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More spacious rides like this coming to Delta transcon service (Image: Delta)

Delta adds more transcon widebodies

After United unveiled plans to move its transcontinental p.s. flights from New York JFK to Newark this fall, both JetBlue and American announced service increases on transcon routes out of JFK. And now Delta is doing the same. Delta said that by November, it will boost its JFK-Los Angeles schedule from nine daily flights to […]

A survey finds consumers in their 20s and 30s are much more willing to pay for membership in loyalty programs. (Image: Delta)

Will airlines charge to join frequent flyer programs?

If fee-hungry airlines haven’t already started thinking about imposing fees to join their frequent flyer programs, they might start to consider it after they see the results of a new survey from LoyaltyOne. That survey of 1,005 consumers found that the younger they are, the more willing they’d be to join a fee-based loyalty/rewards program. […]

Earphones Lifehacker

Illegal to wear headsets when driving?

If you rent cars in other states or countries frequently or plan a big summer road trip, bone up on laws regarding the use of headphones or earbuds while driving– or you could be hit with a big fine. Just last week France banned the the use of headsets while driving. And did you know that […]

Singapore Changi TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor adds airport ratings

The travel-related content and mega-review site TripAdvisor is expanding to include pages on 200 major airports worldwide. The first airport page to go up on TripAdvisor is Singapore Changi; the site said it expects to add pages for New York JFK and London Heathrow in July. “When travelers search for an airport on the site, […]

Bugles for snacks at the Star Alliance lounge at Barcelona El Prat airport (Chris McGinnis)

12 most popular posts + Bugles in Barcelona + Overhead bin space + Virtual river cruise

TravelSkills’ 12 most popular posts over the last week (descending order)… plus a few newsy nuggets we missed. 1. Stay tuned for our next post about the food: Trip Report: The SWISS “Roche coach” to Zurich 2. Economy’s humming so they keep coming: New routes: Dallas, Orlando, SFO, Atlanta, LAX, Houston 3. Chris back on CNN: Don’t make these mistakes […]

The long connector between Denver's main terminal and Concourse A. (Image: Jim Glab)

Airport cardio: Hoofing it to the gate

Sure, you could take the moving walkway or people-mover or even hitch a ride on one of those little golf carts — but some big airports allow passengers to get in a pretty good workout if they walk all the way to the gate. USA Today looked into the maximum walking distances inside some major […]

The fight for gate space at Love Field continues in the courts. (Image: SWABlogGuy/Flickr)

Delta gets a reprieve

Southwest Airlines has agreed to let Delta keep operating its five daily flights between Atlanta and Dallas Love Field, eliminating a July 6 deadline for Delta to drop the service and get out of that airport. The reprieve for Delta will remain in effect indefinitely while the airlines and the airport “pursue a long-term resolution […]

(Photo: Bernal Saborio / Flickr)

Planespotting 101: Airbus A320 family differences

Pilots, planespotters and aviation buffs can quickly recognize nearly every aircraft type from the ground or in the air. But it’s not so easy for the rest of us. To help TravelSkills readers confidently recognize what they see overhead or out on the runway, we offer a series of posts dedicated to Planespotting 101. (See below for […]

EVA's "Hello Kitty" 777-300ER now flies between Houton and Taipei. (Image: EVA)

Delta trims London schedule, new China options, and more

In international route news this week, Delta is cutting its London schedules from LAX and Newark;  three airlines kick off new U.S. routes to China and Taipei; El Al comes to Boston; Ethiopian begins LAX service; and an unusual plan by a Scandinavian airline to fly from the U.S. to the Caribbean. According to airlineroute.net, […]

Taxi drivers enraged at Uber (Photo: Carine06 / Flickr)

Taxi drivers burn Uber cars in France (VIDEO)

Whenever it tries to start service in a new market, Uber faces lots of opposition — sometimes from local politicians, but usually from local taxi drivers who don’t want the unlicensed freelancers cutting in on their business. But in France this week, that opposition took an ugly turn. According to press reports, the new UberPOP […]

