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Trip Review: The $100 'First Class' Vonlane Bus Between Austin and Dallas

October 27, 2014 at 12:57 PM | by | ()

We’ve done the 3+ hour drive from Dallas to Austin at least 100 times and can safely say that it is an incredibly boring way to spend an afternoon.

Difficulties include such things as keeping the car between the lines and staying awake, not to mention trying our best to avoid stopping off at Loves truck stop for the chicken fried chicken. Driving also makes us unable to get any work done as using our laptop while speeding down the highway is almost always frowned upon by police.

Thankfully, the smart people at Vonlane have introduced a new way to get from Dallas to Austin that avoids the stress of air travel and the turtle-like speeds of Amtrak while providing as luxurious an experience as public bus travel can manage. They also offer the flexibility to book in advance or on the day of your trip without paying the exorbitant prices you’d pay for a last-minute flight. One-way trips are $100.

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In the Spirit of SXSW, Austin's Airport Will Keep the Live Music Coming

March 10, 2014 at 11:32 AM | by | ()

We’re right in the middle of SXSW, and if you’re lucky enough to be in attendance this year chances are that AUS will be in your plans. We discussed some of our favorite airport eats last year, and the same holds true in 2014—get some ice cream and barbeque before departing town. This year Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is rolling out the welcome mat for visitors yet again, as they’re bringing plenty of live music and other entertainment right into the terminal.

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A New Plane for a New Route: British Airways' 787 Now Flies to Austin, TX

March 4, 2014 at 5:09 PM | by | ()

Even though the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival doesn't begin until this weekend, the city of Austin, TX was already in quite a flutter yesterday, with the arrival of their first transatlantic flight. Even better is that the airline is British Airways, who've put their brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the nonstop route. Right now, the flight only operates five times a week, but will increase to daily service as soon as this May.

Texans used to flying other airlines and connecting to London can check out a sample of one of the plane's seats as part of a pop-up British Airways experience in the lobby of Austin's Driskill Hotel. Of course, there's always our own 40-image photo gallery and a few things the BA 787 has that other airplanes do not.

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The Cat's Out of the Bag: How 'Grumpy Cat' Really Arrived to Austin for SXSW

March 15, 2013 at 9:59 AM | by | ()

We call bullsh*t on TMZ.

Earlier this week, attendees of Austin, Texas' SXSW festival and, by extension, the entire internet, got in a huge uproar over the VIP treatment and attention paid to one festival attendee in particular. That attendee was a cat—the meme-famous "Grumpy Cat."

Grumpy Cat (whose real name is "Tardar Sauce," or "Tard" for short), headed to Austin for several days to do some promo work for Friskies and pose with legions of adoring fans, some of whom waited in line for hours just to get a Facebook-worthy photo with the naturally frowny kitty.

TMZ pounced on the story, blowing it up with an "exclusive" in their characteristic way, claiming "Grumpy flew first class ... and she's been living it up ... with her own, full-time assistant to brush her, an endless supply of Friskies as well as other treats, bottled water and her very own room at a four-diamond hotel ... king-sized bed included."

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Why You Should Arrive Extra Early for a Flight from Austin's Airport

March 12, 2013 at 9:53 AM | by | ()

For those heading to or from SXSW down in Austin this week or next we’ve got one recommendation for you—save some time for Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Sure it’s not quite the same as what the festival has to offer downtown, but definitely don’t dread heading back to the airport a little early. Thankfully the airport has plenty of local flair to make Austin proud, so even if your flight gets in before your hotel is ready—it might just be worth hanging around for a few as a brief introduction to Austin.

The very first sanctioned shows of the festival finish up today, as the annual SXSW Airport Showcase will do its thing on March 12 between 1pm and 3pm and then again between 3:30pm and 5:30pm. Everything takes place over by Gate 10 on the Asleep at the Wheel stage, and the artists and musicians will be back on March 18 to start closing things down.

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TSA's Pre-Check Program Adds New Airports to Total 40 Spots

February 28, 2013 at 9:07 AM | by | ()

We can all agree that airport security—at least in the United States—is kind of a pain in the rear. At this point we’ve pretty much become used to being patted down, scanned, zapped, and viewed through x-ray glasses. The TSA has made some improvements with expediting the whole process, and their pre-check program—or Pre✓ as they like to call it—is probably one of the best. It’s at a whole bunch of airports across the land, but their most recent update improves the options a little bit more.

In total there’s five new airports in which the program should be kicking off, and this will bring the country’s total to about 40 by the beginning of April. Austin-Bergstrom International, Cleveland Hopkins International, Memphis International, Nashville International, and Raleigh-Durham International are the ones on the schedule to get the airport security upgrade.

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Food Trucks are Now Parking in the Airport Cell Phone Lot

February 19, 2013 at 9:19 AM | by | ()

We’ve seen celebrity chefs, organic ingredients, and even technology—think iPads—show their influence on the airport dining scene, but now it looks like another trend is heading to the airport. Apparently the food truck craze has arrived at the airport, so the long-term parking lot is no longer just for parking.

