Most popular: Delta 747 + Fare sale + New routes + Longest United flight + New Bev Hills hotel

United Airlines showing its true colors for Pride month (Image: United)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

Reader Report: Final ride on a Delta 747

Big late summer/fall airfare sale takes off (Expired)

Routes: Southwest, AA, Delta, Alaska, + a new 787 route

Routes: JetBlue to Europe + AA, Delta, Norwegian, United, Avianca, Etihad

Two rare birds land by the Bay- with ultra cheap fares

Major transformation at Denver International + more airport news

7 Airports ask Trump for a raise, but you’ll pay for it

United’s longest flight won’t have this

3 U.S. cities get cheap new nonstops to Rome

10 New: Hilton-Beverly Hills, Hyatt-NYC, Marriott-Phoenix, Westin-Milwaukee, Choice-Chicago

Don’t miss: Global travelers shrug off political, terror concerns

TravelSkills editor Chris McGinnis took some time off for a family reunion in North Carolina this week at the High Hampton Inn– nice! And not like any Hampton Inn he’s ever stayed in before!

Blue Ridge Mountain time #travel #northcarolina #mountains #blueridge #summer

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Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

Yellow Taxi sharing goes live in NYC

Travelers growing accustomed to terror?

Best Western testing in-room Alexa

PricewaterhouseCoopers sees an end to U.S. airline consolidation

Hilton picks AmEx as exclusive provider of Honors  credit cards

Delta recruits L.A. celebrity chefs for Delta One transcon in-fight service

Gogo says its high-speed 2Ku satellite Wi-Fi service is now on more than 200 aircraft

Here are the 20 longest flights operated by U.S. carriers

British Airways cabin crews plan four-day walkout in mid-June

KLM starts offering boarding passes, flight status updates via Twitter

Wyndham Hotels starts a new brand for three- and four-star independent properties

Take a look at the new ‘Canopy Park’ coming to Singapore’s Changi Airport

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Most popular: Cheap Rome flights + Longest Dreamliner flight + United dumps p.s. + Rare birds by the Bay

Finally! Some cheap flights from the US to Rome coming soon (Image: Pixabay)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

3 U.S. cities get cheap new nonstops to Rome

United’s longest flight won’t have this

Ultra-cheap fares on two new rare birds landing by the Bay

Routes: Delta, Aeromexico, Finnair, Qatar, Alitalia, Norwegian, United + more

Quiz: Test your planespotting skills

Can you easily identify this plane? Then take our quiz! (Chris McGinnis)

Virgin/Alaska expands carry-on bag sizes

Watch for big changes in TSA screening procedures

Can Oakland cope with global growth?

United upgrading new “Premium Transcontinental Service”

10 Should airlines lock seats upright?

Don’t miss! Add buffer days to avoid traveler burnout

Been to SF lately? Check out the changes in the skyline here on Chris McGinnis’s Instagram…and follow him!

San Francisco’s new skyline #sf #sanfrancisco #onlyinsf #skyscrapers #travel #salesforcetower

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Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

New website lets users bid for business & first class discounts (Tried it yet? Let us know!)

Russian test of new 200-passenger plane takes airline industry by surprise

Local Atlanta restaurant to supply meals on Delta’s new Seoul nonstop

Trump poised to reverse Obama era’s opening of American travel to Cuba

Cuba kiss

Chris gets a warm welcome in Havana, Cuba last May… but travel there might get harder (Image: Chris McGinnis)

Hilton creates a guest room for fitness fanatics

Take a look at the world’s largest airplane

Qantas uses crowdsourcing to solicit names for its Dreamliners

Marriott starts rolling out mobile check-in for Starwood Preferred Guest members

Former tech exec wants to build a chain of underwater hotels

ICYMI, see the 25 most recent TravelSkills posts right here

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Most popular: TSA changes + Reader report + Delta upgrades + Planespotting + Summer advice

A long hot summer ahead! We’ve got advice for you below… (Image: Jim Glab)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

Watch for big changes in TSA screening procedures 

Routes: Alaska, Southwest, Finnair, United, American, Air India, Avianca

Reader Report: SAS new business class to Copenhagen

Planespotting: MD-80/90 & Boeing 717

Planespotting: Airbus A320 family differences

Fiji Airways SFO

Can you identify this plane? If not, read out planespotting series! (Photo: Peter Biaggi/SFO)

Delta adds flexibility to upgrades

Airport news: AA’s new JFK lounge + Chicago, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Charlotte

American’s premium economy: 777-200s are next

The ultimate luxury: LAX’s new private terminal

10 Lyft goes black in bid for business travelers

Don’t miss! Advice for navigating, and saving, in the busy summer ahead

British Airways CEO apologizes for Saturday’s worldwide shut down, asks travelers to stay away from airports…

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

Foot bins: The solution to cabin storage problems?

Progress on ATL’s showy new canopies project

What it’s like to be an female Uber driver in Vegas

Don’t like tight economy seats? Tough. Get used to it.

United Economy B777-300ER

10-abreast on United’s new B777-300ER (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Bloomberg: Why you really need to give Alaska Airlines a try

American’s new first class dining room at JFK

Best Western now largest hotel chain in Sweden

Georgia Peanut Commission not happy about Delta’s new snacks 

TSA adds Singapore, Turkish & other airlines to PreCheck program

Turkish Air SFO

Turkish Air now part of TSA PreCheck program (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Here’s why you should be careful taking in-flight photos/videos

Delta brings new beverage options to domestic flights

FAA orders removal of potentially unsafe seats from smaller jets

Star Alliance develops online award booking platform across all member airlines

Russia, China team up to build a new jumbo jet

Uber integrates local mass transit information into its app

ICYMI, see the 25 most recent TravelSkills posts right here

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Most popular: United growth + More Lounges + Planespotting + Travel jobs + LAX update

SF

Thursday was a great day for flying from a window seat over SF Bay! SFO>ATL on a United B737 (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

United beefs up by the Bay to counter Alaska/Virgin

Planespotting: Boeing 737 vs Airbus A320 differences

American Express Platinum adds 3 new lounges

Nice selection of hot and cold dishes at Oakland’s Escape Lounge, now available to Amex Platinum card holders (Photo: Keonnis Taylor)

5 top jobs for those who love to travel

Routes: Alaska, JetBlue, Southwest, Delta + seaplanes to Tahoe!

LAX’s Big Move was a Big Success

‘Economic tsunami’ and ‘havoc’ caused by laptop ban

Marriott, Starwood, Ritz roll out big summer promotion

The ultimate luxury: LAX’s new private terminal

10 Planespotting: Boeing 757, 767

Don’t miss out: Alaska Airlines Visa card sweetens a key perk! 

Sea plane

Blackbird’s seaplanes will fly from the waters of the SF Bay at Sausalito to the waters of Lake Tahoe for just $124 each way for the 75-minute flight. Scroll up to read the post! (Image: Blackbird)

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

Why Delta decided to stop being the mean airline

British Airways deep summer business class sale 2-4-1 (ENDS TONIGHT-SUNDAY MAY 21)

Southwest Airlines: Hawaii flights are a high priority 

Big Sheraton hotel to be leveled at ATL for runway

Uber back in Austin

Few hitches on big LAX move

U.S. airlines predict record travel volume this summer

Secret life of the King of the Netherlands: He flies for KLM as a copilot

Delta will introduce gluten-free main cabin snacks next month

Delta’s new gluten-free snacks = KIND bars (Image: Delta)

Survey: Most consumers feel no loyalty to any single airline

Cvent lists top meeting destinations worldwide

Star Alliance working to let flyers book seats across all legs of an itinerary

Korean Air sets higher fees for “overweight pet companions”

Air New Zealand developing “augmented reality” viewers for cabin crews

Air France reveals more plans for its new Boost subsidiary

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Most popular: Phone searches + United adds + Polaris report + Laptop ban + LAX

LAX might be in LaLa land this week as the Big Move is on! (Image: Los Angeles International Airport)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

Laptop Ban Update

1 Troubling- U.S. Customs: Show me your phone, or else…

2 Overkill? United beefs up by the Bay to counter Alaska/Virgin

3 Well, Chris I don’t think… Reader Report: United Polaris (new seat) to Hong Kong

4 Still no firm answers- Russian mystery plane at SFO

Antonov An-124 Volga Dnepr

A Russian Antonov An-124 parked at SFO (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

5 Stay tuned- DHS: Prepare for laptop ban on Europe flights

6 Helpful! Finally: Easier, cheaper roaming options for U.S. travelers

7 So far, so good- Heads up: The Big Move at LAX starts (LA Times reports all going smoothly)

8 Fewer big seats- Delta reveals plans for 777 makeovers

9 Tight squeeze- Should airlines lock seats upright?

10 Airport news: JFK, LaGuardia, Atlanta, LAX, Baltimore-Washington

Don’t miss out: Alaska Airlines Visa card sweetens key perk! 

Alaska Airlines Havana

Alaska Airlines has just sweetened a perk for new card holders- a free companion ticket! Use it to fly to Havana as shown here CLICK  (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

United dragging mess has no impact on bottom line

Qantas CEO gets a pie in the face in Perth

JetBlue Has a New Points Partner: Icelandair 

Emirates: Profits down a whopping 80%

Fun new ad campaign from Orbitz- Showbizzzzz!

Hey whining airline passenger: Look in the mirror! 

State Dept. expected to start limited online passport renewal program in 2018

Big new study suggests how far in advance to book for best fares

JetBlue adds new artisanal ice cream to the MINT menu. And it’s yummy! 

JetBlue delivered a sample of new Double Rainbow ice cream to TravelSkills offices this week. Thanks! (Photo: Kim Grimes)

U.S. may expand facial recognition systems at airports to U.S. citizens

Southwest reports no problems in switching over to new reservations system

Don’t miss out: Alaska Airlines Visa card sweetens key perk! 

ICYMI, see the 25 most recent TravelSkills posts right here

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Most popular: Mystery plane + Phone searches + Cheap awards + New routes + Legroom

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) wants your mobile phone password (Image: CBP)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

Russian mystery plane at SFO – this post was picked up by Drudge Report and snagged 150,000 views on Thursday! Still no official word on what exactly all these Antonov planes are doing at SFO- but there’s plenty of speculation in the comments! 

U.S. Customs: Show me your phone, or else…

5 cushy crew rest areas: Cathay Pacific, United, Singapore, Qantas, Delta

Best airlines, best days for cheap award travel

5 Domestic Routes: Delta, JetBlue, United, Virgin America, Alaska, Southwest, American

Qatar Airways plans to use a 777-200LR on its new SFO route. (Image: Darren Koch/Wikimedia Commons)

6 International Routes: Qatar Airways to SFO + United 787s, Delta, Copa, AA, Virgin Atlantic

Economy class legroom: How low can it go?

A new(ish) look for Hawaiian Airlines

6 SFO secrets you should know

10 The big difference between direct & nonstop flights

New African-American #history #museum in #washington #dc is hottest ticket in town. #soldout #travel

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Have you been to the new African American History Museum on Washington, DC yet? Read about how a trip there took editor Chris McGinnis on a journey through time to his adolescence and reminded him of a guardian angel! From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

Hawaii Renames Honolulu Airport to Honor Late US Senator

New renderings of the Grand Hyatt on airport at SFO, breaking ground later this year 

Luxury lounge coming to LAX

What? Delta’s new JFK-Manhattan helicopter costs $1,300 one way

San Francisco International celebrates 90 years!

China’s new aircraft will compete with the 737, A320

Grand Hyatt SFO

A new Grand Hyatt is coming to SFO terminals (Photo: SFO)

Canada’s WestJet orders 787-9s; eyes new Asia, South America routes

Qatar Airways offers free Doha stopover to transit passengers, including hotel stay

Southwest’s new president pledges carrier will not impose baggage fees

British Airways adds perks for Executive Club members

DFW Airport loses millions in parking revenues due to Uber, Lyft

‘Squeezed’ passenger sues AA for seating him next to obese travelers on 14-hour flight

Emergency bridge loan keeps Alitalia flying — for now

Qantas will introduce its own Platinum MasterCard

Spectacularly cool! Nation’s tallest public art to top Salesforce Tower (IMAGE)

ICYMI, see the 25 most recent TravelSkills posts right here

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Catching up on last week’s travel news with TravelSkills

United Hawaii

Cruising into Lihue Airport on Kauai last week on a United 757 sitting in the exit row (Chris McGinnis)

Last week TravelSkills was on vacation. And it looks like we picked a great week to take off– there was not a whole lot of breaking travel news when we were spring breaking in Hawaii. We’ve spent this morning catching up…and you can catch up, too with our top posts from last week AND last week’s most important travel stories found elsewhere.

