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United Airlines Revokes Promise to Keep Middle Seats Empty

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/11/2020, 3:00 PM

Many news outlets reported that several airlines, United included, had announced they would keep the middle seat empty to help passengers practice social distancing.   United Airlines took that step on April 22, saying that the restriction would remain in effect until the end of May. But here it is May 11, and having gotten that good publicity, United is already going back on its promise. T...

America's Favorite Destination Restaurants Are Being Saved by Cross-Country Delivery

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/11/2020, 6:00 AM

We all have our madeleines, don't we? I'm talking about the spongy little cookie that Marcel Proust turned into shorthand for any food that triggers memories. In his novel Remembrance of Things Past, the narrator dips a madeleine into a cup of tea and is immediately thrust into the past—a memory journey that lasts seven massive volumes. Food is such a potent link that a business was created ...

Delta Cuts a Slew of Smaller Airports From Its Schedule

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/08/2020, 8:45 PM

I used to have a roster of travel tips that I could pull out when the occasion demanded. One was always this: When you can, use smaller airports, where security lines will be a breeze and airfares will likely be lower. But as the airlines do their darndest to stay upright, wee airports are an early casualty. Today it was announced that Delta Air Lines is suspending all upcoming flights to ne...

Texas Gets a Temporary Drive-Through Zoo

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/06/2020, 11:00 AM

Las Vegas has drive-through wedding chapels. Memphis has a drive-through convenience store. A Connecticut law firm located in a former fast food restaurant even uses its drive-up window for legal consultations.  But it took "corona creativity" to convert a regular zoo into a pop-up, drive-through zoo. The San Antonio Zoo in Texas decided to create a driving route through the facility for a w...

Be a Kid Again: Download Free Coloring Pages from Great Places

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/06/2020, 7:00 AM

Adult coloring books. Sounds like an oxymoron, right? But in recent years, this tot's activity has become popular among those well past puberty as a way to express creativity and soothe nerves. Breaking news: Travel is experiencing an uncertain period. Museums and destination marketing organizations alike want folks to keep their cities, parks, countries, and regions in mind until we're all mov...

Greece Announces a Bold Concept to Open Soon. Now, About That Plan...

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/05/2020, 8:00 AM

Greece has been comparatively lucky this spring, with some of the lowest infection rates and fatality numbers in Europe (144 deaths in a population of 11 million). With that in mind, and since its curve seems to be flattening, Greece partially reopened May 4, putting hair salons and small retail back into service.  And in a move that puts the country at the forefront of European tourism, Gre...

France May Be Effectively Closed to Visitors Until Late July

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/04/2020, 12:00 PM

In the stretch of just a few weeks, the world's top spring and summer events—including Burning Man, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, South by Southwest, and Edinburgh's performing arts festivals—have all gone virtual, been postponed, or gotten canceled entirely (at least for 2020). Now it looks like we Americans may have to kiss most of summer in France goodbye, too. On Friday, ...

Ireland Lays Out a Five-Pronged Phase-In Period for Reopening

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/04/2020, 7:00 AM

What is Ireland without its pubs? Irish citizens, emerging from a very strict lockdown, will soon find that out. In the five-step reopening plan, announced late Friday, Irish Acting Prime Minister Leo Varadkar announced that pubs would be among the businesses opening in the final phase, scheduled now for August 10. Tourists could return slightly sooner, with hotels and museums set to reop...

United Airlines Slashes Compensation Consumers Fought for in 2017

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/01/2020, 3:00 PM

Two weeks ago, the airlines gratefully arranged to accept a boatload of our tax dollars. And what have those companies done last week and this week? They enacted rule changes so they can extract even more money from us in the sneakiest ways possible. American Airlines already chose this difficult moment to hike luggage fees, and many other airlines are trying to make customers accept vouc...

Maine Might Be Closed to Out-Of-State Visitors This Summer

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 04/30/2020, 5:00 AM

On Tuesday, Maine's governor, Janet Mills, announced a phased reopening plan that has many in the tourist industry up in arms. While some businesses will reopen in May, and hotels and campgrounds will be allowed to reopen in June, the required 14-day quarantine for out-of-state visitors will remain in place until August. "[The quarantine requirement] has the potential not only to kill off th...

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