Why is United Airlines suing a 22-year-old? Dec. 29, 2014 #svr

#travel cheap flights
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Why is United Airlines suing a 22-year-old?

22-year-old Aktarer Zaman founded Skiplagged.com last year.

A young computer whiz from New York City has launched a site to help people buy cheap plane tickets. But an airline company and its travel partner want to shut him down.

The site helps travelers find cheap flights by using a strategy called “hidden city” ticketing.

The idea is that you buy an airline ticket that has a layover at your actual destination. Say you want to fly from New York to San Francisco — you actually book a flight from New York to Lake Tahoe with a layover in San Francisco and get off there, without bothering to take the last leg of the flight.

This travel strategy only works if you book a one-way flight with no checked bags (they would have landed in Lake Tahoe).

It’s not like these tickets are the cheapest all the time, but they often are.

In the lawsuit, United and Orbitz call Skiplagged “unfair competition” and allege that it is promoting “strictly prohibited” travel. They want to recoup $75,000 in lost revenue from Zaman.

Zaman said he knew a lawsuit was inevitable but he points out that there’s nothing illegal about his web site.

He also said he has made no profit via the website and that all he’s done is help travelers get the best prices by exposing an “inefficiency” in airline prices that insiders have known about for decades.

“[Hidden city ticketing] have been around for a while, it just hasn’t been very accessible to consumers,” Zaman told CNNMoney.

Indeed, “hidden city,” ticketing is no secret among frequent fliers, said Michael Boyd, President of Boyd Group International, an aviation consulting firm in Evergreen, Co. Boyd worked as an American Airline ( AAL ) ticket agent 30 years ago, and says he was trained at the airline to help customers find “hidden city” fares.

“I don’t think it’s illegal what he’s doing,” Boyd said. But lawsuits are expensive and it could end up costing the young entrepreneur who has irked the two billion dollar corporations.

Airlines usually offer cheaper fares for some destinations that are not regional hubs, Boyd said. Many of these flights are routed through more popular destinations. But if a lot of people take advantage of that discrepancy it could hurt the airlines, which is why they want to shut him down.

Born in Bangladesh, Zaman grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y. and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in computer science at age 20 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He lives in Manhattan and works at a technology start-up that he declined to name.

Zaman said Skiplagged is just a “side project” and declined to discuss the lawsuit.

Orbitz said in a statement that it is obligated to uphold airline fare rules.

A United spokesman said, “This practice violates our fare rules and we are taking action to stop it to help protect the vast majority of customers who buy legitimate tickets.”

Other travel experts say that the airlines may not achieve much if Zaman’s site is shut down, especially in a world where information is becoming more readily available.

“If [Skiplagged is] shut down, undoubtedly there will be other people to come along to scrape fares and make them available,” said Robert Mann, president of R.W. Mann Company, an airline consulting firm in Port Washington, N.Y.

CNNMoney (New York) December 31, 2014: 12:04 PM ET





30/11/2017

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Why Buy Used Cars, Rental Vehicles for Sale – Enterprise Car

#rental cars cheap
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Why Buy a Used Vehicle

Consider the Advantages

Buying a used vehicle can save you money because a new vehicle experiences its greatest loss in value within the first 12 to 18 months. Rather than watching value decrease significantly in just the first year, consider buying a used car or truck. A used rental car can have a lower purchase price with lower monthly payments, and the factory warranties are usually still available. Buying a used vehicle allows you to upgrade to the newer make and model you want and add more optional features.

Why Throw Money Away on New Car Depreciation?

Thinking about buying a new vehicle? Think again. According to the experts at Kelley Blue Book . in three years a new vehicle could depreciate by as much as 73 percent of its value. At best it will retain a mere 62 percent of its value after three years. That s one major advantage to buying a used vehicle.

Car depreciation is the dark cloud hanging over new purchases. While most vehicles depreciate by 15 to 20 percent of their value each year, the first year tends to hurt the most. In fact, the two-minute drive off the lot can cost some owners up to 15 percent of their new vehicle s value.

If you re a car buyer unwilling to throw away money on vehicle depreciation for that new car smell, consider buying a high-quality, late-model used car. In addition to a lower purchase price, lower registration and license fees, you ll also enjoy lower depreciation, as the previous owner has already absorbed the steepest portion of the used vehicle s depreciation cost. Some popular used models include Civic. Accord. CRV. Camry. Wrangler. Tacoma. Challenger. Mini. Explorer. Escape. Altima and Outback .

Used Rental Car Value

Consider the Benefits of Buying a Used Rental Car

Millions of used rental vehicles (and leased vehicles) are sold annually in the United States. Many were passed directly to auctions and on to used car dealerships. However, tens of thousands were selected by the rental and lease companies for their own car resale businesses. These used vehicles represent the cream of the crop and are often considered some of the best used cars on the market. These used vehicles, while driven by multiple motorists, receive much more care than the average consumer-owned used car and offer the following benefits:

  • Great selection: The typical used car for sale at Enterprise Car Sales is one to two years old. This creates a selection of vehicles that are contemporary, stylish, and sought after.
  • One owner: If offered a used vehicle owned by an auto expert committed to vehicle maintenance and care, the average used car buyer might be tempted to sign sight unseen. Enterprise Car Sales offers this opportunity. Used cars are our business, and our livelihood depends on keeping them expertly maintained.
  • Low mileage: Used rental vehicles or used leased vehicles often have less than 40,000 miles when they are put up for sale.
  • Reasonable prices: All used vehicles sold by Enterprise Car Sales are offered at low prices, and with a no-haggle policy, buyers get a great used car price without the pressure of bargaining.

Used rental cars provide a tremendous value. Make a smart move and consider buying one the next time you re in the market for a used vehicle.





24/11/2017

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Why Do Math? Space Travel #travel #planner

#space travel
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By Dr. Shane Ross

Getting from point A to B in space usually requires considerable quantities of propellant. But after it blasted off from Earth, the Genesis probe was able to travel 1.5 million kilometers. More.

Contrary to everyday experience on Earth, the most efficient route through space may not be a straight line. Some mathematicians and NASA engineers have learned in recent years that take best advantage of gravity, and save fuel in the process, it may be necessary to make bizarre loops through space.

Take for example the Genesis spacecraft. In 2004, it started on its way home after having spent two years collecting solar particles in orbit around a Lagrange point. a point between Earth and the Sun where the gravity of both bodies is balanced.

But Genesis did not come straight home. It took a long curvy path, going past the Earth to make an extended million-mile loop (around another Lagrange point) before coming back to Earth. Amazingly, this seeming impractical path actually saves fuel by making use of gravity in the Earth-Sun system.

The design of interplanetary space probes can now be done by taking advantage of the competing gravitational tugs of the different planets and their moons, which create a vast network of passageways by which a spacecraft can travel over large distances while expending very little energy. Without recent advances in mathematics and computation, these fuel-saving, mission-enabling paths through space could not be found.

Click the links to the right to learn more about the gravitational passageways which form this interplanetary transport network.

About the Author

Dr. Shane Ross; Assistant Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics, Virginia Tech





24/11/2017

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Why discount travel sites are angry with Delta #best #travel #deals

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Here’s why discount travel sites are angry with Delta

Finding cheap airfare on discount travel sites is great for consumers—but airlines have to play ball for it to truly work.

A group of these sites, including TripAdvisor, CheapOair, and Hipmunk, is banding together publicly against Delta Air Lines Inc. s DAL recent removal of flight information and fares from their listings. Their complaints are relayed in a report released today by the Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech, as it calls itself), a trade group representing such sites, according to The Wall Street Journal . Travel Tech, on behalf of these sites, is asking the Transportation Department to review its report and decide whether carriers like Delta ought to be required to make their flight data widely available to all sites.

Delta, for its part, has said that it never authorized these sites to use its data.

This isn t the first time these issues have come up among low airfare sites. Last year, the discount site Routehappy lamented, in a tweet to a customer, that it was one of more than 30 sites from which Delta had pulled its data (nowadays the Routehappy site once again shows Delta information):

In recent years, CheapAir (not to be confused with CheapOair), Air Gorilla, Globester, and Bookit, among others, have all had Delta take away flight data from their listings, though not all have publicly taken action. And this isn t just about Delta: today s study points out examples of other airlines that are, attempting to restrict access to their fare and schedule information, reduce the ability of consumers to easily compare prices, and drive travelers to their own websites, which do not offer price comparisons with other airlines, the report says. In other words, this is an industry-wide issue just beginning to heat up after many years.

Delta, in a brief statement, told the WSJ that it would continue partnering with a limited, but responsive and adaptable group of online retailers.” Today, the sites involved in Travel Tech s study may be wondering why Delta does not appear to deem them responsive and adaptable.





24/11/2017

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Why Travel the World? #travel #cheap

#travel the world
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5 Reasons why you should travel the world

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one s lifetime.”

― Mark Twain

Why Travel The World

We all have that one friend on Facebook that occasionally pops up offering up an opportunity for us to live vicariously through their experiences. They post up photos of sunsets in highly desirable locations on the other side of the world and at first it amuses, then promotes wanderlust, we have a little daydream about our next vacation and then the jealousy sinks in. Although, I just made that generalisation up so if that resonates with you in any way then you ve come to the right blog post.

“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don t need to escape from.”

― Seth Godin

It s a big decision. Even leaving your comfort zone for a brief 20 minute jog once a week is a struggle for some and in those cases a life shifting experience like travelling may be the key to breaking that way of thinking, the way that promotes retreating, the withdrawal back to unhealthy routines. This leads us on to reason number one:

1. SAY GOODBYE TO YOUR COMFORT ZONE

By not taking risks, you never really discover your true self. It s only ever about doing what is safe and easy but how will you ever know what really makes you tick if you ve never tried it. Travel will push you into a flurry of seemingly uncomfortable situations like forcing you to meet new people with completely different lifestyles and cultures or navigating your way around a mountain where no one speaks your native language..etc.

We could only hope the Tuk-Tuk driver understood our intended destination, as he drove us nearly two hours through remote Thailand as it started to get dark.

2. TIME SLOWS DOWN

A regular routine builds strong neurological connections that over time allow for us to automate activities almost seamlessly. Think about that journey to work where not a thought is spared on the direction, forced into the present only by an obstruction. I ve been working here 10 years and I don t know where the time has gone that s not for me. An ever changing horizon continually breathes new experiences and with in those we truly live in the moment, we are gifted with the present.

Beautiful sunsets over the ancient Angkor Temples

3. GAIN IMPORTANT PERSPECTIVES

With nothing but your backpack filled with essentials you venture out into new cultures without access to the usual facilities and material objects you might usually take for granted. Many people live in the type of poverty that is truly unfathomable until you experience it first hand. As a westerner I will never forget the first time I drove through Brazilian slums and without going into detail, I can assure you that television is not the same. Statistics are numbers and individual stories remain unheard. A culture shock can only positively affect you, it compels you to give back, to help out and to appreciate in innumerable ways the lifestyle upon return.

Cambodia is a beautiful country but a far cry from what we consider luxury in the west.

4. WE ARE NOT GUARANTEED OLD AGE

Travelling is often postponed with the intentions of becoming a responsible adult or building up a real life in the mean time. Some even say they are savouring the opportunity for retirement. Without injecting too much personal opinion, that s just the views of society s norm being expressed by those who are already deeply conforming. It is your choice to live how you wish. But, if I don t live to my forties, fifties or sixties, I can safely say that I have no regrets. Choosing to buy experiences over external objects has transformed me in so many way that I am sincerely grateful for.





23/11/2017

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Travel in Europe – Why take the train? #rental #car #deals

#travel europe by train
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TRAVEL EUROPE BY TRAIN

Are you travelling Europe by train? Take advantage of our cheap train tickets to Belgium, France, Germany, the UK, Italy, Spain, Luxembourg, Switzerland or the Netherlands. You can also pick up a special train pass to travel to multiple destinations in Europe. Sit back in our comfortable carriages and travel with 320 km/h to new lands!

ADVANTAGES OF VOYAGES-SNCF.COM

Looking for the best way to travel in Europe? Start by booking via voyages-sncf.com and enjoy all the benefits!

Marseille

Capital of culture 2013

(1) Prices from, per person, in Standard class and for a single ticket between Paris, Brussels, Calais or Lille and London, Ashford or Ebbsfleet. Offer subject to availability. Ticket exchangeable subject to a fee before departure. Ticket non-exchangeable after departure. Ticket non-refundable. Online payment is required and multiple ticket withdrawal options are available, depending on the journey and the number of days between the date of booking and that of departure (e-ticket, free shipping, withdrawal from French railway stations or Rail Europe store (( additional charges of €10 /CHF 12.-for each booking)). Offer cannot be combined with any other promotions or SNCF reductions.

(2) Starting from, per person, one way tickets in Comfort 2 (2nd class) Thalys, to a selection of destinations and subject to availability at these rates. Tickets are bookable until 30 days before departure of the train, and are non-exchangeable and non refundable. Online payment is required for e-tickets, free shipping of tickets, withdrawal at a French railway station or withdrawal at a Rail Europe store in Milan, Madrid, Geneva, Cologne (Supplement 10 € per dossier). Offer cannot be combined with any other promotion or SNCF discount rate.

(3) Prem’s fare, from, per person, for a 2nd class single with TGV, from selected cities and to a range of destinations. Offer subject to availability. Tickets are on sale between 3 months and 14 days before the date of departure. Tickets are non-exchangeable and non-refundable. On-line payment is required. Tickets can be sent to your home address free of charge or collected at a French station or a Rail Europe shop in Milan, Madrid, Geneva, Cologne (€10 supplement payable). Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotion or SNCF reduction.

(4) Fare NON-FLEX, from, valid for a single outbound journey in TGV Lyria 2nd class. On sale 3 months before the date of travel. Tariff valid subject to available seats, non-exchangeable and non-refundable tickets. Online payment is required and multiple ticket withdrawal options are available, depending on the journey and the number of days between the date of booking and that of departure (e-ticket, free shipping, withdrawal from French railway stations or Rail Europe store (( additional charges of €8 /CHF 12.-for each booking)). Offer cannot be combined with any other promotions or SNCF reductions.





12/11/2017

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Travel Guard – Why Buy Travel Insurance? #best #travel #sites

#buy travel insurance
#

Why buy travel insurance through Travel Guard?

Because not all travel insurance is the same!

With travel insurance through Travel Guard you’ll have valuable coverage that travels with you and your family. We’re America’s leading provider of travel insurance plans and assistance programs and we’re here to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

How can my travel insurance plan cover my vacation investment in the event of a hurricane or other unforeseen severe weather?

Travel insurance plans offered by Travel Guard provide you with insurance coverage for your travel investment if unforeseen weather conditions cause a delay or cancellation of your trip. If the weather or other covered reason forces you to cancel your trip, you can be reimbursed for your nonrefundable expenses, up to the amount of coverage you purchase. If bad weather or other covered reasons delay your trip you can be reimbursed for reasonable, additional accommodations and traveling expenses until travel is possible.

Click here for more questions related to Hurricanes Travel Insurance.

What would you do?

You’re involved in an accident while on a summer trip to Europe with your family and adequate medical treatment is not available. Who will help arrange and pay for a medical evacuation? With travel insurance coverage through Travel Guard, you can be prepared. Plans can include coverage for medical expenses, trip interruption and more and include emergency travel services so you can be sure that Travel Guard has an insurance plan that meets your traveling needs. We’re here to help you and your family 24 hours a day.

Click here for more real life situations where Travel Guard may assist you.

Certain restrictions apply.





12/11/2017

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Personal Finance – Yahoo Finance #why #need #life #insurance


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  • The case of the incredible shrinking airline seat is finally being investigated

C/Zmk9Zml0O3c9OTkyO2g9NTU4O3B4b2ZmPTA7cHlvZmY9MDs7YXBwaWQ9cHJvZGVzazI-/http://media.zenfs.com/en/homerun/feed_manager_auto_publish_494/c4deeb5f4fe950d582c9e60e034eda84″ /> Fix My Finances: I m overwhelmed by debt

  • What to do if you re paid with a red-hot stock
  • Would you pay more for commercial-free cable?

