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Why Asiana Won't Land at SFO for 45 Days

November 17, 2014 at 9:17 AM | by | Comments (0)

It’s been over a year since the crash of Asiana 214 over at San Francisco International Airport, and now it looks like the government of South Korea is penalizing the carrier for its missteps that day.

The country’s transport ministry has made the call to suspend the airline’s ability to from Seoul over to San Francisco. The flight ban will last 45 days, and things will automatically kick in after six months. There is a chance for the airline to appeal and what not, so we just kind of need to stay tuned to see how things shake out.

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JetBlue Debuts Brand New 'T5i' International Zone for JFK Terminal 5

November 13, 2014 at 4:27 PM | by | Comments (0)


T5i's immigration and customs area sports the latest technology, like these automated passport processing kiosks

Next time you saunter through the market area at JetBlue's Terminal 5 at New York's JFK Airport and stand beneath the information halo wondering which way to go, you may notice there's a few more gates than usual. Go right or go straight ahead and it's all the same. Veer left, however, and you're heading for the spanking new international gate zone, dubbed T5i.

Yesterday marked the public opening of this, JetBlue's latest big project, and the first flights to arrive to the shiny new digs were JetBlue's non-stops up from Santo Domingo and Santiago in the Dominican Republic. Of course now it's open to all arriving JetBlue flights* from any of their nearly 25 international destinations from JFK.

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SFO's New #Converge Room is the Most San Francisco-y Thing Ever

November 13, 2014 at 9:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

From yoga rooms and prayer rooms to wineries and food trucks, airports sure are thinking outside the box lately. Now, the folks over at San Fransisco International Airport have done the most San Francisco-y thing ever and created a new concept room for travelers to spend a few final minutes brainstorming and networking on the ground before boarding a flight.

A special space called Converge is now set aside for SFO passengers to come together and exchange ideas about technology, start-ups, the shared economy, "disruption," travel, politics, and ways to change the world. While the room is not limited to these ideas, the airport thinks these are good ideas to start. The #Converge brainstorming room is designed to create more of a community for those flyers who might feel lonely on a long layover, or who maybe just seek fresh input. Kitted out with free wi-fi, tables, chairs, power outlets, a white board and a magnetic chalk board, the #Converge room actually sounds like it might also be useful for "digital nomads" in transit.

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China Increases Tourist Visa Validity from 1 to 10 Years, Starting Today

Where: China
November 12, 2014 at 4:32 PM | by | Comments (0)

There's no doubt that obtaining a visa for travel is a headache, and for a long time Chinese visas were among the worst. There was the price ($140), the consular visits, the being separated from your passport during processing, and then the frustration that all that work only resulted in a visa valid for one year.

Then, in early 2013, the rules eased when China began allowing for 72-hour visa-free visits. Quick visits for business, shopping, or just taking advantage of great airfare sales to China became possible without the need to plan far ahead and fill your passport with visa pages.

Today brings more excellent news, as applications are open for a 10-year China visa. The move was only announced a few days ago, while President Obama was in Beijing for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting. Citizens of the US and China have similar visa rules thanks to reciprocity, whereby one country applies the same limitations and requirements as the other. Reciprocity continues with this new announcement, as visas to the US for Chinese citizens will also enjoy the decade validity.

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How to Eat Dinner at Someone Else's House in 20 Different Countries

November 11, 2014 at 2:13 PM | by | Comments (0)

Yesterday, we took a look at how peer-to-peer travel is beginning to truly shake the travel industry. Most of the matter lies in the battle between the hotel industry and vacation rental sites like AirBnb. But another segment of people-to-people travel has quietly been developing the past few years, one that could really enhance your dining experience on your next trip: A handful of sites aim at connecting hungry diners with home cooks – the AirBnb of dinnertime, if you will.

"When travelling and on holiday we all like to think that our experience is authentic to the destination,” said Simon Press, World Travel Market Senior Director. “How much more real can you get than by eating local food cooked by a local in their own home?”

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The Sphinx Reopens to Visitors After Four Years of Viewing from Afar

Where: Egypt
November 11, 2014 at 9:06 AM | by | Comments (0)

After four years of renovations, one of Egypt’s iconic attractions, The Sphinx, is ready to be reopened to the public.

The courtyard of the Sphinx, which allows visitors to walk around the statue, was closed so that cracks could be repaired, mainly on the left side of the statue and on the chest and neck. Visitors could obviously still see the Sphinx from a distance, but they weren’t able to get close during the repairs.

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Why Isn't Hong Kong Stamping Passports Anymore?

Where: Hong Kong
November 10, 2014 at 6:54 PM | by | Comments (0)

There's a certain smugness that comes with flipping through a passport full of stamps from all over the world. Unfortunately for travelers who enjoy that feeling, stamps from Hong Kong are no longer part of the action.