Obviously food trucks aren’t exactly arriving inside the airport—at least not yet—but if you need to grab a bite before hitting the terminal or after touching down they’ve now got you covered. ABC News reports that the cell phone lot seems to be the new food court, as airports like Orlando International Airport have started slinging street fare right outside of security. In fact over at MCO it sounds like they’ve got at least six food trucks rotating in and out over a their commercial lot as well as their taxi staging area. Clearly the airport eats aren’t just for travelers anymore.

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Austin and Anchorage are All Set for Virgin America's Airplanes

February 12, 2013 at 11:05 AM | by | ()

Double A's, right this way! Virgin America today announced that they'll soon be flying to two new destinations starting with the letter "A," and that's about all they have in common.

First, we have Austin, Texas. This beautiful city is best known for keeping things weird, hosting SxSW, serving BBQ, and having live music every day of the week. “Austin and San Francisco share strong cultural and business links," says Virgin America CEO David Cush, and we couldn't agree more.

Between San Francisco Airport's free wifi at Terminal 2, the in-flight wifi on the plane, and the wifi at AUS it'll be like you never even left your office (so slipping away for a Texas stay is easy-peasy). Service to Austin from San Francisco is scheduled to begin May 21, 2013, with fares from $89 each way.

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Memorial Day at the Airport: Three BBQ Picks to Get You Through Layovers

May 25, 2012 at 8:49 AM | by | ()

We want to go to this sandwich...

No one wants to spend the long holiday weekend at the airport, but with these barbeque options it won’t be that bad. Ribs, brisket, and pulled pork will make it all better when you are forced to spend Memorial Day Weekend at the airport. Here’s three picks that are finger lickin’ good:

Salt Lick Bar-B-Que - AUS

It doesn’t take a true foodie expert to tell you that Texas has some pretty decent barbeque options, so it was no surprise to find Salt Lick Bar-B-Que within the West Food Court at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. We’ve been on a couple of occasions, and always make extra time before our flight to grab a brisket sandwich. Smoked sausage and plenty of house made sauce are always good options, and they even throw in a spongy hunk of bread to sop it all up. Best of all they sell the sauce to go, so you can bring a bottle to the family cookout and be a hero.

Interstate Bar-B-Que and Corky's BBQ – MEM

There’s two awesome options from which to choose at Memphis International Airport, and we honestly cannot pick just one—so go ahead and try both. Up first is Corky’s near Gate A23. Pulled pork, ribs, and of course baked beans are all solid picks, but just make sure you save some room for option number two. Over in the Concourse B Rotunda is Interstate Bar-B-Que, and they’ve got whatever you didn’t get to try back at Corky’s. Ribs, brisket, and other pork parts are all available in all their smoky and saucy goodness. Just stock up on napkins—and antacid—before you complete your double dip of BBQ while killing your layover in MEM.

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American Airlines Testing Out Do-It-Yourself Bag Tags at Austin's Airport

March 15, 2011 at 8:50 AM | by | ()

We knew airlines wanted you to start tagging your own checked baggage, and it now looks like testing will finally begin in the Lone Star State. If you’re flying out of Austin anytime soon—say to head back from SXSWAmerican Airlines is asking you to be their self-tagging guinea pig.

Tagging your own bags is nothing new overseas, but here at home, it’s always been up to airline employees. For whatever reason it’s like the law or something for airline agents to do all the tagging, but apparently American Airlines got the go-ahead to let us crazy passengers do things ourselves.

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JetBlue May Add a 'Nerd Bird' Between San Jose and Austin This Year

Where: Austin, TX
July 12, 2010 at 11:31 AM | by | ()

The head honcho at JetBlue—CEO David Barger—has been completing layovers at each and every of his airline’s destinations in celebration of the airline’s first decade in business. There’s probably a lot of hand shaking and airport tours taking place at most, but it looks like those at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport got a little extra information.

Last week during his visit to Texas, JetBlue’s CEO mentioned that the airline might be looking at new routes from Austin in the near future. Specifically Washington and Cancun were mentioned, so if you need still need to plan that winter vacation you might want to watch for an official announcement.

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Awesome Airport Ice Cream Is Available At Amy's In Austin

March 5, 2010 at 10:35 AM | by | ()

Sometimes we need a little more than a Frappuccino to satisfy our sweet tooth while waiting for a flight. With SXSW coming up in only a few weeks, we’ve got to nominate Amy’s Ice Cream as one of the best airport treats in the country. There’s plenty of locations in Austin as well, so you don’t have to wait until your flight out of Texas to make a stop for a little bit of ice cream.

Amy’s makes all their own ice cream, and with a butterfat content starting at 14 percent all flavors are creamy, delicious, and nutritious. The place always has seven standard options that are always available, and you’re welcome to add anything you’d like into flavors like sweet cream, white chocolate, Belgian chocolate, and Mexican vanilla. They mix the toppings right in front of you, and if you’ve got a skilled scooper, they might just do a trick or two while getting things ready. Think Tom Cruise in Cocktail, but with ice cream.

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