Rendering of proposed new atrium at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson. (Image: City of Atlanta)

Atlanta airport to get half-billion dollar facelift

We’ve always thought that Atlanta’s sprawling Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport airport looks and works a lot like a Xerox machine- not too pretty, but efficient, reliable and easy to understand. But this week airport officials announced plans to spend nearly half a billion dollars to overhaul the main domestic terminal and concourses T, A, B, C and D. From […]

Downtown Denver's new ART Hotel. (Image: ART Hotel)

Shiny new hotels for you in: Denver, Miami, Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore

Denver’s newest luxury lodging is at the ART Hotel, located downtown near the Denver Art Museum and Civic Center Park. The newly-opened, 165-room property is like a museum itself, with works of art everywhere, and its own curator (who formerly worked at the Denver Museum of Art). Rates start at around $335. The David Whitney […]

JW Marriott in Chicago. (Image: Marriott)

Can you still trust hotel review sites?

Seen this yet? Trip Report: The SWISS “Roche Coach” to Zurich TripAdvisor, the huge consumer review site for travelers, has cut a new deal with lodging giant Marriott that provides instant links to Marriott’s booking system from the TripAdvisor site. That’s not unusual in the world of online travel, but it has some observers wondering whether […]

Starting July 6, there will be two SWISS A340 flights per day at SFO (Chris McGinnis)

Trip Report: The SWISS “Roche coach” to Zurich

Last month I flew SWISS International Air Lines in business class from San Francisco to Madrid via Zurich, and returned three days later from Barcelona via Zurich to San Francisco. I was super excited to give the airline a try since it had been since Swissair days that I’d flown a Swiss airline! My economy class roundtrip […]

Was United hit by the same kind of attack that grounded some LOT Polish flights this week? (Image: LOT)

Will your next flight get hacked?

See this? JetBlue expands popular Mint class to more routes It may have seemed like just a one-off disruption after a hacker attack at LOT Polish Airlines caused the cancellation and delay of some flights this week. Or last month when United flights were temporarily grounded. But Wired Magazine looked into the incidents and discovered that […]

JetBlue

JetBlue expands popular Mint to new routes

Just a week after it announced plans to increase its premium-cabin Mint service between New York JFK-Los Angeles and JFK-San Francisco, JetBlue now says it will extend the service to transcontinental routes out of Boston. The airline said its Mint-equipped A321s will start operating between Boston-San Francisco in March 2016 with up to three daily […]

A translation app works with the Apple Watch. (Image: InterContinental Hotels Group)

Just speak into your watch…

Don’t miss: Don’t make these mistakes in San Francisco! InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is the latest lodging giant to start rolling out the next generation of technology-based guest services, much of it designed to work with customers’ smartphones, and one intriguing innovation — a language translator — that works with the Apple Watch. The company […]

Chris McGinnis offers San Francisco tips on CNN (Image: CNN)

Don’t make these mistakes in San Francisco (VIDEO)

Last year during the peak of the convention season in San Francisco, we wrote up Don’t make these 8 mistakes in San Francisco to help visitors avoid looking foolish when arriving in the City by the Bay. Well, CNN producers liked that post so much that they sent out a crew from Atlanta to tape TravelSkills editor […]

Seattle will lose Delta's Tokyo Haneda route, which goes to American for LAX-Haneda flights. (Image: Jim Glab)

New routes: Dallas, Orlando, SFO, Atlanta, LAX, Houston

In international route news, Delta is throwing in the towel on its transpacific route from Seattle to Tokyo Haneda; Orlando adds more service to Latin America; American plans a new South American route from DFW; ANA adds a new U.S. gateway; and San Francisco gets more Hong Kong flights. Delta told the Transportation Department it […]

Passengers are expected to dress up for dinner for this flight! (Photo: Michael Kelley)

