Technology: Tablet and Smartphone (Photo: Thinkstock/iStockphoto)

Back in May, JetBlue and Amazon announced that flyers who subscribe to Amazon's $99-a-year Prime service would be able to stream for free tens of thousands of movies and TV shows to their laptops and mobile devices when linked to JetBlue's complimentary Fly-Fi inflight Internet service. What they didn't announce was a start date for the free streaming's availability.

As it turns out, whether by design or not, the start date is this week, just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday travel crush.

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Photo: Index Open

Is there a limit to the number of ways the travel industry can nickel-and-dime consumers? If there is, it's nowhere in sight.

The latest is from Hilton, which is testing a new cancellation fee in around 20 properties across several of its hotel brands. According to Skift, the policy, if adopted systemwide, would subject Hilton customers to a $50 charge for reservations canceled up until midnight the night prior to check-in. Same-day cancellations would remain subject to the current policy (itself new this year): a charge of one night's stay. Notably, members of Hilton's HHonors program would be exempt from the $50 cancellation fee.

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Woman looking from a bridge in Italy (Photo: IndexOpen)

Predictably, if somewhat invisibly and ineffectually, the U.S. State Department this week issued a Worldwide Travel Alert, warning of "possible risks of travel due to increased terrorist threats."

For anyone paying even scant attention to the coverage of terrorist attacks over the past two weeks, the alert contains little in the way of new or actionable information. As for specific recommendations, the Department counsels as follows:

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Travel brochures (Photo: IndexOpen)

It's that time again, when thoughts turn to reflecting and forecasting, looking back and looking forward. You know: the best and worst and most notable of the year past. And what to do and see and watch in the year ahead.

In the latter category is Frommer's annual Best Places to Go list, the travel-guide publisher's recommendations for the next year. As such lists must be, Frommer's is admittedly personal and idiosyncratic:

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Photo: Delta Air Lines

With the increasing prevalence of spend-based mileage-earning, it's becoming more and more difficult to squeeze outsized value from frequent-flyer miles. At least one sure-fire mileage-maximizer remains, however: periodic award discounts, which make those hard-earned miles go further.

This latest award sale from Delta is an example, and an opportunity for SkyMiles members to fly more for less.

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Turks and Caicos: Beach with Boat and Seashell (Photo: Thinkstock/iStockphoto)

Enter the J. Crew "Sand & Snow" sweepstakes by December 24, 2015, for a chance to win the grand prize: a trip for two to Parrot Bay in Turks & Caicos, including air, three nights' hotel, daily breakfast, activities, and a $1,000 Madewell gift card. There's a runner-up prize as well: a three-night trip for two to Telluride, Colorado.

To enter, follow the instructions on the sweepstakes landing page, including establishing a Pinterest account if you don't already have one, and press "Submit." Done!

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Miles & Points (Photo: Shutterstock)

If it's a good deal (or a notably bad one), you can read all about it here, and plan your travel accordingly. ... read more»

(Photo: Thinkstock/iStock)

Hilton's 4th-quarter promotion is double points for weekday stays (Monday through Thursday nights) and triple points on weekends (Friday through Sunday nights) at all 4,300-plus Hilton HHonors hotels, through December 31.

It's one of the better Hilton offers of late. But at least for the month of December, it gets better still, with a newly announced extra bonus for end-of-the-year stays.

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Jerk Chicken (Photo: Simon Thomas via flickr/CC Attribution/Share Alike)

Thought experiment: Imagine eating that coach-class chicken dinner in a quiet restaurant instead of in a cramped, noisy aircraft cruising at 35,000 feet. If you think the airline's take on Chicken Cordon Bleu would taste better on terra firma than in flight, you're probably right.

As has become increasingly clear in recent years, eating is a multisensory experience. The sense of taste doesn't exist in a vacuum. Sound, sight, touch all play a part in how something tastes. Or, as a recent Cornell paper has it: "The multisensory properties of the environment where we consume our food can alter our perception of the foods we eat."

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Airport: Couple - Standing, Staring Out (Photo: Shutterstock/Gwoeii)

Pity the globetrotting superstars and glitterati.

Not only must they endure the same long lines and packed planes as the rest of us (albeit with some first-class seat time for consolation), but they have to fight their way through a frenzied scrum of TMZ reporters and starstruck fans just to get through the airport.

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