    C/Zmk9Zml0O3c9OTkyO2g9NTU4O3B4b2ZmPTA7cHlvZmY9MDs7YXBwaWQ9cHJvZGVzazI-/https://s.yimg.com/os/creatr-images/GLB/2017-07-28/372d4470-739e-11e7-9a10-bd2f4204b5c9_PF_s2017e16_GETTING-RID-OF-CREDIT-CARD-DEBT_v5a-00_00_12_00-Still003.jpg” /> 9 ways to break free from your credit card debt

  • The cheapest ways to see the solar eclipse

    C/Zmk9Zml0O3c9OTkyO2g9NTU4O3B4b2ZmPTA7cHlvZmY9MDs7YXBwaWQ9cHJvZGVzazI-/https://s.yimg.com/os/creatr-images/GLB/2017-07-27/8fa0e0b0-72e2-11e7-acf0-8fa222219a4f_microchipb2.jpg” /> Microchip implants that let your boss track you

  • 7 insights from looking at 10 M expense reports
  • How to buy happiness even if you re not rich

    C/Zmk9Zml0O3c9OTkyO2g9NTU4O3B4b2ZmPTA7cHlvZmY9MDs7YXBwaWQ9cHJvZGVzazI-/http://media.zenfs.com/en/homerun/feed_manager_auto_publish_494/e0eb06adada4a8d82d61ec55991e2f71″ /> Money Basics: What is a hedge fund?

    C/Zmk9Zml0O3c9OTkyO2g9NTU4O3B4b2ZmPTA7cHlvZmY9MDs7YXBwaWQ9cHJvZGVzazI-/https://s.yimg.com/os/creatr-images/GLB/2017-07-26/84a605e0-7207-11e7-8a6c-29d2160fd8e2_CHOOSING-A-FINANCIAL-ADVISOR_v4-00_02_04_46-Still003.jpg” /> 7 questions to ask when choosing a financial advisor

  • Spend Chase, Citi points on PayPal purchases

    Should you buy or lease your next car? 4 questions to consider

    Yahoo Finance • 12 days ago 451

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    The most accurate way to calculate how much home you can afford

    Yahoo Finance • 20 days ago 203


    03/09/2017

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  • Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CallManager) #why #cisco #unified #communications


    #

    Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CallManager)

    Unite Applications and Endpoints

    As the core of the Cisco Collaboration portfolio infrastructure, Cisco Unified Communications Manager is a unified communications call control platform that can deliver the right experience to the right endpoint.

    Cisco Unified Communications Manager provides services such as session management, voice, video, messaging, mobility, and web conferencing.

    Put the Spark into Your UC Services

    Get the full capabilities of Cisco Spark with Cisco Unified Communications Manager.

    Features and Capabilities

    • Reliability
    • Lower cost of ownership
    • Interoperability and standards support
    • Scalability for up to 40,000 users, extensible to 80,000 users

    This powerful solution can help:

    • Extend video capabilities to your employees through a single, unified communications infrastructure from the desktop to telepresence rooms
    • Simplify voice systems with unified communications to cut costs and dramatically simplify provisioning and maintenance
    • Build productivity with comprehensive unified communications to help workers communicate and work more effectively
    • Enable mobility with embedded unified mobility software capabilities to keep workers productive wherever they are, with any content type, on any device
    • Improve collaboration -simply click to begin an IM session, initiate a phone call, or easily start a video-conferencing call

    Cisco Unified Communications Manager is available in a choice of deployment models: public cloud, private cloud, on-premises, remote, or hybrid.

    Communications Applications for Every Need

    Cisco offers a variety of call-processing applications and phones that can help:

    • Keep communications at your fingertips: Explore the inviting, simple-to-use, fully featured Cisco Unified IP Phones. (PDF – 2.41 MB)
    • Manage communications with a single server: Cisco Business Edition provides medium-sized organizations everything they need for voice, video, mobility, and messaging.

    Got a Small Business?

    We have solutions just for you. Learn More

    Cisco Spark Flex Plan

    Get Cisco cloud and on-premises call control in one user-based subscription with Cisco Spark Flex Plan. Mix and transition between on-premises and cloud as your business needs change. Supports Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Cisco HCS, Cisco WebEx, Cisco WebEx Meeting Server and Cisco Spark. Learn more .


    23/08/2017

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    Why are airfare prices so high, despite low oil prices? Page

    #best price on airfare
    #

    Why are airfare prices so high, despite low oil prices?

    Nov 30, 15 1:56 pm by LarryJ

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by boybi

    I know fuel cost comprise a huge percentage in an airline’s operating costs, but why didn’t ticket prices reflect the drop in fuel prices?

    Because the airplane’s are (nearly) full. A business does not lower prices when they are already selling out their supply of product.

    The way that lower costs lead to reduced fares is that airlines will add more capacity (they already are doing so) due to the lower costs. When this additional capacity comes online the fares will drop to keep it (nearly) full.

    A restaurant or supermarket can make quick adjustments in supply when their costs, or market demand, changes. It takes a lot of time and money to acquire new (or used) airplanes or to economically remove aircraft from service. New aircraft also come with long-term commitments so an airline must be convinced that it will be able to deploy the new capacity profitably for the duration of that commitment.

    In the case of current fuel prices, there isn’t any guarantee that the current low prices will last for an extended period of time. In fact, the chances are good that fuel will be significantly more expensive than today when any aircraft ordered today are delivered.





    21/08/2017

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    Why is United Airlines suing a 22-year-old? Dec. 29, 2014 #travel

    #travel cheap flights
    #

    Why is United Airlines suing a 22-year-old?

    22-year-old Aktarer Zaman founded Skiplagged.com last year.

    A young computer whiz from New York City has launched a site to help people buy cheap plane tickets. But an airline company and its travel partner want to shut him down.

    The site helps travelers find cheap flights by using a strategy called “hidden city” ticketing.

    The idea is that you buy an airline ticket that has a layover at your actual destination. Say you want to fly from New York to San Francisco — you actually book a flight from New York to Lake Tahoe with a layover in San Francisco and get off there, without bothering to take the last leg of the flight.

    This travel strategy only works if you book a one-way flight with no checked bags (they would have landed in Lake Tahoe).

    It’s not like these tickets are the cheapest all the time, but they often are.

    In the lawsuit, United and Orbitz call Skiplagged “unfair competition” and allege that it is promoting “strictly prohibited” travel. They want to recoup $75,000 in lost revenue from Zaman.

    Zaman said he knew a lawsuit was inevitable but he points out that there’s nothing illegal about his web site.

    He also said he has made no profit via the website and that all he’s done is help travelers get the best prices by exposing an “inefficiency” in airline prices that insiders have known about for decades.

    “[Hidden city ticketing] have been around for a while, it just hasn’t been very accessible to consumers,” Zaman told CNNMoney.

    Indeed, “hidden city,” ticketing is no secret among frequent fliers, said Michael Boyd, President of Boyd Group International, an aviation consulting firm in Evergreen, Co. Boyd worked as an American Airline ( AAL ) ticket agent 30 years ago, and says he was trained at the airline to help customers find “hidden city” fares.

    “I don’t think it’s illegal what he’s doing,” Boyd said. But lawsuits are expensive and it could end up costing the young entrepreneur who has irked the two billion dollar corporations.

    Airlines usually offer cheaper fares for some destinations that are not regional hubs, Boyd said. Many of these flights are routed through more popular destinations. But if a lot of people take advantage of that discrepancy it could hurt the airlines, which is why they want to shut him down.

    Born in Bangladesh, Zaman grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y. and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in computer science at age 20 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He lives in Manhattan and works at a technology start-up that he declined to name.

    Zaman said Skiplagged is just a “side project” and declined to discuss the lawsuit.

    Orbitz said in a statement that it is obligated to uphold airline fare rules.

    A United spokesman said, “This practice violates our fare rules and we are taking action to stop it to help protect the vast majority of customers who buy legitimate tickets.”

    Other travel experts say that the airlines may not achieve much if Zaman’s site is shut down, especially in a world where information is becoming more readily available.

    “If [Skiplagged is] shut down, undoubtedly there will be other people to come along to scrape fares and make them available,” said Robert Mann, president of R.W. Mann Company, an airline consulting firm in Port Washington, N.Y.

    CNNMoney (New York) December 31, 2014: 12:04 PM ET





    21/08/2017

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    Why Southwest Airlines Is No Longer Just About Cheap Flights #one

    #the cheapest flights
    #

    Related

    The U.S. s biggest low fare airline appears to be experiencing an identity crisis. In Southwest s new ad campaign, there s no silly humor and no mention of bags fly free or cheap flight prices. The message is that this is a different airline — one that longtime customers may feel is hard to recognize or even like.

    The campaign is a departure in tonality for Southwest, and we hope it inspires our customers, Southwest executive Bob Jordan said in a press release announcing its new commercial, which debuted during the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament. Southwest has changed a lot over the years, we keep getting better, and we want customers to see us in a new light.

    The ad will come as a shock to TV viewers, according to the Chicago Business Journal . because of the disappearance of all the silly, cartoonish aspects of its advertising. The ad features no goofball humor, nor any messages about Southwest s low fares or its value-laden bags fly free policies that tell the masses you are now free to move about the country. Instead, the commercial is filled with images of people diligently going about their jobs, as well as heartwarming clichés like “The American dream just doesn t happen. It s something you have to work for.

    The image of Southwest as a plucky upstart taking on the industry giants is, in other words, totally gone. We re left with the Southwest logo and a voice-over claiming its status as America s largest domestic airline.

    Among travel insiders, the ad is being viewed as a sign of a possible identity crisis within Southwest. The CrankyFlier bashes the commercial, which is probably unsurprising given the name of the blog. This ad is just pure bleh, the post states. It says nothing to me. This could be for Southwest or any other legacy airline.

    No song lyrics are audible during the ad, but the CrankyFlier s Brett Snyder identifies the tune playing in the background and notes that the chorus ironically includes the line Oh, Lord, I’m still not sure what I stand for.

    One reason that Southwest seems to be saying it no longer stands (just) for low fares is that, in recent studies, the airline has been shown to not always have the cheapest flights. The research firm Topaz International conducted a survey of 100 routes flown by Southwest, and here s what it discovered:

    When comparing airfare only, competing airlines were lower than Southwest Airlines over 60% of the time, and higher than Southwest Airlines 35% of the time. This result is surprising given the perception in the marketplace, and with many travel managers, that Southwest Airlines is in fact the low-cost carrier in all markets they serve.

    The study seems to confirm the data dug up by the Wall Street Journal ’s Scott McCartney in 2011, when the travel columnist reported that Southwest s flight prices had risen substantially — up 39% over the preceding five years, compared with 10% for the industry as a whole — and that it tended to charge more on routes where it was the dominant carrier.

    It must be noted, however, that the Topaz results above are based on comparing airfare only, without incorporating the costs of checked bags. For years, Southwest has loudly celebrated its bags fly free policy in ads playing up the value it offered travelers compared with nearly all other airlines — which can charge $25 and up for each piece of checked luggage. When the costs of one checked bag were factored in, Topaz found that Southwest was the cheapest option 60% of the time.

    Though the CrankyFlier s Snyder is obviously not a fan of Southwest s new commercial because it makes it seem like every other airline out there, he says Southwest is still different from the competition in a few key ways. The most obvious difference is that Southwest hasn t gone with the a-la-carte model of pricing and instead continues to bundle things like bag fees and change fees into the price of the ticket, Snyder said via e-mail. That s why you often see that Southwest isn t the cheapest anymore. Also, Southwest s customer-service model, loaded with employees that are empowered to solve problems, is generally superior to the ham-fisted bureaucracies in other airlines customer-service departments, according to Snyder.

    So even as fares have risen, Southwest still sets itself apart with good customer service and the checked-bags value proposition. But for how long? Southwest has already been following the industry s lead by adding new fees for services like priority boarding. and more nickel-and-diming practices seem inevitable. Snyder worries that Southwest will struggle to maintain top-notch service, especially since it swallowed AirTran — which was also known as a low-fare carrier, but one with a very different customer-service environment.

    At SmarterTravel.com. frequent-flyer expert Tim Winship reported that Southwest CFO Tammy Romo stated at a conference that the airline would be tightening restrictions on flights this year. She was also extremely noncommittal about whether Southwest would maintain its long-standing bags fly free policy:

    I don t think our brand is Bags Fly Free, that s not who we are. As I mentioned, our brand is the affordable fares that you get with Southwest and the friendly, warm service that you get from our employees. So I don t think — an advertising campaign is not your brand. So at least, that s my belief. And we ll continue to look at our plan and adjust as we need to meet our financial objectives.

    George Hobica, who runs AirfareWatchdog.com. says Southwest may very well be de-emphasizing bags fly free as a prelude to start charging for bags. No plans have been announced, however. Regardless, based on how big and powerful Southwest has become, and based on the image projected in its new ad campaign, no one should continue to view the airline as an offbeat little upstart company.

    Bottom line, we now really have four major domestic carriers, says Hobica. Southwest is one of the big boys now and wants to be recognized as such.

    Here s the ad if you d like to watch it:





    20/08/2017

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    Why Travel the World? #travel #greece

    #travel the world
    #

    5 Reasons why you should travel the world

    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one s lifetime.”

    ― Mark Twain

    Why Travel The World

    We all have that one friend on Facebook that occasionally pops up offering up an opportunity for us to live vicariously through their experiences. They post up photos of sunsets in highly desirable locations on the other side of the world and at first it amuses, then promotes wanderlust, we have a little daydream about our next vacation and then the jealousy sinks in. Although, I just made that generalisation up so if that resonates with you in any way then you ve come to the right blog post.

    “Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don t need to escape from.”

    ― Seth Godin

    It s a big decision. Even leaving your comfort zone for a brief 20 minute jog once a week is a struggle for some and in those cases a life shifting experience like travelling may be the key to breaking that way of thinking, the way that promotes retreating, the withdrawal back to unhealthy routines. This leads us on to reason number one:

    1. SAY GOODBYE TO YOUR COMFORT ZONE

    By not taking risks, you never really discover your true self. It s only ever about doing what is safe and easy but how will you ever know what really makes you tick if you ve never tried it. Travel will push you into a flurry of seemingly uncomfortable situations like forcing you to meet new people with completely different lifestyles and cultures or navigating your way around a mountain where no one speaks your native language..etc.

    We could only hope the Tuk-Tuk driver understood our intended destination, as he drove us nearly two hours through remote Thailand as it started to get dark.

    2. TIME SLOWS DOWN

    A regular routine builds strong neurological connections that over time allow for us to automate activities almost seamlessly. Think about that journey to work where not a thought is spared on the direction, forced into the present only by an obstruction. I ve been working here 10 years and I don t know where the time has gone that s not for me. An ever changing horizon continually breathes new experiences and with in those we truly live in the moment, we are gifted with the present.

    Beautiful sunsets over the ancient Angkor Temples

    3. GAIN IMPORTANT PERSPECTIVES

    With nothing but your backpack filled with essentials you venture out into new cultures without access to the usual facilities and material objects you might usually take for granted. Many people live in the type of poverty that is truly unfathomable until you experience it first hand. As a westerner I will never forget the first time I drove through Brazilian slums and without going into detail, I can assure you that television is not the same. Statistics are numbers and individual stories remain unheard. A culture shock can only positively affect you, it compels you to give back, to help out and to appreciate in innumerable ways the lifestyle upon return.

    Cambodia is a beautiful country but a far cry from what we consider luxury in the west.

    4. WE ARE NOT GUARANTEED OLD AGE

    Travelling is often postponed with the intentions of becoming a responsible adult or building up a real life in the mean time. Some even say they are savouring the opportunity for retirement. Without injecting too much personal opinion, that s just the views of society s norm being expressed by those who are already deeply conforming. It is your choice to live how you wish. But, if I don t live to my forties, fifties or sixties, I can safely say that I have no regrets. Choosing to buy experiences over external objects has transformed me in so many way that I am sincerely grateful for.





    16/08/2017

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    Why You Should Take a Guided Tour in Spain #las #vegas

    #spain travel packages
    #

    Why Take a Guided Tour?

    By Damian Corrigan. Spain Travel Expert

    Damian is a travel writer and consultant. Damian started visiting Spain in 1989, to visit his grandparents, who lived in Javea. He moved to Spain in 2003 and has lived here most of the time since. Apart from writing about Spain full time since 2006, he also works with tour groups, bars and hotels, helping them with their itineraries, food and drinks menus and promotion. Whether you need to know where to learn Spanish in Spain or how to serve the perfect gin and tonic . Damian can help you.