6 reasons why now is travel’s golden age

Don’t miss: You can’t get there from here I always cringe when I hear people talking about the so-called “golden age of travel.” You know, back then when people used to “dress up” to travel. When flight attendants in go-go boots doted on passengers with cocktails, playing cards and wings for the kids. When family members would […]

Southwest Airlines passengers at Dallas Love Field. (Image: Southwest)

Delta’s Love Field fight down to the wire

Things are coming to a head in Delta’s battle to keep its presence at Dallas Love Field, where its five daily flights to Atlanta are facing a July 6 deadline. That’s the date when a temporary pact between Delta and Southwest ends; it provides that Delta can use Southwest gate space until that date, but […]

Singapore Airlines' new Boeing 777 can't fly to Singapore from the US (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

You can’t get there from here

Today’s long-range aircraft technology makes it possible to fly non-stop almost anywhere in the world. So what’s wrong with Singapore? It’s a financial and commercial powerhouse in the Asia/Pacific region, but you can’t fly there from the U.S. without an intermediate stop. Singapore Airlines used to offer non-stop flights from both Los Angeles and Newark, using […]

A near spotless Korean Air lavatory on a recent Seoul-Atlanta A380 flight (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

World’s cleanest airlines are Asian

Don’t miss: Airlines quickly fill JFK void It’s gross to find gunk on your tray table, crumbs in your seat, trash in the seatback pocket, or sticky light switches or air conditioning vents. I usually refrain from touching anything in an airplane lavatory without a paper towel between me and said knob, button or handle. […]

JetBlue will add more Mint flights on transcon routes this fall. (Image: JetBlue)

Airlines quickly fill JFK vacuum

The big news this week for transcontinental travelers was United’s announcement that it plans to move its New York-to-California p.s. flights from JFK to Newark Airport. But other airlines in the market are planning some transcon changes of their own — although hardly as dramatic. At Delta, which is acquiring takeoff and landing slots at […]

Flight Car

How to get free airport parking

Parking at the airport is a pain. And an expensive pain at that! How would you like to avoid it, and maybe even make a little money instead of spending it during the peak summer travel season? If your car is less than 13 years old and has fewer than 150,000 miles, here’s what you […]

Flying over the Golden Gate Bridge (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Which airline flies the fastest?

Statistical guru Nate Silver — who correctly predicted an Obama win in the 2012 election when other media were calling it a toss-up — has come out with a new analysis of U.S. airline on-time data, concluding that Virgin America continues to perform better than its airline competitors, and New York LaGuardia remains at the […]

keep_calm_carry_on_sign_60004

As expected: Airline bag size proposal flops

Just a week after the International Air Transport Association came out with a recommendation that carriers worldwide adopt new, somewhat smaller size limits for carry-on bags, the group has suddenly announced it will reassess that proposal “in light of concerns expressed, primarily in North America.” The global airline trade organization’s retrenchment on the controversial plan […]

This Turkish Airlines 777 has a mural of Istanbul on the fuselage. (Image: Chris McGinnis)

Turkish Airlines coming to Atlanta

Turkish Airlines’ long-promised intention to begin Atlanta-Istanbul nonstops will materialize next year according to various internet sources. (The airline has yet to officially announce the service for some odd reason. Anyway….) The Turkish carrier, which is adding U.S. routes right and left, plans to start flying a 777 -300ER to Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson on May 16, 2016, and […]

There's a fore and aft business class cabin, separated by a galley

United shifts p.s. flights to Newark; leaves JFK

On October 25, United Airlines will depart JFK for good and move its popular p.s. transcontinental flights to its Newark-Liberty International Airport hub. United will maintain a presence at La Guardia with 37 daily flights, but its primary NYC focus will now be at Newark. The move makes sense and I wonder why it has taken this long to […]

A new United Embraer 175. (Image: United)

