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Passports / Visas / Travel News / → All Tags
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:
Travel News / Vail Resorts / Park City Travel / Utah Travel / Ski Travel / Adventure Travel / → All Tags
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.
Travel News / Passports / Visas / → All Tags
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.
Airline News / American Airlines / Delta / Duty-Free / Shopping Travel / In-Flight Amenities / Travel News / → All Tags
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 clearfrequent flyers around the internet have rumored that it's a contractual disagreementwe 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.
Airline Mergers / American Airlines / US Airways / New American / Airline News / Travel News / Frequent Flyer Miles / AAdvantage / Dividend Miles / Airline Loyalty Programs / → All Tags
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.
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.
Restaurant Weeks / Mad Men Travel / Food Travel / NYC Travel / Mad Men Dining Week / Travel News / → All Tags
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]
Cruise Travel / Cruises / Celebrity Cruises / Royal Caribbean / Ships / Spa Travel / Caribbean Travel / Travel News / Selfies / → All Tags
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.
Travel Tech / Technology / Apple / Apple Watch / Airlines / Airline News / Air New Zealand / New Zealand Travel / Travel News / → All Tags
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.
Travel News / Bad Ideas / Travel Humor / Emergencies / Delta Airlines / LGA / New York Travel / Runway Accidents / Airplane Emergencies / → All Tags
We assume that you've already read our coverage of last werk's runway-skidding Delta flight at LaGuardia Airport, unless you're likely to fly into LGA some time in the near future, in which case we hope you avoided that post (we love clicks as much as the next travel news site, but those are some genuinely hair-raising images; we're more than willing to sacrifice a couple pageviews for your mental well-being).
But at least one humorous moment did come out of the near-disaster.
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: