedral, and, of course, Champagne tasting. And thanks to France's slick high-speed rail, it's just 45 minutes from Paris—making it an easy day trip.

Reims (pronounced like "rance") has a turbulent history: This is where French kings were crowned, where Champagne first bubbled, where WWI devastation met miraculous reconstruction, and where the Germans officially surrendered in 1945, bringing World War II to a close in Europe. The town's sights give you an informative, entertaining peek at the entire story. ... read more»

Plane Flying Under Rainbow (Photo: Thinkstock/Hemera)

The 2014 Airline Quality Rating was published this week with its annual review and rankings of U.S. airlines' performance during the previous year. ... read more»

(Photo: Rainrap)

What Is it: Rainrap lightweight, reversible, pashmina-style rain wear.

Price and Where to Buy: $60 from Rainraps.com.

Pros:

  • It folds up tidily into a small bag you can keep in a purse.
  • The bag that comes with it protects your other belongings if the rain rap is wet.
  • Works well for light rain and mist.
  • It drapes like silk and is fashionable.

Cons:

  • It's not made for protection against heavy rain.
  • The button meant to secure the wrap comes undone easily ... read more»
Singapore skyline (Photo: Index Open)

Enter the Singapore Airlines "Travel in Luxury" sweepstakes by April 30 for a chance to win a trip for two to Singapore, including business-class tickets on Singapore Airlines. ... 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.

Now Playing on British Air Long-Haul Flights: HBO

British Airways today upgraded its inflight entertainment line-up with an HBO channel, available to passengers "from the moment they board, to the minute they land." ... read more»

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