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Carry Less, Board First: American Airlines Revises Its Priority Policies Once Again

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/16/2013, 7:30 PM

Boarding a plane nowadays is like being caught in a Saturday Night Live skit. You patiently wait, as the "platinum" and the "double platinum" and the "elite this and that" passengers board, listening to announcement after announcement, swearing inwardly that there can't be another class before yours...and then there is. Well, it's about to get even more absurd. American Airlines today anno...

Israel Unveils a Sweeping 18% Tourist Tax. Will the Additional Costs Deter Visitors?

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/16/2013, 7:15 PM

Israel is already the 8th most expensive country on the planet to visit, according to the World Economic Forum. But a new 18% tax on car rentals, hotel rooms, private guide services and guided tours could well bump the country up the list a place or three. The tax will take effect on June 1. Government officials have said it will go toward's lowering the country's deficit. Some 3.5 mil...

Cheaper Vacation Rentals and New Tours Are Being Offered in Europe as the Ongoing Recession There Forces Locals To Get Creative to Earn a Living

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/16/2013, 6:45 PM

Would you be interested in a guided tour that focussed on the excesses of Spain's construction bubble? Apparently the idea is not as nutty as it sounds. According to NBC News, the relatively new "Ruta del Despilfarro" or "route of wastefulness" tour in Valencia, offered by 5 out-of-work college professors and journalists in Valencia, has been a bona fide hit, with over 1000 visitors paying...

Lessons to Take Away From The Recent Pickpocket-Inspired Shutdown of the Louvre

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/11/2013, 1:15 PM

Last May, I hosted a tour of France for the listeners to my radio show. We had days of touring together, and days when we set off on our own. On one of the free days, a group within our group headed to Versailles. Though they came back raving about the grounds, and the hall of mirrors, they also had some serious negatives to report about the experience, on two topics: pickpockets and crowds. ...

Lessons to Take Away From The Recent Pickpocket-Inspired Shutdown of the Louvre

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/11/2013, 1:15 PM

Last May, I hosted a tour of France for the listeners to my radio show. We had days of touring together, and days when we set off on our own. On one of the free days, a group within our group headed to Versailles. Though they came back raving about the grounds, and the hall of mirrors, they also had some serious negatives to report about the experience, on two topics: pickpockets and crowds. ...

Lessons to Take Away From The Recent Pickpocket-Inspired Shutdown of the Louvre

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/11/2013, 1:15 PM

Last May, I hosted a tour of France for the listeners to my radio show. We had days of touring together, and days when we set off on our own. On one of the free days, a group within our group headed to Versailles. Though they came back raving about the grounds, and the hall of mirrors, they also had some serious negatives to report about the experience, on two topics: pickpockets and crowds. ...

Spirit Airlines Quietly Ditches Its 800 Number, Domestic Airfares Are Down to Many Popular Destinations, and More Airline News

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/11/2013, 1:15 PM

What's the difference between 800 and 801? The first is a toll-free call, and the second is an area code in Utah. Which does Spirit Airlines use for its reservations number? The one that has customers footing the bill, of course. I have to give thanks for that bit of intel to a Florida reader who alerted me the change. (I don't know when it happened). And you have to give chutzpah points t...

Spirit Airlines Quietly Ditches Its 800 Number, Domestic Airfares Are Down to Many Popular Destinations, and More Airline News

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/11/2013, 1:15 PM

What's the difference between 800 and 801? The first is a toll-free call, and the second is an area code in Utah. Which does Spirit Airlines use for its reservations number? The one that has customers footing the bill, of course. I have to give thanks for that bit of intel to a Florida reader who alerted me the change. (I don't know when it happened). And you have to give chutzpah points t...

Don't Get Taken for a Ride in Las Vegas

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/09/2013, 11:15 AM

15 to 20 minutes. That's about how long it should take a passenger to get from the Las Vegas Airport to their Strip hotel in Las Vegas, most times of the day. Heck, you can see the Strip right under you as you land in the plane (it's one of the great sights in aviation). The two are not far apart. And yet, according to industry news publication Travel Weekly, some 22.5% of passengers a...

What's SUP? Perhaps the Hottest Vacation Activity on Water

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/08/2013, 8:00 PM

  Is stand-up paddle boarding, also known by the surfer-dude friendly acronym SUP (as in “wassup”), the fastest growing watersport in the world? Search engines lists everything from kite surfing to dragon boat racing as having that distinction. But proponents of this relatively new pastime—based on the ancient Polynesian boating method hoe he’e nalu, which involves a sailor standing on a f...

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