    As soon as Damian arrived in Spain he found that his love of music, food, history and art would be satisfied by this great country. As a keen guitar player, he found flamenco to be one of the most exciting forms of music, and the wonders of paella, gazpacho, tortilla and Iberian ham satisfied his love of food. He has traveled extensively around Spain.

    Damian was working in Madrid during the terrorist attacks of March 11 and Prince Felipe’s marriage to Letizia Ortiz, two of the most monumental moments in recent Spanish history. He has also wrestled with the bureaucracy of opening bank accounts, getting registered as a Spanish resident and filing a police report and he knows the Spanish health care system well after spending a month in a Marbella hospital with a burst appendix!

    Damian currently divides his time between exploring and writing about Spain and setting up a gourmet drinks tour company.

    Follow Damian’s travels in Spain:

    You can also read Damian’s curated collection of Spain Travel articles from around the web on the Flipboard service for iPad, iPhone and Android devices: Spain Travel Magazine on Flipboard

    Guided tours are not for everyone – but they are for most people, especially if you take one of the tours I recommend in this article. Read on for my take on why a guided tour is a good idea or just straight to the section that most appeals to you.

    • Essential Tours of Spain I d recommend these tours to everyone  who visits Spain.
    • Tours from Madrid The Spanish capital has the most guided tours in the country.




    16/08/2017

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    10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Belize #travel #watchdog

    #travel to belize
    #

    10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Belize

    Getty

    Wedged between Mexico and Guatemala, the tiny and eclectic country of Belize has become one of the most popular eco tourism destinations in Central America for the intrepid traveler.

    Lush tropical rain forests, pristine beaches, ancient Maya cities, diverse flora and fauna, and the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere are just a few of the many natural attractions that allure the adventure traveler to visit.

    Here are 10 reasons why you should travel to Belize now:

    1.) Belize is the only English Speaking Country in Central America

    Belize is a diverse society with many cultures and languages (Creole and Spanish are widely spoken) however English is the official language, making it easy for travelers to get around.

    2.) Belizean food is tasty and succulent

    The food in Belize is as diverse as its population and consists of a vast array of elements from the different ethnic groups like the Garifuna, Maya, Mestizo, East Indian and Creole. Some of the top must eats are: Rice and Beans, Fry Jacks, Johnny Cakes, Stew Chicken, Gibnut, Escabeche, Tamales, Hudut, and Fish Sere.

    3.) The weather in Belize is warm and comfortable all year round

    The average yearly temperature is 84° F (29°C), which means that it is pretty much near perfect all year round. In addition the intact jungle and rain forests provide relief in the hot summer months, while winter can be cool but never very cold.

    4.) Belize has a potpourri of wonderful islands

    There are more than 200 islands in Belize that are known as cayes (pronounced “keys”) that are easy accessible and can serve as ideal bases for fishing, snorkeling and diving. Some of the top islands to explore are: Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, South Water Caye, Silk Caye, St George’s Caye, Laughing Bird Caye and Tobacco Caye.

    5.) Belize is the epicenter of the ancient Maya world

    Archaeologists estimate that more than one million Maya lived in present day Belize and flourished during the Classic Period from 300 to 900 AD. Maya temple sites like Caracol, Xunantunich, Altun Ha, Cahal Pech and Lamanai are just a few of the spectacular sites that can be discovered in Belize.

    6.) Belize is home to the world renowned Blue Hole

    The gigantic underwater Blue Hole off the coast of Belize is believed to be the world’s largest hole measuring 1000 ft across and 412 ft deep. It offers divers the ideal opportunity to see geological wonders like giant stalactites, dripstone sheets and amazing marine life such as nurse sharks, groupers and a vast array of fishes and Caribbean sharks.

    The Blue Hole was made famous in 1971 by Jacques-Yves Cousteau, the French Explorer in the television series – The Undersea world of Jacques-Yves Cousteau .

    7.) Belize is a nature lovers paradise

    Belize has some of the most intriguing and fascinating wildlife in Central America. In fact 40 percent of the land is classified as protected and is habitat to a variety of species of plants, birds, amphibians, reptiles and marine life.

    8.) Snorkeling in Belize is one of a kind

    Belize boasts the second largest barrier reef in the world and snorkeling in its turquoise and clear Caribbean water is a wonderful place to discover the kaleidoscope of colors of corals, sponges and a range of fish and marine life.

    9.) Belize has one of the most intricate cave systems in Central America Caves were used extensively by the ancient Maya to conduct their sacred rituals and ceremonies and today a plethora of impressive caves can be discovered throughout Belize. The Chiquibul Cave System for example is nearly 540,000 square foot long and is the longest in Central America and offers a treasure trove of geological and archaeological wonders.

    Some of the top caves to explore are: Actun Tunichil Muknal, Barton Creek Cave and Caves Branch and the Chiquibul Cave System.

    10) Belize is the only country in the world that has a jaguar preserve

    Established in 1984, the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is world renowned for being the only protected preserve for Jaguars. The reserve is also home to all five of Belize cats: Jaguar, Puma, Margay, Jaguarundi and Ocelot.





    12/08/2017

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    Travel Guard – Why Buy Travel Insurance? #cheapest #flights

    #buy travel insurance
    #

    Why buy travel insurance through Travel Guard?

    Because not all travel insurance is the same!

    With travel insurance through Travel Guard you’ll have valuable coverage that travels with you and your family. We’re America’s leading provider of travel insurance plans and assistance programs and we’re here to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    How can my travel insurance plan cover my vacation investment in the event of a hurricane or other unforeseen severe weather?

    Travel insurance plans offered by Travel Guard provide you with insurance coverage for your travel investment if unforeseen weather conditions cause a delay or cancellation of your trip. If the weather or other covered reason forces you to cancel your trip, you can be reimbursed for your nonrefundable expenses, up to the amount of coverage you purchase. If bad weather or other covered reasons delay your trip you can be reimbursed for reasonable, additional accommodations and traveling expenses until travel is possible.

    Click here for more questions related to Hurricanes Travel Insurance.

    What would you do?

    You’re involved in an accident while on a summer trip to Europe with your family and adequate medical treatment is not available. Who will help arrange and pay for a medical evacuation? With travel insurance coverage through Travel Guard, you can be prepared. Plans can include coverage for medical expenses, trip interruption and more and include emergency travel services so you can be sure that Travel Guard has an insurance plan that meets your traveling needs. We’re here to help you and your family 24 hours a day.

    Click here for more real life situations where Travel Guard may assist you.

    Certain restrictions apply.





    10/08/2017

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    Egypt, why to go now #ireland #travel

    #travel egypt
    #

    Egypt, why to go now

    Giza pyramids, Egypt. And yes, they are as uncrowded as this right now. Photograph: Steven Allan/Getty Images

    The sun is soft and warm as I write this. It hangs delicately a little way above the westerly line of palms, mango and guava trees. The waves beat a rhythm against the steel hull, ropes creak occasionally as they hold back two massive sails filled by a fresh northerly breeze, a donkey brays from the banks and a bunch of kids call hello until I wave. I am not a born sailor, but I am on a dahabiya. a replica of the sort of sailing boat an 18th-century grand tourist would have taken – with en suite bathroom, Wi-Fi and a few other modern comforts added. The wind in Egypt blows from the north, the Nile flows from the south, so we are sailing sedately upstream and although I bow to the inevitable, part of me wishes we might never pull in to land.

    Over lunch, the dozen other passengers and myself smile the smile of the smug. The boat is ours in the same way that the Pyramids and Karnak temple had been ours: there were no other foreigners. It is no secret that foreigners are staying away from Egypt, but I have never known it as extreme as this. It occurs to me that there were fewer visitors when we went to the Valley of the Kings on Sunday than there might have been if we had come in 1850. Reasons for this are hard to find.

    Last year was a turbulent one for Egyptians, with the downfall of President Mohamed Morsi and his government and the violent dispersal of Muslim Brotherhood demonstrations by Egypt’s security services sparking violent protests. But none of the tumult was aimed at foreigners, which was why, even though demonstrations and sporadic anti-military violence continue, the Foreign Office has no objection to our travelling to Cairo, Luxor and the south. But visitors have been nervous since 2011, when former President Hosni Mubarak was forced from office, and they have been slow to return to the capital or along the Nile.

    A dahabiya on the Nile. Photograph: Alamy

    The situation was made worse a month ago when a jihadist group bombed a bus of Korean tourists in Taba, north Sinai. The Foreign Office has put Taba, Dahab and Nuweiba on the avoid all travel list, but Sharm el-Sheikh, the biggest of the Sinai resorts, at the southern tip of the peninsula, is still considered safe to visit, and direct flights are still available. Besides, Taba is several hundred miles from Cairo and the Nile, and the problem there is very different from the stand-off between the military and the Muslim Brotherhood. Staying away from Egypt because of what is happening in Sinai would be similar to avoiding London because of trouble in Belfast, and yet tourist numbers have plummeted.

    The extent of this collapse in tourism was apparent the moment I boarded the Egyptair flight in London. Online check-in had made it look as though the flight was full – as it would have been in March four years ago – but the plane was half-empty. Cairo is such a fantastically vibrant city that it can be impossible to gauge the presence of foreigners, but there were only a handful of tourist minibuses at the Pyramids, no other foreigners at the Sphinx and we had the Tutankhamun galleries and the rest of the Egyptian Museum to ourselves.

    A line of around 20 armoured vehicles parked ou tside the museum, with a soldier at each gun and watched by men from several police vans wrapped in barbed wire, made me wonder if they knew something that I – and the FCO – did not. The Museum sits on the edge of Tahrir Square, once famous for its traffic jams, now better known for anti-government demonstrations. But the square remained calm, the visit to the museum eerily quiet.

    Luxor was just as good – or bad, depending on your point of view – because while an empty Valley of the Kings may be brilliant for those of us who enjoy looking at decorated tombs without being harassed by hordes of day-trippers from the Red Sea, revenue from 20 or so visitors the morning I was there is not enough to pay for the lighting of the tombs, nor to put food in the mouths of the guards and hawkers and their families.

    Luxor, too, is almost empty. Photograph: Jean-Pierre Lescourret/Getty Images/Lonely Planet Images

    Luxor relies on tourism, so when western governments imposed travel bans last summer, many hotels simply locked their doors: occupancy dropped to 1%. Thanks to the efforts of the energetic and enthusiastic tourism minster, Hisham Zaazou, the ban was lifted last November, but the crowds have not returned. The Luxor corniche used to be infamous for its boat touts and cal che drivers pestering any visitor who went out for a walk. They have now disappeared because there is no one for them to pester. The traders who once made it impossible to walk through Luxor souk no longer harangue you as you pass. Want to look? one asked and, when I declined, he simply said, No problem. Have a nice day.

    Which brings me back to the Nile and this second nice day afloat. Egypt is as stunning as ever to visit – especially this week as freak rains have just washed the dust of many years off the countryside, leaving the blue sky, the green palm trees, the cream temple walls and the sandstone hills more brilliant than ever. In the morning, we were alone at the tombs and ruined city. In the afternoon, when we stopped at Edfu to see the best-preserved of all Egypt’s temples, we expected no crowds. We were expecting no bother, either.

    Are you kidding? said one of my fellow travellers when I asked if anyone was bothered by security concerns. I know this situation is bad for Egypt, but it could not be better for you and me. She looked across the empty river where very few boats now run, and watched a heron glide to land on a clump of bulrushes.

    There are things happening in Egypt – two presidents are up for trial, most of Sinai is in a mess, an election is expected – but the news that matters for people wanting to visit is good: direct flights to Luxor have resumed, new archaeological discoveries have been made, a replica of Tutankhamun’s tomb is due to open next month …

    There is no shortage of brilliant things to see in Egypt, just a shortage of people to see them.

    Soliman Travel offers seven nights in a five-star Luxor hotel from 465pp, including flights from Heathrow; and a three-night city break to Cairo, also including flights, from 499pp. Nour el Nil (+20 11 16 55 88 83, nourelnil.com) offers a five-night dahabiya cruise departing from Luxor from €1,100pp, including all meals and excursions





    04/08/2017

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    Why are airfare prices so high, despite low oil prices? Page

    #best price on airfare
    #

    Why are airfare prices so high, despite low oil prices?

    Nov 30, 15 1:56 pm by LarryJ

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by boybi

    I know fuel cost comprise a huge percentage in an airline’s operating costs, but why didn’t ticket prices reflect the drop in fuel prices?

    Because the airplane’s are (nearly) full. A business does not lower prices when they are already selling out their supply of product.

    The way that lower costs lead to reduced fares is that airlines will add more capacity (they already are doing so) due to the lower costs. When this additional capacity comes online the fares will drop to keep it (nearly) full.

    A restaurant or supermarket can make quick adjustments in supply when their costs, or market demand, changes. It takes a lot of time and money to acquire new (or used) airplanes or to economically remove aircraft from service. New aircraft also come with long-term commitments so an airline must be convinced that it will be able to deploy the new capacity profitably for the duration of that commitment.

    In the case of current fuel prices, there isn’t any guarantee that the current low prices will last for an extended period of time. In fact, the chances are good that fuel will be significantly more expensive than today when any aircraft ordered today are delivered.





    15/07/2017

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    Why Use a Travel Agent? #cheap #t?ckets

    #travel agent
    #

    Blog Post

    Strategies

    There’s a reason we use the term advisor to describe the members of our annual A-List. the top travel specialists in the business. These experts offer much more than booking services. First and foremost, says Wendy Perrin, TripAdvisor’s Travel Advocate and founder of WendyPerrin.com. they can help you decide where to go by walking you through the pros and cons of destinations based on the varying interests (and ages) of the people in your group. Not only that, they’ll deliver insider insights and access. They can tell you how to avoid the crowds at major sights and where the locals eat. They can even pair you with designers and architects who moonlight as walking-tour guides, get a local artist to open his studio to you, and direct you to hidden corners of a city. And they also, crucially, know how to put together a seamless itinerary. I was reminded of this a few months ago when I (travel editor that I am) foolishly tried arranging my own flights in Africa before a safari. After consulting with an advisor late in the game, I learned I was about to book with an airline that was notorious for last-minute, safari-ruining cancellations. Lesson learned.

    Even if you’re not planning a particularly complicated or exotic trip, it’s worth considering the additional value of professional advice. Much of the travel industry is built on relationships, both formal and informal, and if your advisor has the right ones, it can pay off—literally—for you.

    VIP Treatment:  Many of our A-List advisors are part of large consortia that leverage their members’ collective buying power to deliver guaranteed rates as well as perks for their clients. What that may mean for you: if you book a night in a luxury hotel through the right person, you can get an upgrade, daily breakfast for two, a $100 restaurant credit, and late checkout, along with a welcome amenity of wine and treats. On a seven-night cruise, it could be a cabin upgrade and $500 of shipboard credit. And since the advisor is making a commission off the booking, you won’t be charged a markup. The largest luxury travel consortia, Virtuoso and Signature Travel Network. each contract with more than 1,000 luxury hotels, cruise lines, and tour operators. (American Express Platinum and Centurion cardholders have access to a similar program through Fine Hotels Resorts.) Advisors who do a lot of business with a particular company may have additional preferred status, which translates into even more perks for clients. And then there are the informal relationships that top advisors cultivate with hotel general managers around the world. So chances are, if you’re looking to book with a major company, there’s someone who can get you more bang for your buck. Go ahead, Perrin says, ask an advisor where he or she has connections and what benefits they confer.

    Lower Rates and Fares:  The most affordable rates and fares aren’t always found online, especially when it comes to luxury travel. Hotels and cruise lines that don’t drop their prices for online travel agencies often offer special deals and promotions to members of their partner consortia—who, in turn, alert their clients. These can be everything from four nights for the price of three to an upgrade to business-class tickets on an airfare-cruise package. Similarly, fares for first- and business-class seats on international carriers can vary widely, depending on who is looking for them. Travel advisors frequently have access to lower prices than those available to the public, usually as a result of consortium contracts.

    Finding Rooms:  That sold-out hotel that you waited too long to book? It’s not always sold out. Many properties will hold inventory in reserve. Other rooms may be in the hands of local tour operators who dole them out to partner travel companies. For Amalfi in August, Danube cruises in September, or Hawaii over the holidays, top advisors are known for clearing out space for their clients. They’re also skilled at putting travelers in the right rooms, avoiding the misleadingly named “Garden Views” that overlook parking lots or cruise cabins set right below the fitness room. (Beware the early morning step class.)

