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If you're looking for reasonable vacation ideas with spring now on the horizon, consider taking a trip up north to visit our neighbors in Canada. Not only is the trip a feasible one in terms of logistics - doable for even a long weekend - it is as cheap as it's been since 2009.
As of this publication, the American dollar was worth $1.26 Canadian dollar. Two years ago, the exchange was about equal, with one U.S. dollar actually being a little less than one Canadian dollar. You have to go back as far as 2009 to find an exchange range as favorable as it is currently for the U.S. traveler.
Cruise Travel / Ships / Travel News / Lists / Azamara Club Cruises / Princess Cruises / Royal Caribbean / Quantum of the Seas / Royal Princess / Regal Princess / → All Tags
Chocolate buffets. Rock climbing walls. Waterslides. Ice skating rinks! Sometimes it seems as though innovation for cruise ships is solely focused on making passengers forget that they're on a boat.
Thankfully a few new additions to ships and cruise lines over the last few years have focused not on all the bells and whistles inside the ship, but on the ship itself. The simple experience of sailing on the open ocean is a natural amenity much taken for granted, and these 3 new cruise ship features understand that:
Maybe you guys were feeling good about the new FAA numbers on unruly passengers, which show that less of you were assholes in 2014 than any time since at least 1995. (Conrad Hilton obviously is not included in this stat.)
If the figures are to be believed, there were "only" 121 times when passengers tried to "assault, threaten, intimidate, or interfere with a crewmember in the performance of the crewmember's duties aboard an aircraft being operated."
Except those numbers are bunk. As the New York Times explained earlier this week, the entire reporting system seems designed to prevent the FAA from getting a complete list of how many passengers get out of hand.
Just for starters, the reports have to come from flight attendants, whose job it is... to prevent passengers from getting out of hand. Asking them to file a report about an incident is asking them to file a report about how they failed to do their jobs. That doesn't seem very smart, and so the NYT is probably right in reminding readers that you guys are still assholes.
Airline News / US Airways / American Airlines / New American / PHL / 767 / Airlines / Airline Mergers / Travel News / → All Tags
Way, way back in 2010, a Jaunted writer asked the question, as part of a rant, "US Airways, do they still even exist?"
Five years later and we can only answer that with "well, kinda."
The airline known as US Airways continues to merge with American Airlines and flew its final 767-200 revenue flight yesterday, from Philadelphia to Charlotte. This is but the first of many lasts for US Airways, and indeed we've already seen US Airways planes fully painted in the #newAmerican colors out on the tarmac.
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Argentina is a beautiful country, but the reception for visitors arriving to Buenos Aires can be confusing thanks to a small section of the customs form. The Declaration of Mobile Phone requires travelers to list the brand, model, series, and any accompanying digital accessories of their personal mobile phone, with no explanation why the customs officers might need this information.
The document comes straight from the AFIP (Administracion Federal de Ingresos), and their website does say, at the very bottom, that this portion of the form needs to be completed, no matter your citizenship status or how you're entering Argentina.
We'd been to Argentina before, but never before by way of Buenos Aires' Ezeiza (EZE) Airport, and a past visit actually saw us robbed of our Nikon DSLR. It was after that unfortunate incident that we heard about and read more on Argentina's strict importation laws and high import taxes, which breeds desire for black market consumer electronics and the petty crime that fuels the trade.
Cheap NYC / Food Travel / New York Restaurants / New York City / Budget Travel / Restaurant Week / Travel News / → All Tags
Go and get 'em! Reservation booking has just opened up here for the semiannual NYC Restaurant Week, aka one of our favorite (and super highly recommended) city food events. NYC's Winter Restaurant Week(s) 2015 runs from February 16 to March 6.
Get over to OpenTable quickly to snap up the best and newest tables, lest you get stuck dining at some Theater District steakhouse that survives on tourists being loose with their money and not too particular about what's on their plate. The choices for winter 2015 are better than ever, with a record 340 participating eateries.
