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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...

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...

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...

Free National Park Entry on Nov. 11 & 12, But for Which Parks?

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 11/06/2017, 5:15 PM

This weekend, Nov. 11 and 12, entry to many (but not all) national parks will be free in honor of Veterans Day. The National Park Service has posted a state-by-state list of the free parks at this link. If you love these free days as much as we do, buckle up. The U.S. Government is floating a plan to vastly increase their entry costs. Despite the fact your income taxes go to support these pristin...

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...

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