Searching OTAs and aggregators

The 10 Best (and Worst) Airfare Search Sites for 2019

By Reid Bramblett

Frommer's put flight search engines to the test—which websites find cheap flights with the easiest itineraries?

Budget XL Airways to Stop Operating Flights

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/25/2019, 10:15 AM

XL Airways, a low-cost carrier based in France, has announced that it is ceasing operations. "Due to . . . financial difficulties," reads a message posted last week on the airline's website, "we are deeply sorry to have to announce that XL Airways is stopping selling tickets effective today, 19th September 2019." Launched in 1995 as Star Airlines, the company adopted the business model of ch...

Upgrade Bidding Tips: How to Game Airline Seat Auctions So You'll Win

By Tiffany Leigh

Some airlines now auction off upgrades to business class or premium seat assignments. Here's how to figure out what to bid so you'll be more likely to succeed.

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Thomas Cook Shuts Down: What to Do and How to Protect Yourself Now

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 09/23/2019, 11:00 AM

In 1841, Thomas Cook founded the travel business that has carried his name to charter a train for travel to a temperance rally. Since then, the company has arranged the travel of millions of people through its travel agents and its airline. But today’s customers may well want to pour themselves a stiff drink: After 178 years in business, Thomas Cook suddenly ceased operations last week, disruptin...

Do Kids Need Their Own Membership in Global Entry?

By Candyce H. Stapen

Do children need to enroll in Global Entry, or can they simply tag along on their parents’ memberships?

Spit Take! Study Says Don't Drink the Water on Planes

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/12/2019, 3:00 AM

You should probably stick to bottled water in the skies. That's the conclusion of a new study measuring airline water safety, conducted by Hunter College's New York City Food Policy Center and DietDetective.com. Researchers analyzed the quality of the drinking water on 11 major airlines and 12 regional carriers, considering criteria such as reports of positive E. coli and coliform samples as...

A Major Newspaper Asks If It's Ethical to Fly. Arthur Frommer Wants Your Thoughts

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 08/26/2019, 12:00 AM

Depending on your politics, you either do or you don’t regard The New York Times as the nation’s leading newspaper.    But after that paper’s recent examination of the relation between travel and climate change, you must surely regard it as the nation’s boldest newspaper.   The Times’ startling discussion (which you can read here) results from the belief held by almost all prestigious ...

A Battle Royal is Raging Between Airlines Flying to Hawaii, Writes Arthur Frommer

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 08/21/2019, 3:00 AM

The fight is on. The battle rages.     In March and April just past, Southwest Airlines began flying from San Jose and Oakland, California, to Honolulu and Maui. It will soon add daily flights to Hawaii from Sacramento and San Diego.   And because these routes are among the chief money-raisers for the long established Hawaiian Airlines, the terms of each airline’s fares and policies ar...

High Boarding Group Number? Don't Panic—The Airlines Are Messing with You

By Jason Cochran

Are you in Group 7 again? No need to fret. The airlines are trying to stress you out so you'll pay more.

United Airlines Will Now Automatically Hold Some Connecting Flights for Late Passengers

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/20/2019, 6:00 PM

Thanks to new technology, United Airlines will automatically hold some flights for passengers trying to make tight connections—and those passengers don't have to do anything extra beyond, of course, hightailing it to the gate. The new tool, called ConnectionSaver, was introduced at Denver International Airport in February and later expanded to Chicago O'Hare International Airport, two of United's...

The Worldwide Airline Ranking Is Out. Can You Guess Where U.S. Airlines Place?

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/20/2019, 5:45 PM

If you have been aboard a flight operated by a U.S.-based airline lately—where the conditions are cramped and the only mood settings are anxious and angry—you will not be surprised to learn that U.S. carriers didn't do so great on the annual ranking of worldwide airlines released by Skytrax, a research firm that keeps tabs on 300 carriers across the globe. U.S. airlines didn't crack the top 10. ...

Our Travel Podcasts: Travel Bans and Flight Plans

By Ben Appel

Posted on 06/11/2019, 12:00 AM

Each week, Frommer's brings you two fresh podcasts stuffed with travel tips, news, and inspiration. Recordings are made from our weekly call-in show on WABC-770AM in New York and our nationally syndicated radio program. Last week, the Trump Administration surprised Americans—and the travel industry—by banning all educational and cultural tours, known as "people-to-people" trips, as well as a...

London Airport Soon to Let You Keep Liquids and Laptops in Carry-Ons

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/08/2019, 7:30 AM

If all goes as planned, travelers at London's Heathrow Airport will soon get to keep liquids and laptops in carry-on bags while passing through security checkpoints.  The airport announced that it can make that change thanks to new 3D scanners equipped with high-tech CT technology to provide a clearer-than-ever picture of what, exactly, you've got in your hand luggage—no removal of makeup-packed ...

