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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Good News for Flyers – Less Bumping, Fewer Lost Bags

A good-news travel story? Yes! There’s been precious little for U.S. air travelers to celebrate in recent years, as the airlines have squeezed passengers into ever-smaller seats and imposed ever-more niggling fees for everything under the sun. The latest report from the DOT’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics, therefore, is a rare glimmer of good news against a decidedly bad-news backdrop. Related:Alaska Air Is Latest to Cut Cuba Flights According to the November “Air Travel Consumer Report,” released today, third-quarter incidents of involuntary denied boarding—bumping, in other words—reached their lowest level since 1995, at 0.15 incidents per 10,000 passengers. The bumping rate was also the lowest since 1995 for the first nine months of 2017, at 0.39 incidents per 10,000 passengers. The airlines’ mishandled-bag performance was also significantly improved. For September, the mishandled-bag rate was 1.99 reports per 1,000 passengers, the lowest monthly rate since DOT started co..

10 Classic New England Hotels and Resorts That Are Perfect for a Late-Fall Getaway

Classic New England towns are still charming after the fall colors begin to fade and before the first snows fly. So why not take advantage of the shoulder-season prices and lighter crowds to enjoy a quintessential New England weekend trip? Cozy fire places and crisp fall weather await. Where to Enjoy a Classic New England Getaway This Fall For a last-minute New England getaway, head to these 10 classic resorts and hotels. Hotel Salem in Salem, Massachusetts (Photo: TripAdvisor, LLC) Book a stay at this brand new property, located in the coastal town on the North Shore of Massachusetts most famously known for the 1692 Witch Trials. Hotel Salem is on the pedestrian mall in Salem Village and features its own restaurant, Counter. Don’t Miss: Midweek shuffleboard tournament and micro-room options for budget travelers. Book it: Get prices for Hotel Salem and other Salem hotels Kennebunkport Inn in Kennebunkport, Maine (Photo: TripAdvisor, LLC) Head to sleepy Kennebunkport to get into ..

Classic New England Hotels and Resorts That Are Perfect for a Late-Fall Getaway

For a last-minute New England getaway, head to these 10 classic resorts and hotels. The post Classic New England Hotels and Resorts That Are Perfect for a Late-Fall Getaway appeared first on SmarterTravel.

Through December 31, Earn Double Points for Hyatt Stays

Hyatt’s revamped and renamed loyalty program, World of Hyatt, hasn’t been wowing travelers since its debut in March. And this latest promotion isn’t likely to change any opinions for the better. Offer Details Between November 15 and December 31, World of Hyatt members can earn double points for Hyatt stays booked on Hyatt.com or the Hyatt mobile app. Registration is required, and must be completed by November 30. Related:How to Make Your Dream Vacation an Affordable Vacation Deal or No Deal Double points are better than single points, but they’re hardly a game-changer. Rather, it’s the minimum bonus that qualifies an offer for promotion status. Further eroding the value of this promotion are its duration (short) and the registration requirement (within two weeks). With around 600 properties in its network, versus thousands for Hilton, Marriott, and InterContinental, it’s already more difficult for travelers to keep their stays within the Hyatt ecosystem. Lackluster promotions li..

Gift Ideas for Every Type of Traveler on Your List (Video)

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with both budget and splurge options for all the different types of travelers on your list. The post Gift Ideas for Every Type of Traveler on Your List (Video) appeared first on SmarterTravel.

Travel Gift Ideas for Every Type of Traveler on Your List

Looking for travel gift ideas? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with both budget and splurge options for all the different types of travelers on your list. For a full selection of travel gift ideas, check out the complete SmarterTravel holiday gift guide. Type of Traveler: Adventurer Travel Gift Ideas for Her Therm-A-Rest Women's Capella 20-Degree F Synthetic Sleeping Bag See Details play World Scratch Off Travel Map See Details play LOWA Aerox GTX® Surround Ws Hiking Boots See Details play Travel Gift Ideas for Him Travel Hammock See Details play Urban Organizer Hybrid See Details play Outdoor Research Men's Igneo Jacket See Details play Shop more gift ideas for adventurers. Type of Traveler: Athletic Travel Gift Ideas for Her Nike Flyknit See Deta..

12 Tiny Travel Gifts That Make Great Stocking Stuffers (2017 Edition)

Traveling with gifts makes packing light tricky, but small stocking stuffers can save the day. These 12 tiny gifts are sure to please and save space in your (and your recipient’s) suitcase. The Best Stocking Stuffers for Travelers From a pocket-size speaker to a handy self-defense tool, here’s a tiny gift for everyone on your list. dodocool Mini Speaker (Photo: Amazon) At just three ounces, the dodocool mini speaker is a lightweight and inexpensive stocking stuffer that doesn’t compromise on quality. The Bluetooth signal works well with any device and has powerful sound despite its size. Related: 10 Tiny Wireless Travel Speakers You Can Take Anywhere Kaike Green Tea Mask and Scrub Gift the gift of relaxation with Kaike’s Green Tea Mask. The detoxifying clay mask can be used as both a scrub and mask. Eagle Creek Packable Duffel (Photo: Amazon) An over-packer’s dream, this packable duffel folds into a pack-in pocket for easy storage. It takes up minimal space in both a stocking ..

