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Hawaii is Thinking About Riding a Ferry Again

April 16, 2015 at 9:00 AM | by | Comments (0)

Remember way back to when the Hawaii Superferry was doing its thing, as it took tourists and locals alike across a quick stretch of the Pacific? Well things did not really work out too well, and that last we heard the ferry was sent off to an early retirement over in Virginia—far, far from the islands of Hawaii.

Well now it looks like the state government in paradise is thinking about a little ferry fun once again, as there is discussion about starting up a more affordable way to get between the islands without taking to the skies. Officials like what they have seen over in Washington State, and they have given the go ahead for the Department of Transportation to study how things could shake out. This time there seems to be more of a focus on passengers only rather than cars too.

One of the concerns is that residents just can’t afford the airfare to hop between the islands, and that’s especially the case when multiplying things for a family of four—or more. So there’s certainly a lot to look at here, and by no means will you be taking a traditional ferry between Oahu and Maui anytime soon. However, we’ll see where this goes, and of course will keep you posted.

[Photo: billsoPHOTO]

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How to Get Tickets to the One World Trade Center Observatory

April 7, 2015 at 1:56 PM | by | Comments (0)

Add May 29 to your iCal. That's the date the One World Trade Center's observatory opens to the public, for 100th-story views from the tallest building in the western hemisphere.

Entry won't be cheap, at $32 for adults 13-64 and $26 for children 6-12 (children under 5 are free), but it is significantly more affordable than tickets for the Burj Khalifa's Observatory, which run $55 for adults during peak visitation hours.

The very first batch of tickets will go on sale tomorrow, April 8, at 10am EST. Of course complimentary admission is extended to family members of those killed on 9/11, and to the rescue and recovery workers who worked at the site in the months following the tragedy.

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Boeing's New 'Sleep Support System' May Provide Comfort in Economy

April 6, 2015 at 1:53 PM | by | Comments (0)

You know that moment when you're deep into a long-distance journey and you just cannot get comfortable enough to sleep? And you'd do just about, or pay just about anything for some sort of bed, or sleep support for even a few hours of life-rewewing sleep? Well, Boeing may have a little something for you.

GeekWire touches on the company's newest patent (issued March 24), one which would "solve the common problem of trying to sleep hunched over to the side or straight up." The solution? An all-too-simple addition of a "backpack-like" device which snaps into your seat and provides a front support for a passenger's head and chest, to allow for a forward leaning sleeping position.

Naturally it has a super fun name, too: "Transport Vehicle Upright Sleep Support System."

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The State Department Explains Why Extra Passport Pages are Going Away

March 31, 2015 at 5:11 PM | by | Comment (1)

This week arrived with the news that the U.S. Department of State had made the decision to discontinue adding pages to passports and, instead, require a filled passport to be replaced with a fresh book. This change, due in December this year, would mean frequent travelers who quickly fill passport pages would have to face the re-application, payment, and processing time of receiving a new passport more often than if the refill pages were still available.

We published the news on Monday and, today, have a response from the State Department. It may very well be the justification for the change being sent to all media reporting on the topic, but it's still worth a read:

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Vail Resorts to Connect Two Park City Ski Resorts to Create One Giant Ski Resort

March 31, 2015 at 4:57 PM | by | Comments (0)

This year's ski season is winding down but there are some big plans for the ski scene in Park City next year.

Vail Resorts made waves in the ski industry when it announced that it had purchased Park City Mountain Resort back in the fall. At that time, it was speculated that Vail could combine, or at least create a strong connection, between PCMR and its neighboring resort, Canyons.

This week, that speculation became a reality. Vail received unanimous approval from the Park City Planning Commission to implement a $50 million "Capital Improvement Plan" that will create the largest ski area in North America (7,300 skiable acres) by connecting PCMR and Canyons via a gondola. It will also complete a number of other upgrades, such as upgraded lifts and restaurants.

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State Department to Eliminate Extra Passport Pages

March 27, 2015 at 2:32 PM | by | Comment (1)

A standard US passport is only 32 pages. Considering it's supposed to last you through 10 years of travels, that's a pretty poor expectation the U.S. Department of State has for its citizens. Thankfully thing are looking up, as The Points Guy received a hot tip from Allied Passport today that, beginning this December, standard passports will increase to 52 pages.

At the same time, the ability to order extra pages will go away, meaning once you've filled your book you'll need to re-apply and pay for a whole new passport.

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American and Delta Say Sayonara to Duty-Free, and That's a Good Thing

March 23, 2015 at 10:08 AM | by | Comments (0)

In-flight duty-free is nearly dunzo.