    Troubleshooting:  Every trip has its share of hiccups. The small ones can be fun (or at least instructive) to navigate. The big ones—a missed cruise connection; a cloud of volcanic ash—can be a nightmare. Last winter, a succession of brutal storms helped log a record 126,000 cancellations on U.S.-​operated flights that originated domestically. In situations such as these, the value of travel advisors really kicks in. They’ll rebook your flights (sometimes via a VIP phone line with the airline, sometimes sitting on hold for hours), either finding seats on planes that appear to be full or springing you to the top of waiting lists for ones that indeed are. They can also get you last-minute hotel rooms and file insurance claims on your behalf. Lost luggage? They’ll track your bags and have even been known to keep a local store open late so you can buy replacement clothes in the meantime. Ask an advisor about his or her after-hours service before you book.





    11/07/2017

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    Why discount travel sites are angry with Delta #wholesale #travel

    #discount travel sites
    #

    Here’s why discount travel sites are angry with Delta

    Finding cheap airfare on discount travel sites is great for consumers—but airlines have to play ball for it to truly work.

    A group of these sites, including TripAdvisor, CheapOair, and Hipmunk, is banding together publicly against Delta Air Lines Inc. s DAL recent removal of flight information and fares from their listings. Their complaints are relayed in a report released today by the Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech, as it calls itself), a trade group representing such sites, according to The Wall Street Journal . Travel Tech, on behalf of these sites, is asking the Transportation Department to review its report and decide whether carriers like Delta ought to be required to make their flight data widely available to all sites.

    Delta, for its part, has said that it never authorized these sites to use its data.

    This isn t the first time these issues have come up among low airfare sites. Last year, the discount site Routehappy lamented, in a tweet to a customer, that it was one of more than 30 sites from which Delta had pulled its data (nowadays the Routehappy site once again shows Delta information):

    In recent years, CheapAir (not to be confused with CheapOair), Air Gorilla, Globester, and Bookit, among others, have all had Delta take away flight data from their listings, though not all have publicly taken action. And this isn t just about Delta: today s study points out examples of other airlines that are, attempting to restrict access to their fare and schedule information, reduce the ability of consumers to easily compare prices, and drive travelers to their own websites, which do not offer price comparisons with other airlines, the report says. In other words, this is an industry-wide issue just beginning to heat up after many years.

    Delta, in a brief statement, told the WSJ that it would continue partnering with a limited, but responsive and adaptable group of online retailers.” Today, the sites involved in Travel Tech s study may be wondering why Delta does not appear to deem them responsive and adaptable.





    11/07/2017

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    Why Buy Used Cars, Rental Vehicles for Sale – Enterprise Car

    #rental cars cheap
    #

    Why Buy a Used Vehicle

    Consider the Advantages

    Buying a used vehicle can save you money because a new vehicle experiences its greatest loss in value within the first 12 to 18 months. Rather than watching value decrease significantly in just the first year, consider buying a used car or truck. A used rental car can have a lower purchase price with lower monthly payments, and the factory warranties are usually still available. Buying a used vehicle allows you to upgrade to the newer make and model you want and add more optional features.

    Why Throw Money Away on New Car Depreciation?

    Thinking about buying a new vehicle? Think again. According to the experts at Kelley Blue Book . in three years a new vehicle could depreciate by as much as 73 percent of its value. At best it will retain a mere 62 percent of its value after three years. That s one major advantage to buying a used vehicle.

    Car depreciation is the dark cloud hanging over new purchases. While most vehicles depreciate by 15 to 20 percent of their value each year, the first year tends to hurt the most. In fact, the two-minute drive off the lot can cost some owners up to 15 percent of their new vehicle s value.

    If you re a car buyer unwilling to throw away money on vehicle depreciation for that new car smell, consider buying a high-quality, late-model used car. In addition to a lower purchase price, lower registration and license fees, you ll also enjoy lower depreciation, as the previous owner has already absorbed the steepest portion of the used vehicle s depreciation cost. Some popular used models include Civic. Accord. CRV. Camry. Wrangler. Tacoma. Challenger. Mini. Explorer. Escape. Altima and Outback .

    Used Rental Car Value

    Consider the Benefits of Buying a Used Rental Car

    Millions of used rental vehicles (and leased vehicles) are sold annually in the United States. Many were passed directly to auctions and on to used car dealerships. However, tens of thousands were selected by the rental and lease companies for their own car resale businesses. These used vehicles represent the cream of the crop and are often considered some of the best used cars on the market. These used vehicles, while driven by multiple motorists, receive much more care than the average consumer-owned used car and offer the following benefits:

    • Great selection: The typical used car for sale at Enterprise Car Sales is one to two years old. This creates a selection of vehicles that are contemporary, stylish, and sought after.
    • One owner: If offered a used vehicle owned by an auto expert committed to vehicle maintenance and care, the average used car buyer might be tempted to sign sight unseen. Enterprise Car Sales offers this opportunity. Used cars are our business, and our livelihood depends on keeping them expertly maintained.
    • Low mileage: Used rental vehicles or used leased vehicles often have less than 40,000 miles when they are put up for sale.
    • Reasonable prices: All used vehicles sold by Enterprise Car Sales are offered at low prices, and with a no-haggle policy, buyers get a great used car price without the pressure of bargaining.

    Used rental cars provide a tremendous value. Make a smart move and consider buying one the next time you re in the market for a used vehicle.





    11/07/2017

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    Why Do Math? Space Travel #best #travel #websites

    #space travel
    #

    By Dr. Shane Ross

    Getting from point A to B in space usually requires considerable quantities of propellant. But after it blasted off from Earth, the Genesis probe was able to travel 1.5 million kilometers. More.

    Contrary to everyday experience on Earth, the most efficient route through space may not be a straight line. Some mathematicians and NASA engineers have learned in recent years that take best advantage of gravity, and save fuel in the process, it may be necessary to make bizarre loops through space.

    Take for example the Genesis spacecraft. In 2004, it started on its way home after having spent two years collecting solar particles in orbit around a Lagrange point. a point between Earth and the Sun where the gravity of both bodies is balanced.

    But Genesis did not come straight home. It took a long curvy path, going past the Earth to make an extended million-mile loop (around another Lagrange point) before coming back to Earth. Amazingly, this seeming impractical path actually saves fuel by making use of gravity in the Earth-Sun system.

    The design of interplanetary space probes can now be done by taking advantage of the competing gravitational tugs of the different planets and their moons, which create a vast network of passageways by which a spacecraft can travel over large distances while expending very little energy. Without recent advances in mathematics and computation, these fuel-saving, mission-enabling paths through space could not be found.

    Click the links to the right to learn more about the gravitational passageways which form this interplanetary transport network.

    About the Author

    Dr. Shane Ross; Assistant Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics, Virginia Tech





    11/07/2017

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    Why Does Jetsetter Stand Apart from the Group Buying Crowd? It

    #jetsetter travel
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    Why Does Jetsetter Stand Apart from the Group Buying Crowd? It Solves a Big Problem

    Breaking: Groupon acquires German clone CityDeal

    I’ve long been critical of how hotel rooms are found and booked online. It’s impossible to tell quality and cleanliness from a standard write up, photos and a star rating, let alone have any idea of the quality of things like the restaurant on site, the friendliness of the staff or the millions of other little things that can make a hotel stay a pleasure or a nightmare.

    And no, consumer reviews don’t solve it. I recently stayed at a top rated hotel on Trip Advisor that was one of the worst customer service experiences I’ve had in the last year. And given that I spent about 30 weeks in hotels in the last year, that’s saying something. Among other issues, the hotel-in-question “accidentally” charged me nearly $700 mid-stay, let alone my final bill was supposed to be under $200. It took hours out of each day to resolve. The hotel wound up refunding us, but the trip was already ruined.

    That’s what makes booking a hotel online such a risky proposition: A bad flight you can forget, but a hotel necessarily sticks with you during a trip, making or breaking it. A good flight is more of a commodity product, defined by price and route and, of course, being on time the day of travel. And aisle seat is an aisle seat, and a window seat is a window seat. There’s a shared vernacular of what things mean for that period in the sky, even across international carriers. On a domestic flight in China, the flight attendants required that everyone do calisthenics half way through to prevent bloodclots, but we still got the same beverage cart, same reclining seats, same overhead bins and same bathrooms I’d get on a United flight to New York

    With hotels there are a host of intangible variables, and that makes booking a core problem of trust. I’ve stayed in more than 20 hotels in the last year. In almost all cases, a personal recommendation from someone I trust has scored me the best experience, anything booked online or with an agent has been acceptable to bad—no matter what the photos looked like online.

    Finally, one site seems to have solved a piece of the problem: Jetsetter. Yes it’s part of the much-written-about Gilt Groupe. But while most of the group-buying trend is about convenience and saving money, for me Jetsetter actually solves a core problem. Not only do a get a great discount on top properties, this is the first online travel site where I actually trust the recommendations.

    While mass-market travel sites compete on bigger inventory and “virtual room tours,” Jetsetter comes the closest to replicating what happens in the real world: They are picky. They curate the best properties. The pictures are visually stunning enough that browsing the site is actually fun. (Have you ever said that about, say, Hotels.com?) Someone has clearly stayed at each property and writes up the unvarnished good and the unvarnished bad. And of course, being part of Gilt, it has great deals. Most the hotels I have looked at or booked through Jetsetter hovered around or under $200 a night for some amazing $300-$400/night properties.

    So curating itself is a big part of why I trust Jetsetter, but equally as important is that the site, so far, curates incredibly well, at least according to my preferences. Just using the site a few months, Jetsetter has offered specials by three of my all-time favorite hotels: The Opposite House in Beijing (above), The Sonoma Mission Inn in Wine Country and The Royal Palms in Phoenix. It’s as if the site is reading my mind—the pinnacle of a good user experience.

    I’ve stayed at all three of these hotels and the room, food, customer service and amenities were all impeccable. I was already planning to go back to the Opposite House in May, but thanks to Jetsetter I got a great rate. As for The Somona Mission Inn and the Royal Palms, I had stayed at both in the last few years as part of speaking gigs where my rate was included in my fee. I never thought go back, even though I enjoyed the experience because the rates were out of my normal writer-salary price range. But the Sonoma Mission Inn for less than $200 a night is suddenly a do-able weekend getaway. What’s more: Because Jetsetter has picked three of the best hotels out of the 40 or so I’ve stayed at in the past few years, I just trust its recommendation on nearly any property they show me in a way that I don’t on any other site. Like a friend, I feel like we have the same taste.

    The clear problem here is scale. Right now, Jetsetter can’t solve all my travel problems because of what makes them great: They are picky and rely on special sales. It’s a site that I may only book through a few times a year mostly for weird cases when their specials happen to overlap with my schedule (in the case of the Opposite House) or when I have a week off for a Holiday and want to go somewhere but don’t quite know where (in the case of the Sonoma Mission Inn) or if I know I need to get to, say, New York for work at some point, but exactly when is flexible.

    A Jetsetter customer doesn’t have to spend a lot—most of these properties aren’t much more than a basic Marriott or Hilton Express and what you get is frequently over-the-top amazing. But you do have to be a frequent, spontaneous or somewhat random traveler to use the site consistently.

    My fear is that Jetsetter will try to be a site for everyone, instead of continuing to do what it has done so well: Curate, editorialize and get stellar deals on truly amazing properties. This is the difference between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0—the market is big enough you don’t have to be all things to all people, you can serve a part of the population better than anyone else and win. I would rather the site didn’t solve all of my travel problems, and solve a few this well than become a high-end Hotels.com for the masses.

    Please, Jetsetter, don’t follow the classic Web playbook and grow so big you strangle something great.





    08/07/2017

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    Home – Why Buy Travel Insurance – 1 Travel Insurance #search

    #online travel insurance
    #

    1 TRAVEL INSURANCE partnered with SQUAREMOUTH

    1. Every policy purchased through Squaremouth comes with the Zero Complaint Guarantee.
    2. Squaremouth has been providing online Travel Insurance Plans since 2006.
    3. Squaremouth staff are featured as topic experts in national media including The New York Times, CNN, and USA Today.
    4. Their site is one of the most complete and easy to use online today.
    5. Squaremouth offers visitors much more than a simple list of products and prices. They attract the traveler with a desire to learn more about the products they purchase.
    6. Visitors can sort through the Quote Results of 27 different underwriters by “quality of benefit ” as well as by “provider and price ”.
    7. Adding to the great Squaremouth service 1 Travel Insurance will of course bring our customers the same “knowledge based ” service and support as in the past 20 years.
    8. 1 Travel Insurance  “Where YOUR satisfaction will continue to be our top priority.”




    15/06/2017

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    Why are airfare prices so high, despite low oil prices? Page

    #best price on airfare
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    Why are airfare prices so high, despite low oil prices?

    Nov 30, 15 1:56 pm by LarryJ

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by boybi

    I know fuel cost comprise a huge percentage in an airline’s operating costs, but why didn’t ticket prices reflect the drop in fuel prices?

    Because the airplane’s are (nearly) full. A business does not lower prices when they are already selling out their supply of product.

    The way that lower costs lead to reduced fares is that airlines will add more capacity (they already are doing so) due to the lower costs. When this additional capacity comes online the fares will drop to keep it (nearly) full.

    A restaurant or supermarket can make quick adjustments in supply when their costs, or market demand, changes. It takes a lot of time and money to acquire new (or used) airplanes or to economically remove aircraft from service. New aircraft also come with long-term commitments so an airline must be convinced that it will be able to deploy the new capacity profitably for the duration of that commitment.

    In the case of current fuel prices, there isn’t any guarantee that the current low prices will last for an extended period of time. In fact, the chances are good that fuel will be significantly more expensive than today when any aircraft ordered today are delivered.





    27/05/2017

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    Why It Pays to Book With a Travel Agent – US

    #online travel agent
    #

    Why It Pays to Book With a Travel Agent

    Some consumers are kicking the stressful DIY approach to the curb.

    Booking a trip often proves to be an extremely stressful, grueling undertaking. You can spend hours online searching for deals on flights and hotels, bouncing from one website to another in pursuit of the perfect price. This kind of process is often headache-inducing: Approximately 20 percent of more than 2,000 travelers worldwide said it took them more than five hours to search and book travel online, according to a recent survey by the I.B.M. Institute for Business Value .

    To avoid the hassle, some consumers are turning to travel agents. After suffering for years, the travel-agent industry is now experiencing substantial growth. Nearly 1 in 3 leisure agencies is hiring, according to PhoCusWright, a travel research firm. And the American Society of Travel Agents reports that 57 percent of independent agents saw an increase in business in 2011.

    Faced with countless choices for flights, hotels, car rental, and tours, some consumers are dumping the DIY approach. There are simply too many travel products in the market today for individuals to decipher on their own, says James Shillinglaw, editor-in-chief of Travalliancemedia, a media network for travel agencies. You need a guide to help you cut through all the different things out there that are available.

    There’s a difference between price and value, adds Arnie Weissmann, editor-in-chief of Travel Weekly, a newspaper that covers the travel industry. The more travelers realize that, he says, the more they’re opting to use a travel agent. Here are six reasons to consider booking your next vacation with a travel agent:

    Save time. An agent can save you time by vetting thousands of flight and hotel options to find the right fare at the lowest rate. There’s just a glut of information, and you need someone to make sense of it all, says John Peters of Tripology.com, a website that matches consumers to travel agents.

    Stephanie Axelrod and her husband, who live in Fairfax, Va. used Tamalpais Travel to book a trip to Spain and Italy in 2010, and saved a lot of time in the process. After we spent many hours on the Internet ourselves, we found using an agent made the whole experience more pleasant and less time-consuming, she says.

    Save money. Some people shy away from using a travel agent because they think they’ll be charged extra for the agent’s services. Some agents charge additional fees (for example, a $25 fee for their time and research), but most make their commission through the travel suppliers. You’re going to get more value from your money booking with a travel agent, Peters says. Nina Meyer, president of the American Society of Travel Agents, says you can also save big on airfare with the right agent: I have seen in the past people save anywhere from $500 to upwards of $1,000 on a ticket.

    Axelrod says she and her husband found it difficult to find good flight deals on their own. The travel agent was able to get deals we weren’t able to find, she says.

    Learn what you want. Very often, people don’t really know what kind of trip they want, Shillinglaw says. It’s the travel agent’s job to provide you with a number of options they think you’d enjoy. Not only will they help you book a trip, they’ll help you build the trip.