New from IHG Rewards: Points for Takeout and Dining Out

In a first for a hotel-loyalty program, IHG Rewards Club has partnered with Grubhub, the mobile food-ordering service, and OpenTable, the provider of online restaurant reservations. Effective immediately, IHG Rewards Club members can earn 500 points for their first completed OpenTable booking made through IHG channels, 300 points for subsequent bookings made at IHG hotel restaurants, and 150 points for other restaurant reservations. The OpenTable tie-up initially applies to U.S. bookings, but will be extended to the U.K. and Australia by the end of 2017. Related:Alaska Air Is Latest to Cut Cuba Flights For Grubhub orders, program members will earn 500 points for the first transaction, and 250 points for subsequent orders placed via IHG channels. Note, however, that points will only be awarded for orders placed during an IHG hotel stay. IHG channels include the IHG mobile app, the IHG website, and IHG Connect, the on-property Wi-Fi experience at IHG properties. This is smart market..

Alaska Air Is Latest to Cut Cuba Flights

The Trump administration’s newly imposed restrictions on travel to Cuba were expected to have a chilling effect on U.S. tourism to the island nation, but maybe not so quickly. The U.S. Department of the Treasury last week announced a handful of restrictions and sanctions that prohibit Cuba visits that were previously allowed under the “people-to-people” provision, and make many hotels and other establishments off limits to U.S. visitors. As a direct result, Alaska Airlines this week announced it will terminate its daily flights between Los Angeles and Havana, effective January 22, 2018. In its news release, Alaska noted that 80 percent of its Cuba-bound flyers traveled under the people-to-people tourism exemption, which is no longer allowed under the new federal travel guidelines. The airline will redeploy its affected aircraft on routes where demand remains strong. Related:The Best and Worst Airlines, Airports for Thanksgiving Travel Alaska isn’t alone in changing its Cuba flight ..

Tiny Travel Gifts that Make Great Stocking Stuffers (2017 Edition)

The post Tiny Travel Gifts that Make Great Stocking Stuffers (2017 Edition) appeared first on SmarterTravel.

Is This the Perfect Pizza for Thanksgiving?

At Area Four Pizza in Boston, ask for this off-menu special perfect for the fall season. The post Is This the Perfect Pizza for Thanksgiving? appeared first on SmarterTravel.

Could These 3 New Airlines Shake up U.S. Travel?

There’s no shortage of new airlines servicing North America right now: Norwegian, WOW, Primera, XL Airways, Level, Flair, and Joon have recently sprung up or expanded. But none of these new carriers is based in the U.S. That may be about to change, however, with three recent new hopefuls on the horizon. Related:New Low-Fare Airline Debuts with Cheap Flights to Europe World Airways In an effort to reinvent a dead airline, investors have bought up the trademark and other assets of World Airways, which has been defunct since 2014. The announced plan is ambitious: Buy some brand-new Boeing 787s and fly long-haul intercontinental routes, based from Miami and Los Angeles. World Airways is no doubt a valuable name, but the new airline doesn’t intend to emulate its predecessor. The old World Airways was mainly a charter line, with a few years of scheduled operations, and it did not survive a severe downturn of contract flying for the U.S. armed forces. As far as I can see, the new iteration..

The 12 Best All-Inclusive Resorts in the United States

Mexico and the Caribbean have been made famous by their luxury all-inclusive resorts, but what many people don’t realize is that some of the best all-inclusive hotels are actually located in the United States. The post The 12 Best All-Inclusive Resorts in the United States appeared first on SmarterTravel.

Earn Up to 50,000 American Bonus Miles for Partner Transactions

Travel loyalty programs go to great lengths to add partner companies to their earning and rewards rosters, giving program members ever more reasons to remain engaged with the programs. And to remind program members of their many earning options, the programs occasionally run promotions highlighting participating partners. Here’s the latest from American’s AAdvantage program. Offer Details Through December 31, American AAdvantage members can earn up to 50,000 bonus miles for completing transactions with participating program partners. For each of the 10 participating partners, there is a minimum number of miles that must be earned to qualify for the bonus, as follows: Miles For Opinions: 300 miles LifeLock: 7,000 miles Sprint: 417 miles Rocketmiles: 5,000 miles AAdvantage eShopping: 3,000 miles 1-800-FLOWERS: 2,000 miles AAdvantage Dining: 500 miles Avis or Budget: 1,500 miles Vinesse: 500 miles Hilton: 1,000 miles Once the minimums have been reached, the transactions count toward..