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

Trip Report: Oakland-London, British Airways business class

2 Another violent onboard altercation caught on video (American stroller incident)

What is Thomas Cook Airlines?

Thomas Cook Airlines

Premium economy on Thomas Cook Airlines (Image: Thomas Cook)

‘Big Data’ tips for saving on summer travel

3 ways United plans to win back business travelers

Third “real” United Polaris flight revealed

A new fare increase for business travelers?

Delta 747

Delta and Unites say buh-bye to the Queen of the Skies this year (Image: Delta)

United, Delta 747 schedule: final flights

Planespotting 101: Boeing 737 vs Airbus A320

10 The big difference between direct & nonstop flights

Don’t miss Chris’s Instagram feed for some nice images of his spring break in Hawaii!

Last pic of paradise #kauai #hawaii #travel #springbreak #hanalei

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Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

Runway repaving to cause weekend headaches at SFO thru June 12

Hey LAX flyers: Delta wants YOU

Double or Triple Hilton Honors points for summer trips

United ends interline agreements with five Mideast carriers

Southwest and Marriott/Starwood come out on top in annual Freddie Awards for loyalty programs

United settles quickly and quietly with Dr Dao

American will delay delivery of Airbus A350s by two years

Delta brings new headphones to premium passengers

United unveils a 10-point plan for treating passengers better

Southwest Airlines special livery

Southwest Airlines “Tennessee One” livery. Like it? (Image: Southwest Airlines)

Southwest CEO: We’re going to stop overbooking

U.S. air fares fell more than 6 percent last year

Delta offers easy helicopter transfers at New York JFK

Alitalia faces prospect of bankruptcy

Qantas will begin London-Australia non-stops next year

Uber app update gives you quick access to your rating

ICYMI, see the 25 most recent TravelSkills posts right here

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Most popular: Onboard fight + United’s future + Emirates cuts + Hidden fare increase + Shirley

United B777-300ER

United’s brand new Boeing 777-300ER arrives at SFO for the first time (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

3 ways United plans to win back business travelers

Third “real” United Polaris flight revealed

Emirates cuts flights to US

Charting progress of big LAX move starting now

A hidden fare increase for business travelers

The problem with low fare flying

Norwegian Air Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Norwegian Air made a mark on Bay Area travel with ultra low fares, and lots of fees, for trips to Europe (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

What in the world is Thomas Cook Airlines? 

Uber could make tipping easier – but would you? POLL

United’s Polaris business class rollout hits turbulence

10 New hotels: Stunning London luxury, Hip option in LA, Design-forward in NYC + 3 more!

Don’t miss! Another onboard altercation fires up social media

Something you may not know about Chris! Don’t miss TravelSkills editor Chris McGinnis’s memoir “Life with Shirley” in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about growing up in the 1970s in Atlanta. He was inspired to write it while on a business trip to Washington, DC last fall. Please bring your kleenexes and take a read and let Chris know what you think! chris@travelskills.com

San Francisco bound and need some great advice? Then check this out! 

A perfect app for a SF local or a visitor (Image: Lee Foster)

Can the travel destination app, which once flourished, make a comeback? Friend of TravelSkills Lee Foster thinks so. Lee has just released his new and improved travel content app on San Francisco, titled “SF Travel & Photo Guide.” The app is available for $3.99 through Apple and Google and has been announced on Lee’s website. Lee has also answered some questions about the app on his website. For further info on the app, contact Lee at lee@fostertravel.com.

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

United controls almost three-fourths of the takeoff/landing slots at Newark Liberty International Airport. (Image: new York/New Jersey Port Authority)

United Airlines President: Moving to Newark Liberty from New York’s JFK ‘Was the Wrong Decision’ 

How San Diego went from little airport to global stop

Crowded Austin-Bergstrom gets shiny new terminal

FCC Set to Ban Inflight Calls for Good

Phase 2 of Tampa’s billion dollar airport upgrade

Tampa International Airport

A gates at Tampa International are big bright and airy- but be aware of construction in main terminal (Chris McGinnis)

Delta now has 100 jets with speedy satellite based wi-fi

San Francisco official: Ban cops from hauling passengers off planes at SFO

Low-cost carrier Norwegian plans to start flying London-Singapore

Atlanta retains title as world’s busiest airport

No more lost planes; Malaysia Airlines will use satellites to track fleet

Canada’s WestJet plans to start a new low-cost airline

United promises detailed response April 30 to bumping incident

OAG debuts new on-time performance ratings for airlines, airports

ICYMI, see the 25 most recent TravelSkills posts right here

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Most popular: United mess + New Hawaiian planes + Low fare flying + Best mileage deals

United Airlines sign

A very dark week for United Airlines (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

United: Will 3 wrongs make a right?

Hawaiian Airlines unveils new A321s for west coast routes

The problem with low fare flying

Low fares are great, but what happens during irregular operations? (Image: Oakland International Airport)

Alaska targets Texas for latest expansion

Travelers’ rights: Involuntary bumping & the United drama

Routes: Airberlin delays at SFO/LAX, Virgin Australia, Austrian, AA, United + more

Uber faces shut-down in 2 European countries

Uber Newark

Finding a ride on Uber getting tougher in Europe- but there are alternatives (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

First look deep inside a Delta 747-400 [PHOTOS]

How to get the most for your miles this summer

10 British Airways’ posh plans for business class [PHOTOS]

Do you follow TravelSkills on Facebook? It’s a great way to tune into breaking news. CLICK!

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

How much could David Dao get from United lawsuit?

Delta raises cap on bump compensation to $10,000 in flight vouchers

Which is California’s most loved airline?

Delta quietly increases award prices (again)

Delta Atlanta

Delta raises rates, devalues SkyMiles again. Surprised? (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Driving to the airport? SFO knows your number & keeps it for four years

Under Trump, Bay Area tourism could take a hit

A pilot explains what he thinks really happened on United flight 

Airlines argue against calls for a ban on overbooking

Travelers almost $1 million in loose change at TSA checkpoints last year

Customs & Border Protection sharply increases digital searches of personal devices

New FCC chief kills proposal to allow in-flight voice calls

Delta has new policy for guns in checked bags

Hyatt adds in-room streaming of Netflix, Hulu, etc.

United Polaris

United’s new wine flights on Polaris flights are popular… maybe too popular?  (Photo: Scott Hintz)

United’s Polaris passengers are drinking too much wine

Scorpion stings passenger on United flight to Canada

Air Asia X starting low-fare Honolulu flights, but has eyes on LAX, SFO

ICYMI, see the 25 most recent TravelSkills posts right here

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Most popular: 747 + New Hawaiian seats + British Airways biz class + Polaris snag + Lav seats

Tourists London

Despite terrorism, tourism in London is strong- Chris notes that Westminster was packed as ever last week (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

1 A long-term love affair: First look deep inside a Delta 747-400 [PHOTOS]

2 Wide seats on narrow bodies: Hawaiian Airlines unveils new A321s for west coast routes

3 Exclusive look! British Airways’ posh plans for business class [PHOTOS] See comments

Chris McGinnis

Chris took the best seat on a BA 787 Dreamliner – 1K- for landing during a London press conference

4 Sit back, relax, and wait: United’s Polaris business class rollout hits turbulence

5 More Mint: JetBlue sets next wave of Mint expansion

Routes: New Alaska transcons + Delta, Southwest, AA, Frontier

7 Upgrades? Nope: Delta, JetBlue lay on more lie-flat seats, but…

Routes: Norwegian SEA/DEN-London $199; LOT, JAL, United, EVA + more

9 Oh, jeez: DHS warning: Laptop ban could be expanded

10 Contro: Airplane lavatory seats: Up or down?

Do you follow Chris on Instagram? Come on and join the fun! Click here

Early morning view from my #hotel room #jetlag #london #travel #sunrise

A post shared by Chris McGinnis (@chrisjmcginnis) on

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

United will move 787s from Houston to Washington Dulles routes

Alaska will keep Virgin America’s gates at Dallas Love Field

Delta extends Porsche transfers to Delta Private Jet customers

How the I-85 freeway collapse in Atlanta is affecting Delta 

New Airbus A380 interior option would let airlines cram in more seats

Wallethub ranks best and worst U.S. airlines

Analyst: Basic economy fares could be a big bait-and-switch tactic

United getting new coach seats

ICYMI, see the 25 most recent TravelSkills posts right here

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Most popular: Delta 747 + Aircraft noise + New routes + SFO runways + Hyatt points

Flight attendant hat

Flight attendant wore uniforms from the 70s at the Delta 747 Experience last week. Hat designed by Yves St Laurent (Image: Chris McGinnis)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

1 What a sight! First look deep inside a Delta 747-400 [PHOTOS]

2 Causing consternation: Ugly aircraft noise, beautifully displayed

Routes: Delta, Alaska, AA, JetBlue, United, JetSuiteX

4 Virgin’s new moves Routes: Seattle and SFO; Delta, WOW, AA, Emirates, United, BA + more

Airport news: San Diego, Newark, Atlanta, Orlando, Phoenix, Portland

6 Chris flies to London this week from OAK> Deal: $503 roundtrip Oakland-London on British Airways

Marriott Residence Inn

My fave hotel in Boston: Marriott’s popular Residence Inn Downtown Seaport (Chris McGinnis)

7 Fares still available on FOUR carriers: Full-on fare war: Atlanta-Boston $80 economy, $335 first

8 Flatter seats, fewer upgrades: Delta, JetBlue lay on more lie-flat seats, but…

9 ICYMI My most jaw-dropping window seat view…ever [VIDEO]

10 Still a hot issue: Alaska Airlines reveals fate of Virgin America

Don’t miss: Working around the laptop ban

Listen up! TravelSkills sponsor Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection recently created a podcast interview about the latest travel news with editor Chris McGinnis! Listen for yourself by clicking below, or find it on Soundcloud — Chris’s bit starts at the 10:30 minute mark:

Coyote runway

Fake, or decoy, coyotes are used to scare birds off the runway at SFO (Image: Chris McGinnis)

Runway repairs will cause 9 week(ends) of delays at SFO

Richard Branson: Alaska Air must pay for Virgin brand thru 2040!

American Express increases Platinum sign up bonus to 60,000 (keep scrolling!)

San Jose airport manager moving south

Very helpful: How to travel with an Alzheimers or dementia companion

Boeing’s new Skyview window (Boeing)

Largest airplane windows of all time offer pano views

Hyatt rolls out new double points promotion

Virgin Atlantic reveals new Upper Class design for A330s

New jacket for travelers has 10 functions

Silvercar sold this week (Facebook photo: Than Maung)

Audi plans to acquire 100 percent of U.S. specialty rental firm Silvercar

Hilton’s digital room key app now available in 1,000 hotels

U.S. company plans to build 150-passenger electric-powered aircraft

These airlines are most likely to bump you

The 10 U.S. cities ranked best for business travel

How Lyft is like a “better boyfriend”

Get the app and get $10 off your first Lyft ride!

ICYMI, see the 25 most recent TravelSkills posts right here

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Popular: LAX mess + Virgin fate + Spaceship + Ban + Cheap spring

Delta

Every now and then even TravelSkills ventures beyond the curtain. Seat 40D SFO>ATL on a Delta 757. Not bad! (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

1 Emotions run high in the comments Alaska Airlines reveals fate of Virgin America

2 It’s gonna be cray-cray Multi-airline mega-move at LAX just weeks away

3 Spacey! Virgin America view: My most jaw-dropping window seat view…ever [VIDEO]

SFO Terminal 2 flags

Remembering Virgin America and the opening of Terminal 2 SFO in 2011 (Chris McGinnis)

4 Sale fares gone but still cheap New $149 California-Spain flights – and it’s not Norwegian

Routes: Norwegian/BA at Oakland, Alaska/Condor, China Eastern, KLM, Air Canada, Volaris

6 Say what? Ugly aircraft noise, beautifully displayed

7 Dealing with it Electronics ban spreads: Advice & alternative explanations

8 Fastest growing airport in the US: Mineta San Jose Airport: New transcon routes and more

9 He made a cool $600 million on the deal: Richard Branson bids good-bye to Virgin America

10 LOL: The lighter side the electronics ban

Don’t miss: Why this spring travel season is different- and cheaper– than before

SFO Tower

Removing the “cab” atop SFO’s old control tower (Chris McGinnis)

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

Alaska Airlines adds German Condor as mileage partner

America’s most hair raising airport landings

Uber softening stance on tipping?