    Connections. Don’t underestimate a travel agent’s extensive Rolodex. Agents may have people on the ground who you can connect with, such as a local tour guide, as well as people you can reach out to if you encounter any problems. Having access to a travel agent’s insiders makes it just an overall better customer service experience than going at it alone, Peters says.

    Kate Rice, who covers airlines for TravelPulse.com, says agents who book a lot of flights develop strong relationships with sales representatives. That means they have double leverage that they can use on your behalf—the purchasing power of the agency group they’re affiliated with, as well as the personal relationships they have with their sales reps, she says.





    19/05/2017

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    Why discount travel sites are angry with Delta #tasmania #travel

    #discount travel sites
    #

    Here’s why discount travel sites are angry with Delta

    Finding cheap airfare on discount travel sites is great for consumers—but airlines have to play ball for it to truly work.

    A group of these sites, including TripAdvisor, CheapOair, and Hipmunk, is banding together publicly against Delta Air Lines Inc. s DAL recent removal of flight information and fares from their listings. Their complaints are relayed in a report released today by the Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech, as it calls itself), a trade group representing such sites, according to The Wall Street Journal . Travel Tech, on behalf of these sites, is asking the Transportation Department to review its report and decide whether carriers like Delta ought to be required to make their flight data widely available to all sites.

    Delta, for its part, has said that it never authorized these sites to use its data.

    This isn t the first time these issues have come up among low airfare sites. Last year, the discount site Routehappy lamented, in a tweet to a customer, that it was one of more than 30 sites from which Delta had pulled its data (nowadays the Routehappy site once again shows Delta information):

    In recent years, CheapAir (not to be confused with CheapOair), Air Gorilla, Globester, and Bookit, among others, have all had Delta take away flight data from their listings, though not all have publicly taken action. And this isn t just about Delta: today s study points out examples of other airlines that are, attempting to restrict access to their fare and schedule information, reduce the ability of consumers to easily compare prices, and drive travelers to their own websites, which do not offer price comparisons with other airlines, the report says. In other words, this is an industry-wide issue just beginning to heat up after many years.

    Delta, in a brief statement, told the WSJ that it would continue partnering with a limited, but responsive and adaptable group of online retailers.” Today, the sites involved in Travel Tech s study may be wondering why Delta does not appear to deem them responsive and adaptable.





    19/05/2017

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    Why You Still Need a Travel Agent #travel #planner

    #online travel agent
    #

    Why You Still Need a Travel Agent

    A few years ago, a good friend took an international trip with a two-stop flight itinerary. Afterwards, he reflected on how beat up he felt when it was over: “Adding that third airport into the mix seemed to add a ton of extra travel this year; it was rough.”

    I asked how he booked the flights. He said that he’d used one of the big travel booking sites, and that the itinerary he purchased was the best combination of duration, flight times and price he could find. My response: “Next time, call my travel agent first. You’ll feel a lot better when it’s all over.”

    The following year, he did just that, and the agent came up with options that he could never have found himself using a single booking site — specifically, a short and affordable Southwest flight that put him in an airport with countless options for direct flights to his final destination. What would have been another expensive, six-flight endurance test was replaced by a far less demanding trip.

    I use my travel agent on about 50 percent of all my trips that involve air, so when CNN marveled that travel agents may be making a comeback. I had to agree.

    The Return of the Travel Agent

    Why? Personally, I’ve found that the likelihood of using a travel agent increases in direct proportion to the abundance and complexity of travel options you can find on the Internet. Many travelers are discovering the following:

  • In offering more options and amenities, online travel sites have actually made it more confusing to figure out what they are selling, not less so.

  • The explosion of restrictions and fees — many of which are not obvious to the casual travel buyer — further muddies understanding of the bottom line on any itinerary.

  • The absence of popular airlines from major booking engines — the juggernaut Southwest being the most glaring — eliminates what could well turn out to be a specific traveler’s absolute best itinerary.

  • The big online travel sites got too smart for their own good; by tidying up and repackaging all the data each according to their own assumptions about travel purchasing, they show us what they think we want to see, but not always what we really want to see. That is, by becoming “online travel agents,” rather than mere booking sites, they end up in competition with real travel agents, who can usually do the work better than computers can.

    Poll: Do You Use a Travel Agent?

  • And my number one reason to use a travel agent for booking flights: the reduction in flight capacity by the airlines has resulted in significantly more full flights on the routes I fly. At the same time, the booking sites have gotten only marginally better at offering seat choices and at seating companions together. Just try to book your family on a multi-flight trip and you’ll see what I mean. Travel agents can hack their way through all this stuff.

    It has gotten to the point that many travelers truly dread the moment they have to sit down at the computer to research travel. Seems like a good time to call in a pro, no?

    If this describes you, or even just your next trip, here are some tips and guidelines for choosing, communicating with and evaluating a travel agent. For more info, including how to find an agent, when to use a professional and when to do it yourself, and some potential conflicts of interest to consider, see How to Find the Right Travel Agent .

    Choosing a Travel Advisor

    To deserve your loyalty and money, a travel agent must provide a service that is better, faster and more affordable than you can do yourself — or naturally you would, in fact, do it yourself. When searching for a travel agent, I suggest asking the following questions:

  • What are the fees? This will help you figure out for which types of travel you might need help, and for which it will be worth the investment of time to do it yourself. See below for more on fees.

  • Is the agent comfortable working entirely by e-mail? Part of the point of having a travel agent book your trip is that you are freed up to do other things while the itinerary research is taking place. As such, you need a travel agent with whom you will not have to sit on the phone while she’s researching your trip, or to have to make multiple phone calls to nail down the flights or hotel that you prefer. She should be able to do all of this by e-mail, with response times measured in minutes or hours, not days. My own travel agent has come to expect nearly instantaneous e-mail replies from me in return.

    9 Tips for Insanely Busy Travelers

  • Is the travel agent open to suggestions from you, the customer? For example, if you go out and find a decent fare and flight combination, but for whatever reason want some of the services a travel agent can provide, does he check into the flight you suggested or simply ignore your input?

  • Is there a 24-hour solution line you can call if you get in a jam? For example, say you’re flying on a Sunday night red-eye from west to east, and your flight is delayed or canceled. Is there someone you can call at 10:30 p.m. to try to get you on the best next flight, or at the very least into a convenient and affordable hotel? Note: Not all travel agents provide this service, so if you find one, consider yourself lucky.





    19/05/2017

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  • Why travel to Cuba? #spain #travel

    #travel to cuba
    #

    Like this topic? You may also like these photo galleries:

    A church in Old Havana. (Photo: Nancy Trejos, USA TODAY)

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    Cuba may only be 90 miles from Florida, but for half a century it’s been largely off-limits to most Americans.

    That could soon change now that President Obama has normalized relations with the island nation.

    Since 2011, Americans have only been allowed to go to Cuba on people-to-people tours run by licensed companies.

    Last week, Obama asked the Treasury Department to expand the categories of people who can travel to Cuba without a license. Visiting just for tourism will still be forbidden. But the new regulations will certainly open up the island to many more people.

    This renewed attention on Cuba has many would-be travelers wondering: What does our island neighbor have to offer? We talked to a few Cuba experts to find out.

    Old buildings and cars

    Cuba’s streets are filled with classic American cars from the 1950s.

    No, it’s not because Cubans are enthusiastic car collectors. After Fidel Castro became president in 1959, he imposed a law requiring government permission to buy a new foreign car.

    Over the years, Cubans have been inventive in their maintenance of those relics of the past. With an embargo in place, getting the right equipment has been difficult. Open the hood of an old Mercedes and you’ll see a mishmash of parts that have been acquired through Cuban ingenuity.

    Regardless of what’s under the hood, car enthusiasts will probably want to flock to Cuba.

    Aside from the cars, there are plenty of other fascinating sights to behold on the island, says Jason Sarracini, vice president and general manager for Travelzoo Canada.

    The island has nine UNESCO world heritage sites, he says. Sarracini has been to Cuba a few times because Canadians have no travel restrictions.

    “They’re architectural gems,” Sarracini says. “They’ve never been discovered by Americans or at least seen in this generation.”

    Among them is the San Pedro de la Roca Castle at Santiago de Cuba, the second largest city in Cuba. UNESCO calls the fort, built in 1638, one of the best preserved examples of Spanish-American military architecture.

    Sarracini also recommends a visit to the urban center of Cienfuegos, founded as a Spanish colony in 1819.

    The coffee plantations in southeast Cuba, which date back to the 1800s, are also beautiful attractions to explore, he says.

    Beaches and nature

    Cuba has more than 300 beaches spread out across its northern Atlantic Ocean and its southern Caribbean coastlines.

    Lee Abbamonte, a travel expert who at 36 bills himself as the youngest American to have visited every country in the world, has been to Cuba multiple times.

    Two of his favorite beaches, Playa Paraiso and Sirena, are connected to each other on the island of Cayo Largo del Sur.

    “What makes Playa Paraiso and Sirena so awesome is that they are basically untouched stretches of white sand and away from the main tourism infrastructure,” he says. “Simplicity is the way of life there.”

    Another secluded beach on the southern coast of Cuba is Playa Ancon.

    “Playa Ancon is also very unspoiled white sand beach and could possibly be tops in all of Cuba but away enough so that it’s not overrun yet with tourists,” he says.

    Playa Ancon is near the city of Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Surrounded by the Escambray mountains, it offers picturesque views.

    If you prefer a few more amenities, Abbamonte suggests going to Varadero, a resort town located on the Hicacos peninsula about 85 miles from Havana.

    Travelers can enjoy a variety of water activities there such as snorkeling, scuba diving and even swimming with dolphins.

    In addition to more than 10 miles of beaches, Varadero has natural attractions such as caves.

    And the nearby Varahicacos ecological reserve offers opportunities for hiking and birdwatching.

    Abbamonte says that Varadero is the place to go “if you’re looking for the all-inclusive type holiday that you’d find in the Dominican Republic” and ot

    Music and art

    “The Cuban people are very creative,” says Nancy Davids, senior product manager at Collette, which is licensed to run people-to-people tours.

    Forget about rum and cigars. The art and music is what makes Cuba such a fascinating place, she says.

    “I think a lot of the mystique and excitement of going there is the art and music,” she says. “When you hear the music, your foot starts to tap.”

    There’s no one type of Cuban music. The music and instruments are influenced by Cuba’s African and European traditions. Walk into a bar or club and you may hear salsa, merengue, rumba, jazz, or any other number of genres.

    “There’s music for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day in Cuba,” she says.

    In addition to talented musicians, Cuba also has a thriving community of artists.

    One such artist, Jose Fuster, has decorated homes in the town of Jaimanitas, outside of Havana, with murals and tiles.

    “He’s likened to the Gaudi of Cuba,” she says. “He’s created a funky, art deco neighborhood.”

    Davids also recommends a visit to the National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana. The collection ranges from the traditional to the modern. “It’s as good as any museum in New York,” she says.

    Art is available everywhere in Havana, from markets to street corners.

    “You’ll find painters sitting on a corner painting a landscape,” she says.

    Food and drink

    Douglas Rodriguez, founding chef and co-owner of Stephen Starr’s Alma de Cuba in Philadelphia, plans to take a group of 17 travelers to explore Cuba’s vibrant culinary scene in March.

    Rodriquez, whose parents are Cuban immigrants, has some favorite spots from his many times visiting the island.

    Cuban cuisine is much more inventive than just black beans and rice, he says. You can see Cubans’ entrepreneurial spirit at work in the kitchen. Because of the embargo, they don’t always have the best ingredients. But they make do.

    Paladares, privately owned restaurants that are often run by families, sometimes out of their homes, have become popular in recent years. They are intended to give tourists a truly authentic Cuban experience.

    Rodriguez says his favorite paladar is La Guarida, which has a menu of tapas. It has been operating for more than a decade but has expanded and added a rooftop lounge with great views of old Havana. “The building is really beautiful,” he says.

    Atelier Paladar has an interesting menu by up-and-coming chef Niuris Higuera.

    “The inside of the restaurant is a mix of vintage colonial pieces and cool contemporary Cuban art,” he says. “Chef Niuris is someone that the industry is paying attention to.”

    El Chanchullero is serving up some inventive Spanish tapas. The restaurant is popular among chefs, but don’t expect to see white tablecloths and fancy China.

    “It’s noisy, hard to find, on the divey side,” he says, “but it’s a perfect place to hang with the locals, eat really good and inexpensive food, hear music and yes, the drinks are great too.”

    For drinks, he suggests El Cocinero, a cooking oil factory that has been converted to a lounge popular with local actors and artists.

    Sloppy Joe’s bar, which re-opened in 2013 after being shut down for nearly 50 years, has been completely restored to its historical past, he says.

    “It’s a state-run business and they put together a well-researched and trained staff,” he says. “The bar men whip up hand crafted cocktails – some of the best in Havana.”

    If you go

    For now, Americans can only go to Cuba via people-to-people tours through licensed companies such as Insight Cuba and Collette.

    Because the companies have to go through a rigorous licensing process and hire chartered planes and tour guides, their trips tend to be more expensive than they would be for non-Americans visiting Cuba.

    The new rules will probably mean that the prices will drop for those tours. And at some point, Americans traveling in approved categories will probably be able to go to Cuba without a guide.

    For now, U.S. airlines such as Delta and JetBlue Airways only do charter flights to Cuba. The airlines say it is too soon to tell how the new rules will change that.

    “We look forward to expanding service into Cuba as more opportunities become available,” Delta said in a written statement.

    Joe Diaz, co-founder of AFAR Media, a travel magazine, says that for now, it will probably be easier to navigate the country with the help of a travel agent, tour operator or adviser who has been there before.

    Obama says that American credit and debit cards will soon work there. It is unclear when that will happen. So cash is still king right now.

    Internet service is also still unreliable, and American cell phones do not work.

    Still, Diaz recommends going to Cuba before the crowds get there.

    “I do think this is a great step in the right direction for tourism and travel and this whole idea of human connection,” he says. “I think it’s really important to go now because as Cuba opens up and more investment comes into the country—from tour operators, cruise lines—it’s going to change the fabric of the country.”

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    19/05/2017

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    Why can t airline tickets be transferable? #www.travel

    #plane ticket
    #

    Why can t airline tickets be transferable?

    A TSA officer checks a passenger s airline ticket at Chicago O Hare International Airport on Dec. 20, 2013. (Photo: Nam Y. Huh, AP)

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    As Ralph Santopietro sees it, Delta Air Lines had him over a barrel when he tried to change the dates on a flight from Myrtle Beach, S.C. to Hartford, Conn.

    A ticket agent in Myrtle Beach offered to rebook Santopietro, a retired high school teacher, on the new itinerary. But his $238 ticket credit would be all but consumed by a $200 change fee, and then he’d have to pay a $538 fare difference.

    How about transferring the ticket to his cousin, who would take the flight as originally planned? Nope, said the agent, citing security restrictions on ticket name changes.

    “I didn’t like those choices,” he says.

    In an airline industry now dominated by a few oversized carriers, neither do many of his fellow passengers. Domestic airlines collected a record $2.5 billion in ticket change fees in 2012, and Delta led the flock with $778 million, an increase of $11 million from the previous year. Although airlines have valid business reasons for their ticket restrictions, consumer advocates say they are too rigid and avaricious.

    To passengers, the name-change policy in particular seems like a way for airlines to pocket more of their money. Alan Gore, a photographer from Sedona, Ariz. says he feels cornered when he considers his flight options. A fully refundable ticket costs three to four times more than a restricted ticket. And even when passengers have a valid reason to cancel a trip, airlines are unmoved.

    “When life happens and people get sick before a flight, they now have no choice but to take it and give the flu to every other passenger,” he says.

    He says it’s time for the airline industry to let passengers change the name on a ticket.

    Airlines don’t allow name changes for two reasons, according to Victoria Day, a spokeswoman for Airlines for America, an industry trade group. The first is airline policy. An airline needs to know who the customer is so it can “provide quality service,” she says. It also relies on tickets being non-changeable in order to manage its seat inventory.

    “Since air transportation is a service that perishes when the aircraft door is closed, it is in both the passengers’ and airline’s interest to closely match the number of passengers to seats available, from both a customer service and revenue management perspective,” Day says.

    The second reason is security, or ensuring that the ticketed passenger is the same person going through the TSA checkpoint and getting screened.

