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Is a $270 Scenic Helicopter Flight of Hawaii Worth It?

April 13, 2015 at 12:19 PM | by | Comment (1)

Tell friends who've been to Hawaii before that you're heading to Kauai and there's one thing you'll hear over and over: "you've got to take a helicopter tour!"

Soaring above remote waterfalls, azure reefs, untouched coastline, and Hawaii's own version of the Grand Canyon (Waimea Canyon) sounds like a no-brainer... until you see the price tag. Averaging $200 per person, helicopter tours around Hawaii demand more consideration and budgeting than, say, a surfing lesson. And, for some of the islands' more unique destinations, scenic helicopter flights edge upward toward $300.

Recently while in Kauai, we flew with Island Helicopters, the only company with landing rights at the impressive Manawaiopuna Falls, better known as "Jurassic Park Falls" for their cameo in the movie. The "Jurassic Park Falls Helicopter Landing Adventure" tour costs from $269 per person and lasts 75-85 minutes. The more basic flight, named "Grand Circle Tour," is available from $145 per person and lasts 50-60 minutes.

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What to Eat in Kauai, Hawaii: 17 Foods to Rock Your World

March 30, 2015 at 2:19 PM | by | Comments (0)

Hope you're hungry.

We may have already shared our secret of the best local ramen on the island (Hamura Ramen Stand!), but the truth of the matter is that there's enough good eats on Kauai to warrant more than just a quick trip. It's no wonder Kauai is a destination with visitor loyalty; travelers and families we met all seemed to have a history with the place, vacationing there for generations or having made it their permanent vacation with a long-distance move.

Deep into a shave ice with a view to the sunset over surfers in Poipu Beach, we admit to considering it ourselves; it would be all too easy to live in Kauai and eat well every day of the year. Still, for those with only several days to taste Kauai, we recommend these 17 favorites:

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Put the Snow Shovel Away and Book a Tropical Getaway. Like, Now.

March 5, 2015 at 6:43 PM | by | Comments (0)

Sorry about that snow day, northern United States.

While school is cancelled and the car needs shoveling out, it's important to remember that there are ways to get away from all that and late winter is the ideal time to book a last-minute warm weather escape. Today we're specifically thinking about the Caribbean's A-B-C Islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, for which airfare has been nicely affordable almost all winter.

We made the hop to Aruba ourselves, thanks to a $350 roundtrip (yes, it can be that cheap!) on American Airlines from the Midwest.

For a few more options beyond the Caribbean, our partner CNTraveler just published 10 destinations with airfare under $400 *right now*. In addition, our buddies at TheFlightDeal and FareDealAlert have been on it this week when it comes to Hawaii fares. Right now, both United and Delta are in something of a war over offering the best prices from middle America to Honolulu. Here's proof, but book ASAP.

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Inside the Best Airline Lounge in South America

March 4, 2015 at 10:20 AM | by | Comments (0)

There's a sweet secret within the otherwise unremarkable terminal of Buenos Aires- Ezeiza International Airport. You see, EZE is somehow home to the nicest airline lounge in South America, the LAN Airlines VIP room.

The lounge is relatively new, having quietly opened in early 2013. Dark woods and soft lighting welcome travelers, tickets are checked at reception, and then guests walk a short hallway of periodicals and departure screens to enter the lounge proper. The first sight is a wall of wine, followed by separate areas for relaxing, dining, and working. Several Mac desktops are available, and a large communal work table is ideal for spreading out with a laptop and last-minute work. Bookshelves and dividers are the only walls, allowing the space to be cozy and semi-private at the same time as open and welcoming.

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Photos: Cathay Pacific's First Class Menu by Mandarin Oriental San Francisco

February 27, 2015 at 3:19 PM | by | Comments (0)

Once you fly in First Class, on a long-haul international flight, it's quite difficult to return to coach on another flight having tasted what's on offer in the front of the plane. This is especially true for First passengers on Cathay Pacific, not only because the First Class seats were recently updated and remain a flyer favorite, but because the airline enjoys showing off in the in-flight dining department.

For 2015, Cathay Pacific's big treats for First Class travelers are monthly menus designed by Executive Chefs from Mandarin Oriental properties around the world. We already gave you an exclusive preview of the MO New York February meals, but now it's time for March and Mandarin Oriental San Francisco.

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Photos: Thousands of Airplanes in the Arizona Desert, at Pima Air and Space Museum

February 19, 2015 at 8:35 PM | by | Comments (0)

Last year, we called the Museu Tam outside Sao Paulo, Brazil the "greatest aviation museum you've never heard of," but what what institution can lay claim to the sister title of the "greatest aviation museum you have heard of?" For that, we go not to the Smithsonian, but to the desert outside Tucson, Arizona, home to Pima Air & Space Museum.

Before you protest to say that you actually haven't heard of it, wait a sec.

Pima has become the final resting place of many a historic airliner, including a NASA "Super Guppy" and the DC-6 which served as Air Force One to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. Pima's massive museum and even more ginormous outdoor exhibition area (over 80 acres!) is a jolly neighbor to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base's 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG), which you'll most likely recognize as the haunting landscape of 2,600 acres full up with retired military aircraft.

The AMARG makes occasional cameos in movies, TV shows, and on curiosity websites, but spends most of its time as a mecca for #AvGeeks from around the world.