United finishes up security modernization at Newark hub

Marriott adding new search engine for local experiences

At ATL, Lyft, Uber already getting twice the biz as cab companies

The South’s best fried chicken restaurants

Last week Virgin Atlantic launched new 3x per week “Man-Fran” nonstops between SFO and Manchester, UK. Lowest fares for May $659 roundtrip. Virgin says “Man-Fran will build on a shared psyche between these two northern cities, both famous for their wet weather, trams, music, LBGT and street art scenes; one built on a heritage of silicon and the other rebuilding itself as a British tech hub” (Photo: Virgin)

American Express CEO made a cool $22 million last year

Austin airport was designed for 11 million passengers but currently doing 12 million.

Pilots charge American’s on-time departure obsession is stranding standby passengers

Faced with in-cabin ban, Emirates offers special handling for laptops

Marriott’s growth target: 300,000 more rooms in two years

AA said to eye big investment in China Southern

FAA predicts a 65 percent increase in airline traffic over the next 20 years

JetBlue introduces a new treat for Mint passengers

New app offers simplified interface for air/hotel bookings, changes

EU to U.K. airlines: Move your HQ to the continent or you could lose routes

ICYMI, see the 25 most recent TravelSkills posts right here

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Most Popular: New deck + Cheap Europe + United B777 + Lie-flat + Delta 747

Dublin, Ireland was awash in smiles and greenery this week for St Patrick’s Day. With the euro low ($1.07), it’s a great time to go! (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

1 Look! SFO gets public outdoor observation deck

2 Most deals expired, but likely to come back Rare business class fare war erupts 

3 Cheapest summer ever for Europe? New $149 California-Spain flights – and it’s not Norwegian

34 inches of pitch in United Economy Plus- 31 inches in regular economy (Chris McGinnis)

4 Behind the curtain: Reader Report: United Economy Plus on new B777-300ER

5 Super elite smiles: Marriott upgrades some United frequent flyers

6 Big news 13 new nonstops with Alaska Airlines’ big Bay Area bump

Routes: Norwegian, WOW, Emirates, United, Air China + more

8 Oh, come on! Delta’s new fees for earlier flights

9 California never saw it so good: Alaska Airlines adds 6 more California nonstops

10 Luxury on a long transcon: Boston basks in lie-flat comfort

Surprise hot samosas on Aer Lingus (Chris McGinnis)

Don’t miss one of our most popular Trip Reports ever: Aer Lingus New Business Class SFO-DUB

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

From the San Francisco Chronicle: The Bay Area’s busiest gathering of designers right now might be tucked inside a hangar on the outskirts of San Francisco International Airport. That’s where 200 or so architects, engineers and other kindred spirits gather each weekday to chew on the details of a $1.5 billion project that won’t be finished until the end of 2022. And the first tangible result of their efforts — to rebuild an entire terminal without ever closing it — is the room where they work each day, a 33,000-square-foot, free-standing structure that was conceived and constructed in less than nine months. Full story and more photos here:  Glimpse behind scenes as architects rebuild SFO terminal

SFO Terminal 1

Here’s the look of what’s to come at SFO Terminal 1 by 2022 (Photo: Gensler)

Say what? 87% of United revenue comes from those who fly just once a year

7 things you didn’t know about the ultra-exclusive Amex Black Centurion Card

China no longer needs Hong Kong as gateway, so Cathay Pacific suffers

Wanna get married inside a Delta 747? Now you can

Delta 747

Delta will open a special 747 exhibit later this month at its Atlanta Museum (Image: Delta)

United drops duty-free program

Passenger’s headphones catch fire in-flight

Boeing talks with airlines about what a 797 aircraft should look like

U.S. airlines’ passenger numbers hit a record in 2016

United doubles its planned capacity increase for 2017

Study: Southwest dominates rivals in social media presence

Trump budget would end subsidies for small-town air service

Get the app and get $10 off your first Lyft ride!

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Popular: Alaska invasion + Amex changes + Airport lounges + Nowhere flight + Cathay Pacific

Chris McGinnis TV

What will happen to fares when Alaska moves in? Listen to what Chris said on CBS5 (Image: CBS5)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

1 See Chris discuss this on TV- 13 new nonstops with Alaska Airlines’ big Bay Area bump

2 A slew of good comments- Game over for American Express card gamers?

3 Ummmm, yesss! Are airport lounges getting too crowded?

Some additional notes regarding Amex: See below for Amex guest policy changes announced this week to fix overcrowding at lounges; additionally, we’ve heard from a few readers who called Amex to protest the 22% rate increase, and were offered a $300 credit on the spot to not cancel their cards)

4 Getting cushy- Double beds in business class

5 Seriously! A new trend? Oh, no! Another 4-hour flight to nowhere

Flight Aware

Another one! Hawaiian Air flight 43 took off from San Jose, and returned 4 hours later (Image: Flight Aware)

Airport news: Atlanta, LAX, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Orlando

7 One of this year’s most popular- United flies Boeing 747 SFO-LAX

8 Tried Lyft yet? Get the app! 5 key reasons to try new Lyft Premier

Lyft Uber

Lyft now offers a classier ride to the airport with new Premier option (Source: Lyft)

9 Both airlines have final hurrahs in the works- United, Delta 747 schedule: final flights

10 Another reason to fly Southwest Getting on earlier flight getting easier

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

This week Cathay Pacific announced that it would add a THIRD daily SFO-Hong Kong nonstop on October 29 using an Airbus A350, its first deployed in the U.S. The new jet will offer Cathay’s newest business class, premium economy and economy class seating (no first class). What’s really nice about this plane? It burns 25% less fuel (with corresponding reduction in emissions) and its carpet and blankets are made with nylon and plastic recycled from bottles and salvaged fishing nets, which pose a threat to marine life. Even better, this will be the first Cathay plane to offer inflight wi-fi– essential for those 12-14 hour flights to Hong Kong!

Cathay Pacific A350

Cathay Pacific’s first U.S. A350 coming to SFO this fall (Photo: Cathay Pacific)

American Express restricts Centurion lounge guests to 2 family members only 

Chris on CBS5 talking about Alaska Air’s big Bay Area bump

Emirates, Etihad on the verge of a merge? 

At LAX, agents detain Playboy bunny believed to be Russian spy

JetBlue to ATL: Thanks but no thanks for ghetto gates on Concourse D

NY Post: How to survive LaGuardia’s construction chaos

Why are new planes still delivered with ashtrays?

Leg rest or lie flat? More buy up to premium economy than buy down from business class

Study finds radiation threat on long-haul flights is worse than previously believed

TWA hotel

Construction starts on new hotel inside Saarinen terminal at JFK. (Photo: NY Governor Cuomo office)

TWA Terminal Hotel at JFK will have a restaurant inside a Lockheed Constellation

Qatar Airways plans to launch a subsidiary in India with 100 planes

Here’s what happens when your seatmate dies in flight

Trump wants to slash TSA’s budget to help pay for border wall

Hughes Network Systems claims in-flight Wi-Fi speeds of 400 Mbps

TSA pat-downs get more personal

On Delta #1583 SFO-JFK on Feb 22 met by CBP agents demanding ID? @ACLU wants to talk to you 

Get the app and get $10 off your first Lyft ride!

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Most popular: United 747s + WOW review + Amex Platinum + Trump + Boarding rules

Carmel beach

I used my new Navdy device to help find the way to Carmel this weekend. Wow! Winter in California’s pretty nice! (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

1 Crazy but true- Seriously! United flies Boeing 747 SFO-LAX

2 So what’s WOW like? Reader Report: WOW Air to Iceland in economy class

3 The Queen! United, Delta 747 schedule: final flights

Upstairs in the 747 bubble: United business class  (Photo: United)

4 22% price increase for what? Time to reconsider Amex Platinum card?

Routes: Swiss to SFO + Lufthansa, Aeromexico, Hainan, Delta/KLM, Air Canada

6 Check out the angry comments- “Trump slump” means more great travel deals

7 United’s newest, shortest flight- United: 2nd Polaris route + SFO-Munich + more domestic flights

8 Here we go again… Another try at orderly boarding

9 A brand new Virgin hotel- San Francisco’s overheated hotel scene could cool off

10 Something for real road warriors- Heads up: Trying out Navdy in my car

Don’t miss: 6 smart reasons to try Best Western Rewards!

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

Cathay Pacific introduced it’s own brand of beer made to taste best at 35,000 feet (Photo: Cathay Pacific)

Named after “Betsy”, Cathay Pacific’s first aircraft, Betsy Beer will be first served to First and Business Class passengers onboard flights between Hong Kong and destinations in the UK this spring but will eventually make its way to U.S. flights.

Things you may not know about searching for airfares online

Cute Bahamian swimming pigs found dead

Popular Eater website for foodies bites into travel space- Yum!

The King of Saudi Arabia Is Traveling to Indonesia With 506 Tons of Luggage

Why your Sheraton will soon look a lot more Marriott

E.U. Parliament wants to require U.S. visitors to obtain visas

Delta Private Jets expands its fleet

App helps travelers calculate air fare fee add-ons

Mouse causes four-hour delay for British Airways flight to San Francisco

Copenhagen Airport opens pay-per-use lounge for long-haul passengers

Korean Air and Delta discuss forming a joint venture

Using Netflix on the road: Not all content is available for download

How to handle an oversold flight: Let passengers stand in the aisle

ICYMI, see the 25 most recent TravelSkills posts right here

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Most popular: Boeing 747 + Mexico + Biz class sale + Burbank + Korean 787

United 747

Looking out at a graceful 747 wing & Greenland from the cozy bubble of a United 747 (Chris McGinnis)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

1 Final mop-up mission for The Queen- Seriously! United flies Boeing 747 SFO-LAX

2 Spring breaker beware- Reader Report: Shakedown in Mexico

3 Book by Feb 28- Business class sale: US to Europe this spring

4 A few of these left- Fare war: California-Chicago $100 roundtrip

5 Biz traveler favorite- Burbank loses Hope but gains flights

6 Probably not- Should you ever book a Basic Economy fare?

7 Still popular after 2 weeks!- United’s 4-hour flight to nowhere

San Jose SJC Terminal B

San Jose getting even more new nonstops to East Coast! (Photo: SJC)

8 Plenty of faves left out (see comments)- Best & worst airport-to-city trains

Routes: United, Alaska at San Jose + American, Delta, Spirit

10 Norwegian invasion- Ten new Europe routes will offer $65 fares

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

Qantas unveiled its new Premium Economy seats, which will go on its new 787s this fall (Image: Qantas)

Getting a good cocktail at airport or plane getting easier

Qantas rainbow themed livery for Sydney Mardi Gras

Gogo’s newest Wi-Fi satellite technology exceeds 100 Mbps

American’s revised boarding procedure has nine passenger groups

Korean Air’s new 787 Dreamliner is made in Charleston, SC (Photo: Boeing)

Korean Air takes delivery of its first 787-9 Dreamliner

Spirit’s CEO sees no threat from Basic Economy fares at legacy airlines

Delta’s first Airbus A350 takes shape

Virgin Atlantic is showing Oscar-nominated films in flight through May

Comments to DOT on in-flight phone calls are strongly negative

Non-EU airlines ordered to compensate passengers for lengthy flight delays

Cathay Pacific introduces beer designed for consumption at 35,000 feet

Chris visited Atlanta this week and had a perfect Martini, a great meal (and oysters!) at the Kimball House in Decatur. Been yet? Follow me on Instagram! 