    Those assertions are more or less true. Warren Lieberman, an airline pricing expert and president at Veritec Solutions, says the more true part involves an airline’s ability to make money. If name changes were allowed, then passengers could resell their tickets anytime, subverting an airline’s ability to raise ticket prices as the flight becomes full.

    “That would lead to declines in revenue,” he says.

    The less true part is security. The Transportation Security Administration uses a system called Secure Flight to screen airline passengers, but it’s capable of handling checks instantly, according to the agency. In other words, if airlines relaxed their rules on name changes, the TSA would have no trouble accommodating them.

    “There is no reason why a consumer should not be able to easily transfer her ticket to another person in the event that she cannot travel,” says Sally Greenberg, executive director of the National Consumers League.

    Permitting a name change makes sense to passengers, and not just because an airline won’t incur any security risks or additional expenses. It’s also something that as recently as a few decades ago was common, even among legacy carriers. Veteran air travelers recall a time when tickets could be purchased in the classified section of their newspaper. Somehow, airlines managed to make money even then.

    Given the fact that competition and choice are gradually being drained from our airline network, shouldn’t airlines be compelled to return one of yesteryear’s common courtesies — the ability to let someone else use a passenger’s ticket?

    Until then, it seems even airline employees understand that passengers don’t have any real options. One of them happened to be the kindly ticket agent in Myrtle Beach, who saw the absurdity of Santopietro’s situation. She finally beckoned him to come closer to her station.

    “She looked down and sheepishly whispered that perhaps I could try another airline,” he says. He found a $187 ticket on US Airways.

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    18/05/2017

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    Travel in Europe – Why take the train? #magellan #travel

    #travel europe by train
    #

    TRAVEL EUROPE BY TRAIN

    Are you travelling Europe by train? Take advantage of our cheap train tickets to Belgium, France, Germany, the UK, Italy, Spain, Luxembourg, Switzerland or the Netherlands. You can also pick up a special train pass to travel to multiple destinations in Europe. Sit back in our comfortable carriages and travel with 320 km/h to new lands!

    ADVANTAGES OF VOYAGES-SNCF.COM

    Looking for the best way to travel in Europe? Start by booking via voyages-sncf.com and enjoy all the benefits!

    Marseille

    Capital of culture 2013

    (1) Prices from, per person, in Standard class and for a single ticket between Paris, Brussels, Calais or Lille and London, Ashford or Ebbsfleet. Offer subject to availability. Ticket exchangeable subject to a fee before departure. Ticket non-exchangeable after departure. Ticket non-refundable. Online payment is required and multiple ticket withdrawal options are available, depending on the journey and the number of days between the date of booking and that of departure (e-ticket, free shipping, withdrawal from French railway stations or Rail Europe store (( additional charges of €10 /CHF 12.-for each booking)). Offer cannot be combined with any other promotions or SNCF reductions.

    (2) Starting from, per person, one way tickets in Comfort 2 (2nd class) Thalys, to a selection of destinations and subject to availability at these rates. Tickets are bookable until 30 days before departure of the train, and are non-exchangeable and non refundable. Online payment is required for e-tickets, free shipping of tickets, withdrawal at a French railway station or withdrawal at a Rail Europe store in Milan, Madrid, Geneva, Cologne (Supplement 10 € per dossier). Offer cannot be combined with any other promotion or SNCF discount rate.

    (3) Prem’s fare, from, per person, for a 2nd class single with TGV, from selected cities and to a range of destinations. Offer subject to availability. Tickets are on sale between 3 months and 14 days before the date of departure. Tickets are non-exchangeable and non-refundable. On-line payment is required. Tickets can be sent to your home address free of charge or collected at a French station or a Rail Europe shop in Milan, Madrid, Geneva, Cologne (€10 supplement payable). Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotion or SNCF reduction.

    (4) Fare NON-FLEX, from, valid for a single outbound journey in TGV Lyria 2nd class. On sale 3 months before the date of travel. Tariff valid subject to available seats, non-exchangeable and non-refundable tickets. Online payment is required and multiple ticket withdrawal options are available, depending on the journey and the number of days between the date of booking and that of departure (e-ticket, free shipping, withdrawal from French railway stations or Rail Europe store (( additional charges of €8 /CHF 12.-for each booking)). Offer cannot be combined with any other promotions or SNCF reductions.





    16/05/2017

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    Travel Guard – Why Buy Travel Insurance? #cheap #air #ticket

    #buy travel insurance
    #

    Why buy travel insurance through Travel Guard?

    Because not all travel insurance is the same!

    With travel insurance through Travel Guard you’ll have valuable coverage that travels with you and your family. We’re America’s leading provider of travel insurance plans and assistance programs and we’re here to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    How can my travel insurance plan cover my vacation investment in the event of a hurricane or other unforeseen severe weather?

    Travel insurance plans offered by Travel Guard provide you with insurance coverage for your travel investment if unforeseen weather conditions cause a delay or cancellation of your trip. If the weather or other covered reason forces you to cancel your trip, you can be reimbursed for your nonrefundable expenses, up to the amount of coverage you purchase. If bad weather or other covered reasons delay your trip you can be reimbursed for reasonable, additional accommodations and traveling expenses until travel is possible.

    Click here for more questions related to Hurricanes Travel Insurance.

    What would you do?

    You’re involved in an accident while on a summer trip to Europe with your family and adequate medical treatment is not available. Who will help arrange and pay for a medical evacuation? With travel insurance coverage through Travel Guard, you can be prepared. Plans can include coverage for medical expenses, trip interruption and more and include emergency travel services so you can be sure that Travel Guard has an insurance plan that meets your traveling needs. We’re here to help you and your family 24 hours a day.

    Click here for more real life situations where Travel Guard may assist you.

    Certain restrictions apply.





    16/05/2017

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    Solo Travel: Why Women Should Travel Alone #graco #travel #system

    #solo travel
    #

    Why Every Woman Should Travel Alone

    Getty Images

    Traveling solo doesn’t always mean you’ll be lonely

    When I started telling people I was going to Mexico for a week, everybody s first question was the same: Who are you going with? When I said I was going on my own, their reactions were all very similar. Wow, that is very brave of you! Aren t you scared? Will it be safe? Alone? I could never do that.

    It s 2015. Women have made strides in politics, in business, in tech, in culture. But even those friends I considered forward-thinking questioned my decision to travel by myself.

    My trip wasn t even as courageous as it could have been after all, I wasn t truly by myself, at least not once I arrived in the small town of Puerto Morelos. I booked a weeklong yoga retreat through The Travel Yogi. a company that creates adventurous albeit relaxing yoga retreats all over the world. I didn t have the typical concerns of finding a hostel or making friends, but still people who learned my plans seemed baffled.

    As a single 26-year-old living in New York, I was sick of seeing my friends with significant others post photos of incredible journeys. And any time I tried to get a group together for an exotic trip, it was too difficult to nail down a date and especially a price that worked for everyone. So when I found this trip, where I d stay in a beachside boutique hotel that held daily yoga classes and served delicious vegetarian food, I didn t check with anyone, I just booked it.

    I ve been quite a champion at being independent: I live by myself in a studio, I ll go to Broadway shows by myself, I ll see movies at times that work for me even if they don t work for others. But taking this leap felt much different. And my friends reactions made me feel like they felt bad for me, like I had no one to travel with.

    I think people are afraid of looking like a loser, says Kristin Newman, a TV writer and author of the travel memoir What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding . It s the same how people don t want to eat dinner alone. I think people are afraid of being lonely, of being scared, of looking like they didn t have anybody.

    She s right a thousand questions weighed on me when I landed. Even after I met the people at my hotel who I d be spending time with, I went to bed thinking, What am I going to do with myself all week?

    Well, I d be meeting locals and eating dollar vegan tacos, watching men chop open coconuts with machetes to make fresh coconut water, getting massages on the beach, snorkeling with barracudas and lobsters and eels, diving into freshwater caves, spotting spider monkeys in trees, reading in a rooftop hammock, sipping micheladas on a regular basis and making incredible new friends. Despite all my fears, I ve never felt less alone than when I was traveling alone.

    Jennifer Hoddevik, one of the Travel Yogi founders, says about 80 percent of the people who sign up for their trips are going solo and 85 percent of them are women. Hoddevik traveled by herself for years while working as a travel agent before she founded Travel Yogi and had plenty of experience with safety, a big concern among solo female travelers. She and her team scout the locations where retreats are held when they are traveling as women who are alone.

    We really do want people to pay attention to their intuition when traveling, but knowing what it s like personally, at night in Reykjavik or Guayaquil, is something our travelers count on, she says. Safety when traveling solo is a fair concern, but traveling solo doesn t always mean alone .

    Yoga, or any other active focus of a trip, will have you bonding with people instantly, which I found on my trip specifically when we worked on partner poses in class. If your yoga or fitness studio doesn t advertise its own trips, there are plenty of options to find more. Yogascapes. similar to The Travel Yogi. hosts a trove of wellness retreats that include yoga, surfing and, sometimes, even wine. Eat.Pray.Move puts works with a handful of retreats in places like Marrakesh, Croatia, Tuscany and Iceland, some of which include Give-Back retreats, where 10% of the profits are donated to charity. And, if you keep your eye on websites like Groupon and Gilt, you might even find a retreat offered at a discount.

    Newman, whose travels include Patagonia, Buenos Aires, Israel, Iceland, and many others, says for safety, you have to be smart but also lucky. I feel so safe everywhere I go now because I trust my instincts and because I think being able to maneuver all those places is such a powerful thing to give yourself as a woman.

    If being lonely while traveling solo is part of your concern, Newman has expert advice on how to handle. Night life is the hard part, she says. Always sign up for a day tour to do something adventurey so you can meet a buddy on a day excursion. She also advises against certain countries that can make you feel more devastated and secluded. Italy is pretty rough both from the fact that people are going to be on a lot of romantic holidays and Italian men can be difficult to deal with.

    My own advice is to take the plunge. Once you land wherever you decide to go, you ll feel empowered enough that all your concerns about feeling lonely will wash away. I channel the zen from my trip whenever I feel stressed out and it s true that wanderlust is contagious. I ve already booked my next trip.

    Listen to the most important stories of the day.





    15/04/2017

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    Why Buy Used Cars, Rental Vehicles for Sale – Enterprise Car

    #rental cars cheap
    #

    Why Buy a Used Vehicle

    Consider the Advantages

    Buying a used vehicle can save you money because a new vehicle experiences its greatest loss in value within the first 12 to 18 months. Rather than watching value decrease significantly in just the first year, consider buying a used car or truck. A used rental car can have a lower purchase price with lower monthly payments, and the factory warranties are usually still available. Buying a used vehicle allows you to upgrade to the newer make and model you want and add more optional features.

    Why Throw Money Away on New Car Depreciation?

    Thinking about buying a new vehicle? Think again. According to the experts at Kelley Blue Book . in three years a new vehicle could depreciate by as much as 73 percent of its value. At best it will retain a mere 62 percent of its value after three years. That s one major advantage to buying a used vehicle.

    Car depreciation is the dark cloud hanging over new purchases. While most vehicles depreciate by 15 to 20 percent of their value each year, the first year tends to hurt the most. In fact, the two-minute drive off the lot can cost some owners up to 15 percent of their new vehicle s value.

    If you re a car buyer unwilling to throw away money on vehicle depreciation for that new car smell, consider buying a high-quality, late-model used car. In addition to a lower purchase price, lower registration and license fees, you ll also enjoy lower depreciation, as the previous owner has already absorbed the steepest portion of the used vehicle s depreciation cost. Some popular used models include Civic. Accord. CRV. Camry. Wrangler. Tacoma. Challenger. Mini. Explorer. Escape. Altima and Outback .

    Used Rental Car Value

    Consider the Benefits of Buying a Used Rental Car

    Millions of used rental vehicles (and leased vehicles) are sold annually in the United States. Many were passed directly to auctions and on to used car dealerships. However, tens of thousands were selected by the rental and lease companies for their own car resale businesses. These used vehicles represent the cream of the crop and are often considered some of the best used cars on the market. These used vehicles, while driven by multiple motorists, receive much more care than the average consumer-owned used car and offer the following benefits:

    • Great selection: The typical used car for sale at Enterprise Car Sales is one to two years old. This creates a selection of vehicles that are contemporary, stylish, and sought after.
    • One owner: If offered a used vehicle owned by an auto expert committed to vehicle maintenance and care, the average used car buyer might be tempted to sign sight unseen. Enterprise Car Sales offers this opportunity. Used cars are our business, and our livelihood depends on keeping them expertly maintained.
    • Low mileage: Used rental vehicles or used leased vehicles often have less than 40,000 miles when they are put up for sale.
    • Reasonable prices: All used vehicles sold by Enterprise Car Sales are offered at low prices, and with a no-haggle policy, buyers get a great used car price without the pressure of bargaining.

    Used rental cars provide a tremendous value. Make a smart move and consider buying one the next time you re in the market for a used vehicle.





    10/04/2017

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    Why 2015 Is Great for U. S. Travel to Europe –

    #travel to europe
    #

    Why 2015 Is Great for U.S. Travel to Europe

    The economy favors American tourists as vacation time is at a four-decade low.

    Americans, tired of the winter cold, will have an easier time vacationing in warmer climates in 2015 thanks to strong jobs growth. dropping oil prices and moves by regulators in the U.S. and Europe that may continue the dollar’s rising value against the euro.

    The U.S. dollar on Friday was worth 0.84 euros, a rise in the exchange rate compared with a value of 0.73 euros on the same day in 2014, giving Americans more spending power when they travel to Europe. That trend is likely to continue in 2015, and is quite a reversal of fortunes for the euro that once enjoyed a much higher value against the dollar, says Jacob Funk Kirkegaard, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

    “A couple of years ago Europeans would come to New York City and shop like crazy, but soon that could be the other way around,” Kirkegaard says. “I think the euro is going to decline further.”

    This currency change is likely in part because U.S. and European economies are heading in different directions when it comes to controlling the supply of money through a process known as quantitative easing, which affects the value of currency. The European Central Bank governors reviewed options for quantitative easing during their meeting on Wednesday and are likely to announce a form of that policy during their meeting on Jan. 22, Kirkegaard predicts.

    The U.S. Federal Reserve, in contrast, ended quantitative easing through government bond-buying in October and is expected to raise interest rates around June. This would encourage foreign investment in the dollar and raise the value of U.S. currency at the same time the value of the euro may shrink. With this change in currency values, countries such as Spain, Greece and Italy will become more inviting for Americans, since those nations have been enduring economic hardship, but are also warm locales with popular shopping, beaches and historic tourism sites.

    Workers in the U.S. are overdue for a vacation after toiling to recover from the Great Recession. Americans are taking less time off than any point in the last four decades, averaging only 16 vacation days off in 2013, compared with an average of 20.3 days in 2000, according to a study conducted by the Oxford Economics for the U.S. Travel Association. The study conducted in October showed Americans failed to use a total of $52.4 billion worth of paid time off in 2013.

    The recent plunge in oil prices to their lowest level since 2009 will also likely help Americans save at the gas pump and lead airline companies to charge less for overseas flights, according to data compiled by travel service Expedia and the Airlines Reporting Corporation.

    “Another factor, especially in Europe, is the rise of low-cost carriers, which ‘unbundle’ amenities, and force the big-name carriers to do the same in order to compete,” according to the report published by Expedia. “Peak travel season to Europe starts in May…the best time to book international tickets is 171 days out, or a little less than six months ahead. Americans on average tend to book 31-90 days prior to Europe travel.”

    European companies might also offer discounts to boost tourism in the wake of the recent terrorist attack in Paris against French journalists, says Jeffrey Eslinger, vice president of the Travel and Tourism Research Association.

    “A slightly stronger dollar coupled with lower airfares during the shoulder and off-peak times make traveling to Europe more attractive than it has been in sometime,” Eslinger says. “If there are continued terror threats and related activity in Western Europe, we may also see some discounting to stimulate travel.”