Sale: Delta U.S. Award Flights from 11,000 Miles Roundtrip

Fly roundtrip within the continental U.S. for as few as 11,000 Delta miles in coach. That’s the gist of Delta’s latest sale on SkyMiles award travel. And unlike Delta’s recent series of monthly award discounts, this one is not a flash sale. You have plenty of time to book. Offer Details Through December 9, SkyMiles members may book roundtrip coach award tickets for travel within the continental U.S. for as few as 11,000 miles. Travel at the discounted rates must take place between November 28 and December 16. There are no published blackout dates for this sale. Related:The Best and Worst Airlines, Airports for Thanksgiving Travel Deal or No Deal Delta no longer publishes award charts, so there is no standard against which to judge the discounted prices. However, roundtrip coach award flights are typically priced around 25,000 or more miles. So the discounts can be considerable. More generally, the fact that Delta is now discounting award travel on a monthly basis is a positive..

Here’s How You Can Win a 5-Night Trip for 2 to Fiji

Enter the Expedia and Tourism Fiji “Bula Fiji” sweepstakes by November 30, 2017, for a chance to win the grand prize: a trip for two to Nadi, Fiji, including air from either Los Angeles or San Francisco, five nights at the Marriott Momi Bay, breakfasts, and a sightseeing excursion on the Sigatoka River. To enter, answer four easy questions (there are no wrong answers), provide the requested contact information (name, email, etc.) on the sweepstakes landing page, and press “Submit.” Done! Time required to participate: less than 30 seconds. Related:Here’s How You Could Win an 11-Day Alaskan Cruise for 2 NOTE: As is often the case with online sweepstakes, by entering you are agreeing to receive email marketing messages from the sponsors. You can easily opt out at any time. The Fine Print Sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the 50 United States, including the District of Columbia, and the province of British Columbia, Canada, who are at least 18 years old at the time of entry. Li..

10 Perfect Boots That Were Made for Traveling

Packing footwear for fall and winter travel is easy—when you have the right pair of comfortable boots. No matter if you’re a city wanderer and need a walkable boot that can dress up and down, or you’re expecting to get a little mud on the soles, Rockport is the go-to for travel boots. We’ve pulled the best-of-the-best of this season’s must-have men’s and women’s boots that look just as good as they feel. (Hint: get a head start on your holiday shopping.) Try Them On! All boots featured qualify for free standard shipping. The Dancer The Boot: Cobb Hill Oliana Bootie Destination: Nashville Made for fall, spring, and mild winters the Cobb Hill Oliana Bootie is casual enough for all-day wear, but with zippers, embossed panels, and a low heel, it’s dressed up enough for a long night out. The combination makes it perfect for stomping around Music City between the Country Music Hall of Fame, venues like the Station Inn, and honky-tonks, like Layla’s. Don’t be surprised if you wake up wi..

“The Best Gift Is You” Sweepstakes Official Rules

“The Best Gift is You” Sweepstakes Official Rules NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. Eligibility: Eligibility to participate in the “The Best Gift is You” Sweepstakes (the “Sweepstakes”) or to win prizes is limited to individual persons at least eighteen (18) years of age at the beginning of the Entry Period. Limit one (1) entry per individual. Multiple participants are not permitted to share the same email address. Any attempt by any participant to obtain more than the stated number of entries by using multiple/different email or addresses, accounts, identities, registrations and logins, or any other methods will void that participant’s entries and that participant may be disqualified. Registrations or submissions generated by a script, macro or other automated means are void. In the event of a dispute as to any entrant, the authorized account holder of the email address associated with the entry will be deemed to be the entrant. The “autho..

TSA Failure: Agency Falls Short on Most Undercover Screening Tests

After 15-plus years in existence, you’d think the TSA was pretty good at its job. Sadly, you’re wrong. A recent round of undercover tests revealed an agency that continues to fail at the most basic elements of its purpose. According to ABC News, these tests of multiple airport security checkpoints found that “screeners, their equipment or their procedures failed more than half the time.” ABC News’ source indicated that number may be closer to 80 percent. In a public hearing of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Rep. Mike Rogers told TSA Administrator David Pekoske, “This agency that you run is broken badly, and it needs your attention.” Related:How to Fix the TSA This is not the only report of TSA failure during an undercover test, in fact, failing tests like this have been a troubling hallmark of the agency. ABC News noted that in a similar test two years ago, the TSA “failed 95 percent of the time to stop inspectors from smuggling weapons or explosive materials through scr..

JetBlue Has a New Boarding Scheme. It’s Complicated

To airline managers, an airplane sitting on the ground is a horror: an expensive asset failing to justify its expense. The goal is full utilization, which means keeping planes airborne as many hours as possible, with as many passengers on board as possible. One key to maximizing utilization is timely turn-arounds, which require quick, orderly boarding. That would seem to be among an airline’s easiest tasks. Yet after more than a century of commercial air travel, there’s still no consensus on the best way to quickly fill a plane with passengers. Some airlines board passengers by row; others board by cabin; and still others use a hybrid scheme that combines considerations of row and cabin and other factors. While there’s no consistency among different airlines, travelers can at least expect consistency from flight to flight when flying the same carrier. Until, that is, the airline changes schemes. That’s just what JetBlue did recently, replacing its row-by-row boarding with a new gro..