#cocktails #martini #decatur #atlanta #travel

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Most popular: Nowhere flight + New United jet + Cheaper Asia nonstops + Tampa + $200 gift card

SFO rainbow United

The bright side to all the dull California weather: Rainbows at the airport! (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

UPDATE: United issues travel waiver for Feb 19-20 flights ahead of big California storm

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

1 This post has gone viral! United’s 4-hour flight to nowhere

Weekend Edition2 Cushy confines First look inside United’s newest jet: The Boeing 777-300ER [PHOTOS]

3 Cheaper flights to Asia in the offing? Routes: AA, AirAsia X, Southwest, Airberlin, South African Airways + more

4 Summer blues by the Bay Airport news: SFO, Oakland runways + Minneapolis, Baltimore, Seattle

5 One of my favorite places: Battle for Mexico City brings cheaper fares, more flights

6 World’s largest hotel for $23/night? Size matters at hotels

7 Is free food coming back? Delta starts transcon food fight

United's new SFO-Tampa flights takes a scenic route - click to see pics! (Chris McGinnis)

United’s new SFO-Tampa flights take a scenic route – click to see pics! (Chris McGinnis)

8 Parties and cakes on both ends! Trip Report: Inaugural SFO-Tampa flights on United

9 Oy Why SFO suffers so during rainy weather

10 Tick tock- This offer disappears Feb 28 How to get $200 for booking on Upside

Don’t miss! Nice new hotels in NYC, San Jose, Portland, LA

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

Singapore Airlines business class

Singapore Airlines new business class seat on B777- get it for about $2000 roundtrip! (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Rare Singapore Airlines business class sale from 4 US cities

$10 off every stay at Best Western thru April 30

Delta adds airport maps to its app

United: No “current plans” to allow inflight cell phone calls

Chris McGinnis

Bucket list travel

What’s on Chris’s bucket list? Find out in this post! 

Virgin America’s newest planes headed to DC, NYC this summer

Here’s what you should know if border agents want to search your phone

$200

Get $200 when booking your next trip: Use code: TS!

Houston airports let travelers provide instant feedback on the state of restrooms

Lufthansa deal with pilots could end recurring threat of strikes

Air Canada will expand auctions for premium seat upgrades

New coat for travelers can hold 30 pounds of stuff in its 14 pockets

Dubai plans to test Chinese-made passenger drones

New Cathay Pacific Visa cards target U.S. travelers

All this wicked weather makes for some great planespotting at California airports! Follow me on Instagram!

United’s #boeing #787 #dreamliner #sfo #travel #avgeek #united

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Popular: United’s new jet + Nowhere flight + Hilton bonus + Airport trains + Rain

United B777-300ER

United’s first Boeing 777-300ER with Polaris seats goes into domestic service this week (Photo: United)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

1 Ugh! United’s 4-hour flight to nowhere

2 Time to pave the Bay? Why SFO suffers so during rainy weatherWeekend Edition

3 Better watch out Someone’s spying on your strange airport behavior

4 Here come the Vikings….again Ultra-cheap transatlantic fares for 2 new cities

5 Check out where this reader went after his Qantas flight: Reader Report: Best economy seat on Qantas A380

SUNDAY UPDATE: United adds NYC airports to Feb 12-13 winter weather waiver

The new Denver Airport rail station is under the Westin Hotel. (Image: Jim Glab)

The new Denver Airport rail station is under the Westin Hotel. (Image: Jim Glab)

Best & worst airport-to-city trains– some great comments! Thanks 🙂

7 Simmer down! Emirates says Delta tantrum led to a six-hour flight delay

8 Dirty birds How often are planes washed?

Routes: Delta, Frontier grow Cincinnati + Southwest, Alaska, Spirit

10 70 readers have done this– you? How to get $200 for booking on Upside before Feb 28

Don’t miss this! An eagle snatches a drone out of the sky in military exercise

We’ve found a new “favorite place” just 20 minutes south of San Francisco: Pacifica. Step back in time and enjoy seafood and salt air at Nick’s Rockaway— or take a hike along the new Devil’s Slide trail! 

Seafood, salt air & cocktails at the beach! #sf #travel #pacifica #restaurant

A photo posted by Chris McGinnis (@chrisjmcginnis) on

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

Another Hilton promo: get 500 extra points for booking via Honors app– all year!

Emotionally distressed United pilot removed from SFO jet

Airports? Nah! Uber envisions new “vertiports” for flying cars

Air Canada’s got a classy new black-white-red look– like it? We do! But as usual with new liveries, there are a lot of naysayers.

Air Canada

Air Canada’s new black, white and red livery on a B787 Dreamliner (Image: Air Canada)

Regional carriers worst for mishandling bags

Ski train serving Denver-Winter Park with slopeside service

Most popular restaurants in 15 cities based on Uber drop off data- some interesting choices!

$200

Get $200 when booking your next trip: Use code: TS!

Major airlines’ new “basic economy” fares hitting Spirit hard

Alaska says decision on Virgin America branding is coming next month

Why are airline computers crashing so much these days?

Dealing with work emails after hours can be bad for your health

Schiphol tests new scanner that lets passengers keep their shoes on

Singapore Airlines orders 39 new widebodies from Boeing

China plans to scan fingerprints of foreign visitors

Delta has designs on its tray tables- this is one of my favorite of the 12 works. Yours?

Delta

One of several new tray table designed on a Delta jet- thoughts?

ICYMI, see the 25 most recent TravelSkills posts right here

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Most popular: London sale + Clean planes + Hilton Honors + New premium economy + Trivia Quiz

Looking at London across the Thames from the Corinthia Hotel (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Looking at London across the Thames from the Corinthia Hotel (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

Deal Alert: $457 to London from SFO, San Jose, Oakland (Deal expired, but we’ll monitor for its return)

How often are planes washed?Weekend Edition

Big changes for Hilton’s Honors program

WOW Air adds “premium” seats for West Coast flights

How to ride on United’s very first real Polaris flight

Test your travel smarts with this fun trivia quiz (1,600 readers have taken the test- what about you?)

A new InterContinental Hotel, the tallest in LA, will open later this year. Which airline owns it? Take the QUIZ to find out (Image:

A new InterContinental Hotel, the tallest in LA, will open later this year. Which airline owns it? Take the QUIZ to find out (Image: AC Martin)

At LAX: New United terminal, Qantas hangar, American & Delta swap

Routes: American’s Beijing problem + Virgin Atlantic, United, Air India, Bliss Jet

Watch this: PBS series takes inside look at aviation

10 Bay Area airports booming

We’ll be tuning in for this travel geeky PBS series on Feb 8– will you?

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

10 new Bay Area hotels to open in 2017, 4 in downtown San Francisco

Airlines gearing up for fight with Trump over Cuba

TSA says it will significantly reduce number of non-members in PreCheck lines

Delta and Virgin Australia offering DOUBLE miles 

10 of the best American cities to live comfortably on $40,000 a year

Pull quote in American Way magazine

TravelSkills reader Janis C spotted TravelSkills’ Chris McGinnis quoted in this month’s American Way magazine en route to London.

Peak cherry blossoms in Tokyo March 22 

Delta may be looking to increase business fares

Norwegian eyes a “low-cost alliance” with Europe’s Ryanair, easyJet

Spirit reduces allowable size of carry-on personal items

Atlanta is once again the world’s busiest airport for 2016

Trump’s hiring ban is said to leave TSA seriously understaffed

ICYMI, see the 25 most recent TravelSkills posts right here

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Most popular: AT&T plan, 747 demise, PreCheck, HHonors offer, Low transpac fares

Manhattan Bridge

Chris was in NYC last week & took a side trip over to Brooklyn. Manhattan Bridge pictured (Chris McGinnis)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

Southwest announces 22 new routesWeekend Edition

Cheaper new AT&T international plan mimics Verizon, T-Mobile

United, Delta 747 schedule: final flights

TSA adds more airlines to PreCheck program

Are seatback screens becoming obsolete?

seatback screen

I flew SFO-EWR on a United 777-200 last week and stared at this for 5 hours (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

5 ways to prepare for a trip to India

Hilton’s new HHonors bonus offer

Routes: Emirates nonstop NYC to Athens, JAL, Southwest, Delta, Iberia, Qatar

Low-fare competition is coming to the Pacific

10 Should I convert Virgin America points to Alaska miles now?

New: Uber & Lyft differ in dealing with Trump’s new travel ban 

Get $20 off your first LYFT ride! Click here!

Get $20 off your first LYFT ride! Click here!

Don’t miss! CLEAR adds 5 big Delta airports

Newark EWR concessions

Interesting, cozy style of the new mid-corridor concessions at Newark Terminal C- thoughts? (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

New Trump Hotel in SF? Not so fast…

Share a living room with four other guests at Element hotels

Two new Kimpton hotels for LA this spring: everlyhotelhollywood.com and lapeerhotel.com

Casinos at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport?

Don’t miss this great deal from this week’s sponsor! Three free meals when you try Blue Apron

Amazing Race making a casting call in SF

You have fewer traveler rights than you think! Chris quoted in USA Today

New ride-sharing service for women riders will have only female drivers

Study: U.S. could save money by making TSA PreCheck and Global Entry free

Southwest says it won’t copy major carriers’ new basic economy fares

Elon Musk wants to dig traffic tunnels to ease congestion

App that finds and books nearby parking spaces adds 13 more cities

Follow Chris on Instagram? Come on!

Incongruous welcome at #Trump Tower: Bellman & machine gun #nyc #guns #travel

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Most popular: Best program + San Jose boom + Fare sale + Golden Age + SIA Trip Report

snow

Looking down from the plane at the snowy Sierra is gorgeous. This is what it looks like from the ground this week! My sister-in-law’s house near Lake Tahoe.  (Photo: N. Dean)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

Is this really the best frequent flyer program?Weekend Edition

Deal Alert: SFO-London $481 nonstop, roundtrip United, Virgin (STILL AVAILABLE for Spring Break trips!)

Mineta San Jose airport adding even more flights in 2017

Reader Report: Singapore Airlines Premium Economy, Airbus A350 SFO-SIN

6 reasons why now is the “golden age” of air travel

Passengers retreat to the lounge upstair "inside the bubble" on the Pan Am 747 (Photo: Michael Kelley)

Passengers retreat to the lounge upstair “inside the bubble” on Pan Am 747 experience in LA (Photo: Michael Kelley)

Airport updates: Atlanta, JFK, Newark, Boston, Dulles, BWI

Get $200 for booking a trip on new Upside site

Southwest announces 22 new routes

Is that paleo? Eat like a caveman on your next trip

10 American rolls out cheap new low-frills fares

Don’t miss: Should I convert my Virgin America points to Alaska miles right now? 

Don’t miss this great deal from this week’s sponsor! Three free meals when you try Blue Apron

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

21% of flight attendants admit to having sex on planes sez new survey

United will start its new Basic Economy fares on Minnesota flights

Bloomberg report sees hard times for Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines

Transportation Dept. proposes new rule to make baggage fees more transparent

Uber reduces number of SPG points offered per ride

Special branded floormats in the Uber that picked me up (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Special branded floormats in Uber when the SPG partnership started two years ago (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Did you know you can earn Delta miles in India’s Jet Airways flights? 

JetBlue offers triple TrueBlue points on flights to Cuba

Hyatt buys Miraval “wellness resort” group

Passenger survey finds seat-kicking is the most annoying in-flight behavior

Delta adds new content to Delta Studio in-fight entertainment

Airbus is working on a futuristic self-flying taxi

ICYMI, see the 25 most recent TravelSkills posts right here

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Popular: Fare deal | United headsets | Cuba clock ticks | Alaska>Virgin tips | Trump bump | Cathay sale

Alaska Airlines

Chris flew on an Alaska Airlines 737-900 to Cuba last week (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

Deal alert: West Coast to Europe for $69

United passengers test a new way of looking at thingsWeekend Edition

Clock ticking on your chance to see Cuba? Maybe

Alaska Airlines helping Virgin flyers make the transition

What “Do Not Disturb” really means at hotels

Polaris cabins have plenty of overhead storage space. (Image: United)

Polaris cabins have plenty of overhead storage space. Passengers have strange footwear 😉 (Image: United)

United’s new Polaris cabin: More than just window dressing

United to kick out The Queen earlier than expected

Routes: Delta at Seattle, Alaska at Portland + AA, JetBlue, Spirit

Deal Alert: Australia/New Zealand for less than $900

10 Southwest announces 22 new routes

Don’t miss: Big new Marriott in Houston, Starwood in NYC + more new hotels

Delta's premium economy cabin will debut on its A350s in about a year. (Image: Delta)

You’ll likely be paying more for your Delta flights this year…thanks to Trump?  (Image: Delta)

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

Delta gets a Trump bump; expects fares to rise

How to get 15% off Qatar Airways flights

Airlines added 8 new routes PER DAY last year. No word on how many they dumped, tho

Plans set for a new Concourse G at ATL– adding 10 new international gates

Cathay Pacific Year of the Rooster sales- great deals to Asia from US East & West coasts

The entrance to Manhattan's new 34th Street-Hudson Yards subway station. (Image: Metropolitan Transportation Authority)

The entrance to Manhattan’s new 34th Street-Hudson Yards subway station. (Image: Metropolitan Transportation Authority)

Wi-fi and cell phone signal now at all New York City Subway stations

Oakland now has the most flights…ever

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta is #1– but not for what you might expect…

Uber/Lyft pick ups on LOWER level of ATL Hartsfield-Jackson

Carlos Slim gets contract to build Mexico City’s $4 billion new airport

How to Use Your 100,000 Chase Sapphire Reserve Bonus Points

United updates its menu

United menu

Sample menus on United domestic flights

BA makes plans to deal with three-day cabin crew strike starting January 19

JetBlue completes fleetwide rollout of Fly-Fi Wi-Fi

TSA found nine guns a day at airport checkpoints during 2016

FedEx package drop-offs, pick-ups coming to Walgreens

Loaded guns are legal in these 11 major U.S. airports

World’s airlines with the best and worst on-time performance

ICYMI, see the 25 most recent TravelSkills posts right here

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Popular: New longest flight | Polaris prices | $69 to Europe | Alaska-Virgin | Airport rail troubles

The Qantas kangaroo gets a modernized redesign on the tail of its new 787-9s. (Image: Qantas)

A Qantas 787 will fly the carrier’s longest nonstop route (Image: Qantas)

Today Qantas announced that it will soon operate the first nonstop flight between Australia and Europe: Perth-London. It will be the carrier’s longest route. Flights won’t start until March 2018 using the Australian carrier’s new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, which carries 236 passengers. The flight is expected to take about 17 hours and cover 9,010 miles. When Qantas created the first “Kangaroo route” to London in 1947, it took four days and nine stops. According to this CNN article, San Francisco-Delhi on an Air India 777 is the longest route by distance, at 9,400 miles- but due to winds, that flight could be shorter in duration. Other sources say that the current longest flight in the world is Emirates nonstop between Dubai and Auckland at 8,824 miles.