    10/04/2017

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    Why Use a Travel Agent? #travel #magazines

    #travel agent
    #

    Blog Post

    Strategies

    There’s a reason we use the term advisor to describe the members of our annual A-List. the top travel specialists in the business. These experts offer much more than booking services. First and foremost, says Wendy Perrin, TripAdvisor’s Travel Advocate and founder of WendyPerrin.com. they can help you decide where to go by walking you through the pros and cons of destinations based on the varying interests (and ages) of the people in your group. Not only that, they’ll deliver insider insights and access. They can tell you how to avoid the crowds at major sights and where the locals eat. They can even pair you with designers and architects who moonlight as walking-tour guides, get a local artist to open his studio to you, and direct you to hidden corners of a city. And they also, crucially, know how to put together a seamless itinerary. I was reminded of this a few months ago when I (travel editor that I am) foolishly tried arranging my own flights in Africa before a safari. After consulting with an advisor late in the game, I learned I was about to book with an airline that was notorious for last-minute, safari-ruining cancellations. Lesson learned.

    Even if you’re not planning a particularly complicated or exotic trip, it’s worth considering the additional value of professional advice. Much of the travel industry is built on relationships, both formal and informal, and if your advisor has the right ones, it can pay off—literally—for you.

    VIP Treatment:  Many of our A-List advisors are part of large consortia that leverage their members’ collective buying power to deliver guaranteed rates as well as perks for their clients. What that may mean for you: if you book a night in a luxury hotel through the right person, you can get an upgrade, daily breakfast for two, a $100 restaurant credit, and late checkout, along with a welcome amenity of wine and treats. On a seven-night cruise, it could be a cabin upgrade and $500 of shipboard credit. And since the advisor is making a commission off the booking, you won’t be charged a markup. The largest luxury travel consortia, Virtuoso and Signature Travel Network. each contract with more than 1,000 luxury hotels, cruise lines, and tour operators. (American Express Platinum and Centurion cardholders have access to a similar program through Fine Hotels Resorts.) Advisors who do a lot of business with a particular company may have additional preferred status, which translates into even more perks for clients. And then there are the informal relationships that top advisors cultivate with hotel general managers around the world. So chances are, if you’re looking to book with a major company, there’s someone who can get you more bang for your buck. Go ahead, Perrin says, ask an advisor where he or she has connections and what benefits they confer.

    Lower Rates and Fares:  The most affordable rates and fares aren’t always found online, especially when it comes to luxury travel. Hotels and cruise lines that don’t drop their prices for online travel agencies often offer special deals and promotions to members of their partner consortia—who, in turn, alert their clients. These can be everything from four nights for the price of three to an upgrade to business-class tickets on an airfare-cruise package. Similarly, fares for first- and business-class seats on international carriers can vary widely, depending on who is looking for them. Travel advisors frequently have access to lower prices than those available to the public, usually as a result of consortium contracts.

    Finding Rooms:  That sold-out hotel that you waited too long to book? It’s not always sold out. Many properties will hold inventory in reserve. Other rooms may be in the hands of local tour operators who dole them out to partner travel companies. For Amalfi in August, Danube cruises in September, or Hawaii over the holidays, top advisors are known for clearing out space for their clients. They’re also skilled at putting travelers in the right rooms, avoiding the misleadingly named “Garden Views” that overlook parking lots or cruise cabins set right below the fitness room. (Beware the early morning step class.)

    Troubleshooting:  Every trip has its share of hiccups. The small ones can be fun (or at least instructive) to navigate. The big ones—a missed cruise connection; a cloud of volcanic ash—can be a nightmare. Last winter, a succession of brutal storms helped log a record 126,000 cancellations on U.S.-​operated flights that originated domestically. In situations such as these, the value of travel advisors really kicks in. They’ll rebook your flights (sometimes via a VIP phone line with the airline, sometimes sitting on hold for hours), either finding seats on planes that appear to be full or springing you to the top of waiting lists for ones that indeed are. They can also get you last-minute hotel rooms and file insurance claims on your behalf. Lost luggage? They’ll track your bags and have even been known to keep a local store open late so you can buy replacement clothes in the meantime. Ask an advisor about his or her after-hours service before you book.





    10/04/2017

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    Why You Still Need a Travel Agent #travel #booking #sites

    #online travel agent
    #

    Why You Still Need a Travel Agent

    A few years ago, a good friend took an international trip with a two-stop flight itinerary. Afterwards, he reflected on how beat up he felt when it was over: “Adding that third airport into the mix seemed to add a ton of extra travel this year; it was rough.”

    I asked how he booked the flights. He said that he’d used one of the big travel booking sites, and that the itinerary he purchased was the best combination of duration, flight times and price he could find. My response: “Next time, call my travel agent first. You’ll feel a lot better when it’s all over.”

    The following year, he did just that, and the agent came up with options that he could never have found himself using a single booking site — specifically, a short and affordable Southwest flight that put him in an airport with countless options for direct flights to his final destination. What would have been another expensive, six-flight endurance test was replaced by a far less demanding trip.

    I use my travel agent on about 50 percent of all my trips that involve air, so when CNN marveled that travel agents may be making a comeback. I had to agree.

    The Return of the Travel Agent

    Why? Personally, I’ve found that the likelihood of using a travel agent increases in direct proportion to the abundance and complexity of travel options you can find on the Internet. Many travelers are discovering the following:

  • In offering more options and amenities, online travel sites have actually made it more confusing to figure out what they are selling, not less so.

  • The explosion of restrictions and fees — many of which are not obvious to the casual travel buyer — further muddies understanding of the bottom line on any itinerary.

  • The absence of popular airlines from major booking engines — the juggernaut Southwest being the most glaring — eliminates what could well turn out to be a specific traveler’s absolute best itinerary.

  • The big online travel sites got too smart for their own good; by tidying up and repackaging all the data each according to their own assumptions about travel purchasing, they show us what they think we want to see, but not always what we really want to see. That is, by becoming “online travel agents,” rather than mere booking sites, they end up in competition with real travel agents, who can usually do the work better than computers can.

    Poll: Do You Use a Travel Agent?

  • And my number one reason to use a travel agent for booking flights: the reduction in flight capacity by the airlines has resulted in significantly more full flights on the routes I fly. At the same time, the booking sites have gotten only marginally better at offering seat choices and at seating companions together. Just try to book your family on a multi-flight trip and you’ll see what I mean. Travel agents can hack their way through all this stuff.

    It has gotten to the point that many travelers truly dread the moment they have to sit down at the computer to research travel. Seems like a good time to call in a pro, no?

    If this describes you, or even just your next trip, here are some tips and guidelines for choosing, communicating with and evaluating a travel agent. For more info, including how to find an agent, when to use a professional and when to do it yourself, and some potential conflicts of interest to consider, see How to Find the Right Travel Agent .

    Choosing a Travel Advisor

    To deserve your loyalty and money, a travel agent must provide a service that is better, faster and more affordable than you can do yourself — or naturally you would, in fact, do it yourself. When searching for a travel agent, I suggest asking the following questions:

  • What are the fees? This will help you figure out for which types of travel you might need help, and for which it will be worth the investment of time to do it yourself. See below for more on fees.

  • Is the agent comfortable working entirely by e-mail? Part of the point of having a travel agent book your trip is that you are freed up to do other things while the itinerary research is taking place. As such, you need a travel agent with whom you will not have to sit on the phone while she’s researching your trip, or to have to make multiple phone calls to nail down the flights or hotel that you prefer. She should be able to do all of this by e-mail, with response times measured in minutes or hours, not days. My own travel agent has come to expect nearly instantaneous e-mail replies from me in return.

    9 Tips for Insanely Busy Travelers

  • Is the travel agent open to suggestions from you, the customer? For example, if you go out and find a decent fare and flight combination, but for whatever reason want some of the services a travel agent can provide, does he check into the flight you suggested or simply ignore your input?

  • Is there a 24-hour solution line you can call if you get in a jam? For example, say you’re flying on a Sunday night red-eye from west to east, and your flight is delayed or canceled. Is there someone you can call at 10:30 p.m. to try to get you on the best next flight, or at the very least into a convenient and affordable hotel? Note: Not all travel agents provide this service, so if you find one, consider yourself lucky.





    10/04/2017

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  • Why Do Math? Space Travel #velocity #travel

    #space travel
    #

    By Dr. Shane Ross

    Getting from point A to B in space usually requires considerable quantities of propellant. But after it blasted off from Earth, the Genesis probe was able to travel 1.5 million kilometers. More.

    Contrary to everyday experience on Earth, the most efficient route through space may not be a straight line. Some mathematicians and NASA engineers have learned in recent years that take best advantage of gravity, and save fuel in the process, it may be necessary to make bizarre loops through space.

    Take for example the Genesis spacecraft. In 2004, it started on its way home after having spent two years collecting solar particles in orbit around a Lagrange point. a point between Earth and the Sun where the gravity of both bodies is balanced.

    But Genesis did not come straight home. It took a long curvy path, going past the Earth to make an extended million-mile loop (around another Lagrange point) before coming back to Earth. Amazingly, this seeming impractical path actually saves fuel by making use of gravity in the Earth-Sun system.

    The design of interplanetary space probes can now be done by taking advantage of the competing gravitational tugs of the different planets and their moons, which create a vast network of passageways by which a spacecraft can travel over large distances while expending very little energy. Without recent advances in mathematics and computation, these fuel-saving, mission-enabling paths through space could not be found.

    Click the links to the right to learn more about the gravitational passageways which form this interplanetary transport network.

    About the Author

    Dr. Shane Ross; Assistant Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics, Virginia Tech





    10/04/2017

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    Why do Nurses travel? #book #flight #and #hotel

    #travel nurse
    #

    Choose The Travel Nurse Jobs You Like—Where You Like Them

    Click to submit Your Application to the Top Travel Nursing Companies!

    Some dream of leaving the stress of the big city behind to work in a small hospital in America’s heartland or amidst the natural beauty of a town in the mountains on the coast. Others yearn for the excitement of the big city or wish they could add a stint at some of the nation’s most highly regarded research institutions and finest teaching hospitals to their resume. Any or all of these things opportunities are available to you as a travel nurse.

  • Power Up Your Resume

    It’s the age-old dilemma—you need experience to get the really good jobs, but you need the really good jobs to get experience. Travel nursing ends this Catch-22. You can broaden your experience in the types of facilities that interest you, while you also increase your clinical skills and competencies. When or if you decide to take a permanent post, you’ll have a resume that will impress most nurse managers.

  • See the Beautiful United States

    These days, people appreciate our great country more than ever. But how much of it have you seen? Want to sample life in the bustling cities like New York, Chicago, Miami, or L.A. Want to visit cities that look so beautiful on the big screen, like San Francisco, Boston, and Seattle? Want to ski the slopes of Vermont or Colorado? Or maybe you’d prefer the warm sunny winter climates of Florida, Southern California, or Arizona.

  • Get to Know a Place Before You Move There

    Click to submit Your Application to the Top Travel Nursing Companies!

    Do you harbor a dream of settling in a particular location, whether it’s because it’s near family, or for its scenic beauty, or for the quality of life? Find out if your dream location is just a nice place to visit, or if you would really want to live there before you make the big move. Travel nursing makes it possible.

  • “Get Out from Under” with Free Housing

    Most of us have been there—your pay seems good, but there’s hardly anything left after all the monthly bills are paid. One of the best benefits of travel nursing is that each assignment offers excellent, fully furnished housing accommodations free of charge. This includes not only your rent, but also your utilities, which are activated for you in advance. Even your travel expenses to each assignment are reimbursed, within limits. Imagine finally being able to build up a financial cushion—or saving for that future purchase.

  • Bring Your Family or Friends Along as You Travel

    Earn What You’re Worth

    Good nurses are in high demand today, and the need for traveling nurses to help with seasonal or temporary staffing shortages is particularly acute. Your pay will depend on your nursing specialty, the region of the country you’re in, and your assignment. Travel nurses enjoy excellent wages overall—usually between $20 and $40 per hour, full-time.





  • 10/04/2017

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  • 18 Reasons Why Australia Is Travel Heaven #traveller

    #travel australia
    #

    18 Reasons Why Australia Is Travel Heaven

    May 27, 2014 | Updated Jul 27, 2014

    minube Travel planning website and community

    It turns out that travel heaven just might be down under! With its vast and varied landscapes, unique wildlife, and white-sand beaches, Australia is one of the most interesting continents around. We’ve gone through the tips and photos from millions of travelers on minube to find out exactly what makes Australia such an one-of-a-kind destination. From tropical islands to crocs, sharks, and kangaroos, here are 18 reasons why Australia is travel heaven!

    1.) The beaches range from epic. – The Twelve Apostles in Victoria, Australia is undeniably one of the most spectacular stretches of coast anywhere on Earth, and the best part is you can actually slip off your shoes and go exploring! The fact that it’s located on one of the world’s top road-trip routes, the legendary Great Ocean Drive, only makes it that much sweeter. (Photo by Naxos)

    Click here for more photos of the Twelve Apostles

    2.). to downright heavenly. – The sheer variety and quality of Australia’s beaches is hard to beat. You can try white sand and palm-studded islands of Queensland or explore hidden coves and crystal-clear waters in Western Australia. Even the big city beaches are great! How many places can say that? (Photo by Pablo Trejo)

    Click here for more photos of beaches in Australia

    3.) Two words: Kangaroo Island – Kangaroo Island is a veritable Garden of Eden only a short plane or ferry ride from Adelaide, South Australia. The island’s lack of natural predators means that it’s a sanctuary for Australian wildlife and visitors can see everything from kangaroos and koalas to whales and dolphins, all in their natural habitat. (Photo by Naxos)

    Click here for more photos of Kangaroo Island

    4.) There are deserts. – The Australian Outback is one of the most unique and surreal places on Earth. Imagine a land of bright red earth littered with white sand dunes and the occasional canyon full of trickling waterfalls and aboriginal cave drawings. If you’re looking for the perfect destination to make that life-changing desert road-trip, the Outback’s the place. (Photo by Elena Martinello)

    5.). tropical forests. – The image of the dusty Outback is firmly set in our collective imagination, but the coast of Queensland, Australia couldn’t be more different. Queensland is home to ancient forests, green islands, and stunning parks like Daintree National Park, a vast stretch of ferny jungles, steamy hot springs, and tropical waterfalls. (Photo by Naxos)

    Click here for more photos of Daintree National Park

    6.). and you can even go skiing! – Yes, that’s right. you can ski in Australia! Don’t believe us? Head to Mt. Buller about three hours north of Melbourne, Victoria and you’ll find a scene more reminiscent of Switzerland than the South Pacific. The slopes aren’t the biggest in the world, but if you’re looking to ski, snowboard, or mountain bike down under, Mt. Buller is definitely the place. (Photo by Francesco Eri)

    Click here for more photos of Mt. Buller

    7.) King’s Canyon – Australia has its own version of the Grand Canyon in the red deserts of Watarrka National Park in the rugged Northern Territory. Take a walk along the rim of King’s Canyon and enjoy the epic views (and complete absence of tourists) before arriving at the gold at the end of the rainbow: a refreshing, shady waterfall where you can beat the 100 degree heat! (Photo by Jeremy Janin)

    Click here for more photos of King’s Canyon

    8.) Surf’s up! – What else would you expect from a country that has a beach named “Surfers Paradise”? Simply put, Australia has some of the finest surfing in the world. If you’re looking for massive waves, the coast of New South Wales is the place to be, but opt for less-popular stops like Lucky Bay in South Australia is you want sea lions and crystal-clear water along with with your waves. (Photo by Jeremy Janin)

    Click here for more photos of New South Wales

    9.) A “Jumping Crocodile Cruise” is an actual thing – If you pay a visit to the Northern Territory’s Kakadu National Park (a spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site), don’t miss a Jumping Crocodile Cruise on the Adelaide River. Guides use fresh meat as bait to lure out the massive saltwater crocodiles (or “salties”) so you can see them at their prehistoric best. (Photo by Naxos)

    Click here for more photos of the Jumping Crocodile Cruise

    10.) Where else are you going to go Shark Cage Diving? – The South Australia waters are one of the best places on earth to get (safely) up close and personal with the biggest beasts of the deep: Great White Sharks. There are local outfitters who’ll let you experience the adrenaline rush of these massive creatures thrashing around just outside your protective cage. Not for the faint of heart! (Photo by Jeremy Janin)

    Click here for more photos of Shark Cage Diving

    11.) Naracoorte Caves – The Naracoorte Caves National Park in South Australia is one of the world’s premier deposits of fossils and offers an amazing glimpse of the world millions of years ago. You can see the remains of incredible species like marsupial lions and Tasmanian tigers, explore dramatic caverns, or visit Blanche Cave to see the spectacle as thousands upon thousands of bats flying out at night. (Photo by Mathilde)

