In Denver You Can Dine in a Former Air Traffic Control Tower

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 12/05/2017, 4:30 PM

Although Denver's old Stapleton International Airport has been closed for more than 20 years, the air traffic control tower recently reopened. There won't be any flight coordinating going on inside, however. The tower, which is the only remaining structure of the city's primary airport from 1929 to 1995, has been converted to an "eatertainment" venue by Punch Bowl Social, a Denver-based chain tha...

UPDATED: Will American Airlines' Scheduling Glitch Leave You Stranded for the Holidays?

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 12/04/2017, 12:00 AM

This post, originally published on December 1, has been updated below. American Airlines discovered earlier this week that a glitch in the internal system used by pilots to schedule vacation time had caused the accidental approval of time-off requests affecting more than 15,000 flights from December 17 to the end of the year. Unexpectedly, many flights were left with nobody to steer the plane. B...

2017's Most Instagrammed Locations

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 12/01/2017, 12:00 PM

Instagram released its year in review this week, looking back at 2017's top trends on the popular photo-sharing social network. Among the not-so-surprising revelations that Beyoncé's pregnancy announcement in February got the most likes (11.1 million) and pop star Selena Gomez had the most followers (130 million and counting), there were several travel-related findings as well.  In fact, #travel...

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Paid Reservations Now Required to Visit California's Muir Woods

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/30/2017, 12:00 AM

From Dubrovnik to Machu Picchu, popular tourist destinations around the world are devising new sign-up strategies to combat overcrowding caused by hordes of temporary visitors. The latest spot to add to the list, as Frommer's reported would happen back in 2015: Muir Woods National Monument in Mill Valley, California, north of San Francisco.  Starting on January 16, 2018, each visitor who arrives...

Two Brand New Museums Dedicated to Mississippi History

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/28/2017, 6:30 AM

Side-by-side history museums in Mississippi's capital city, Jackson, will open to the public on December 9—one day before the state's bicentennial. The brand-new institutions share an entrance and a downtown address (222 North St.) in the mid-state city because the stories they tell are inextricably entwined, as you can see from their names: the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi C...

Brazil Just Got a Whole Lot Easier to Visit

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 11/27/2017, 12:00 AM

Hallelujah! Brazil's arms are finally opening wide to tourists. For years, if you wanted to visit the riches of this South American country, you soon found out how difficult it was. You'd have to make an appointment with the nearest Brazilian embassy or consulate, and that could take more than a month. On the big day, you'd travel there and proffer your passport along with photo, an application, a...

Spectacular Holiday Show Added to Universal's Hogwarts Castle

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/22/2017, 5:45 PM

Harry Potter is getting into the holiday spirit at Universal theme parks in Orlando and Southern California for the first time this year.  In Central Florida, seasonal features at Potter-related attractions were unveiled on November 18 at both of Universal's Florida parks, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. In the latter, a yuletide spell has been cast on Hogwarts Castle, where, after da...

The Trump Slump Claims Another Victim: Students Coming to Study at U.S. Colleges

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 11/17/2017, 9:00 PM

In earlier blogs, I discussed the recent sharp decline in foreign tourism coming to vacation in the United States—far more than a few million fewer visitors compared to previous periods. To those figures, in statistics released just days ago, we now need to figure in a drop of several hundreds of thousands of fewer foreign students coming to the United States to study in our places of learning. ...

Blaming Trump, Another Airline Calls It Quits in Cuba

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/17/2017, 8:30 PM

Alaska Airlines will discontinue its service to Cuba on January 22, 2018, the carrier has announced. The reason: the Trump Administration's new rules that make it too difficult for Americans to visit the island. The tighter restrictions do away with the Obama-era "people-to-people" travel exemption. That means that Americans who want to visit Cuba must now do so with authorized tours and cruises ...

The U.S. Frequent Flyer Program with the Highest Customer Satisfaction Is...

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/17/2017, 12:00 AM

Measuring loyalty programs separately from overall airline satisfaction for the first time, the market research company J.D. Power devised a 1,000-point scale rating the six largest U.S. carriers on four factors: earning/redeeming rewards, program benefits, account management, and member communication. JetBlue's TrueBlue program came in first with a score of 800, narrowly beating out Alaska Ai...

Hotel for Liberals Coming to Washington, D.C.

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/15/2017, 12:30 AM

Well-to-do liberal travelers with lodging preferences that are more detailed than "anywhere but a Trump hotel" now have a brand aimed squarely at securing their business.  In 2018, Langham Hospitality Group is relaunching its Eaton hotels, now renamed Eaton Workshop, with properties in Washington, D.C. and Hong Kong (where Langham is based). Programming, amenities, and artwork will be intended to...

Wine Country Report: Despite Fires, Napa and Sonoma Visitor Experience Is Undamaged

By Laurie Jo Miller Farr

The deadly October wildfires in Northern California’s beloved wine country caused a lot of damage. But they didn't change tourism as badly as feared.

You Can Finally Have Breakfast at Tiffany's—Lunch, Too

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/09/2017, 9:30 PM

As Audrey Hepburn demonstrated with maximum glamour in 1961, you could technically always have breakfast at Tiffany & Co. on Fifth Avenue in New York City, provided you brought your own coffee and croissant. But now, at long last, the iconic jewelry store is actually serving breakfast—as well as lunch and afternoon tea—in the newly opened Tiffany Blue Box Cafe, located on the freshly renovate...