Also this weekend, seats on United’s new Boeing 777-300ER, which will include the new Polaris business class seat, went on sale. Would you like to give the new bird- and that new Polaris seat a try? On February 16, United flight 443 departs SFO at 12:40 pm and arrives EWR at 9 pm. UA1920 departs Newark at 7 am and arrives SFO at 10:23 am. If you want to fly up front, a round trip Polaris business class seat on the inaugural flight from San Francisco to Newark is currently selling for a steep $3,075 one way. (Later in the month, the business class fare drops to about $1,500 each way.) The new 10-across Economy class is much cheaper– about $186 one way. United will fly its new 777 on SFO-EWR from February 16-May 4. Starting on March 25, a new 777 will fly between SFO and Hong Kong.  Polaris business class fares are about $2,700 each way. Economy class is running $745 round trip. When we checked on Sunday, it appeared that so far eight Polaris seats had sold on the inaugural SFO>HKG run.

Seat availability on United's inaugural Polaris business class flight SFO-EWR

Seat availability on United’s inaugural Polaris business class flight SFO-EWR

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

$69 flights to Europe coming next year

United reveals first Polaris business class routes Weekend Edition

Big step in Alaska Airlines takeover of Virgin America

More airport-to-city rail links in trouble? (Great comments!)

Airport news: LAX Terminal 1.5 | Raleigh-Durham | Chicago | Minneapolis | Montreal

Another deadline in the Virgin America – Alaska Airlines deal

Delta: Don’t mess with my peanuts!

Polaris brings major changes to United Club scene at SFO

Delta unveils latest Sky Club overhaul (photos)

10 Airline points for Amazon shopping + remarkable JetBlue sale

Don’t miss: Shut up! No, YOU shut up! Inflight phone debate is back

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

Spectacular view of Honolulu at take off. Note the sparkles in the paint on the engine! (Chris McGinnis)

Finally! Virgin America gets wi-fi on its Hawaii flights (Chris McGinnis)

This little pig killed it this week on SFO- a PR bonanza!

Yuck! Look what happens when airport cleaning workers go on strike 

Virgin America (finally) gets wi-fi on Hawaii flights 

Spies eavesdropping on inflight cell phone calls for years

How Uber and Lyft are hurting big car rental companies

Alaska Airlines settles merger lawsuit

Airline group predicts increase in holiday passenger numbers

Survey examines why some people won’t fly home for the holidays this year

Boston hotel tries out voice-activated commands for guest rooms

Southwest Airlines CEO reports unexplained bump up in ticket sales since election

ICYMI, see the 25 most recent TravelSkills posts right here

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Popular: Banned from Delta | Virgin-Alaska delay | Polaris | Hilton sale | Delta MQM + more

United Polaris Lounge

United opened the doors to its first Polaris Lounge in Chicago this week (Photo: United)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

Delta: Bad behavior gets you banned for life

Another deadline in the Virgin America – Alaska Airlines dealWeekend Edition

Polaris brings major changes to United Club scene at SFO

Is BART’s Oakland Airport rail service in trouble?

5 fabulously free things to do in Las Vegas

Oakland

Oakland’s new Escape Lounge boasts nice tarmac views and more! (Photo: K Taylor)

First look: Oakland’s spiffy new lounge (slideshow)

Gorgeous new United Club for Los Angeles LAX (slideshow)

Deep Dive: United Polaris business class (Part 1 of 3)

United Polaris rollout: What to expect

10 Delta desperados: Buy your MQMs now

Denver Airport opens free ice skating rink

Don’t miss: Fare sale to Havana, Cuba> Vamos!

The Hilton Dallas Lincoln Centre Hotel. (Image: Hilton)

The Hilton Dallas Lincoln Centre Hotel. (Image: Hilton)

Missed out on Hilton’s November Flash Sale? No probs! Here’s one for December, too. For 48 hours only, between December 5-7 (Mon-Weds this week), Hilton guests can save 15% on Best Available Rates for stays December 18, 2016 through January 8, 2017- plus Hilton HHonors members  are eligible to save an additional 5% when booking directly with Hilton. (Must prepay for stay in full to get the deal.)

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

Report: 2016 is on track to be the safest year ever in aviation history

Study determines O’Hare is world’s largest ‘mega-hub’

United exec: We might switch to smaller version of the A350 to replace 747s

How Netflix’s app update will change the way you are entertained on the road 

La Compagnie and XL Airways to merge: Beware Air France

Marriott's fab new Cotton House Hotel in Barcelona is Category 8 (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Marriott’s fab new Cotton House Hotel in Barcelona is part of the Autograph Collection (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Marriott/Starwood plans to keep all 30 current hotel brands

TSA encounters obstacles in its effort to boost PreCheck enrollment

Economy flyers on Swiss can now buy entry to business lounges in Zurich, Geneva airports

American Airlines flight attendants want brand new uniforms to be replaced

VIDEO OF THE WEEK:

Cool drone video flyover new Apple “mothership” campus in Cupertino VIDEO

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Biz class holiday sale + Vegas + United Polaris rollout + Credit card deals + Ugly incident

United 787-9 Dreamliner

United & other carriers discounting business class across the pond for the holidays. (Image: United)

Before we get to the Top 10, let’s take a look at something exciting. Over the weekend, airlines have started to put business class on sale for Christmas/New Year’s flights. Since business travelers typically shy away from travel during the holidays, airlines will lower fares signficantly to fill up those empty flat beds. So if a lie-flat flight to Europe sounds nice, check out a few sample roundtrip business class holiday season fares that caught our eye when taking a spin through Google Flights on Saturday. Keep in mind that business class fares to Europe usually run in the $5,000+ range.

  • New York or Washington DC – Paris: $2,118 (United)
  • Atlanta-Paris: $2,368 (Air France)
  • San Francisco-Paris: $2,618 (United)
  • Seattle, San Francisco, San Jose-London $2,800 (British Airways, Virgin Atlantic) First class is $3,800
  • Boston-Paris, Amsterdam, Lisbon: $2,250 (Delta, KLM, TAP)
  • New York-Amsterdam, Frankfurt: $2,345 (KLM, Delta, Lufthansa)
  • Miami-London: $2,625 (British Airways, Virgin Atlantic)

British Airways also has a nice business class sale going on with fares from east coast cities at just under $2,000, but it’s a two-for-one sale. Details here.

Note: These fares available on Google Flights on Saturday, Nov 26 and subject to change.

United Polaris

United’s new Polaris business class rolls out December 1! Stay tuned to TravelSkills for details. Any guesses on the first route to get it? (rendering courtesy United Airlines)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

1 This lucky post has topped our list for 3 weeks! 5 fabulously free things to do in Las Vegas

Deal Alert: British Airways, Virgin Atlantic to London

3 5 ways to find cheaper flights

4 On pins & needles for first look at ORD Polaris Club this week! Stay tuned Deep Dive: United Polaris business class (Part 1 of 3)

Time is right for a new credit card. Why?

Virgin America protein plate

One of my favorite meals: Virgin America’s economy class protein plate! (Chris McGinnis)

12 most tempting airline meals (slideshow)Weekend Edition

Fly thru new $1.3 billion concourse at LAX (VIDEO)

Routes: Easier to fly Korean + Norwegian, Aer Lingus, Air Canada, Fiji, more

Airport news: Newark, JFK, San Francisco, Baltimore, Miami

10 Should I tip my Uber or Lyft driver? [Poll]

UGLY: This happened on Delta this week- and has already received 2 million views on Facebook. Yuck. Delta has apologized for the incident. Foul language warning! Click on video below or see full Facebook post here. Interview with witness here.

Delta’s statement on the incident: “Our responsibility for ensuring all customers feel safe and comfortable with Delta includes requiring civil behavior from everyone….The behavior we see in this video does not square with our training or culture and follow up will continue so we can better ensure our employees will know they will be fully supported to make the right decisions when these issues arise.”

How would you react if a passenger went off the hook like this on your flight? Leave your comments below.

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

United to shift focus to domestic operations, starting with Newark Airport 

Cheap gasoline could be around a while> Mammoth Texas oil discovery biggest ever in USA

MSP has best airport bathrooms

Canadian airline to serve McDonald’s McCafe coffee onboard

London Design Museum

London’s spectacular new Design Museum opens in Holland Park

You go, Bettie! USA’s Longest-Serving Flight Attendant has some GREAT stories!

Guess what? Thanksgiving is NOT the busiest time of the year at the airport

Aer Lingus could return to Oneworld alliance next year

The airport of 2040–No more security screening lines?

San Francisco’s largest taxi company up for sale

ICYMI, see the 25 most recent TravelSkills posts right here

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Popular: Surfing + Free Vegas + New United fare + Lie-flat to Hawaii + Become a travel writer

Winter road

First winter storms slow air travel as the holiday season commences (Image: Pixabay)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

Dude! How to go surfing in California & Iceland in one dayWeekend Edition

5 fabulously free things to do in Las Vegas

New York City to Honolulu in lie-flat comfort

United adds ultra-cheap Basic Economy fares

Fare sale to Asia from Cathay Pacific, Singapore Air

A United 747-400. (Image: United)

A United 747-400- enjoy it while you can. (Image: United)

Countdown is on for United’s final Boeing 747 flights

Deep Dive: United Polaris business class (Part 1 of 3)

Cuba music

Music and dancing are ubiquitous on this island of 11 million- that’s me arriving in Cuba in May (Chris McGinnis)

How I quit my job to become a travel writer and see the world

Another small-plane alternative for California: Blackbird

10 Routes: Delta, United, Alaska, Southwest, Spirit

Don’t miss: Why holiday travel is going to be different this year

Lyft is dumping the pink moustache for a new look, and its pick-ups will soon be color-coded. The new dash-mounted Lyft Amp will glow orange, pink, purple, silver, teal or yellow which will help riders more easily spot their ride. See the video for how it will work:

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

Delta raises the price of Sky Club membership to $495

Clever, cuddly holiday travel video from Heathrow Airport

Japan’s ANA new “Experience” campaign makes splash in US 

British Airways to use newly acquired Aer Lingus in battle with low fare competitors?

Air Lingus will begin A330 service from Miami next year. (Photo: Aer Lingus)

Aer Lingus said to becoming part of Oneworld soon-  (Photo: Aer Lingus)

Sneak peek of new Oakland pay-per-day business class lounge

Way cool: Samsung’s long-rumored FOLDABLE smartphone 

AMEX: Airfares will continue to get cheaper in 2017

Washington Post: Trump International suddenly the hottest hotel in town

Gridlock: Secret Service wants to shut down 5th Ave in NYC when Trump is in town as prez

Delta SkyClub

Delta is passing along some profits to employees (Photo: Delta / Flickr)

Bigger smiles: Delta to give employees 6% raises next year

Uber offering free rides to/from 11 airports for AMEX cardholders

Lufthansa develops a ‘chatbot’ to help customers find the lowest fares

Artificial intelligence powers a new personal travel assistant app

Qantas will soon begin tests of high-speed in-flight Wi-Fi

Omni sets winter sale for 60 U.S. properties; November 29 booking deadline

United might have some problems sharing a brand name with a all terrain vehicle. Click on video below to see how that is already happening.

