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Universal Orlando Announces Harry Potter Festival Event for January: Tickets on Sale Aug. 22

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 08/12/2013, 9:45 PM

Universal Orlando has announced a three-day "Celebration of Harry Potter" fan event for January 24 to 26. Details are sketchy, but ticketholders are promised a few perks, including a "private evening reception held in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter," Q&A sessions featuring "Harry Potter talent," and a wand masterclass imported from the Harry Potter Studio Tour outside London (it's cut...

Everything's Coming Up Rosen in Orlando: Now There's a Fifth Rosen Hotel on International Drive

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 08/12/2013, 9:30 PM

The Quality Inn International has long been one of the most reliable budget properties off International Drive in Orlando. Harris Rosen bought it back in 1974, and using it as a foundation, built an Orlando hotel empire that now numbers more than 6,300 guest rooms, from dead cheap to business-class luxury.  In a bid to solidify his personal brand name, he has finally gotten around to attac...

Maybe Alec Baldwin Was In the Wrong: There Seems to Be Solid Evidence That Cellphones and Other Hand-Held Devices Interfere with Airplane Navigation Systems

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/17/2013, 12:30 PM

The first sentences in a recent Bloomberg News article on cellphones on planes is chilling. "The regional airliner was climbing past 9,000 feet when its compasses went haywire, leading pilots several miles off course until a flight attendant persuaded a passenger in row 9 to switch off an Apple Iphone," the author states. Apparently, as soon as the phone was shut off, the navigation system sta...

Carry Less, Board First: American Airlines Revises Its Highly-Debatable Priority Boarding Policies Again

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 05/16/2013, 7:45 PM

  By Pauline Frommer 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....

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...

New York City Subway Stations Get Tricky Free Wi-Fi

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/14/2013, 2:00 PM

After years of waiting, 36 stations in the New York City subway system, including the stations most popular with tourists (Times Square, Rockefeller Center) have been equipped with free wi-fi and voice calling. Trains themselves are not equipped, so visitors will need to conduct their business on the platforms and in the stations. We spent the past few weeks testing it out. The system is n...

Frommer's Forum Reader Unearths Round-trip Airfare to France in June for $620

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/13/2013, 4:15 PM

Eagle-eyed Frommer's community member Travel Rob has spotted some incredible summer airfare rates on XL Airways to France for June. Normally, rates top a grand, but he has found a method for finding some incredible bargains. He posted word of a $620 New York-Marseille round-trip ticket in our forum: "Just like I thought, XL is continuing to offer deals, even for June.... Most [booking]...

Virgin Vacations sells luxury packages to the real Downton Abbey

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/13/2013, 3:00 PM

It only took until Season Four. Virgin Vacations has added to its fall lineup a visit to the United Kingdom that includes a trip to the real-life set of the upstairs scenes of PBS's Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle.  The seven-day trip includes round-trip flights, airport transfers, three nights' hotel in London and two in Bracknell, near the house. That's an hour west of London in Berkshir...

Harry Potter expansion confirmed for Universal Orlando

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/09/2013, 6:00 PM

Well, it's true. Universal Orlando finally confirmed what has been an open secret for months: It is building a second section of its blockbuster Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The massive show building for the new section has been under construction for months, but it took until now for the official announcement to be made. The theme park isn't saying much beyond the fact it will open at...

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...

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