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Beach: Hammock Palm Tree (Photo: Thinkstock/iStockphoto)

Enter the Lands' End "Getaway Tour" sweepstakes by April 1, 2015, for a chance to win the grand prize: a seven-day trip for two to the British Virgin Islands, including air, hotel, hotel meals, $3,000 cash, and a $500 Lands' End gift card.

To enter, provide the requested contact information (name, email) on the sweepstakes landing page and press "Submit." Done! Time required to participate: less than 30 seconds. ... read more»

Australia: Man, Australian Destinations on Airport Screen (Photo: Shutterstock/wavebreakmedia)

Flying is a lot like gambling: The house always wins.

Airlines, like casinos, have become experts at the game, using every means at their disposal to their advantage. No, it's not like we flyers are being outright cheated—generally speaking, airlines do what we pay them to do, which is get us to our destinations.

But while the game may not be rigged, it might tilt slightly toward one party's advantage, and according to some airline experts, it's not the passengers'. ... read more»

Hotel room (Photo: Index Open)

When a company mentions customer appreciation, I assume it's either a hook to hang a promotion on, or an excuse for some harmless corporate drivel thanking customers for their past patronage.

For its fifteenth annual customer-appreciation week, Best Western has chosen the promotion route, although, as promotions go, it's barely worthy of the name.

Offer Details

Between March 23 and March 27, Best Western Rewards members can earn a 1,000-point bonus for a qualifying stay in any Best Western hotel in the U.S., Canada, or the Caribbean. ... read more»

(Photo: Cultura Travel/Gary John Norman/Getty Images)

When the Southwark Cathedral bells toll, it can only mean one thing: The bread is ready to come out of the oven. In late 2013, Bread Ahead bakery and cooking school entered London's Borough Market with religious enthusiasm. Bakers Matt Jones and Justin Gellatly had their sourdough starter blessed inside the Gothic church, and they time their large, crusty "Cathedral Loaves" with the sounds and rhythms of its clock tower. Offering a slice of British life with its artisan baked goods, Bread Ahead isn't just part of the market, it's the essence of the market.

Like many other shops and stalls before it, Bread Ahead has added a new chapter to Borough Market's culinary history book. Here, on the southern end of London Bridge, food "traders"—the butcher, the baker, and the aged English cheddar maker—have been hawking and selling for more than 1,000 years, keeping a tantalizing legacy alive. ... read more»

(Photo: REI)

What Is it: The REI Flex Lite Chair, a packable four-leg seat.

... 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.

Mileage Programs Need Regulating, and Now!

Among the many gripes consumers have about the airlines, mileage programs perhaps draw the most complaints. Is it time the government intervened to give travelers some relief?

American, US Air Programs to Merge Soon

The biggest and final step in consolidating the mileage programs of American and US Airways will take place in April. Here's what you should do to prepare. ... read more»

(Photo: Dara Continenza)

Thailand sees millions of visitors every year, so it's no surprise that almost anywhere you go, you'll encounter a crowd, from the beach bunnies of Phuket to the bustling masses in Bangkok. But the crowds don't preclude a truly authentic Thai vacation. Some of the nation's best sights are far afield from cities, tucked into rural inland provinces or Treasure Island-like atolls afloat in the Andaman Sea. All it takes to experience them? A sense of adventure and a few baht for transportation.

Here are some of the country's best-kept secrets, whether you are backpacking on a buck a day or embarking on a luxurious journey.

... read more»

American plane taxiing down the runway (Photo:  Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport)

It's been well over a year since American and US Airways completed their merger. Completed their merger on paper, that is. Operationally, merging the two airlines has been a decidedly slow-motion affair.

In particular, the integration of the two airlines' loyalty programs has been a long series of baby steps. On the plus side, so far whatever integration has occurred has been seamless, with no notable technical or service snafus.

In an email sent to members of US Airways' Dividend Miles program earlier this week, the timeframe for the biggest and final step in consolidating the mileage programs was disclosed:

Next month, we'll reach the next milestone on our path to integration by bringing Dividend Miles into the American Airlines AAdvantage program. We'll transfer your mileage balance and elite-qualifying activity into your new (or existing) AAdvantage account.

So, sometime in April, AAdvantage and Dividend Miles will be merged. ... read more»

Air: Flight Attendant (Photo: Shutterstock/Andrey Laschev)

Here is something a little more interesting than the passenger-safety demonstration. A flight attendant on a WestJet flight busted out some dance moves to the improbably catchy "Uptown Funk." The clip is pretty cute.

The person who posted the video describes the performer, his sister, as a "break-dancer turned flight attendant." This makes sense. Glad to know WestJet allows flight attendants to showcase personality and air-guitar skills where appropriate. ... read more»

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