Which polaris you talkin’ about?

ICYMI, see the 25 most recent TravelSkills posts right here

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Most popular: Trump hotel + Earlier flight fee + PreCheck slowdown + Alaska-Virgin plane + Hotel deals

Trump hotel

Elegant living room with Pennsylvania Ave street level views at Trump International in DC (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

1 Love it or loath it, it’s now “the president’s hotel” One night at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC

2 Smart travel skills here> How to get on an earlier flight for freeWeekend Edition

Routes: SFO, LAX, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Miami, Newark, JFK

4 Shorter lines? TSA PreCheck abruptly shutters expansion effort

5 My last real Virgin flight: How I bid on a transcon upgrade and won

Routes: Southwest, JetBlue, Delta, American, Surf Air

More cheap flights across the Atlantic?

8 Mixed opinions, but I like it Sneak peek at new Alaska-Virgin plane?

More airport preclearance stations make it easier to fly home

10 Alaska sets Premium Class launch, amends upgrade policy

Everyone’s talking about this video from a United plane where the pilot had to make a post-election announcement telling passengers to shut up and get along– or take another flight. Pretty good!

Marriott & Starwood offer Cyber Monday deals that are worth checking out post-feast!

This latest Black Friday/Cyber Monday promotion offers members rates up to 25% off at more than 2,100 hotels and resorts globally. From November 25 through November 28, members can book hotel rooms starting as low as $79 per night for stays between December 9, 2016 and January 16, 2017.  Must book on Marriott.com, the Marriott Mobile app and by contacting a hotel or the telephone reservation center, all using promotional code “444.”

SPG is getting a head start on Cyber Monday, launching special rates November 21 through December 4– featuring discounts of up to 30% for stay dates through September 4, 2017. Plus, SPG members get an additional 5% savings when booking directly through the Cyber Monday sale site (when it activates).

Last week when I was in DC, I was able to get in the stunning new National Museum of African American History & Culture! Quite a feat since the waiting list for tickets is now more than six months long. Stay tuned for more on my visit…

New African-American #history #museum in #washington #dc is hottest ticket in town. #soldout #travel

A photo posted by Chris McGinnis (@chrisjmcginnis) on

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

Delta’s new record: 200 days without a mainline flight cancellation

A real (green!) snake on the plane VIDEO

U.S. airlines want Trump to privatize air traffic control, block foreign rivals

Emirates customers can now apply for Dubai visas with new mobile app

IHG’s new enhanced Wi-Fi will be in 1,500 Americas hotels by year’s end

Boeing, Airbus seek Singapore order for world’s longest plane

Google updates Gmail for iPhone users- NICE 

ICYMI, see the 25 most recent TravelSkills posts right here

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Most popular: Cheap flights to London | Transcon sale | Free Vegas | Hilton promo | Best Credit Card

Washington DC

What a great week to be in Washington DC on the eve of an election for a Boarding Area conference (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):Weekend Edition

British Airways adds yet another Bay Area nonstop

Routes: Delta, ANA, Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, JetBlue, Alaska

Deal Alert: Transcon fares plummet in December

5 fabulously free things to do in Las Vegas

The view over the Venetian from my room at the Palazzo in Las Vegas (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Don’t miss our post about free things to do in Las Vegas.  (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

17 moments in 17 hours on Singapore Airlines Airbus A350

These two Virgins are splitting up

Delta details plush premium economy plans

How to choose the best travel credit card

New hotels: Minneapolis, Chicago, Silicon Valley, Nashville, Atlanta

10 New device offers drivers a heads-up, hands-free display

Don’t miss: More cheap flights across the Atlantic-KLM, AirFrance, BA

HiltonHHonorsLogo

Hilton HHonors members who book through the HHonors App (get it here) and pay with a Visa credit card for stays during November 2, 2016 – January 31, 2017 will earn an additional 5,000 Bonus Points.  How? Here are the details http://www.HHonors.com/VisaBonus.

hotel hall corridor

REDRUM! We checked out this gorgeous new hotel recently and will write about it this week. Any guesses? (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

Post-takeover layoffs begin at Starwood

Marriott installs “like” buttons throughout hotel

A beautiful behind-the-scenes planespotting tour at SFO (Slideshow)

Airlines bump up capacity for bigger Thanksgiving travel crowds

Airlines: Profitable, but worried

Delta rolled out updates to its already awesome app last week. Details included in this short video:

New pet relief rooms in concourses at ATL include fire hydrants

Delta finished Wi-Fi installations on its long-haul aircraft

Study: Most companies’ travel policies don’t cover Uber/Lyft rides on international trips

Uber unveils a big redesign of its app

Hello Gorgeous! New spa for Delta employees at ATL

Judge refuses to throw out price-fixing suit against major U.S. airlines

Lufthansa retires its last 737

Survey: Business travelers are more concerned about maintaining a good work/life balance

ICYMI, see the 25 most recent TravelSkills posts right here

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Most popular: Longest flight + California airlines + Best credit card + New lounge + Qantas

Chris McGinnis

Chris excited and looking fresh before this week’s 17-hour flight from SFO to Singapore- and back in just 4 days (Photo: Charles Schuler)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

17 moments in 17 hours on Singapore Airlines Airbus A350Weekend Edition

Singapore Air opens up about longest nonstop

Routes: United at San Jose + Delta, JetBlue, American, Virgin America

Trip Report: The long flight home SIN-SFO

JetSuiteX

The JetSuiteX Terminal at Concord, CA, east of SF- a nice break from the craziness at OAK or SFO! (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Big news at two small California airlines

First look: LAX’s fancy new Terminal 6 (photos)

9 key phrases every traveler should know

How to choose the best travel credit card

National pop up lounge

National is installing free popup lounges with wifi like this one at Washington Dulles (Photo: Jeff Pearce)

Airports: Screening upgrades, Oakland lounge, National Car pop-ups + more

10 A new look & feel for Qantas

What do flight attendants love most about SFO? A fun new promotional video from San Francisco International Airport, introduced by Tony Bennett, offers personal accounts from flight attendants representing a number of airlines about the interesting things to see and do at the airport. See video What do you love most about SFO? Leave your comments below.

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

US State Department orders departure of family members at Istanbul consulate

DOT: Average U.S. air fares down almost 10 percent year over year

Got 2.5 million SkyMiles to burn? You can fly Delta Private Jets

(Image: Delta News Hub)

Use your SkyMiles for a ride on a private jet? Yep. (Image: Delta News Hub)

Southwest eyes new fees, but not for bags or ticket changes

JetBlue introduces fancy new amenity kits for Mint cabin passengers

Air India re-routes its SFO-DEL nonstop

Air India's first flight from New Delhi arrived at SFO before dawn. (Image: Peter Biaggi)

Air India’s flight path has changed (Image: Peter Biaggi)

Lowest airfares since 2009

Latest on Alaska-Virgin deal: Close, but still, no cigar

Delta app enhancement lets users follow their checked bags

Want to find your Uber rating? Here’s how

United introduces improved earbuds for economy passengers

AA/BA partner Iberia will get on board with premium economy seating next year

U.K. government backs plan to build a third runway at London Heathrow

Austrian Airlines promises instant replies to customer queries via Facebook Messenger

14 new Boeing 747-8 aircraft ordered, but you’ll never get to fly on one

(Photo: Brandon Farris)

Does that flagged winglet look familiar? (Photo: Brandon Farris)

Alaska Airlines reveals new military inspired special livery

This week Alaska Airlines revealed a new paint job, or livery, on a new 737-900ER. At first glance, that American flag wingtip may look like a move to integrate Virgin America design elements (see its flagged winglet here)  into the look of Alaska Airlines, but it’s part of a new initiative called “Alaska Airlines Salutes,” to support and honor those who serve. The design features an Alaska Airlines Salutes medallion and a fallen soldier badge, with the Battlefield Cross to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. The plane also features five rings surrounding the engine, representative of the five branches of the United States military, and American flag winglets.

Don’t miss out on these popular TravelSkills posts:

Kicking support animals off planes | Shocked passenger refuses to pay $3 for water | Marriott-Starwood: Higher prices, better rewards | The 10,000 points question! | Eye-catching maps explain state of the world | Test your planespotting skills!

In the market for a new credit card?

Wallet credit cards

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Most popular: Airport construction + Southwest fares + Singapore’s longest flight + United devalues

The view from the United Club at ATL (Chris McGinnis)

Watch out for construction hassles at ATL, SFO and elsewhere (Chris McGinnis)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):Weekend Edition

1 Construction zones and more: Airport news: San Francisco, Atlanta, Newark, Philadelphia

Is Southwest really a low fare carrier? Depends on…

3 Don’t accept the first offer! How to inspect your hotel room

4 Cool science An answer to filthy airplane drinking water?

SPG_AMEX_PHOTO_08.04.15

Big news for Marriott Starwood credit card holders; JetBlue, too

6 Finally nonstop to Berlin Airberlin’s new SFO & LAX nonstops to Berlin

United devalues; Delta throws a bone, Chairman resigns

Deal shopping? Go where business travelers don’t

Routes: SFO, LAX, DFW, New Orleans, Orange County, Miami, JFK, Houston

10 Singapore Airlines opens up about newest longest nonstop

Need a new credit card? Scroll up to our “Credit Card Deals” tab at the top to shop around! It helps us help you! 

United Hangar

United installed a basketball court (!) inside its massive SFO hangar to celebrate a new sponsorship (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

This week United announced a long-term sponsorship of the Bay Area’s Golden State Warriors basketball team. To celebrate, the carrier installed a temporary branded United-Warriors basketball court (complete with parquet floors and hoops) in United’s SFO Maintenance hangar where over 1,000 employees (and TravelSkills!) watched a dance team, drum corps and a handful of Warriors shoot hoops. As part of this agreement, United will soon have branding in Oakland’s Oracle Arena and, beginning in 2019, inside the new Chase Center, the team’s new arena on the San Francisco waterfront just south of downtown. MileagePlus customers will have the opportunity to use their miles for access to premium seats, suite tickets, VIP experiences and Warriors autographed items.

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

Delta mulling low-frills transatlantic product

United stock surges, but it’s time for airline to deliver

Virgin America’s crazy new first class shoes

San Francisco judge says he’ll block Alaska’s takeover of Virgin America

Earn double points for Enterprise car rentals this winter (reg required)

Washington Reagan National airport to get billion dollar makeover

Airlines testing virtual reality headsets for passengers

A proposed flying taxi- let's go! (Image: Airbus)

A proposed flying taxi- let’s go! (Image: Airbus)

Check out this super cool new “flying taxi” from Airbus (I want one!)

New study sees “sluggish” growth in business travel spending

Uber, Lyft now handle more than half of all ground transportation for biz travelers

Airlines’ on-time arrival rates could drop with inclusion of regional partners

U.S. wants airlines to refund bag fees for delayed returns

Low business class fares attract mileage junkies

Don’t miss out on these popular TravelSkills posts:

Kicking support animals off planes | Shocked passenger refuses to pay $3 for water | Marriott-Starwood: Higher prices, better rewards | The 10,000 points question! | Eye-catching maps explain state of the world | Test your planespotting skills!

In the market for a new credit card?

Wallet credit cards

Big news for big spenders as banks roll out new bonuses and perks (Image: Pixabay)

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Most popular: United devalues + California + Lie-flat seat + Australia deal + Uber scam

TSA PreCheck

When the TSA PreCheck line at SFO looks like this on a Wednesday, I’m glad I renewed CLEAR- with the Delta discount! CLICK for details (Chris McGinnis)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

1 Bad and good (ish): United devalues; Delta throws a bone, Chairman resigns (anyone know why?)

2 Cali is HOT! New California routes: Southwest, AA, Delta, JetSuiteX, Mokulele + moreWeekend Edition

3 An exotic new one: Love a lie-flat seat? You’ll love this…

4 Move in this week: SFO flips switch on shapely new control tower

5 Berlin from SFO! Routes: Airberlin to SFO, LAX; Emirates, Lufthansa, Etihad, Southwest

A new Jennifer Aniston ad from Emirates

7 Break out the khakis: What in the world does “business casual” really mean?

Don’t miss! Marriott’s new beta-test hotel in Charlotte

Need a new credit card? Scroll up to our “Credit Card Deals” tab at the top to shop around! It helps us help you! 

