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.
Between April 1 and June 30, AAdvantage members can earn 1,000 bonus miles for every roundtrip American Eagle flight between LaGuardia and 10 cities.
Through June 30, members of American's AAdvantage program can earn quadruple miles for qualifying Hertz rentals. Also on offer: a discount of up to 35 percent. ... read more»
Enter the L.A. Times Japan 6 Day Tour sweepstakes by April 21, 2014 for a chance to win the grand prize: a six-day Japan tour for one person, including air, hotel, some meals, and $350 cash.
To participate, provide the requested contact information on the sweepstakes landing page and press "submit." ime required to enter: under 30 seconds.
The Fine Print
- Sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the United States, including the District of Columbia, who are at least 18 years of age at the time of entry. ... read more»
When United announced earlier this month that it would begin strictly enforcing the size restrictions on carry-on bags, there was the predictable outcry from flyers. Or outcries, really. There were moans of "Big Brother!" And groans of "More bag fees!"
Sure, after many years of mostly ignoring its own published size guidelines for carry-ons, the airline's sudden clamp-down feels arbitrary and heavy-handed. ... read more»
Since its 2007 launch, Virgin America has done a lot right. With leather seats, mood lighting, food-on-demand, and a state-of-the-art inflight entertainment system, the airline delivers an upgraded travel experience with a cutting-edge vibe. Its Elevate loyalty program isn't as robust as the programs of the legacy carriers, but the expansion of the partner roster and the addition of elite perks have made the program relevant, if not a stand out.
I've said it before: If I were given a blank slate to design an airline from the ground up, it would look very much like Virgin America. ... read more»
Have you ever been driving a rental car toward an airport to catch a flight, only to realize you didn't know where you could fill the tank before returning the car? Or driven away from an airport but realized you needed to pick up a few items before starting your trip? If so, you might like to know about Airport Plazas, a new chain of off-airport facilities designed to serve airport employees. ... read more»
Happy birthday, NPS! In August 2016, the National Park Service will celebrate its centennial, marking 100 years of recreation and conservation in protected parklands across the country. The NPS was signed into law in 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson "to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and wildlife therein, and to provide for the enjoyment … of future generations." A new public campaign seeks to continue that tradition well into the next millenium.
To get ready for the big birthday bash, the NPS announced that it will be launching a comprehensive public operation to "reintroduce the national parks" to even more future generations. The next few years will see a combination of events and new programs aimed at drumming up interest among young travelers and steering them toward the nation's parks (there are now more than 400 of them). Says NPS Director Jonathan B. Jarvis, "Our campaign will encourage Americans to 'Find Your Park'—to discover a personal connection to a place or a story that provides inspiration or enjoyment, and to then join us in our second century of stewardship of America's most treasured places." ... read more»
In what is likely to be just one of several steps ultimately leading to the complete dissolution of the Delta-Alaska Airlines frequent-flyer program tie-up, the two feuding airlines have begun chipping away at the reciprocal elite benefits that have been a centerpiece of their longstanding preferred marketing relationship.
Alaska today announced that, beginning on May 1, Mileage Plan elites will lose the following current perks when flying Delta: ... read more»
You travel thousands of miles to experience new cultures. So why would you settle for a generic hotel or nondescript tourist restaurant? The burgeoning peer-to-peer or sharing-economy movement allows travelers to skip the traditional booking options and live la vita local by staying in other people's homes, driving their cars, eating in their kitchens, and otherwise, seeing a new destination through their eyes. ... read more»
A few of you might actually prefer red-eye schedules on long intercontinental flights—they avoid the cost of a hotel night and maximize your available time at your destination. And you may tolerate them as the inevitable penalty you have to pay for a trip to Europe, Asia, the South Pacific, or South America. If you're in business class, red-eyes are really not bad: These days, most competitive business-class seats allow you to lie straight, if at a bit of an angle in some. And red-eyes aren't totally intolerable in true premium economy, where you have a reasonable amount of room and a decent recline. But in economy class, they're terrible: My view is that economy-class red-eyes violate the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment. And even if you aren't that vehement, you know that spending a night in a too-tight economy seat can be an exhausting ordeal. Fortunately, even on long intercontinental routes where red-eyes predominate, a few airlines run a few daytime flights. ... read more»
Don't be apprehensive about navigating public transit just because you're overseas. Transit systems in much of the world, especially in popular destinations, are at least as good as those at home and often better, and most include stops to the main airport. Earlier, I urged you to consider the many day passes and discounts on U.S. transit systems. Although hardly any foreign systems offer senior discounts, many sell day or longer "travel all you want" passes that target tourists who want to get around the city. Here's a detailed look at the "big three" overseas destinations for American travelers plus some quickies about others, concentrating on easy-to-use rail options. ... read more»