U.S. Government Makes It Harder for Americans to Visit Cuba

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/08/2017, 9:30 PM

Travel to Cuba gets tougher for Americans this week. New rules released by the Trump Administration ban most independent travel to the island, requiring visitors from the U.S. to rely on authorized "people-to-people" tour companies instead. That's a return to the way things were before President Barack Obama restored diplomatic relations with Cuba in 2015. In June of this year, his successor an...

Two New Countries Get Dedicated Eurail Passes

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 11/08/2017, 12:00 AM

As of January 1, 2018, two more nations will have one-country Eurail passes available for sale to tourists. Starting then, if you're visiting Turkey or Serbia you can purchase a pass that covers all rail travel in those countries during your vacation. Prices have not been announced. The new passes will not yet be available as part of multicountry passes—so far, they're strictly for unlimited...

Kids Won't Be Allowed on Virgin's Cruise Line

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/07/2017, 10:00 PM

When Virgin Voyages launches its first cruise in 2020, you can be sure of one thing: There won't be any kids on board.  At a keel-laying ceremony last week, company CEO Tom McAlpin announced that bookings from passengers under 18 will not be accepted so that the ship can supply a "more elevated and premium experience," reports Travel Weekly.   The move, dubbed "Adult by Design," is part of an in...

The Changing Situation of Married vs. Unmarried Folk Is Affecting Tours

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 11/06/2017, 6:00 PM

In a surprising announcement, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has found that fully 50 percent of America’s adult population now consists of unmarried single people. And because another smaller percentage of the population is married people who nonetheless prefer to travel alone, the result is that more than half of our adult population are persons who travel without a spouse. That interesting f...

Airfare is About to Rise. Here's Why

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 11/01/2017, 6:00 PM

American and Southwest airlines have both sent signals that their airfares are about to go up. Why? Simple: They're making more money, so they don't need to put flights on sale as often. The message came in the form of Q3 earnings reports, says the Chicago Tribune, in which major carriers reported a rise in "revenue per mile," which is the monetary metric that all airlines use to judge your busin...

Passenger Jets Now Fueled by Food Scraps and Vegetable Oil

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 11/01/2017, 7:00 AM

At the end of 1985's Back to the Future, Doc Brown opens his Delorean and dumps table scraps and beer into a "Mr. Fusion" tank to generate the power to whisk Marty McFly into the year 2015. Now it's 2017, and although personal fusion-powered travel is still in the distant future, the ability to fly passenger planes using food waste is here. In September, JetBlue announced a plan to purchase more ...

National Park Fees May Triple, Become Unaffordable

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 10/26/2017, 11:00 AM

Entrance fees at many of the country's most popular national parks could soon go way up. To address a backlog of maintenance needs and infrastructure improvements, the National Park Service has proposed increasing admission charges to $70 per vehicle at 16 sites, up from the current fee of $25 to $30 depending on the park. That would mean more than doubling—or, in the case of the $25 fee, almos...

More Complex Screening Begins for U.S. Passengers

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 10/25/2017, 12:00 AM

You might remember that last spring, several international airlines, mostly from predominantly Muslim countries, were banned from allowing laptops in passenger cabins. That, and the uneven application of the policy across airlines, caused a diplomatic furor, and some carriers even curtailed service to the United States. In response, the U.S. government reversed the requirement but dictated new secu...

Study: Booze Boosts Foreign Language Skills

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 10/24/2017, 9:30 PM

Alcohol improves your ability to speak a foreign language, according to a new study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.  Researchers from the University of Liverpool, Maastricht University, and King's College London devised an experiment in which 50 native German speakers who had recently learned Dutch were asked to down either booze or an alcohol-free control liquid. Participants were then inst...

Visit the World of the Hunger Games at a Dubai Theme Park

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 10/23/2017, 8:45 PM

We're guessing the world of The Hunger Games wasn't intended to be the sort of place people would like to visit. After all, Suzanne Collins's hugely popular young adult novels—and their film adaptations—take place in a dystopian future where teenagers are forced to battle to the death for the entertainment of rich jerks. Nevertheless, you can now (safely) immerse yourself in the land of Katniss E...

Statues in Dublin Can Call Your Mobile Phone

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 10/20/2017, 8:15 PM

In the famously word-drunk city of Dublin, even the statues now have the gift of gab.  As part of a new tourism project called Talking Statues Dublin, 10 of the Irish capital's most recognizable sculptural likenesses—including writers James Joyce (on Earl Street), Oscar Wilde (at Merrion Square), and George Bernard Shaw (at the National Gallery) as well as political figures James Larkin (on O'Con...

The Cruise Industry Goes All Out to Claim Caribbean Ports Have Recovered

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 10/20/2017, 5:15 PM

When did you last see an ad for land-based resorts in Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands?    You probably haven’t. The damage to beaches and roads leading to some of those properties seems too significant to overcome concerns about them. While such major Caribbean islands as Jamaica, Aruba, Curacao, St. Lucia, and others have suffered no damage at all from the recent hurricanes, Puerto R...