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.
Flying can drive travelers to drink, and drinking can lead to air rage. Is a three-drink limit the way to ensure travel tranquility?
Hilton will soon join the likes of Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, Omni, Drury, and Nordic Choice hotels in eliminating adult content from its in-room on-demand TV offerings. ... read more»
Marriott's new social media marketing campaign wants you to talk up the brand in exchange for a measly 25 bonus points. Deal or no deal? ... read more»
Most of the higher-profile news reports about ride-sharing service Uber have a decidedly negative tinge to them. A woman in China robbed and molested by a Uber driver. The increase in urban traffic congestion tied to Uber vehicles. Safety concerns due to Uber's lax screening of drivers. Complaints from Uber drivers, who argue that they should be compensated as full-time employees. And the list goes on. And on.
Nobody said disrupting the entrenched taxi business, and public transportation, would be simple or easy.
But the Uber machine powers forward, fighting regulatory and P.R. battles on multiple fronts, in many countries. Its latest victory is a big one, not just for its own sake but also for the precedent it sets.
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With full flights and ever-decreasing legroom, flying has become a test of patience and stamina, pushing some travelers to the edge of their endurance. Add alcohol to that toxic mix and air rage looms large.
It's a vicious circle: Travel stress drives flyers to drink more, which lowers their inhibitions, so they're more likely to act out their frustration and discomfort. It's no wonder that most incidents of air rage and just plain inflight misbehavior involve excessive booze consumption.
There's no simple solution to the problem. Flyers are free to tank up at the airport bar even before boarding their flights, so short of administering breathalyzer tests to all departing passengers, the airlines have no control over their customers' blood-alcohol levels before the plane pushes back from the gate. But once the flight is underway, it is the airline that dispenses the alcoholic beverages, and therein lies an opportunity to manage flyers' sobriety.
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When it comes to inflight Wi-Fi, disappointment has been the name of the game. Slow. Unreliable. And a generally dodgy value given the ratio of price to performance.
The solution to the current technology's shortcomings, according to Gogo, is its new 2Ku system, which will replace the current air-to-ground approach by bouncing the wireless signal off plane-mounted antennae to space-based satellites. Gogo reports that 2Ku download speeds can be as high as 70 Mbps, up to 20 times faster than current speeds.
2Ku took a major step forward this week with the receipt of clearance from the FAA to begin inflight testing. Assuming the tests go as planned, Gogo expects to begin delivering the systems to airline customers later this year and have more than 500 aircraft fitted with 2Ku by the end of 2016.
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Between September 1 and December 31, IHG Rewards members can earn at least 50,000 bonus points. And new Rewards members can earn a free night after completing two eligible stays. ... read more»