Access to the great outdoors and Sydney's "rock pools" make Australians smile (Chris McGinnis)

Access to the great outdoors and Sydney’s “rock pools” make Australians smile- go for <$1000 (Chris McGinnis)

Deal: Australia on sale! $914 round trip (still in effect- ends next Sunday)

9 Confiscation possible: Really bad news for Samsung smartphone owners

10 Routes: LOT at LAX, AA seats, KLM popup, 2 new US cities for Icelandair

Chris McGinnis

TravelSkills editor Chris McGinnis flew SFO-ATL-SFO this week. Paid $249 for an upgrade for the return leg. Worth it!

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

How to survive NY LaGuardia airport construction

Yet another simple way to earn 500 Virgin America Elevate points

Is Delta experimenting with SkyMiles partner award pricing?

Singapore Airlines picks up newest A350 in Toulouse

Work begins on Atlanta’s showy airport roadside canopies

Airbus to slow production of giant A380

As would be expected, flight attendants pass trays of Turkish delight candies during each flight (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

As would be expected, flight attendants pass trays of Turkish delight candies during each flight (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Political strife takes toll on Turkish Airlines’ rapid expansion

Hong Kong bids farewell to the Queen of the Skies

Airlines deploy fire containment bags for overheated devices

Live a little: Report lists NYC’s 10 most expensive hotel suites

New Star Alliance carrier (Photo: Star Alliance)

New Star Alliance carrier Juneyao (Photo: Star Alliance)

Chinese carrier will become a Star Alliance partner next year

Major airlines try to tackle low-fare transatlantic competition

Luggage series was designed with input from 100,000 frequent flyers

Watch out for fake Uber scam at LaGuardia and JFK

Chase Sapphire Reserve sole sponsor of new online travel publication, Meridian

Emirates adds daily Ft Lauderdale nonstop to tie in w partner

Colorado’s Famed Ski Train Is Back For Winter Vacation Fun

Don’t miss out on these popular TravelSkills posts:

Kicking support animals off planes | Shocked passenger refuses to pay $3 for water | Marriott-Starwood: Higher prices, better rewards | The 10,000 points question! | Eye-catching maps explain state of the world | Test your planespotting skills!

In the market for a new credit card?

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Most popular: Fare sale + Card wars + Narrow seats + New biz class + more

Hilton San Francisco

The spectacular view from the brand new CityScape bar atop the Hilton San Francisco. Note the cranes on the new Salesforce Tower, soon to be the tallest building in town at 1,070 feet and 61 stories. (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

Deal Alert: Major domestic fall winter fare sale (Sale expired with all airlines matching)Weekend Edition

2 Amex spars with Chase, Citi Big news for big spenders as card wars erupt

3 Kicking “support animals” off the plane

Airport news: Newark, Seattle, Phoenix, Dulles, Boston

5 10-across is just not right Airlines increasingly narrow-minded about seat width

United Polaris

United’s new Polaris eyeshades are concave on the eye-side (Photo: Scott Hintz)

Deep Dive: United Polaris business class (Part 3 of 3) Bedding, Amenities, Service

7 Little rascals Another airline adds “kid-free” seating

Deep Dive: United Polaris business class (Part 1 of 3)

9 Comfy new way across Pacific Hawaiian’s classy new lie-flat seats now on sale

10 Kinda corny, but amassed over a million views in a week: A new Jennifer Aniston ad from Emirates

DONT MISS! The 100,000 points question!

ICYMI: Surprise winner for best hotel loyalty program

Airport Encounters now playing in LA (Photo: Larry Gene Fortin)

Airport Encounters now playing in LA (Photo: Larry Gene Fortin)

TravelSkills reader T.M. sent along a great recommendation for frequent flyers living or visiting LA: “People watching has always been a fun way to kill time between flights. Now, thanks to a cast of more than two dozen actors and eight writers, we can watch ten terminal vignettes in the new Los Angeles-based play, ‘Airport Encounters.’ Staged in the intimate 50-seat Lounge Theatre in Hollywood, the play is an entertaining take off on air travel and its passengers. Here’s the link to get tix: neoensembletheatre.org

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

American's new Premium Economy section will have leather seats in a 2-3-2 layout. (Image: American Airlines)

American’s new Premium Economy section will have leather seats in a 2-3-2 layout. (Image: American Airlines)

American Air to roll out “true” premium economy section in November

Free airport lounge wi-fi passwords for hundreds of airports around the world

Fares down under dip below $1,000 roundtrip on Air New Zealand

Hilton HHonors app

Book a stay on the Hilton HHonors app this fall to earn triple points

Samoans complain about weight discrimination on Hawaiian Airlines

What do Delta and Donald Trump have in common? 

SkyTeam launches online tool for retroactively claiming flight credits

Study: Headphones can make in-flight meals taste better

Austrian Airlines plans to add a premium economy section

Qatar Airways places huge order for Boeing widebodies

UN-affiliated aviation group agrees to set carbon emissions limits for airlines

Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson will get hundreds of electric vehicle chargers

Don’t miss out on these popular TravelSkills posts:

Kicking support animals off planes | Shocked passenger refuses to pay $3 for water | Marriott-Starwood: Higher prices, better rewards | The 10,000 points question! | Eye-catching maps explain state of the world | Test your planespotting skills!

In the market for a new credit card?

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Most popular: New transcons | Crazy low fares | Dogs | United Polaris | Odd flight numbers | New SeaTac bridge

Delta Sky Club San Francisco

Watching the sun and the planes from a pretty perch at Delta’s exceptional Sky Club at SFO (Chris McGinnis)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

1 This post has gone viral: Kicking “support animals” off the planeWeekend Edition

Routes: New JetBlue transcon + more Mint, Delta, OneJet, United, AA

3 A sneak peek: Deep Dive: United Polaris business class (Part 1 of 3)

4 Flight 420? Unique, unusual or eccentric flight numbers

United Polaris

Soon in United Polaris business class: A Bloody Mary cart on flights that depart before noon (Photo: Scott Hintz)

Deep Dive: United Polaris business class (Part 2 of 3) Food & beverage, lounge

6 Low demand = super low prices this fall: The season for jaw-dropping low fares

7 100,000 members link accounts every day: Marriott Starwood: Higher prices, better rewards

Routes: SFO, Seattle, Oakland-Rome, JFK, Boston, Montreal, Detroit

9 Nice work, DL! Inside Delta’s newest SkyClub (Slideshow)

10 Vamos! Airlines start rolling out Havana schedules, fares

Renaissance New York Times Square bar

Looking down on the cacophony of Times Square from the cozy, recently renovated R Lounge at the Renaissance New York Times Square hotel (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Last week I was in NYC for the Skift Forum, which is something like TED talks, but for the travel industry. I spent two days hanging out with wunderkinds, CEOs, visionaries, and media in the spectacular Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center. (More on what I learned in a future post.) Thanks to the Renaissance New York Times Square hotel (4.5 stars on TripAdvisor) for putting me up for two nights to check out its latest updates, which include a refresh of the dramatic R Lounge overlooking Times Square. Since I’m not a big fan of Times Square, I found the lounge the perfect place to quietly sit above the fracas and enjoy the colors and a cocktail. I also checked out the hotel’s newest suites on the fourth floor…all are big bright (white and canary yellow) with terraces overlooking 7th Avenue. In a quirky twist, the terraces are carpeted in astroturf and have life sized plastic sheep that appear to be grazing. Rates start at around $350 per night. — Chris

A big bright white & yellow room with terrace overlooking Times Square (Chris McGinnis)

A big bright white & yellow room with terrace overlooking Times Square (Chris McGinnis)

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

Cathay Pacific B777 Economy

Economy class on Cathay Pacific’s B777 is now 9-abreast as seen here. Soon it will squeeze in one more seat.  (Photo: Ramsey Qubein)

Oh no! Cathay Pacific to introduce dreaded 10-across seating on Boeing 777s

A short history of airport moving sidewalks

Gogo plans to speed up inflight wi-fi…. in 2018

Frontier and Spirit to join TSA PreCheck 

Maps that show how Americans speak English differently

West Elm starts a hotel brand

Best Western launches new brand in the economy hotel segment

Check out what’s coming at Seattle-Tacoma International: A new glass enclosed pedestrian sky bridge that’s high enough for a 747 to pass underneath. Construction begins this fall and it’s expected to be operational in three years as part of the airport’s new international terminal. Full report from Glenn Farley here.

Frontier Airlines passengers can now use TSA PreCheck

Harvard Business Review warns biz travelers are targets of ‘spymail’ hacking on the road

World airline group finds air rage incidents are increasing

Orlando Airport’s lobby gets 1,560-foot-long hi-def video wall

Air France KLM will install Gogo satellite Wi-Fi in long-haul fleet

Uber starts selling gift cards

Lufthansa acquires the rest of Brussels Airlines

Air Berlin’s fleet shrinks in restructuring plan

Celebrity chef brings Latin cuisine to DFW Airport

Don’t miss out on these popular TravelSkills posts! Kicking support animals off planes | Shocked passenger refuses to pay $3 for water | Marriott-Starwood: Higher prices, better rewards | The 10,000 points question! | Eye-catching maps explain state of the world | Test your planespotting skills! )

DONT MISS! The 100,000 points question!

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Popular: Dogs on planes | SkyClubs | Marriott’s big move | 100,000 points | Mis-pronounced foods

Suzie Dog Labrador Retriever

My dog Suzie wonders why everyone’s so upset about dogs on planes! (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

1 Don’t miss comments from both sides of this hot issue: Kicking “support animals” off the plane

2 It’s a bad news-good news story: Marriott Starwood: Higher prices, better rewardsWeekend Edition

Routes: Finnair to SFO, Delta, Virgin Australia, Austrian, AA, SAS + more

It’s go time for huge Marriott-Starwood merger

5 Private passageway for the posh: British Airways’ new “millionaire’s door” at Heathrow

Airport news: Inside newest Delta SkyClub + Phoenix, Seattle, Boston, LAX

7 What the future holds: An amazing upgrade for LAX- in pictures

8 Bedazzling, story-telling maps: Eye-catching maps explain the state of the world

9 Got THE card yet? The 100,000 points question

10 How does yours rank? 5 airports with best/worst cell phone reception

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

Crystal Cruises plans to have a B777 like this to whisk its top customers to the ship (Photo: Crystal Cruises)

Crystal Cruises plans to have a B777 with interiors like this to whisk its top customers to the ship (Photo: Crystal Cruises)

Crystal Cruises pimps out a B777 like you’ve never seen before

Alaska-Virgin deal hits snag, delays ensue

Virgin America’s new app has landed! 

Hawaiian Air nonstops to London? On an A380? 

Basking in SFO’s $5.7 billion to-do list

Alaska Air not expected to decide on fate of Virgin brand until late this year 

Earn Delta EQMs with new Hilton promo (registration required)

BRUSCHETTA (broo-SKEH-tah)

16 foods you are probably mispronouncing

JetBlue considering adding wide-bodies to its fleet?

Virgin America flight attendants angry as merger approaches

Virgin Atlantic’s A330s will all have speedy satellite Wi-Fi by year’s end

The Fairmont Claremont (Image: Fairmont)

The Fairmont Claremont (Image: Fairmont)

Bay Area’s historic Claremont Hotel becomes a Fairmont after an overhaul

Carlson Rezidor Hotels offers its loyalty members direct booking discounts

Dubious honor for Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta Airport

Southwest exec discusses carrier’s international growth plans

World’s airlines score $40 billion in fees for 2015; United leads the pack

New app handles same-day bookings at independent luxury hotels

Screenshot from Trump Washington website

Screenshot from Trump Washington website

Trump’s new D.C. hotel: Korans and $59 salads

Carlson Rezidor Hotels offers its loyalty members direct booking discounts

Dubious honor for Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta Airport

Southwest exec discusses carrier’s international growth plans

World’s airlines score $40 billion in fees for 2015; United leads the pack

Delta’s new safety video debuts in October. Thoughts? 

Don’t miss out on these popular TravelSkills posts! Kicking support animals off planesShocked passenger refuses to pay $3 for water | Marriott-Starwood: Higher prices, better rewards | The 10,000 points question! | Eye-catching maps explain state of the world | Test your planespotting skills! )

DONT MISS! The 100,000 points question!

