San Francisco-LA Sleeper "Bus" Debuts

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/13/2016, 6:15 PM

This week, there's been a lot of press about the "Hyperloop" companies that are racing to create magnet-powered trains that will shuttle passengers at the speed of sound inside vacuum tubes. Despite small-scale tests that were loudly turned into into public relations moments, they're still concepts unproven on a large scale that are at least a half-decade away from completion, if they ever r...

Airline to RFID-Track All Checked Bags

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/05/2016, 10:30 AM

Nice to see a little of that crazy airline profit money poured back into something that benefits passengers: Delta has announced that by the end of the year, its new RFID luggage tagging system will go live. The project cost the airline more than $50 million. Soon, instead of a scannable bar code, luggage tags will contain a microchip with radio-frequency identification (RFID) capability. ...

No More Stretching Out on Empty Flights?

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 04/27/2016, 12:15 PM

This month, some newspapers and magazines published stories that proclaimed things like, "Lie-Flat Seats are Coming to Economy Class." It sounds like a dream come true, right? After years of ignoring Economy—even intentionally making it more uncomfortable so passengers feel the need to pay to upgrade—the airlines are throwing less wealthy travelers a bone! Not so fast. If you take a look ...

Exploring South Walton, Florida

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 04/22/2016, 12:00 PM

Drive for 26 miles in Florida and what will you see? If you’re by the shore, the vistas will likely be a daisy chain of beaches, hotels and strip malls. Especially strip malls. Sometimes it feels like Florida has more of those than any other U.S. state. But not in South Walton, a community on the Gulf of Mexico that comes to an end right before the state starts to dangle towards the Caribbea...

Delta Drops Phone Booking Fee

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 04/22/2016, 7:15 AM

Delta Air Lines has dropped one of its most onerous fees: the $25 it collects to allow you to make a booking by telephone. Now, people who do not book using the Web—because they don't have a computer, for example, or can't use one—will not be penalized with higher prices. Along with that surcharge, it dropped the $35 to make a booking in person at a Delta counter, something relatively few ...

New App is Uber for Last-Minute Homestays

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 04/20/2016, 3:30 AM

A new app has been launched that helps travelers find a last-minute place to crash. It's called Overnight, and to use it, you use it to post that you're in town and what brings you there. That's broadcast to the area and would-be hosts read your listing and ideally, offer you space in their place. Users register with their Facebook profiles, pay via the app (adding a degree of protec...

River Cruising Comes to Southern Africa

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 04/11/2016, 2:00 PM

River cruising is huge in Europe and growing in Asia, but there's one place it hasn't made deep inroads: Southern Africa. That may be about to change. CroisiEurope, the largest river cruiser in Europe, is poised to expand by begin sailing through the safari grounds along the Chobe and Zambezi rivers on the border between Namibi's Caprivi Strip and Botswana. It joins Fred Olsen's high-end AmaW...

Congress Votes On Airline Seat Sizes

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 04/08/2016, 2:15 PM

Descheboard/Flickr Sorry, America: No space for you! The United States Senate has voted down an amendment that would have told the airlines that they are no longer permitted to keep reducing the amount of room passengers get. New York's Charles Schumer had attempted to add the regulatory measure to the FAA reauthorization bill, noting that passengers have lost half a foot of space in r...

New Issues (And Fixes) for iPhone Data Usage

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 04/05/2016, 8:30 AM

It's not your imagination. Your iPhone is using more data lately. That's because in a recent update Apple quietly added a little feature that will use cellular signals rather than Wi-Fi if the Wi-Fi signal becomes weak. And it will do so even if the Wi-Fi signal is perfectly usable. Most alarmingly: Your phone will indicate that it's pulling from Wi-Fi even when it's also drawing cell sign...

Study Proves It: Museums Change Lives

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 04/04/2016, 12:00 PM

Hard to believe that no one had looked into this before, but now someone has: Exposing your kids to museums will enrich them forever. A few high-powered museums, including New York's Whitney and Los Angeles' Museum of Contemporary Art, wanted to know whether their youth programs were valuable. So they got together and commissioned a study. As Smithsonian reports: "They recruited over...

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