Tag: Europe Travel

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The Multiple Personalities of Air France's New Business Class Seat

Where: France
June 30, 2014 at 8:41 AM | by | Comments (0)

Air France realizes that passenger load fluctuates, and since their product is perishable (once a plane takes off, those unsold seats are lost revenue) , they’re hit the chalkboard to brainstorm creative solutions for maximizing passenger comfort while still flying full planes.

The result are new business class cabins across their long-haul fleet, with the unique ability to change up the cabin class when premium travel slows. These seats can be switched into economy class seats, ideal for periods like the summer when tourist and budget traveler numbers to Europe are high and the expense accounts are more likely to stay home.

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Europe is the Worst When It Comes to Baggage Handling

June 25, 2014 at 9:39 AM | by | Comment (1)

We’ve all been there, and it’s not a fun time. The baggage carrousel goes around and around, and pretty soon you realize that your bag is delayed, missing, or something worse. Apparently this kind of situation is more of a problem over in Europe, as a new report indicates when it comes to baggage delays and mistakes things are worse there than they are here.

Things are actually three times worse in Europe when compared to the situation in the nifty fifty. According to the folks over at Société Internationale de Télécommunications Aéronautiques—or just SITA to their friends—airlines over in Europe kind of screwed things up with around nine bags for every 1,000 passengers or so last year. Numbers in the United States were just over three bags per thousand travelers, and not surprisingly those awesome airports in Asia did the best—just under two bags per thousand flyers.

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This Party in Hamburg Starts at Five in the Morning

June 17, 2014 at 11:37 AM | by | Comments (0)

If Berlin is Germany's best party city, then consider Hamburg a miniature version with its nightclub culture, red-light district, and the street-filled fiestas of the Reeperbahn. There's enough to keep you going through the next morning, and on a recent visit, we discovered the perfect place to watch the sunrise - and found something we never expected.

As the clock began to push 5 a.m., this travel writer was led by his friends out of the club, into the daylight. They all kept talking about this fish market, something that, in my 5 a.m. haze, I could not fully understand. Why on earth are you taking me to a fish market when we've been out partying all night? To the waterfront we went, away from the noise and the ridiculousness of the Reeperbahn. Little did I know, it was about to get even more ridiculous.

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Plans Finally in Place for Speedy In-Flight WiFi in Europe

June 11, 2014 at 10:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

We’ve been enjoying the wonders of in-flight WiFi for a few years now, but unfortunately those travelers doing their thing in the skies above Europe have not had the same pleasure. Thankfully it looks like things are about to change, as there are plans to flip the switch on some new—and speedy—in-flight connectivity across the pond.

Inmarsat is the company behind the new travel technology, and it sounds like their aiming to have things up and running by the end of 2016. Connections will have speeds in the 4G range, so things should be improved when compared to what we have here at home. All in all setting up the network should cost around $550 million, and that includes new satellites, new towers, and other bits and pieces related to the transmission process.

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When is the Swiss Train Pass Worth the Price Tag?

June 5, 2014 at 2:29 PM | by | Comments (0)

One of the biggest decisions that U.S. travelers to Europe have to make is whether to purchase a pre-planned rail pass or to wait and buy single-journey tickets on the go. On our recent trip to Switzerland with a focus on the greater Zurich area, we used a Swiss Pass to travel between the small towns and villages.

Below, we break down the cost versus the benefits of the pass.

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Wish You Were Here: Berlin Celebrates 25 Years Since the Fall of the Wall

Where: Berlin, Germany
May 9, 2014 at 9:19 AM | by | Comments (0)

In November of 1989, residents of East and West Germany celebrated as the government announced the "fall" of the Berlin Wall, a breaking of the barrier between the two sides and a signal that the country was ready to reconcile.

A massive celebration ensued, and this year, as the country recognizes the 25 year anniversary of its reunion, we've come to Germany's capital to get a fresh perspective on not only the commemorative events to come, but the state of Berlin as one of Europe's top cities to visit.

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Billions of Bucks Will Allow a Eurostar Expansion and Upgrade

April 30, 2014 at 10:01 AM | by | Comments (0)

Zipping between countries over in Europe has never been easier, and thanks to planes, trains, and automobiles it’s also usually pretty darn affordable. Now the trip between France and the United Kingdom is getting even better, as those Eurostar trains that do their thing underneath the English Channel are getting a little bit of an upgrade and improvement.

It sounds like Eurostar is getting ready to throw down around $1.7 billion, as the train service begins to celebrate its second decade of doing its thing. New trains means more capacity for the first time in five years, and operators hope by that 2015 the whole fleet will have a new look and nice refresh.

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This App is How You Find the Best Craft Beer in London

April 28, 2014 at 5:21 PM | by | Comments (0)

As a beer drinker who makes his home in Denver, a city whose craft beer scene has absolutely exploded, this writer knows what a gamble it is to pull a chair up at a pub. With little to go on other than hearsay, you’re not sure what you’re going to end up with. For someone living in the city and catching a beer after work, a bad pint is not the end of the world – it’s research. But for someone traveling through town on both a financial and timely budget, getting it right suddenly becomes more important.

This same problem comes up for travelers in London, another big beer city, where one of the top activities is to go grab a brew with friends at a pub. But which pub? And which beer? We found the perfect app to solve this dilemma, appropriately named Craft Beer London, that allows you to bypass the usual suspects of Newcastle and Stella and find yourself a good craft beer. The app, which can be used offline for everything except images and location, includes all of the following:

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Is 'Flytographer' the Solution in the Struggle for Vacation Selfies?

April 17, 2014 at 6:21 PM | by | Comments (0)

Let's be real. Nothing is more embarrassing than a selfie stick, but you can't just travel around with a personal photographer in tow. Or can you?

Flytographer.com finally has a solution for travelers who are struggling for selfies, consistently disappointed with vacation photos, or feel like they're not living in the moment with an eye to a viewfinder. That solution is to book a local vacation photographer who will tag along to craft an informal photo shoot in your destination.

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What Steps to Climb for the Best Aerial Views of Prague

April 16, 2014 at 12:35 PM | by | Comments (0)

Prague is one of the most well-preserved cities in Europe, untouched by the wars and well-maintained. Some might say a little too maintained; a lot of the older buildings have an unexpected shine to them, but that's all a matter of opinion. As far as photography goes, our camera didn't seem to mind the blue skies beyond the pastel colors.

On a nice day, Prague shines from the clock tower at Old Town Square all the way across the Charles Bridge to Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral. The best place to take it all in is at the top of said clock tower, which for $5 (100 CZK) gives you a bird's eye view of the square and out over the town.

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Monday, Five Thirty: This Potent European Sipper is Made of 'Gum Drops'

Where: Chios, Greece
April 7, 2014 at 6:13 PM | by | Comments (0)

In celebration of the most needed happy hour of the week, we're launching a new column called “Monday, Five Thirty” that will take a look at different vices from around the world, specifically boozes and beers unique to a destination. Last week, it was a novelty shot that might make you lose your lunch. This week, we head back to Europe for a look at a potent after-dinner drink.

Originally made on the island of Chios, this Greek after-dinner drink will put you under the table if you're not careful. Typically distilled to be between 40-50% alcohol, Mastika will not only help with digestion, it will certainly help you sleep.

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Buy Business Class Flights to Europe for Around $1,500 Right Now (Seriously!)

April 4, 2014 at 4:34 PM | by | Comments (0)

Think fast—Business Class to Europe is on sale right now, but for how much longer, who knows?

Airfares are hovering around $1,500-$1,700 for scattered dates during this summer; this is half off (at least!) the usual price of Business Class and what you'd easily pay for Economy seats during peak summer travel. United initiated the sale, but it hasn't been publicized. Reading between the lines, this means act fast. The lowest airfares come from non-hub cities, so search for departures from places like San Jose versus San Francisco, or Boston or White Plains versus New York.

We recommend paying close attention to the itinerary before booking, and trying for a routing that includes Lufthansa from Washington D.C. to Frankfurt on the new Boeing 747-8i. It showed up for us while searching Dayton to Malta!

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