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Recap: The Week’s Biggest Travel Stories and Best Deals

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.

Four Airlines See Laptop Ban Lifted

That laptop ban that’s been the subject of so much debate and hand-wringing? It’s making a slow fade into oblivion as more airlines are exempted.

Hyatt Diminishes Transparency, Opens Door to Sky-High Award Prices

When Hyatt added a new resort to its list of award options, it amended its terms and conditions to allow it to increase award prices willy nilly. Ouch!

Is TSA Missing 95% of Banned Items at Security?

A recent test found that the TSA’s success rate in detecting banned items at security checkpoints was a dismal 5 percent.

American, Alaska Air Frequent-Flyer Partnership Unravels

Beginning next year, the frequent-flyer relationship between Alaska Air and American will be a lot less robust. Details here.

‘Unsafe, Uncomfortable, Unfair’ – United’s New Tagline?

United’s recent string of highly publicized blunders and misdeeds has made a mockery of the carrier’s longtime tagline, “Fly the friendly skies!”

How Much Would You Pay to Have an Empty Seat Next to You?

How much would you pay to have the coach seat next to you empty? Middle East carrier Etihad Airways is about to find out.

Uber Changes Course, Adds Tipping Option to App

Uber this week did the unthinkable: The world’s dominant rideshare company reversed its long-held no-tipping policy. Great for drivers; less so for riders.

Win a 5-Day Trip to Iceland, Including Business-Class Air

Enter to win a five-day trip for two to Iceland, including business-class air, airport transfers, hotel, one dinner, helicopter and snowmobile tours, swag.

Somebody has to win this trip, right? Might as well be you.

More from SmarterTravel:

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

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We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

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