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Now Up For Sale: Finnair's First Flights With The Airbus A350 XWB

Where: Finland
April 14, 2015 at 5:41 PM | by | Comments (0)

Time to check the balance in the travel piggy bank, as Finnair just recently started selling seats aboard their brand new Airbus A350 XWB aircraft.

Finnair is the very first carrier over in Europe to score the keys to the new plane, and only the third airline in the world so far to gain access to all the new bells, whistles, switches, and controls. The tickets that are now available are for the launch route between Helsinki and Shanghai, as things are set to take to the skies October 25. After that, it’ll be Beijing scoring a route to Finland, as the plans call for that option to start November 21.

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Whale Nerds Will Unite at 'Welcome the Whales' in Langley

April 14, 2015 at 4:20 PM | by | Comments (0)

Are you a Whale Nerd? Don't be ashamed to admit it. Instead, stand tall and proud and head to Langley, Washington this weekend to Welcome the Whales.

The super fun annual cetacean celebration welcomes the spring arrival of the Saratoga Gray whales to the Puget Sound and Salish Sea.

In early spring, the barnacled mammals start to arrive in Pacific Northwest waters, fresh from their winter migration. The 30 ton giants come to feast on the mudflats, which are rich with shrimp and worms. According to Orca Network, there are 200-300 “seasonal resident” Gray whales that spend the spring, summer and fall feeding from California to Southeast Alaska.

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United Got Us to Montego Bay Safely, Albeit Without WiFi or Custom Forms

April 14, 2015 at 3:22 PM | by | Comments (3)

It's time for another juicy Flight Review. Contributor Linda Marsicano was underwhelmed with her recent flight to Jamaica on United. Agree or disagree? Sound off in comments below!

Let me preface this review by saying that, these days, when an airline gets my family and I safely to our destination, it was a successful flight and I’m deeply grateful. Get me there on time to boot and bonus points ensue.

But, we do have the choice about which airlines to fly and one can’t help comparing the amenities that are offered and extra fees that are charged when spending hundreds of dollars (or valuable airline miles) on flights.

That said, we flew United Flight 1251 to Montego Bay from Chicago O’Hare April 4 - which arrived safely and on time so the major tenets of a good flight were, indeed, accomplished - and the WiFi wasn’t working, the crew ran out of immigration forms, there were no free snacks (no surprise here), and the ones they were selling ones were rather overpriced (Pringles for $3.99, for example).

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Uber is Now Offering Rickshaw Rides in Delhi

April 14, 2015 at 1:59 PM | by | Comments (0)

First there was uberBLACK and uberX. Then it expanded to uberPOOL and even the seasonal releases of uberCHOPPER (you can understand what that one is) Now, Uber, online cab-hailing company will allow passengers in India’s capital the option to book rickshaws—those seriously cheap three-wheeled taxis that aggressively honk their way through Indian streets.

Rickshaws have long been an iconic part of the Dehli landscape. The city has roughly 100,000 on the streets, and they’re a cheap, convenient way to navigate Indian cities.

uberAUTO, as it will be called in New Delhi, differs from standard Uber services because passengers will pay in cash after their lift, as fares for the rickshaws are set by the state.

The launch in Delhi, Uber’s largest market outside the US, comes against stiff competition against Ola, an Indian version of Uber that already allows customers to hail rickshaws. Beyond that, Uber continues to face troubles in India, battling rape allegations against one of its drivers in December. So while the rickshaw is a nice idea, it may not necessarily take off.

[Photo: Heart Industry/Flickr]

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How to Get to the Pretty Parks of Southern Utah

April 14, 2015 at 12:28 PM | by | Comment (1)

The scene in Southern Utah, outside of Hanksville.

Salt Lake City and the surrounding ski areas are Utah's biggest tourist draw, providing a remarkable combination of quality skiing and extreme accessibility. Mountain towns like Park City are also a big draw during the summer, with convenience a major contributing factor. Fly into SLC, and the mountains are 45 minutes away.

The southern part of the state doesn't have quite the same luck. The abundance of state and national parks in Southern Utah is arguably a better draw for adventure travelers, but the problem is getting there. There are no major cities, making it a difficult region for out-of-state or cross country travelers to access.

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JetBlue Keeps Fly-Fi Free for the Future

April 14, 2015 at 9:49 AM | by | Comments (0)

What were you doing on December 11, 2013? We remember what we were up to, which was being in flight over Cape Cod, testing out JetBlue's latest onboard amenity: in-flight WiFi, or, as JetBlue calls it, "Fly-Fi."

Since that day, the airline has worked to install the high-speed, Ka-band system on more and more of their airplanes and, as of this month, celebrated their 100th Fly-Fi-equipped A320. Wandering Aramean reports that all A321s are connected, all A320s should be finished soon, and even the Embraer 190s are due to be online in 2016.

What's even more remarkable than this speedy work is the fact JetBlue has continued to offer the basic Fly-Fi access for free, even though they initially stated it'd be free for at least the first six months.

The latest news is that this commitment to complimentary onboard connectivity is continuing. You get free in-flight Fly-Fi! And you get free in-flight Fly-Fi!

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Travel Snapshot: Goblin Valley in Southern Utah

Where: Golbin Valley State Park [map], Green River, Utah, United States
April 13, 2015 at 4:35 PM | by | Comments (0)

Southern Utah is loaded with state and national parks, a list that includes Zion, Arches, Canyonlands, Snow Canyon, and Bryce Canyon. All of these are known for, among other things, their beautiful rock formations. One of the most unique is also one of the area's smallest, Goblin Valley, famous for its lollipop formations that resemble mushrooms, or goblin heads. If you remember, it's where this idiot taught us what not to do when traveling through a state or national park.

At just under five square miles, Goblin Valley is just a blip on the radar when compared to nearby Arches (120 square miles) and Canyonlands (527 square miles). Despite its small size, there are an abundance of naturally formed caverns you can comfortably explore to lose the crowds. There are three established hiking trails, but "unofficial" trails are found all over the park, winding their way through the goblin heads and between the buttes.

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Who's Playing The Piano at Heathrow Airport? No One, Actually

April 13, 2015 at 3:30 PM | by | Comments (0)

This week's Jaunted Field Trip will be coming from London and Liverpool. Got a question about either of these cities? Let us know and we'll answer it for you. Don't forget to check HotelChatter's latest news from London and Liverpool too.

When landing at Heathrow International Airport in London after a long-haul flight, you're probably focused on two things--one, staying awake and two, making it to customs before a mad rush of people fill up the queue. But if you can take a moment to look around, you might just be entertained by a "ghost-playing" piano like this one we saw at Terminal 3 arrivals.

The pianos were placed around Heathrow to welcome guests for the 2012 Summer Olympics but at that time, anyone was free to play them. Now, Heathrow has roped a few of the pianos off and hired machines to tinkle the ivories. (There's another piano once you get through customs.)

But while we admired this piano for exactly 15 seconds, we were quick to make our way to the notoriously long customs lines.

MORE TIPS ON HEATHROW AIRPORT (and a bonus London one)
· Take a Whiff of London-Heathrow's Smelly New Attraction
· London Breaks Up Airport Monotony with Pop-up Parks
· Hot Tip: Pre-Order Your Pre-Flight Sushi at London's Heathrow Airport
· What Not to Do in London: The Top Five Tourist Mistakes

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Is a $270 Scenic Helicopter Flight of Hawaii Worth It?

April 13, 2015 at 12:19 PM | by | Comment (1)

Tell friends who've been to Hawaii before that you're heading to Kauai and there's one thing you'll hear over and over: "you've got to take a helicopter tour!"

Soaring above remote waterfalls, azure reefs, untouched coastline, and Hawaii's own version of the Grand Canyon (Waimea Canyon) sounds like a no-brainer... until you see the price tag. Averaging $200 per person, helicopter tours around Hawaii demand more consideration and budgeting than, say, a surfing lesson. And, for some of the islands' more unique destinations, scenic helicopter flights edge upward toward $300.

Recently while in Kauai, we flew with Island Helicopters, the only company with landing rights at the impressive Manawaiopuna Falls, better known as "Jurassic Park Falls" for their cameo in the movie. The "Jurassic Park Falls Helicopter Landing Adventure" tour costs from $269 per person and lasts 75-85 minutes. The more basic flight, named "Grand Circle Tour," is available from $145 per person and lasts 50-60 minutes.

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Some Guy Computed The Perfect European Road-Trip… Do you Agree?

April 13, 2015 at 11:35 AM | by | Comments (0)

How much trust would you put in a computer program calculating the precise route to your European vacation? Well, the dude that crafted Michigan’s perfect road trip and determined the optimal Kerouacian trip around America recently released his map for Europe.

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Do You Know How To 'Find Your Park'? We Bet You Will Soon

April 13, 2015 at 10:40 AM | by | Comments (0)

There’s a whole weekend of free national parks coming your way as complimentary admission is part of the first few days of National Park Week April 18-19. That’s all fine and dandy, but what if you’re not able to figure out the best park for you? Well, that’s where the National Park Service steps in with their new promotion and marketing spinFind Your Park.

First lady Michelle Obama and former first lady Laura Bush will partner with the park service as part of the promotion, as everyone goes all in to show what America has in her backyard.

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The 5 Best Filming Locations From The 'Fast & Furious' Franchise (So Far)

April 13, 2015 at 9:00 AM | by | Comments (0)

Since Furious 7 hit theaters there has been debate over which of the seven Fast and the Furious movies was the best but, of course, Jaunted is more interested in which movie had the best filming location. Here's a look at our five favorite filming locations from the entire Fast and the Furious franchise.

1. Canary Islands

Fast 6 featured Spain's Canary Islands, but not because of the islands' unique landscape. The islands were used because they offered a better tax rebate than Marseille, France where producers intended to film. Most of the action took place on Tenerife and Gran Canaria.

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