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You scrolled all the way down here? Then here’s your reward! A fun video 🙂


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Most popular: NYC/SF warning | Cool maps | Doomed jumbos | Credit card question | New SkyClub

DONT MISS! The 100,000 points question!

New Triplex Suites atop the New York Palace hotel have huge outdoor decks w Jacuzzis (Chris McGinnis)

Triplex Suites atop the New York Palace hotel have huge outdoor decks w Jacuzzis. Sweet! But I’m not sure if this is where the President stays. (Chris McGinnis)

Obama

President Obama (Photo: Wikimedia)

Fair warning for New York or San Francisco bound travelers this week: Beware of traffic, sold out restaurants and hotels, long waits for taxis and Uber/Lyft surge pricing. Why? In New York, blame the meeting of the UN General Assembly (which will include a Sunday-Wednesday visit and address by President Obama, which makes traffic even worse). As we’ve reported here on TravelSkills, the President now stays at the Lotte New York Palace hotel (Madison and 50th) which means near constant gridlock in that part of town. When we checked, the few rooms left at the Marriott Marquis on Times Square were running $754 per night. Layer on the additional security in the city due to this past weekend’s bombings, and you have a recipe for for some big travel headaches.

In San Francisco, blame the huge Oracle Open World Conference this week, which fills the city and airports to the gills with techies- and everything is overpriced. Both Sting and Gwen Stefani will have private concerts for attendees. Airports (and airfares) will be most crazy on Sunday (start) and Thursday (end). Hotels are mostly full, but what’s left over is overpriced– like the handful of rooms left at the Hilton Financial District going for $600 per night. Also, since so many attendees extend their visits, both weekends will be pretty crazy. And a reservation at a top SF restaurant? Feggedaboudit! And it’s not over yet! The even larger Dreamforce 2016 conference packs the city similarly– It runs Tuesday Oct 4 – Friday Oct 7, and includes a concert by U2!

Headed to SF? Here are 8 Mistakes Every Traveler Must Avoid in San Francisco!

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

1 Gotta see this: Eye-catching maps explain the state of the world

2 A new way to London: Trip Report: British Airways 787 Dreamliner San Jose-LondonWeekend Edition

3 Bummer! Are double-decker jumbo jets doomed?

4 Comments say “yes!” Would you fly a 737 transatlantic for $69?

Routes: AA, Air India, Cathay, WOW, Air Canada, Royal Air Maroc + more

Airport news: LaGuardia, Atlanta, Heathrow, Chicago Midway, Nashville

7 And the answer is… The 100,000 points question

Gorgeous light thru new stained glass inside the Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Gorgeous light in Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia Cathedral. A must-see on any trip to Barcelona, even if you’ve seen it before- because it’s always changing (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

8 New nonstop to Spain Bay Area to Barcelona, nonstop, $199 + more low fares to Europe

9 More than a facelift in La-La Land: An amazing upgrade for LAX- in pictures

10 Most drink more on trips than at home Are you a boozy traveler? 

Last year CNN dropped by for some advice about traveling to the Bay Area– see this video to find out what Chris had to say.

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

Details on Delta’s new SkyClub at ATL Concourse B

Another VERY easy 500 points from Virgin America

Apple headphone changes: a problem for airline inflight entertainment

American Airlines Assisted ‘Sully,’ But Won’t Show the Movie on Its Planes

Cathay Pacific pilot attempts round-the-world flight in home-made plane

The spa at Virgin Atlantic's London Heathrow Clubhouse (Photo: Josh Friedman)

The spa at Virgin Atlantic’s London Heathrow Clubhouse (Photo: Josh Friedman)

There’s a downside to Delta’s consolidation at London Heathrow T3

New Delta CEO has a vision for Salt Lake City hub

UberX Lyft make progress at ATL, but legal rides still months off 

American starts renovating cabins of its international 757-200s

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines specialty aircraft, named Missouri One—a Boeing 737-700, in Kansas City, Mo. (Photo: Ashlee Duncan, Southwest Airlines)

Southwest Rewards elites can now fly standby for same-day flights

Uber tests self-driving  cars in Pittsburgh

Hyatt rebrands three of its U.S. properties as Hyatt Centrics

Chris McGinnis water Lake Tahoe

Do you follow Chris on Instagram? Come on! CLICK THE PIC. It’s fun! (Photo at Lake Tahoe)

DONT MISS! The 100,000 points question!

Don’t miss out on these popular TravelSkills posts! Shocked passenger refuses to pay $3 for water | More Delta SkyMiles for Asian tripsTips from a Hawaiian Vacation | JetBlue-Delta slugfest means lower fares | Test your planespotting skills! )

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Most popular: Europe on sale + $3 water + Hawaii + SkyMiles to Asia + Tipping Uber + more

Casa Batllo Barcelona

Super cheap flights to Spain from 4 US cities. Pictured: Antoni Gaudi’s Casa Batllo in Barcelona (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

Bay Area to Barcelona, nonstop, $199 + more low fares to Europe

More PreCheck | Easy Virgin points | Cell phone warning | Delta biz class | Hotel bonusesWeekend Edition

Shocked passenger refuses to pay $3 for water

Routes Roundup: United, Delta, JetBlue, AA, Southwest, Alaska, Frontier

Tips from a trip to Hawaii + more!

Turkish Airlines

Fewer Turkish Airlines flights to/from the US. Photo out the plane window at Istanbul (Chris McGinnis)

International routes update: Delta, Air China, United, Hainan, Turkish, Southwest, American + more

What Delta, Korean Air fence-mending means for SkyMiles

JetBlue, Delta slugfest could mean lower fares

Oakland-London on Norwegian: Low fares, low frills

10 Should I tip my Uber or Lyft driver? [Poll]

Super lucrative offers from credit cards are hot-hot-hot in the news this week! Check ’em out here!

 

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Dont miss! Newer is almost always better when it comes to hotels, right? Here are several shiny new ones for ya:

Exciting new hotels: New York, Chicago, Washington, Minneapolis, Denver

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

Virgin America's newest A320's have sharklets on the wings. Seen em? (Photo: Virgin America)

Virgin America’s newest A320’s have sharklets on the wings. Seen em? (Photo: Virgin America)

Consumers file lawsuit to block Virgin America – Alaska Air merger

Atlanta mayor and fired airport manager drop dispute

Bay Area boom means record setting debt sale for SFO- funds expansion

World Trade Center badge

My first job out of grad school came with an office on the 27th Floor of Tower 1 at the World Trade Center in NYC

I still get chills: Scary times remembered: TravelSkills alerts from the morning of September 11, 2001

Security checkpoint construction at ATL to close Starbucks, temporarily shut North entry

Yes, those TSA security lines really were shorter this summer despite the early scare


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Popular: More PreCheck | Easy Virgin points | Cell phone warning | Delta biz class | Hotel bonuses + much more

Lufthansa's A380 maiden FRA-SFO voyage loads up in 2011 (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Lufthansa now a part of PreCheck (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

While we were away in August (see post), the biggest travel news story seemed to be Delta’s computer outage, which wreaked havoc on summer travel plans, cost Delta $100 million, and exposed how airlines have wiggled out of previous arrangements to honor each other’s tickets in such cases. What a mess!

Nearly every major hotel chain rolled out new fall promos last month, all of which require registration. We’ve included links to them below.

After plowing through emails and notifications, here are the stories that caught our eye (in no particular order). I’m sure we probably missed a few, so please help us catch up by adding your two cents in the comments! (Next up in our catch-up is a big airline routes update, so stay tuned…)

Lufthansa is first European carrier to join PreCheck: Up til now the only international carriers with PreCheck were Air Canada, WestJet, Aeromexico & Etihad

Easiest 500 Virgin America Elevate points ever: An easy no-brainer- just sign up for an email alert

FTC warns that rental cars might be able to steal data from your phone: Yikes! Connecting your phone to car via USB or Bluetooth could set you up for a breach

Alaska Airlines produces a hip new mood-lit video designed to woo Bay Area travelers: Conservative Alaska Air’s first foray into hipness. But no real news about fate of Virgin brand. Thoughts?

United changes Mileage Plus award rules for multi-leg trips: Screws continue to tighten on frequent flyers

Delta A350 business class

Rendering of Delta’s new business class suite with a door on its A350s (Photo: Delta Air Lines)

Delta’s new business class suites with privacy doors for A350: But it’s going to be a while until you can get cozy in one of them

Some airport Starbucks to serve booze

British Airways axes half its JFK-London City all-biz-class flights: Looks like Brexit is taking a toll on the high end of the market

American’s new ad campaign suggests that you need so bone up on your Travel Skills! 😉 See it yet? Thoughts?

American now offers free Main Cabin in-flight entertainment on domestic flights– following in the footsteps of Delta

If you apply for more than five credit cards every two years, you should read this: New “5/24” rule stymies credit card points hobbyists

The new Marriott Residence Inn in Portland, OR (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

The new (ish) Marriott Residence Inn in Portland, OR (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Most major hotel brands rolled out fall bonus promos- go ahead and sign up for all of them, because you never know where you might be staying!

Marriott’s popular MegaBonus is back and it’s choosy (registration required)

Double (or triple) your Starwood SPG points this fall (registration required starting Sept 12)

Double points for every stay at all Hilton portfolio hotels (registration required)

Stay five nights, get 5,000 points (plus plus) from Hyatt (registration required)

New high-end Chase Sapphire RESERVE card offers 100K sign up bonus: Did Chase make this bonus too good? Rumors swirl about delays/changes due to high demand. When shopping for a new card, please be sure to use our new card resources pages! It helps us help you.

Priceline dumps “name your own price” for airlines; keeps it for hotels and rental cars

SFO

On-airport parking rates at SFO soar (Photo: Monte Deignan)

SFO Parking rates hit new high- some up up 40%: Apparently the airport is trying to encourage use of public transport options by jacking up prices for individual cars

Fly Virgin America by Sept 30, earn 999 Elevate points (Registration required): Another easy no-brainer if you fly Virgin a lot

Virgin America to lay off 225 management workers as Alaska Air merger approaches: I guess we all saw this coming. We still wonder if a JetBlue merger is in the works…

Amtrak’s new Acela trains in the northeast will hit top speeds of 220 mph: Currently, trains run at 135-150 mph. See the video of the sleek new trains

Turkish Airlines CIP Lounge Istanbul

Turkish Airlines outstanding “Heroes of Democracy lounge” (new name) at Istanbul (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Check out the slick new Turkish Airlines lounge at Washington-Dulles: Not as grand as its Istanbul counterpart (pictured) but a nice addition at IAD

Korean Airlines introduces no-show fees on long-haul flights: Joining Emirates, Singapore and JAL in this unusual practice. If you can’t make your flight, just call ahead and let them know– or you’ll pay.

U.S., Mexico agree to open up air routes, frequencies: Could lead to cheaper flights for spring break- and more nonstops

KLM plans to retrofit its A330s with new business class: Its B777s, 747s and 787s already have it

FAA clears Indonesian carriers to fly to the U.S: Garuda could come back, but would you?

Delta starts deploying RFID baggage tracking technology systemwide: Good news for the few TravelSkills readers who frequently check bags

Delta quietly boosts prices of SkyMiles business class awards: Yet another unannounced sneaky move

Google teams with Waze to challenge Uber, Lyft in San Francisco: Getting paid to carpool. Would you?

Marriott upgrades the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card

Hanalei, Kauai, Hawaii, sunset

Watching the sunset from Hanalei, Kauai (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Chris’s summer vacation in Hawaii… don’t miss his pics and tips from the trip!

Hilton expands, upgrades Digital Key and other features of HHonors app

Gogo to be available in China

New 787 crisis? ANA will replace engines on all 50 of its Dreamliners

Virgin Atlantic will offer free live TV on its 787-9 fleet

We have a big new airline routes update coming next. But what did we miss? Please share what you think are the biggest travel news stories over the last month in the comments below!

–Chris McGinnis

twitter-floowmeDo you follow us on Twitter? It’s a great way to keep up with the latest news!

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Popular: On vacation + New routes + Planespotting + Asia deals + Best Western

Have a nice August! We're on vacation! (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Have a nice August! We’re on vacation ’til September! (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

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Dear Readers: The TravelSkills blog will be on vacation until September. We hope you have a nice summer! 

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TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts during the week of July 24 (descending order):

Routes: United (Shanghai, Saigon), