Airline Complaints Soar! Whose Fault Is It?

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 08/24/2015, 3:30 PM

It's not your imagination: Airfares may be down (as we reported last week), but complaints about U.S. airlines soared more than 20 percent during the first half of this year. Between January and June this year, the U.S. Department of Transportation logged 9,542 consumer complaints, which was up 20.3 percent from the first half of 2014. In June, complaints shot up 50 percent over last year. ...

All National Parks are Free (On These Days)

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 08/19/2015, 4:30 PM

The National Park System is extending another gift to the American people in the form of fee-free days. And lucky us—there are two in a month, right when the weather is warmest. The 133 National Park units that charge entrance fees will cost nothing to enter on Tuesday, August 25, the birthday of the National Park Service, and then again on Saturday, September 26, National Public Lands Day....

Snapchat Becomes More Traveler-Friendly

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 08/13/2015, 4:45 PM

"You and your selfies!" I kidded to my teenage daughter as she struck a pose for what seemed like the tenth time in an hour and then clicked away on her smartphone. "Mom I'm not taking selfies," was the exasperated response. "These are Snapchats which are totally different. You make yourself sound really old not knowing the difference." Ouch. Not that any of Frommer's readers are "really ol...

Pieces of Lost Space Shuttles Go On Display

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 08/11/2015, 4:15 AM

The $100 million home of the space shuttle Atlantis, which opened last year, has put Florida's Kennedy Space Center back on the tourism maps. Without giving too much away, the way in which the orbiter is revealed to arriving guests is perhaps the most spine-tingling moment in all of Orlando, a city known for goosebumps. Hanging 26 feet off the ground at an angle of 43.21 degrees (like the numbe...

Q-tips: The Weirdest Flat Stanley Ever

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 08/11/2015, 4:00 AM

Among product promotions, this is one of the strangest. Q-tip—yes, that thing you're not supposed to stick deep in your ears, but you do—has launched a campaign featuring the swabby stick in front of the world's most exotic locales. It's like a hygienic version of Flat Stanley. Says the press release, as if it's an sentient object and not a toiletry product: "To date, Q-tips has [sic] dance...

Hurry! Everything in Canada is 25% Off!

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 08/05/2015, 2:00 AM

On Tuesday, August 4, the Canadian dollar cratered, suffering its lowest value in 11 years. The loonie, which a few years ago had parity with the U.S. dollar, is now worth only 76¢. (It's not doing so well against the British pound, either.) That's right: Things haven't been cheaper in Canada since 2004. That means that this summer—right this very minute—is the best time to visit Canada ...

Acapulco Sets Up Special Tourism Safety Force

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 07/30/2015, 8:45 PM

When gangs overtake your once-glamorous seaside city and force the military to move in and the U.S. to issue a travel warning, you've got a public relations problem. Acapulco is on it. The Pacific Coast city that was once the ultimate destination of the Love Boat has worked with federal, state, and local authorities, including the Mexico Tourist Board, to support CAPTA, which in English stan...

Poof! Kimpton Loses 7 Hotels in San Francisco

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 07/30/2015, 8:30 PM

Back in December, when the hotel conglomerate InterContinental Hotels Group purchased boutique hotelier Kimpton, the executives behind the change painted a smiley face on the transaction. But we predicted it would end in tears—and now it has. In a matter of days, Kimpton, a hotel brand that was once nearly synonymous with the quirky charms of San Francisco hospitality, in one swoop has lost m...

The Airlines Are Trying to Shut OTAs Down

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 07/27/2015, 1:45 PM

Ryanair, the infamous cheapie European carrier, is always making headlines for doing something outrageous, and this week, it's because its upcoming website redesign will do something no other airline does: It will also display rates from its competition. Ryanair's head, who previously tried to get a rise out of passengers by pretending he would start charging to use the lavatory, is trying to...

Can This 51-Year-Old Cycle Around the World?

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 07/14/2015, 2:15 PM

On July 24, Scotland resident Peter Smith will set out on from Dumfries on a journey with two goals in mind: To circle the globe and wind up where he started and to smash the Guinness record doing it. Smith has been a cycling nut for years, having organized charity events in his former job as an HR director. But he's about to apply to his passion to travel and see the whole world by the force...

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