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A 17-Day Cruise to Antarctica and Beyond, as Illustrated by Emoji

February 13, 2015 at 4:13 PM | by | Comments (2)

How do you remember a voyage of 4,500 nautical miles? For Jaunted Editor Cynthia D, who sailed on the Azamara Journey for 17 days last month, the answer is with emoji. Allow her to explain.

I'd never been on such a lengthy cruise before, and certainly never to Antarctica. From Buenos Aires, we'd stop at Montevideo, Uruguay and continue to the Antarctic Peninsula, then Ushuaia, Argentina and the Falkland Islands before returning to BsAs. I traveled with a colleague, and the internet onboard was so great that we'd use Twitter DMs like walkie talkies. Emoji quickly crept into these exchanges, and nearly took over as my captions and comments on social media when words proved inadequate to describe the scenery, the experiences, and the feels that developed as the ship sailed on.

Plus, one time I asked Jaunted contributor Andy how his trip to Hong Kong was going, and he replied with a descriptive stream of emoji so brilliant no further explanations were needed. It was awesome.

So, without further ado, a 17-day cruise as seen through emoji:

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Photos: Cathay Pacific's First Class Menu by Mandarin Oriental New York

February 6, 2015 at 3:19 PM | by | Comments (0)

Imagine.

You’re in First Class on Cathay Pacific. The flight is a 16-hour nonstop from New York to Hong Kong, and you’re looking forward to a little sleeping, a little working, and a little eating while watching that movie you’ve been meaning to catch. Then the flight attendant hands you a pair of soft pajamas and the in-flight meal menu, and it becomes quite clear that you’re going to enjoy this flight.

The cherry on top of the experience? 2015 is the year Cathay Pacific has dedicated to featuring unique First Class menus created by chefs from Mandarin Oriental hotel properties around the world. And, oh yes, there will be caviar.

What began as a special feature for just the London route in 2014 expands throughout 2015 to 5 more destinations. The lucky routes: Between Hong Kong and New York-JFK, Boston, San Francisco, Paris, London, and Tokyo-Haneda.

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Photo Gallery: Frankfurt Airport's Terrific Tarmac Tour

January 27, 2015 at 9:53 AM | by | Comments (0)

It's been the subject of many awesome time-lapse videos and even a Star Wars fan fiction-style mini production, but Frankfurt International Airport is pretty great at offering live access via their Airport Tour by Bus.

Called the Flughafen Rundfahrt in German, the tours depart from the pre-security area of Frankfurt's Terminal 1 (level 0, Airport City Mall) and go through security (no airline ticket needed) to join up with a bus for an airside drive all along aircraft at gates, at hard stands, on the Cargo apron, in maintenance hangars, and of course on the runway.

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Inside Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge

Where: Doha, Qatar
January 20, 2015 at 11:25 AM | by | Comments (0)

In the world of premium air travel, there are a handful of what frequent flyers call “destination lounges.” These spaces, luxuriously appointed and exclusively for the use of the highest-paying passengers, are often an embarrassment of riches and, thus, completely worth spacing your travel with time enough to visit.

Qatar AirwaysAl Mourjan Business Class Lounge at Doha’s Hamad International Airport is the newest addition to the list of must-visit lounges, and with good reason. Not only is it massive (30,000+ sq ft!) and filled with features like designer furniture and its own lake, but the Al Mourjan lounge has entire semi-private rooms just for families and a full restaurant with such variety of food and drink as to make other lounges cry into their chex mix with shame.

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The 6 Must-Sees Inside Doha's $16 Billion Hamad International Airport

Where: Doha, Qatar
January 15, 2015 at 12:17 PM | by | Comments (0)

Fly from the US to Europe with a layover in the Middle East? How about a long-haul from Europe to Australia with a lunch of Arabic mezze in Qatar? This is the (near) future envisioned by the brand new, superlative city that is Hamad International Airport-DOH in Doha, Qatar.

The numbers behind the $16 billion(!!) project are appropriately gigantic; DOH can handle 8,700 passengers per hour, and has the space and infrastructure to see 50 million passengers annually through 65 gates once all phases are finished. 60% of the land the airport is built on was reclaimed from the Arabian Gulf, and in all that space passengers will find 22,000 sq m of retail, 15,000 sq m of dining, and a gobsmacking 80,000 sq m dedicated to the 16 lounges within the airport.

A simple layover may not be enough to fully enjoy all of Hamad International Airport, so we’ve done the legwork to name the highlights:

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6 Common Air Travel Complaints You Won't Hear on the Airbus A350

Where: Doha, Qatar
January 13, 2015 at 9:35 AM | by | Comment (1)

This is the week! From January 15, the brand-spanking-new Airbus A350 begins regular commercial flights and welcomes passengers to the enjoy everything Airbus has been working on since 2004.

As far its place within the range of the newest aircraft out there, the A350-900 is larger than a 787-800, smaller than an A380, and due to replace the A330 for some of the airlines adding it to their fleets. It costs $295 million each, and there's some 700 orders on the books for the plane. With those numbers, more and more travelers will soon find themselves walking down the jetway to board a plane they've never before experienced.

And what an experience. Thanks to technology, modern materials, and a refreshing re-focus on passenger comfort, the Airbus A350 is about to silence many of the most common complaints in air travel. Here are just a few:

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