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A Massive Shortage of Rental Cars Is Confronting U.S. Travelers

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 03/17/2021, 7:00 PM

Thinking you’ll rent a car for your next trip? Think again. Shortages are slamming Florida right now, and industry insiders say the problem will only grow worse. Much, much worse. "It’s been really, really, really crazy," says Jonathan Weinberg, founder and CEO of the car rental discount site AutoSlash. Weinberg says staff noticed "crazy volume" in demand for the recent Presidents Day weeken...

Airlines Still Cashless Even Though Many Passengers Don’t Own Credit Cards

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 03/16/2021, 11:00 AM

Delta Air Lines has announced that as of March 16, flight attendants will be equipped to accept contactless payments for in-flight purchases such as earbuds and food. Customers will be able to use their mobile devices or credit cards enabled with tap-to-pay features, reducing touch points and speeding up transactions.  That convenient change in the air follows similar developments at cash regis...

All-Inclusive Cruise Line Announces July Return with All-Bahamas Vacations

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 03/12/2021, 4:00 PM

While the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mulls whether to permit large cruise ships to restart voyages, another cruise line is moving ahead by bypassing America. The upscale Crystal Cruises brand intends to return to the seas in July by initiating a series of weeklong runs that begin and end in the Bahamas. The arrangement, which is a first among the major cruise brands, will e...

MGM Resorts in Legal Hot Water Over Resort Fee "Lies"

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 03/11/2021, 3:00 PM

If you have traveled or shopped for travel in the past few months, you've probably noticed a vexing trend: Many hotels in the United States have drastically curtailed amenities because of the pandemic—but haven't reduced resort fees a penny. That mistake left hotels exposed to legal action. Travelers United, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., is suing MGM Resorts ...

New Tourism Projects in Jerusalem Will Soon Enrich Historic Exploration

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 03/11/2021, 2:00 PM

In January, the The Atlantic called Israel the "world's front-runner on vaccine distribution." Recently, it was able to not only lift many lockdown restrictions but also announce its government would be sharing 100,000 Moderna doses with friendly countries. During its no-travel period, Israel was also unusually proactive in expanding some of its most important historic sites and museums for fut...

Disneyland Finally Sets Reopening Target—But Don't Buy Plane Tickets Just Yet

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 03/09/2021, 3:00 PM

After a closure that has lasted since March 14, 2020, California's Disneyland has finally set its sights on reopening.  Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced to shareholders that he hopes the park will be able to reopen to the public in late April.  But there's a big caveat about who that opening audience will be, and a lot of things have to happen before the resort can meet the new, state-issued ...

Some Ports Realize They May Not Want Cruises Back Once Covid Is Over

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 03/05/2021, 4:00 PM

As Covid-19 recedes, vacationers may see major shifts in cruise itineraries. Citizens in major ports of call have tasted life without the presence of big cruise ships—and some destinations are deciding they prefer things that way.  First, it was Key West, Florida, a mainstay of affordable Western Caribbean cruises. For years, locals have been complaining that cruise ship traffic hasn't provided...

In the Loire Valley, New Visions of Gardens and the Life of Leonardo da Vinci

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 03/04/2021, 5:00 PM

With so many indoor amusements rendered verboten by the pandemic, even many confirmed urbanites got into nature this past year. Because of a new widespread appreciation for the open air, many are predicting that outdoorsy vacations will remain popular even after the pandemic is passed. I have a prediction of my own. I think places that are able to mix open spaces with cultural attractions and good...

Steps the U.S. Government Should Take Right Now to Protect Air Travelers

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/02/2021, 6:00 PM

What should be the top priorities for the U.S. Department of Transportation when it comes to air travel? Consumer Reports has a few ideas. The advocacy organization sent a list of policy recommendations to the federal agency shortly after the swearing in of new Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg last month. All of the items on the two-page list would improve air travel for passengers, b...

Royal Caribbean's New Ship Set to Debut, but Only for Vaccinated Travelers

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 03/01/2021, 3:00 PM

When Royal Caribbean launches its newest megaship, Odyssey of the Seas, only vaccinated passengers will be aboard. The cruise line has announced that tickets for the ship's upcoming debut this summer will go on sale March 9—and that everyone on the crew and the passenger list must have proof of vaccination against Covid-19 to participate. To make sure that it can clear that high bar, Royal C...

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