Bigger, better jets for Alaska, United

The industry trend away from smaller regional jets to larger ones is continuing, as both United Airlines and Alaska Airlines this week announced plans to add more 76-seat aircraft — jets that are roomier, more comfortable and more passenger-friendly than predecessors like the CRJ. United, which had already ordered 125 Embraer E175s that have been […]

Trivago Guy

Android users choose cheaper hotels

Techies will spend hours arguing the benefits and shortcomings of Apple products compared with Android devices, but what about the people who use them? A study by the hotel search site trivago.com found that there are distinct differences between the two user groups when it comes to their travel spending patterns. Apple users in the […]

ClearCard

CLEAR card is now cardless

CLEAR, which offers exclusive fast lanes at airport security, has gone completely cardless at all of its locations.  In the past, new members had to wait for their CLEAR card to arrive in the mail before they could use the lanes at the airport. Regular members had to present their card and boarding pass at […]

Are airline fares flying too high at consumers' expense? (Image: Jim Glab)

Discipline: A secret airline code word?

New York Times business columnist James B. Stewart last week examined the airline industry’s ongoing obsessive focus on “discipline” — i.e., keeping a tight rein on capacity — and concluded that while it’s great for companies’ bottom lines, it’s not so good for travelers. He also wondered whether airline executives’ constant reference to the term […]

Did you know there are now 445 Tesla Supercharging stations across the country? (Image: Tesla)

Cross country Tesla + Hotel theft + Qantas back + 2 United Clubs + JAL trip report + Delta LAX

TravelSkills’ 12 most popular posts over the last week… plus a few newsy nuggets we missed. 1. Which nationality steals most from hotels? 2. QANTAS big red tail returns to San Francisco 3. Another carry-on bag battle brewing 4. Trip Report: Japan Airlines Sky Suite 777 5. New routes for United, Alaska, Delta, AA and more 6. Delta’s LAX facelift 7. A new […]

Gasbuddy.com

Cool gasoline price heat map

Travelers who might be turned off by high airline ticket prices and summer travel hassles will be hitting the highways and byways in droves this summer. According to the very helpful Gasbuddy.com site, those traveling by car in South Carolina, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and Oklahoma will found the lowest gas prices– about $2.50 per gallon. But beware […]

Have you ever seen a passenger jet take off almost vertically? Wow (Image: Boeing)

Watch this Dreamliner soar! (VIDEO)

This week Boeing released a video of its newest 787-9 Dreamliner practicing some graceful maneuvers in preparation for this week’s Paris Air Show. Must see this for the awesome near vertical take off! Watch this bird soar! How would you like to be onboard for this flight? I would! Here BBC explains how planes can […]

Officials in Pittsburgh are the latest to approve ride-share pick-ups at the city's airport. (Image: Rudy Guy/Flickr)

What’s next for Uber & Lyft?

Ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft continue to make advances in gaining access to the lucrative airport passenger pick-up market, winning new approval to operate at Pittsburgh International, and getting close to a deal with Washington D.C. officials; meanwhile, Uber announced a big expansion in Denver, where airport pick-ups were approved late last year. Officials […]

Pac-Man and other games will be featured on Virgin America's enhanced entertainment system. (Image: Virgin America)

Virgin America upgrades entertainment

What’s Red Beta? It’s the newest iteration of Virgin America’s in-flight entertainment system, and it will make its debut on three of the carrier’s planes this month. The Red Beta roll-out will continue until it is available fleetwide sometime next year, the company said. Passenger seats will have new higher-resolution touch-screen monitors from Panasonic and […]

Delta 737-900ER. (Image: Boeing)

Delta plans big aircraft purchase

Delta said it will add 60 new aircraft to its domestic fleet once its rank-and-file pilots ratify a labor agreement already endorsed by the pilots’ leadership council. When that happens, Delta said, it will move ahead with aircraft acquisitions including 20 Embraer E190s and another 40 Boeing 737-900ERs. The E190s are currently held by Boeing […]