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Though Harry Potter Has Garnered All the Raves, The True Hit Attraction of Orlando's Theme Parks is Disney's Soarin'

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 11/01/2013, 4:00 PM

     In the bitter competition between theme parks in Orlando, Florida, the Harry Potter exhibit at Universal Studios' Islands of Adventure has recently scored a public relations victory.  Journalist after journalist has weighed in with the conclusion that Universal's Harry Potter is currently the outstanding attraction in America's theme park capital.      I went to the Harry Potter exhib...

Soon You Can Use Electronic Devices During Most of the Flight, the FAA Declares

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 10/31/2013, 3:00 PM

The FAA has decided it's safe to operate most electronics for the duration of a commercial flight. In a press release issued on Halloween, it said that although mobile phone use will still be banned, it will advise airlines that it's safe to allow other items. The exact wording of the announcement puts it like this: "Electronic items, books and magazines, must be held or put in the...

A New Online Travel Agency Allows Users To Hold Airfares, Without Full Payment, For Up to 21 Days

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 10/28/2013, 8:15 PM

It was only a matter of time, it seems, before someone applied the rules that have long governed the “art” of Wall Street trading to the highly unstable airfare market. That innovator/madman(?) is Robert Brown, the founder and CEO of OptionsAway.com, and if the algorithms he’s painstakingly crafted actually work, he may have succeeded in creating a new form of online travel agency. On the ...

Low-Cost Carrier Norwegian To Tackle American Market with $584 Round-Trip New York to London

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 10/24/2013, 11:30 PM

A new player for low-cost airfares from the United States to Europe is materializing. Norwegian Air, already the third-largest low-cost carrier in Europe, will launch 787 Dreamliner service next year, and the prices will surely give the legacy carriers a scare. Starting next July, Norwegian Air Shuttle will fly to London's Gatwick Airport (easily connected to the city by train) twice w...

In America, It's the Low-Cost, Bargain-Priced Vacations That Continue to Account for the Overwhelming Number of Leisure-Time Trips

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 10/23/2013, 6:00 PM

         Every day in my mail or computer monitor, I receive invitations to purchase luxury-priced travel.  This cruise for $6,000.  That African safari for $8,000.  This or that tour of the mountain villages of Bulgaria for only $5,500 per person (based on double occupancy).      Though all of us have only the highest regard for the long-established travel companies that operate a...

TSA Checkpoint in Dallas Outfitted with Couches, Music, Mood Lighting: Corporate Branding Brings Respect

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 10/23/2013, 3:00 PM

People who use Terminal E in Dallas have experienced the change. Where the TSA checkpoint was once bleak and gunmetal grey, now there is music streaming from Pandora and lavender mood lighting. Hanging on pillars are new flat-screen signs that tell you how much longer you'll have to wait before being processed. No one is barking "Shoes off!" at you—a soothing recorded voice purrs it. And after...

Book Review: National Geographic Issues a Delightful New Coffee Table Tome

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 10/23/2013, 2:30 PM

Being in the right place at the right time. Some would say that’s the key to a good life, but the editors of National Geographic have a simpler formula: They think choosing the best season to travel will enhance your vacation immensely. Towards that end, they’ve issued a handsome coffee table book called Four Seasons of Travel: 400 Of The World’s Best Destinations in Winter, Spring, Su...

I Have Just Returned From a Visit to a Unique Peninsula-Island of America, Of Which I Had Never Heard: The "Eastern Shore" of Virginia

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 10/18/2013, 6:30 PM

       Because a young acquaintance of ours was getting married there, my wife and I recently ventured to a place of which I had never heard:  the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  Technically a peninsula, but looking more like a barrier island, this is a thin strip of land nearly sixty miles long out in the Atlantic Ocean along the coast of Virginia, forming Chesapeake Bay on its western side. ...

Was I Right or Wrong to Recommend That You Leave Your Passport in the Hotel Safe While Traveling Abroad?

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 10/17/2013, 10:30 PM

       No recent bit of travel advice has generated more controversy than my recent suggestion to leave your passport in the hotel safe when you leave to go sightseeing on a European trip.  Will you need that document in your daily round of touristic activities?  Only if you wish to change currency at a teller's window in a foreign bank, I responded to a reader's question.  Otherwise, don'...

Eureka! You Can Enjoy a Round-Trip Price of $566 between New York and Paris from November 4 until December 15 on That Reluctant Airline, "XL"

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 10/16/2013, 6:45 PM

     When you call to make a booking (to 877/496-9889), you often speak to a telephone reservationist whose command of French is better than her grasp of English.  And because of that, they sometimes seem surprised to receive your English-language call.  But if you persist in a booking requests made to XL Airways, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that this French upstart airline is cha...

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