The Aviation Industry is Asked to Do Something About Emissions, Writes Arthur Frommer

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 06/06/2019, 7:00 AM

If humankind is to survive into the next century, something will have to be done about the drastic climate change currently experienced on earth.     Though narrow-minded politicians may find it easy to call such reports a “hoax,” hundreds of eminent scientists are virtually unanimous in urgently drawing attention to that danger.   Other irresponsible people claim that the problem is o...

Trump Administration Announces Bans on Cruises and Tours to Cuba

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 06/04/2019, 3:00 PM

The other zapato has dropped. In April, White House National Security Advisor John Bolton announced that the Treasury Department would soon implement new regulations to restrict non-family travel to Cuba. But I don't think anyone expected the roll-out of those new regulations to be as abrupt, messy, or sweeping as the ones announced today turned out to be.   On Tuesday afternoon, the Treasury De...

Do Travelers Lose Their Moral Compasses on the Road? A Surprising Study

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 05/29/2019, 7:00 AM

My friend Deborah "borrowed" her favorite wool blanket from a hotel when she went on a business trip. Shannon, another pal, put her able-bodied daughter in an airport wheelchair to jump to the front of a Southwest Airlines boarding line so they could snag seats together. And Dave, a charming guy I know from college, owns a cane for the sole purpose of limping into airports so he can plausibly c...

Get Elite Status Perks without Elite Status

Don’t Have Elite Status? Fake It and Get Free Upgrades with These Tips

By Ramsey Qubein

Don't travel enough to have awards status? There are still some strategies you can use to make your next trip more comfortable.

Arthur Frommer: Travel in Europe is Getting Harder, Yet Still We Must

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 05/06/2019, 9:00 AM

Let’s be frank: Traveling to Europe this summer will be more difficult than in recent years.  Which is all the more reason to consider, and then overcome, a number of obstacles.   What has resulted in these problems? First, the initial cost of flying to various European capitals will undoubtedly be higher than before.     That major champion of low-cost transatlantic air travel, WOW Ai...

How Families Can Sit Together on Airplanes

By Candyce H. Stapen

Paid seat reservations have turned airline cabins into competitive arenas. If you want to make sure you sit next to your children, you need a survival guide for the battle.

This Spring, It Will Never Be Cheaper to Fly to Hawaii, Says Arthur Frommer

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 04/10/2019, 9:00 AM

The biggest news in travel is the recent start-up by price-cutting Southwest Airlines of a massive number of flights from the U.S. west coast to the islands of Hawaii.  Travel to those popular resorts will never be the same again. For several decades, the airlines serving Hawaii have zealously maintained the highest possible price level for flights there.   Vacationers paid as much as $60...

When Should You Book Airfare and Hotels? A Huge Study Reveals the Current Answers

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 04/03/2019, 1:00 PM

The Airlines Reporting Corporation’s annual Travel Pricing Outlook study (conducted in partnership with Expedia) arrived with very little fanfare this year. Which is odd—and not so odd. Odd because it is, by a factor of a gazillion, the largest study of the year, for the size of the numbers being crunched. And not so odd because this 2019 study, the fifth annual one, doesn’t really break much n...

Whoa. WOW Air Collapses, Cancels All Flights—What Should Ticket Holders Do?

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/28/2019, 3:00 PM

Low-cost Icelandic carrier WOW Air abruptly announced that it has ceased operations today.  All flights have been canceled, according to a "travel alert" on the company's website, and passengers are advised to "check available flights with other airlines." Which is not very helpful at all for the estimated 10,000 people that this sudden collapse left stranded and no-doubt panicked at airports aw...

There's a Second, Smaller Commercial Airport for Seattle Now

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/06/2019, 3:00 PM

As of this week, travelers have a new commercial airport option in the Seattle area.  Located about 25 miles north of the city in the town of Everett, Washington, Paine Field has been around since the Great Depression but has primarily been used, up until now, by Boeing's wide-body assembly plant. In recent years the airport was cleared for commercial flights, and on Monday, March 4, the first s...

Hey, Airlines! Maybe We Don't Want to Watch TV on Our Phones

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 03/05/2019, 12:00 AM

The airlines have stripped coach passengers of nearly every vestige of dignity—our legroom, our food, our free checked bags. But they're not done yet. Now they are taking away seatback entertainment systems. Last year, Alaska Airlines took over Virgin America, one of the world's top-rated airlines for customer service. Virgin had a devoted following. Customers loved the carrier's sassy style an...

Airline Ticketing Will Include Nonbinary Gender Option

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/19/2019, 3:30 PM

The major U.S. airlines are changing their online ticketing sites so that passengers can identify gender with options other than male and female.  According to the Associated Press, American, Delta, United, Southwest, Alaska, and JetBlue are all working on introducing selections such as "undisclosed," "unspecified," or "Mx.," a non-gendered alternative to Mr. or Ms.  Industry trade group Airlines...