Forgive us for being super late on this news, but Hong Kong SAR (Special Administrative Region) started dispensing little slips of paper in place of stamps in March 2013, with a full goodbye to stamps in December 2013. It wasn't until our most recent visit last month that we were alerted to the change, and looked at this tiny piece of paper like a step backwards.

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Growing Preference for Peer to Peer Travel Puts Industry in Weird Spot

November 10, 2014 at 12:48 PM | by | Comments (0)

Last week, the 2014 World Travel Market Industry Report was released to the public. In short, it is an annual global survey of exhibitors and buyers that highlight travel trends, including who’s buying what and who’s going where and how they’re going about doing it. Like any industry report, it is to be analyzed and regarded as a single, general resource amongst a sea of information, but it is fun, and often useful, to step back and consider some of the major themes brought forth by the report.

The thing that jumped out at me has to do with the ever-emerging and ever-growing segment of peer-to-peer travelers. If an attitude of “ew, I don’t want to sleep in someone else’s bed” ever existed amongst travelers, it has certainly been silenced to the point of a whisper. Preference for vacation rentals, including the rooms to rent found on sites like AirBnb, have grown incredibly in the past decade.

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Why Detroit is Nowhere Near 'The Next Berlin'

November 10, 2014 at 11:45 AM | by | Comments (0)


Detroit's abandoned Michigan Central Station

For over five years, people from The New York Times to The Wall Street Journal to even some of my fellow Detroiters, have been asking, endorsing, and even claiming Detroit as the next Berlin. Sure, comparisons exist. Both cities are insanely cheap—$1 for a house cheap in Detroit.

Detroit, much like Berlin, adorns abandoned lots, artistic empathy, and unrivaled city pride. Plus, where else in the world will you find techno parties located in vacated warehouses, which are equipped with beds so you can literally nap away a hangover and continue the party? Even recently, owners of famed Berlin club Tresor purchased a Detroit factory with the hopes of transforming it into an all-day-all-night-all-next-day Euro club paradise.

But most comparisons between the two cities stretch a little too far. This isn’t to say Detroit will never become a city on par with gentrified creative capitals like Berlin or Brooklyn. In fifty years, Detroit could be one of the world’s foremost artistic enclaves, but, as for right now, there’s much further to go than many make it seem.

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Beyond Rocket Science: The 8 Incredible Details You Never Knew About Virgin Galactic

October 30, 2014 at 11:12 AM | by | Comments (0)

[Update: This feature was written and published prior to the tragic events of 31 October, 2014, when SpaceShipTwo suffered an "anomaly" and was lost, with one fatality.]

How about Paris for the weekend, or a two-week trip around Southeast Asia? Forget it—that's so 2014, so terrestrial. Should Virgin Galactic have their way, 2015 will be the year you book a vacation of suborbital space travel, or perhaps a supersonic 45-minute flight from California to London.

This month SpaceShipTwo completed her 54th test flight, improving the odds that next year will indeed be the one to finally kick off space tourism. In fact, Virgin Galactic has already begun the big move from Mojave, CA to Las Cruces, NM, the latter being home to Spaceport America and, hopefully soon, flights to space full of paying passengers (6, to be specific, plus 2 pilots).

Seeing as the US treats spaceship technology with something of the same intense secrecy as defense technology, much of what Virgin Galactic's been up to out in their hangar in the California desert is hush-hush top secret. The 10th Anniversary of their Ansari X Prize win however opened up a small window for us to peek behind those massive doors. Here's what we can tell (and show!) you:

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Trade Your Pina Colada for Push-Ups in the 'Fitness Garden' Onboard Crystal Cruises

October 29, 2014 at 12:31 PM | by | Comments (0)

Just in time for the busy cruise season, Crystal Cruises is making it a whole lot easier to balance out buffet time with some huffy-puffy in a fully renovated fitness center. Working with Italian fitness equipment manufacturer, Technogym, the cruise line redesigned their onboard gyms and added an outdoor fitness garden to tempt cruisers into more exercises than lifting fork to mouth.

Within the next few weeks, the overhauled gym of Crystal Symphony will feature Technogym’s fitness equipment and customized circuit training program for all levels of fitness. If you're in for sweating on the high seas, the cardio section will sport the newest equipment line called ARTIS, a high-design (obviously Italian), super-techy (iPhone connectivity) range of treadmills and cross-trainers.

If showing off by the pool is your goal, the resistance training offering will be an expanded Kinesis line of equipment to allow for better range of movement and more versatility.

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New Details of the American and US Airways Frequent Flyer Program Merger

October 29, 2014 at 12:06 PM | by | Comments (0)

We've known for a long time that American and US Airways were planning on merging their frequent flier programs. This week, new details were released regarding how the programs will be integrated. Here's what AAdvantage and US Dividend Miles members need to know going forward:


· The two frequent flier programs will merge in the second quarter of 2015. You can see a full timeline here.

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