(Photo: Quickstand)

What is it: The QuikStand Mobile Device Stand, a credit card sized device that holds up your smartphone or tablet in portrait or landscape for hands-free use.

Price and Where to Buy: $9.99 at Nite Ize's website

Pros: The QuikStand is super small and portable, unlike many bulky tablet/smartphone stands. Use it to watch movies on a long plane ride or while reading your book in bed. You can adjust the angle of the stand for the perfect view of your device.

Cons: It takes a minute to figure out how to use the device (the illustrations on the package were slightly unclear to us) but once you work it out, it's very easy to use. ... read more»

(Photo: Dara Continenza)

Here's how to save a few kronor in one of the world's most expensive cities. ... read more»

American jet parked at the gate (Photo: iStockPhoto/Hal Bergman)

American, once the self-described "something special in the air," is teaming up with something special on the ground, Cadillac, Chevrolet's top-of-the-line brand.

According to American's news release, "American Airlines and Cadillac have formed a partnership to offer a broad series of exclusive benefits to travelers, ranging from luxury, on-site airport transfers, to AAdvantage miles earning opportunities, to Cadillac exhibits at major airports." ... read more»

Mighty Travels says American has the most generous frequent-flyer program among the three giant lines and Delta has the worst. IdeaWorks says Southwest and JetBlue are best among lines in the United States, followed by United, Alaska, American, and Delta. Some insiders like Alaska's program because it has good award deals on partner lines. Consumer Reports found Spirit was pretty bad, but didn't find any clear winners. Given the range of opinion, what should an occasional traveler do? Here are some considerations.

Location Rules: No matter what the relative merits of individual airline programs, your choice may well be dictated by where you live and where you usually travel. You have to go with that, no matter what. ... read more»

Chip-and-PIN Credit Card (Photo:

Diners Club, the original Travel and Entertainment" (T-and-E) card, is reopening in the United States. That's the biggest news in the always-turbulent credit card world. For some reason, the pioneering card has been dormant in the U.S. for several years, servicing prior holders but not adding new ones. Now, it is again accepting applications, and it offers four key advantages over most other cards: ... read more»

Travel brochures (Photo: IndexOpen)

On January 1, 2015, Delta's SkyMiles program will make a wholesale transition, from a mileage-based to a revenue-based program. That was announced in February.

What will also change on January 1, 2015 -- but has yet to be announced by Delta -- is the program's new policy on round-the-world awards. In short, they are being phased out.

According to the airline's website: "Round-the-World Award Tickets will not be issued on or after January 1, 2015." ... read more»

(Photo: Sia Kambou/Getty Images)

Why the U.S. is increasing airport-screening standards for the deadly virus—and what it may mean for your next flight. ... read more»

(Photo: Getty Images)

Dear SmarterTravel,

What are the airline rules about allowing obviously ill passengers to board flights, and if an ill passenger does get on board, what can travelers seated nearby do?

—Eileen M.

The answers might surprise you.

As far as I can tell, there are no federal laws or regulations stating sick people can't board planes. But airlines reserve the right to refuse boarding for any passenger the ground agents consider to be too sick to fly; this is listed in airline contracts of carriage.

Delta's rules, which are par for the course, say "Delta may refuse to transport any passenger, or may remove any passenger from its aircraft, when refusal to transport or removal of the passenger is reasonably necessary in Delta's sole discretion for the passenger's comfort or safety, for the comfort or safety of other passengers or Delta employees, or for the prevention of damage to the property of Delta or its passengers or employees." And the contract goes on to enumerate specific conditions, including "When the passenger is seriously ill, and fails to provide a physician's written permission to fly." ... read more»

Female Flight Attendant Closing Overhead Compartment (Photo: Getty Images/Digital Vision)

There's no question that social media has affected the way we fly—it's become a direct connection between passengers and airlines. Before Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram, passengers had to deal with a lot of red tape to share their experiences. Today, all it takes is 140 characters (or less) for passengers to air their grievances and frustrations and document, well, everything and anything that happens on a plane. But the constant presence of cell phones and endless access to wireless during flights has had another effect: social media has changed the way flight attendants do their jobs.

"Flight attendants have a love/hate relationship with social media," says Emily Witkop, a veteran flight attendant. "Someone instantly tweets how you are a super stew. Or terrible … Someone takes your picture and bashes you and your airline for making them late," continues Witkop. "It's helpful on some forums to get instant clarification to work or situational questions throughout the day. But we also have a social media policy where we can be disciplined at work if something that was posted negatively reflects upon the company. So there's good and bad." ... read more»

Woman relaxing in hammock between two palm trees (Photo: Christian Wheatley/iStockphoto)

Enter the Southwest "Halloween Frightseeing" sweepstakes by October 31, 2014, for a chance to win one of two grand prizes: a four-night trip for two to Cancun, including air, inclusive hotel, and tickets to the Chichen Itza Plus tour; or a four-night trip for two to Boston, including air, hotel, daily breakfast, and Boston Ghosts & Graveyards Tour tickets.

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

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