Online Passport Renewal is Back in the U.S.! Here's How to Get In On It

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 06/12/2024, 5:30 PM

All right, Americans. Ready? This is online passport renewal, take two. The U.S. State Department today announced that it is once again accepting applications for online passport renewal. The U.S. government already tried this a few years ago—we even tested it out and found it was incredibly speedy—but for reasons that were, understandably, not disclosed to the public, the first test run, which ...

This Airline Is Mining Your Personal Information to Sell Things to You In Flight. Stop That!

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 06/12/2024, 7:30 AM

Welcome to the spammy skies. United Airlines has launched a new ad serving platform that will exploit the personal travel information of its customers gathered from bookings, and the use of its app to allow a wide array of companies to peddle their wares to flyers. The platform is called Kinective. In a chilling, up-is-down and black-is-white statement, a representative of the carrier told indust...

Find Vacation Rentals—But From Someone You Know: Meet Trustr, A New Rental Site

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 06/05/2024, 6:00 AM

According to the National Association of Home Builders, there are 7.5 million second homes in the United States, which is 5.11% of the total number of homes. Yet even in this age of busy rental platforms like Airbnb, 65% of them are never listed on the major rental sites, mostly because their owners would rather not rent to strangers. But that could soon change for some of them thanks to a new web...

American Airlines Raises Bag Fees, Will Ban Some Booking Sites from Points Eligibility

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/29/2024, 9:15 AM

This news post was updated with new information after its original publication.It's almost as if the corporations dominating our lives are determined to make back whatever they missed during the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic. The cost of living is spiraling upward in multiple areas of Americans' lives, but that didn't stop American Airlines from piling on the misery by springing another fee hike o...

The News Said Two Airlines Just Scrapped Change and Cancel Fees—but the Truth Is Messier

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/23/2024, 7:30 AM

Something notable is happening at American airports. Something that only happens once in a blue moon.Airlines are changing their positions on fees. In recent days, two major U.S. airlines announced the same move. Airlines swear they don't collude, but once again two carriers came up with the same headline-grabbing policy change simultaneously. Except this time, instead of doing something annoying ...

Study Finds Gig Drivers Still Earn Less Than Minimum Wage. Is Using Uber and Lyft Ethical?

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/21/2024, 10:15 AM

Corporations are squeezing Americans for more cash everywhere. We're all feeling it, especially at the grocery store and at the gas pump, even as the big companies in those industries rake in record or near-record profits. A new study compounds the growing accusations of corporate gouging with a finding that Lyft and Uber are paying many drivers less than the minimum wage where they live. The Ins...

Opening Dates for Orlando's Big Summer 2024 Attractions—and Should You Care?

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/15/2024, 10:30 AM

This year, it's as if the USA's most popular tourist destination is holding its breath. Most summers, Orlando's theme parks construct a new blockbuster ride or two to attract families anew. But 2024 is different. A year from now, Orlando will open its first new theme park in 26 years, Universal Epic Universe. Construction crews are already testing rides at what is shaping up to be the most elabora...

Biden Creates His First National Park Unit: Amache in Colorado

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/08/2024, 8:00 AM

Update: Amache officially became a Natonal Historic Site on February 15, 2024. Here is its official National Park unit page.Last Friday, U.S. President Joe Biden signed the paperwork that created his first contribution to the National Park Service: the former Camp Amache in southeastern Colorado, about a three-hour drive from Colorado Springs. It was another American president, Franklin Delano Roo...

Sad News for Reckless Idiots: Hawaii’s “Stairway to Heaven” To Be Demolished

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 04/23/2024, 7:30 AM

Hawaii's visually striking yet very illegal-to-climb Haiku Stairs will finally be taken down, following years of futile efforts by local officials to persuade tourists to leave the rickety landmark alone. Built by the U.S. military during World War II to reach a communications facility, the 3,922 steel steps cover a treacherous, mountaintop stretch of green and mist in the Koolau Range on the isl...

Why Cape Cod Summer Rentals Could Be Cheaper This Year

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 04/18/2024, 7:30 AM

During the Covid-19 pandemic, while you were optimistically purchasing (and not using) resistance bands for your (unused) home gym (i.e., closet), rich people were apparently buying second homes on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. A subsequent dip in the supply of available properties sent summer rates for short-term vacation rentals soaring in the popular seaside destination. From a pre-pandemic July ...

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