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Turkey's Tourism Woes

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/07/2016, 12:30 PM

The number of American travelers visiting Turkey dropped by more than 20% in the first five months of 2016 compared to last year, following terrorist attacks in Ankara last fall and Istanbul in January. And those figures don't even cover the period after the latest attack, which took place on June 28 at Istanbul Ataturk Airport and killed more than 40 people. The country's hotels have reported...

Bill to Tighten Airport Security and Speed Up Lines Gets the Go-Ahead

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/07/2016, 12:00 PM

A bipartisan aviation bill designed to heighten airport security measures while shortening security lines was approved by the transportation committees in both houses of Congress on Wednesday. The bill would also require airlines to give you a refund for fees for checked bags when luggage is lost or delayed 12 hours or more on domestic flights or 15 hours or more on international flights. ...

In China You Can Use Uber to Get a Hot Air Balloon

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/05/2016, 11:45 PM

Uber China is introducing a new service called Uber+Travel that will let you use the car-hailing app to request rides on boats as well as hot air balloons. The company has tried out offering non-wheeled modes of transportation before (through partnerships), including ferry rides in Istanbul and helicopter charters in New York City. But hot air balloons are certainly the most unique conveyances...

Dollywood Adds Calming Room for Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/05/2016, 11:30 PM

Theme parks—which are basically shrines to sensory overload—can be overwhelming for kids with autism spectrum disorders. All those noises, lights, and crowds can be downright debilitating if you're especially sensitive to them. For those young park-goers, Dolly Parton's Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, has introduced a special "calming room" where kids with autism spectrum disorders can ch...

Why You Should Stay Away from Cleveland and Philly This Month

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/05/2016, 11:00 PM

Cleveland and Philadelphia are both historic and inviting all-American cities—and you should avoid them like the plague this month. Unless, of course, you plan on attending, reporting on, or protesting the Republican National Convention in Cleveland from July 18 to 21, or the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia from July 25 to 28. Both cities are expecting an influx of about 50,000 ...

'70s Teen Heartthrob No Longer a Cruise Director

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/05/2016, 1:15 PM

Back in December, we told you that Eight Is Enough and Charles in Charge star Willie Aames was working as a cruise-ship director on the upscale Viking Star. The 1970s teen heartthrob had been in the cruise-directing line—in charge of a ship's activities, entertainment, that sort of thing—since 2010, having previously worked with Regent Seven Seas.  Well, it turns out Aames is calling it qu...

Short-Term Rentals Banned in Anaheim

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/05/2016, 12:45 PM

The city council of Anaheim, California—home of Disneyland—has voted to ban the operation of all short-term rentals, which will have to shut down within the next 18 months. Given that the city is a popular tourist destination due to its proximity to Orange County theme parks and beaches, Anaheim has a slew of vacation rentals listed at sites such as Airbnb and HomeAway, which offer travelers a...

Airplane Makers Squeeze Even More People on Board

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/05/2016, 12:30 PM

If you've ever sat in coach and thought that another person couldn't possibly be squeezed onto the plane, you've underestimated the ingenuity of the aeronautical industry when it comes to making you uncomfortable. Airbus, makers of the A380—currently the largest passenger plane lumbering through the skies—has revealed a new configuration that can cram 11 people into the same row. In econom...

Coffee Upgrade on United Airlines

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/05/2016, 12:00 PM

Coffee lovers who fly United Airlines got a reason to perk up on Friday. That's when the carrier began serving the premium Italian coffee Illy on flights worldwide. When United merged with Continental Airlines in 2010, the company switched from Starbucks to whatever rotgut Continental was using—one of many operational missteps, large and small, following the merger. But lately United has been m...

US Airports Tighten Security After Istanbul Attack

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/01/2016, 12:15 PM

If you're passing through an airport this weekend, expect huge crowds and heightened security measures. The crowds are due to the July Fourth holiday, of course. The heightened security comes in response to suicide bombings by suspected Islamic State militants at Istanbul's main airport, where 41 people were killed and 239 injured. Airports have been reluctant to get specific about what th...

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