At some point last week, American Airlines unceremoniously ended in-flight sales of duty-free items, removing the sticky catalogs from seatback pockets, shutting down the duty-free website, and canceling that time when, in the calm middle of the flight, flight attendants ask if you'd like to spend $75 on a run-of-the-mill bottle of scotch.

While the reason for the cancellation isn't clear—frequent flyers around the internet have rumored that it's a contractual disagreement—we do know that American isn't the first to put the products back on the shelf. In August of last year, Delta did the exact same thing, quietly calling it quits on their in-flight duty-free.

We've gotten over the shock after the Delta news, and realize it's not such a huge issue since airports and other international airlines aren't giving up their own duty-free.

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It's the Final Countdown for US Airways Frequent Flyer Miles

March 16, 2015 at 10:58 AM | by | Comments (0)

US Airways' Twitter is done.

US Airways' 767-200s have finished flying.

And planes painted in US Airways' flag livery are taking turns in the paint shop, emerging with AA's shiny #newAmerican stripes.

Next up on the laundry list of to-dos before the merger completes is to close up US Airways' frequent flyer program, Dividend Miles. Think of it as "spring cleaning" for AA, as the process is in full swing right now.

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American Airlines Refused to Refund Grieving Family's Tickets, Guess What Happened Next?

March 12, 2015 at 3:42 PM | by | Comments (0)

File this one under "what the hell were they thinking?"

American Airlines got a request from a an Illinois family whose young daughter had died. Understandably, they were too crushed to take the vacation they had all planned to take together, and they were hoping to get their airline tickets refunded. This matter should have been handled immediately, quietly, and in its entirety.

So of course that's not at all what happened. Instead, the airline sent an apologetic note, expressing their sorrow for the death of the girl but firmly explaining that the tickets were non-refundable. Mom shared her story on her Facebook page, and from there nature took its course.

An online rage mob formed (kind of appropriately, in this case) and on Tuesday American ended up providing the refunds.

Quote unquote "We fully refunded [her] ticket last night and apologized to [the family] for not doing so immediately when she first contacted us." No kidding.

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Shut The Door. Have a Seat. Mad Men Dining Week Begins On March 23 in NYC

March 12, 2015 at 2:13 PM | by | Comments (0)

With Mad Man's final season about to debut, AMC and NYC & Company are partnering for Mad Men Dining Week. Throughout the promotion, fans and foodies will be able to dine in the city's best restaurants, at Mad Men-era prices.

From March 23 to 29, more than 30 NYC restaurants will participate in the special lunchtime promotion, including the 21 Club, Barbetta, Delmonico's, and the El Parador Café.

For just $19.69 (excluding gratuities and taxes), diners can choose from a two-course prix-fixe menu of an appetizer and entrée or an entrée and dessert, or get two drinks.

Each menu has been created specifically for the promotion and promises to offer a "rare glimpse into New York City's culinary world as it was almost a half-century ago."

Reservations for Mad Men Dining Week can be made now at nycgo.com/madmendiningweek.

[Photo: Mad Men Dining Week]

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Celebrity Cruises Wants You to Take Care of 'YourSelfie' While Onboard

March 11, 2015 at 5:05 PM | by | Comments (0)

Relax. This story is not about Selfie Sticks.

With the ferociously brutal winter almost behind us, this contributor decided to take some desperately-needed recuperating time, not just for my hunched-over, heat-starved body but for my rattled, over-worked brain as well. I really needed to unplug both mind and spirit.

The only way to prevent me, however, from sneaking an illicit peek at my emails and “only answering a few” was to book a cruise where that privilege costs a pretty penny. Ergo, I found myself on Celebrity Cruises’ Reflection, their newest ship on the block.

Celebrity has keyed into a traveler's need to disconnect and so they teamed up with Randi Zuckerberg, former Facebook and current Editor-in-Chief of Dot Complicated, and big advocate of finding a tech-life balance. The two brands came up with a series of spa and wellness treatments that encourage you to Take Care of YourSelfie. Clever marketing name aside, I didn't need to be told twice.

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Are Airlines Ready for the Apple Watch?

March 10, 2015 at 4:03 PM | by | Comment (1)

Can you hear it? That buzzing sound in your ears is the noise of hundreds of thousands of companies busily working on their Apple Watch apps.

Yesterday's formal reveal in San Francisco of the Apple Watch, as well as an updated Macbook, detailed the various version of the watches and the in-store release date of April 24. This means companies, including airlines and travel brands who are up on their technology, have little more than one month to develop their apps. .

Always happy to shout "FIRST!!!!!!" is Air New Zealand, who've already issued a release with the news that their app is done and ready to go, meaning they'll be the first airline with an Apple Watch app unless others join them on release day in April. Air New Zealand CIO Julia Raue says the airline’s developers visited Apple in California during the development of the app, so they mean business.

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