    Click here for more photos of Naracoorte Caves

    12.) Public pools look like this. – It’s undeniable: the Bondi Icebergs in Bondi Beach, New South Wales are probably the coolest public pools on Earth. If you want get the full Bondi Beach experience, try making the scenic ocean-side walk from Bondi to nearby Coogee before settling down for a refreshing swim and a glass of wine at the Bondi Icebergs bar. (Photo by Gonzalo Moreno)

    Click here for more photos of Bondi Beach

    13.) Sydney Harbor – Ok, ok. it might be cliché, but no one who has ever laid eyes on the Sydney Harbor at sunset has ever been anything but stunned. The view of the Sydney Harbor Bridge at the Opera House will have you snapping photos like crazy, but head to Circular Quay for a slightly different perspective before checking out the historic Rocks district for a pub crawl. (Photo by Naxos)

    Click here for more photos of Sydney

    14.) Oh, the wine! – Australia has been producing tasty wines for over a century and the best place to drink up the tradition is in the Clare Valley in South Australia. Your best bet is to follow the Reisling Trail and explore the valley’s verdant vineyards, sample a crisp Australian white at historic stone estate, and tuck into some traditional fare at one of the many inviting restaurants! (Photo by Australie Du Sud)

    Click here for more photos of Clare Valley

    15.) Whitehaven Beach is basically paradise – You can’t visit Australia without spending a few days on the tropical Whitsunday Islands off the coast of Queensland. The jewel of the Whitsundays is definitely Whitehaven Beach, a long stretch of palm trees, clear blue water, and some of the softest, whitest, and cleanest sand on the planet. (Photo by Naxos)

    Click here for more photos of Whitehaven Beach

    16.) Uluru – Those who’ve made the pilgrimage all tell the same tale: there’s just something indescribable about visiting Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock. The massive sandstone monolith shifts colors throughout the day from bright red to soft pink, and after spending a few hours exploring you’ll understand why it’s considered sacred by Aboriginal peoples. Uluru is a bucket-list must! (Photo by Naxos)

    Click here for more photos of Uluru

    17.) You can take a road-trip on the beach – Fraser Island is a UNESCO-recognized slice of paradise about 120 miles north of Brisbane, Queensland. It’s full of stunning beaches, freshwater lakes, and myriad wildlife, including some of Australia’s last wild dingoes. The best plan is to rent a 4×4 and tent and cruise along the famous sand highway, stopping along the way to have a swim or barbecue. (Photo by Marine)

    Click here for more photos of Fraser Island

    18.) The best part? It’s full of Australians! – What can we say? Australians are some of the friendliest and most down-to-earth folk around. Combine that with the sheer hang-out-ability of Australia’s cities, beaches, national parks, and you’ve got a recipe for unforgettable travel memories. (Photo by Naxos)

    Click here for more photos of Australia





    06/04/2017

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    Why can t airline tickets be transferable? #discovery #travel

    #plane ticket
    #

    Why can t airline tickets be transferable?

    A TSA officer checks a passenger s airline ticket at Chicago O Hare International Airport on Dec. 20, 2013. (Photo: Nam Y. Huh, AP)

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    As Ralph Santopietro sees it, Delta Air Lines had him over a barrel when he tried to change the dates on a flight from Myrtle Beach, S.C. to Hartford, Conn.

    A ticket agent in Myrtle Beach offered to rebook Santopietro, a retired high school teacher, on the new itinerary. But his $238 ticket credit would be all but consumed by a $200 change fee, and then he’d have to pay a $538 fare difference.

    How about transferring the ticket to his cousin, who would take the flight as originally planned? Nope, said the agent, citing security restrictions on ticket name changes.

    “I didn’t like those choices,” he says.

    In an airline industry now dominated by a few oversized carriers, neither do many of his fellow passengers. Domestic airlines collected a record $2.5 billion in ticket change fees in 2012, and Delta led the flock with $778 million, an increase of $11 million from the previous year. Although airlines have valid business reasons for their ticket restrictions, consumer advocates say they are too rigid and avaricious.

    To passengers, the name-change policy in particular seems like a way for airlines to pocket more of their money. Alan Gore, a photographer from Sedona, Ariz. says he feels cornered when he considers his flight options. A fully refundable ticket costs three to four times more than a restricted ticket. And even when passengers have a valid reason to cancel a trip, airlines are unmoved.

    “When life happens and people get sick before a flight, they now have no choice but to take it and give the flu to every other passenger,” he says.

    He says it’s time for the airline industry to let passengers change the name on a ticket.

    Airlines don’t allow name changes for two reasons, according to Victoria Day, a spokeswoman for Airlines for America, an industry trade group. The first is airline policy. An airline needs to know who the customer is so it can “provide quality service,” she says. It also relies on tickets being non-changeable in order to manage its seat inventory.

    “Since air transportation is a service that perishes when the aircraft door is closed, it is in both the passengers’ and airline’s interest to closely match the number of passengers to seats available, from both a customer service and revenue management perspective,” Day says.

    The second reason is security, or ensuring that the ticketed passenger is the same person going through the TSA checkpoint and getting screened.

    Those assertions are more or less true. Warren Lieberman, an airline pricing expert and president at Veritec Solutions, says the more true part involves an airline’s ability to make money. If name changes were allowed, then passengers could resell their tickets anytime, subverting an airline’s ability to raise ticket prices as the flight becomes full.

    “That would lead to declines in revenue,” he says.

    The less true part is security. The Transportation Security Administration uses a system called Secure Flight to screen airline passengers, but it’s capable of handling checks instantly, according to the agency. In other words, if airlines relaxed their rules on name changes, the TSA would have no trouble accommodating them.

    “There is no reason why a consumer should not be able to easily transfer her ticket to another person in the event that she cannot travel,” says Sally Greenberg, executive director of the National Consumers League.

    Permitting a name change makes sense to passengers, and not just because an airline won’t incur any security risks or additional expenses. It’s also something that as recently as a few decades ago was common, even among legacy carriers. Veteran air travelers recall a time when tickets could be purchased in the classified section of their newspaper. Somehow, airlines managed to make money even then.

    Given the fact that competition and choice are gradually being drained from our airline network, shouldn’t airlines be compelled to return one of yesteryear’s common courtesies — the ability to let someone else use a passenger’s ticket?

    Until then, it seems even airline employees understand that passengers don’t have any real options. One of them happened to be the kindly ticket agent in Myrtle Beach, who saw the absurdity of Santopietro’s situation. She finally beckoned him to come closer to her station.

    “She looked down and sheepishly whispered that perhaps I could try another airline,” he says. He found a $187 ticket on US Airways.

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    Read or Share this story: http://usat.ly/1c2lvCC





    06/04/2017

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    Travel in Europe – Why take the train? #space #travel

    #travel europe by train
    #

    TRAVEL EUROPE BY TRAIN

    Are you travelling Europe by train? Take advantage of our cheap train tickets to Belgium, France, Germany, the UK, Italy, Spain, Luxembourg, Switzerland or the Netherlands. You can also pick up a special train pass to travel to multiple destinations in Europe. Sit back in our comfortable carriages and travel with 320 km/h to new lands!

    ADVANTAGES OF VOYAGES-SNCF.COM

    Looking for the best way to travel in Europe? Start by booking via voyages-sncf.com and enjoy all the benefits!

    Marseille

    Capital of culture 2013

    (1) Prices from, per person, in Standard class and for a single ticket between Paris, Brussels, Calais or Lille and London, Ashford or Ebbsfleet. Offer subject to availability. Ticket exchangeable subject to a fee before departure. Ticket non-exchangeable after departure. Ticket non-refundable. Online payment is required and multiple ticket withdrawal options are available, depending on the journey and the number of days between the date of booking and that of departure (e-ticket, free shipping, withdrawal from French railway stations or Rail Europe store (( additional charges of €10 /CHF 12.-for each booking)). Offer cannot be combined with any other promotions or SNCF reductions.

    (2) Starting from, per person, one way tickets in Comfort 2 (2nd class) Thalys, to a selection of destinations and subject to availability at these rates. Tickets are bookable until 30 days before departure of the train, and are non-exchangeable and non refundable. Online payment is required for e-tickets, free shipping of tickets, withdrawal at a French railway station or withdrawal at a Rail Europe store in Milan, Madrid, Geneva, Cologne (Supplement 10 € per dossier). Offer cannot be combined with any other promotion or SNCF discount rate.

    (3) Prem’s fare, from, per person, for a 2nd class single with TGV, from selected cities and to a range of destinations. Offer subject to availability. Tickets are on sale between 3 months and 14 days before the date of departure. Tickets are non-exchangeable and non-refundable. On-line payment is required. Tickets can be sent to your home address free of charge or collected at a French station or a Rail Europe shop in Milan, Madrid, Geneva, Cologne (€10 supplement payable). Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotion or SNCF reduction.

    (4) Fare NON-FLEX, from, valid for a single outbound journey in TGV Lyria 2nd class. On sale 3 months before the date of travel. Tariff valid subject to available seats, non-exchangeable and non-refundable tickets. Online payment is required and multiple ticket withdrawal options are available, depending on the journey and the number of days between the date of booking and that of departure (e-ticket, free shipping, withdrawal from French railway stations or Rail Europe store (( additional charges of €8 /CHF 12.-for each booking)). Offer cannot be combined with any other promotions or SNCF reductions.





    03/04/2017

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    Travel Guard – Why Buy Travel Insurance? #travel #planning

    #buy travel insurance
    #

    Why buy travel insurance through Travel Guard?

    Because not all travel insurance is the same!

    With travel insurance through Travel Guard you’ll have valuable coverage that travels with you and your family. We’re America’s leading provider of travel insurance plans and assistance programs and we’re here to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    How can my travel insurance plan cover my vacation investment in the event of a hurricane or other unforeseen severe weather?

    Travel insurance plans offered by Travel Guard provide you with insurance coverage for your travel investment if unforeseen weather conditions cause a delay or cancellation of your trip. If the weather or other covered reason forces you to cancel your trip, you can be reimbursed for your nonrefundable expenses, up to the amount of coverage you purchase. If bad weather or other covered reasons delay your trip you can be reimbursed for reasonable, additional accommodations and traveling expenses until travel is possible.

    Click here for more questions related to Hurricanes Travel Insurance.

    What would you do?

    You’re involved in an accident while on a summer trip to Europe with your family and adequate medical treatment is not available. Who will help arrange and pay for a medical evacuation? With travel insurance coverage through Travel Guard, you can be prepared. Plans can include coverage for medical expenses, trip interruption and more and include emergency travel services so you can be sure that Travel Guard has an insurance plan that meets your traveling needs. We’re here to help you and your family 24 hours a day.

    Click here for more real life situations where Travel Guard may assist you.

    Certain restrictions apply.





    03/04/2017

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    Egypt, why to go now #hotel #travel.com

    #travel egypt
    #

    Egypt, why to go now

    Giza pyramids, Egypt. And yes, they are as uncrowded as this right now. Photograph: Steven Allan/Getty Images

    The sun is soft and warm as I write this. It hangs delicately a little way above the westerly line of palms, mango and guava trees. The waves beat a rhythm against the steel hull, ropes creak occasionally as they hold back two massive sails filled by a fresh northerly breeze, a donkey brays from the banks and a bunch of kids call hello until I wave. I am not a born sailor, but I am on a dahabiya. a replica of the sort of sailing boat an 18th-century grand tourist would have taken – with en suite bathroom, Wi-Fi and a few other modern comforts added. The wind in Egypt blows from the north, the Nile flows from the south, so we are sailing sedately upstream and although I bow to the inevitable, part of me wishes we might never pull in to land.

    Over lunch, the dozen other passengers and myself smile the smile of the smug. The boat is ours in the same way that the Pyramids and Karnak temple had been ours: there were no other foreigners. It is no secret that foreigners are staying away from Egypt, but I have never known it as extreme as this. It occurs to me that there were fewer visitors when we went to the Valley of the Kings on Sunday than there might have been if we had come in 1850. Reasons for this are hard to find.

    Last year was a turbulent one for Egyptians, with the downfall of President Mohamed Morsi and his government and the violent dispersal of Muslim Brotherhood demonstrations by Egypt’s security services sparking violent protests. But none of the tumult was aimed at foreigners, which was why, even though demonstrations and sporadic anti-military violence continue, the Foreign Office has no objection to our travelling to Cairo, Luxor and the south. But visitors have been nervous since 2011, when former President Hosni Mubarak was forced from office, and they have been slow to return to the capital or along the Nile.

    A dahabiya on the Nile. Photograph: Alamy

    The situation was made worse a month ago when a jihadist group bombed a bus of Korean tourists in Taba, north Sinai. The Foreign Office has put Taba, Dahab and Nuweiba on the avoid all travel list, but Sharm el-Sheikh, the biggest of the Sinai resorts, at the southern tip of the peninsula, is still considered safe to visit, and direct flights are still available. Besides, Taba is several hundred miles from Cairo and the Nile, and the problem there is very different from the stand-off between the military and the Muslim Brotherhood. Staying away from Egypt because of what is happening in Sinai would be similar to avoiding London because of trouble in Belfast, and yet tourist numbers have plummeted.

    The extent of this collapse in tourism was apparent the moment I boarded the Egyptair flight in London. Online check-in had made it look as though the flight was full – as it would have been in March four years ago – but the plane was half-empty. Cairo is such a fantastically vibrant city that it can be impossible to gauge the presence of foreigners, but there were only a handful of tourist minibuses at the Pyramids, no other foreigners at the Sphinx and we had the Tutankhamun galleries and the rest of the Egyptian Museum to ourselves.

    A line of around 20 armoured vehicles parked ou tside the museum, with a soldier at each gun and watched by men from several police vans wrapped in barbed wire, made me wonder if they knew something that I – and the FCO – did not. The Museum sits on the edge of Tahrir Square, once famous for its traffic jams, now better known for anti-government demonstrations. But the square remained calm, the visit to the museum eerily quiet.

    Luxor was just as good – or bad, depending on your point of view – because while an empty Valley of the Kings may be brilliant for those of us who enjoy looking at decorated tombs without being harassed by hordes of day-trippers from the Red Sea, revenue from 20 or so visitors the morning I was there is not enough to pay for the lighting of the tombs, nor to put food in the mouths of the guards and hawkers and their families.

    Luxor, too, is almost empty. Photograph: Jean-Pierre Lescourret/Getty Images/Lonely Planet Images

    Luxor relies on tourism, so when western governments imposed travel bans last summer, many hotels simply locked their doors: occupancy dropped to 1%. Thanks to the efforts of the energetic and enthusiastic tourism minster, Hisham Zaazou, the ban was lifted last November, but the crowds have not returned. The Luxor corniche used to be infamous for its boat touts and cal che drivers pestering any visitor who went out for a walk. They have now disappeared because there is no one for them to pester. The traders who once made it impossible to walk through Luxor souk no longer harangue you as you pass. Want to look? one asked and, when I declined, he simply said, No problem. Have a nice day.

    Which brings me back to the Nile and this second nice day afloat. Egypt is as stunning as ever to visit – especially this week as freak rains have just washed the dust of many years off the countryside, leaving the blue sky, the green palm trees, the cream temple walls and the sandstone hills more brilliant than ever. In the morning, we were alone at the tombs and ruined city. In the afternoon, when we stopped at Edfu to see the best-preserved of all Egypt’s temples, we expected no crowds. We were expecting no bother, either.

    Are you kidding? said one of my fellow travellers when I asked if anyone was bothered by security concerns. I know this situation is bad for Egypt, but it could not be better for you and me. She looked across the empty river where very few boats now run, and watched a heron glide to land on a clump of bulrushes.

    There are things happening in Egypt – two presidents are up for trial, most of Sinai is in a mess, an election is expected – but the news that matters for people wanting to visit is good: direct flights to Luxor have resumed, new archaeological discoveries have been made, a replica of Tutankhamun’s tomb is due to open next month …

    There is no shortage of brilliant things to see in Egypt, just a shortage of people to see them.

    Soliman Travel offers seven nights in a five-star Luxor hotel from 465pp, including flights from Heathrow; and a three-night city break to Cairo, also including flights, from 499pp. Nour el Nil (+20 11 16 55 88 83, nourelnil.com) offers a five-night dahabiya cruise departing from Luxor from €1,100pp, including all meals and excursions





    20/03/2017

    Posted In: NEWS

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