The official announcement gives a taste of what to expect:
It's good to be the king... of snazzy air travel.
Everyone knows that the U.S. President is constantly on the move, not only within our own country, but all over the world. But what exactly does a year of Presidential travel look like?
Stranded at The Airport / Flight Delays / Blizzard of 2015 / JFK / Virgin Atlantic / Travel News / → All Tags
Even though NYC was largely unaffected by the #Blizzardof2015 last night, with only 10 inches falling in the area, a few unlucky passengers on a London-bound Virgin Atlantic flight from JFK Airport were stuck inside a plane for six hours, waiting to take off, but then a passenger got sick and needed to be removed.
Then the plane had to be de-iced but time had run out. The travelers on flight VS004 were then told the plane would not be taking off tonight after all due to the weather. Given that 7,000 flights in the Northeast were cancelled because of the storm, this was not so surprising.
Unfortunately for the passengers, that decision was made at midnight, an hour after the 11pm curfew for road and subway closures, which meant they were forced to spend the night in the airport.
Passengers were given $15 vouchers to McDonald's, the only restaurant open in the airport. And then they had to find places to sleep inside the airport. Their luggage could not be be taken off the plane because reportedly there was no one qualified to take it off.
The Daily Mail, of course, has photos and eyewitness accounts from passengers. Be hold lots of uncomfortable sleeping positions!
Virgin Atlantic has given the following statement on the event:
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A notice at the top of the SkyMall website reads:
There are changes in the air, but we're still here! Place your order today.
That's an understated urgent plea from a dying company, as SkyMall's parent company announced that it's filing for bankruptcy. Where did things go wrong for flyers' favorite guilty pleasure? Well, Ars Technica says SkyMall blames their downturn in business on the rise of the use of smartphones while in flight; the FAA allowed for "Airplane Mode" back in November 2013.
Whatever the true reason, the internet has raised its voices (via tweets and Facebook) to bid a fond farewell to the catalog, which seems to have been more successful in making travelers wonder "who buys a giant garden Yeti for $2,250?" than in actually selling them.
Canada's old passport under a black light
Traditionally, how cool your passport is has to do with how worldly you are, aka, how many fancy stamps you have. But in the case of Canada's passport, the opposite may be true.
For at least the last two versions, our friends up North have been designing a passport where the addition of a stamp may deface what really makes it shine: When put under a black light, vivid colors appear and create a psychedelic party. Check out the images below:
Airline Safety / Airport Safety / Travel Safety / FAA / TSA / Travel News / → All Tags
There is some scary stuff going on in American airports right now. The terrorist attacks in France understandably put airport security officials on edge, and then Al Qaeda published a bomb recipe for the creation of detection-proof explosives.
That one-two had TSA personnel scrambling to boost security. Most visibly, travelers began to see heightened random inspections. But Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson brushed off complaints by tersely stating that "the reasons for these measures should be self-evident."
In a situation like that, you want to allocate resources as efficiently as possible. There are things that look important but are trivial, and things that look trivial but are important. One of the concrete goals is to avoid unnecessary searches.
So everybody was super-thrilled to learn that the FAA was suspending a long-running program under which their safety inspectors were allowed to skip TSA checkpoints. Apparently the system was used by at least one person to bring guns on board airplanes. Oops.
Typically on airplanes, children under the age of two don't require their own seat and can sit on the lap of their parent, free of charge. However some airlines do charge up to 10 percent of the ticket price for such tiny passengers. But according to reports, a few airlines want to change this policy and up the fee for lapchildren.
Brazil's airlines are leading the charge, proposing that the cap on fees for children be waived, allowing each individual airline to decide what to charge customers. You know - $25 for the bag, $200 for the baby. Brazil's National Civil Aviation agency, Anac, is drawing up the "in virtue of tariff liberty" plan that will be decided on by the end of 2016.