Tag: Travel News

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Airports and Airlines Step Up to Ensure Your Phone is Fully Charged

July 15, 2014 at 8:35 AM | by | Comments (0)

Until mobile devices somehow magically charge themselves throughout your journey—you’re going to need a spot to plug in and charge up at the airport. The concourses and terminals have gotten a little bit better at adding ports and plugs, and now it seems like there’s a push overseas to add even more spots to charge up before your trip.

With that pesky new requirement regarding devices to be operational at airport security airports in London are pushing to get more options available to flyers.

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Royal Caribbean Heads Towards Land with New 'TourTrek' Venture

July 10, 2014 at 9:57 AM | by | Comments (0)

Royal Caribbean is taking their business out of the water and onto the land, as they’re working on starting up some kind of tour company spinoff.

At this point details are limited, but they did confirm things on a recent blog post; however, we’re wondering if that was only because Travel Weekly kind of beat them to sharing the news.

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75 Original Photos of Diagon Alley and the Hogwarts Express, at Universal Orlando

July 9, 2014 at 12:35 PM | by | Comments (0)

Magic is seriously in the air this month, as we've been in Orlando for an early preview of the newest addition to Universal Orlando: Diagon Alley at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Yesterday was the official Grand Opening, but here you'll find all the juicy photos of the most exciting amusement park debut of the year.

Seven hours was the average wait time to experience all Universal Orlando's new park had to offer yesterday, during The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley's Grand Opening. That's actually not much of a surprise considering the wait was closer to 8 hours during the 2010 debut of the sister park, Hogsmeade, which now joins Diagon Alley to form a Potter powerhouse of experiences, shopping, rides, and refreshment at Universal Orlando and Islands of Adventure.

Don't let the 7 hours intimidate, however; that's just first day frenzy. Although what Universal has created with Diagon Alley is a stupefyingly tremendous world straight from the JK Rowling novels and resulting films which everyone should see, waits for the Gringotts ride and more should settle to a manageable 2 hours-ish as the summer progresses.

What you won't have to wait for are photos of the new park, as we've got full, original photo galleries of over 75 images from our own visit. Enjoy:

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'Standing Seats' Idea Still Hanging Around as New Study is Released

July 8, 2014 at 11:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

Remember when Ryanair announced a few years ago that it was going to experiment with "standing seats" on its flights? The airline said it would be able to offer tickets at extremely low prices, but ultimately the idea got shot down by a regulator, mostly due to concerns over seat belts and safety.

Despite those questions, we found the idea peculiar yet intriguing, especially for commuter flights of an hour or less, say, from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles, Philadelphia to New York, New York to Boston, etc. Would it be so bad to stand for 45 minutes if the cost was significantly less? A new study released this week has once again brought up the concept, finding that airlines that remove seats in favor of a "standing section" could fit 20% more passengers and offer significant discounts on tickets - as much as 44%.

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A Complete Look at Virgin Atlantic's Hotly High Style Vivienne Westwood Uniforms

July 7, 2014 at 3:17 PM | by | Comments (0)

The Virgin Atlantic look is sharp, iconic, sizzling; there’s no denying the head-turning appeal of a crisp white blouse tucked into a scorching red pencil skirt, topped off with red heels. But, with the celebration of the airline’s 30th Anniversary this year, it’s about that time for a snazzy refresh so as to continue “flying in the face of ordinary,” as the airline’s slogan goes. For this, Virgin Atlantic paired with UK designer and punk powerhouse Vivienne Westwood. The new uniforms were just unveiled July 1 in London, and will roll out for all Virgin Atlantic staff, from cabin crew to flight crew, and desk agents to Clubhouse hospitality.

Alas, a flash of the new uniform as it swishes down the airplane aisle isn't enough to appreciate the detail. Aside from the fact that it’s now easier to care for with a new tech “nano finish" (the earlier uniform was dry clean only) and yarn made from recycled plastic bottles, there are small secrets hidden in every dart and under each lapel, telling the story of the collaboration between England’s flag-carrying airline and one of the country's most iconic fashion influences.

Although the uniforms don’t officially take flight for the entire Virgin Atlantic fleet until September 1, keep an eye out for a preview on your next VS flight; crew have been heading to the airline’s Base near Gatwick Airport to pick up their full looks since this past weekend. Here's what to look for:

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How Universal Orlando's New Diagon Alley Gets It Very, Very Right

July 1, 2014 at 9:48 AM | by | Comments (0)

Magic is seriously in the air this month, as we've been in Orlando for an early preview of the newest addition to Universal Orlando: Diagon Alley at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This weekend saw the soft-opening, but here you'll find all the juicy details of the most exciting amusement park debut of the year.

Diagon Alley has been described as 9 new shops and 1 new ride. While that's true in the most bare-bones sense, a visit to Diagon Alley reveals that it's an immersive world unto itself, where no detail is too small and from which no visitor will leave without some degree of awe.

In fact, we think Diagon Alley improves upon the original 2010 Hogsmeade portion of The Wizarding World, as one would hope after having four years to tweak and test. Here's why:

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What's the Deal with British Airways' 'Mood Blanket' Thing

July 1, 2014 at 8:50 AM | by | Comments (0)

Don’t expect to be cuddling up with the latest in in-flight blanket technology anytime soon, but the folks over at British Airways are testing out a new wool blend in the cabin—complete with embedded electronics.

Basically it’s a mood ring but in blanket form, as the thing has tiny little LEDs inside of it that change colors to blue or red depending on someone’s feelings. Travelers wear some kind of band thing on their heads, and then their feelings and what not are transmitted to the blanket over Bluetooth. Blankets that are blue reflect cool and comfortable travelers, and those that change to a shade of crimson indicate that there might be some stress going on—or that they need a refill on their drink.

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Breaking: Why You're Going to Notice More Airport Security, And Probably Very Soon

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

Yesterday morning ABC News popped a story about a recent White House meeting - recent in the sense that it happened last week - in which top-level intelligence officials raised alarms about new threats to aiport security and airline security. Very short version: terrorists who have dug into Syria are reportedly working on a new generation of undetectable bombs, and so you will probably be feeling new security precautions both domestically and overseas. Happy Monday!

ABC got at least one source to worry "[this threat] is different and more disturbing than past aviation plots." Another talked about "creative" new bomb designs. The outlet also aired interviews on Sunday - which are embedded below, and included one with President Barack Obama - that were arguably even scarier.

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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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The Future of Air Traffic Control is Apparently Super, Super Creepy

June 27, 2014 at 1:37 PM | by | Comments (0)

Last March we posted a very neat little video tracing the paths of the roughly 30,000 flights that enter, leave, and just generally hang around European airspace on a summer day. It began in the early morning with the planes coming across the Atlantic, and then as the day wore on it developed into well-managed chaos. The emphasis here is on "well-managed": the visualization was produced by Britain's NATS, the country's biggest provider of air traffic control, and the organization responsible for keeping all those planes from colliding. They weren't exactly bragging, but they weren't exactly not bragging.

Then about three months ago NATS posted a new video. This one is all about the future and it is - bluntly - creepy as all hell. It's supposed to be a futuristic look at how commercial "air traffic control" is inevitably going to be subsumed by commercial "air traffic management," which is both a real airline industry thing and something that is actually kind of interesting for travel geeks.

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Judge Rules Flying is a Right, Not a Privilege for Americans

June 25, 2014 at 10:41 AM | by | Comments (0)

From increased fees to the elimination of in-flight meals, the evolution of the U.S. airline industry has indeed rained down frustration on American travelers. That side of the coin is looking dim for future travelers, especially with the recent news that Congress is now in bed with the TSA.

But a ruling by a Federal judge yesterday showed that good things can still happen within the airline industry when it comes to the treatment of its passengers. The case concerned the U.S. Government's no-fly list, calling it unconstitutional because it does not 1) give people on the list a chance to contest their inclusion upon it or 2) properly notify them of being added to the list. Taking it one step further in her justification, the judge ruled that these inadequate and unfair procedures have denied many Americans their right to travel.

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250 New Emoji to Include More Airplanes, More Travel Icons

June 24, 2014 at 4:23 PM | by | Comments (0)

Rejoice, for the day of new emoji is here! Released this month, some 250 more teeny, tiny characters will be added to the Unicode 7.0.0 standard. In order to use these new emoji, keep an eye out for software updates from Apple, Google, Microsoft and the like.

In addition to more work icons (like "back of envelope" and "clamshell mobile phone") and weather ("cloud with tornado!"), the slew of fresh emoji will include a barrage of updated transportation and travel icons. Here's what to expect:

· Up-pointing airplane
· up-pointing small airplane
· small airplane
· northeast-pointing airplane
· airplane departure
· airplane arriving
· passenger ship
· diesel locomotive
· bellhop bell
· sleeping accommodation
· desert island
· national park
· beach with umbrella
· snow-capped mountain

We know it's not every day you take a diesel locomotive from a national park to a snow-capped mountain, but now you can rest comfortably in the knowledge that, should that day ever arrive, you'll be able to adequately illustrate it in a text message or tweet, thanks to the new emoji. View the entire list over at emojipedia.

Now, how about a cheese or taco emoji, or some additional country flags?

[Screencap: Jaunted]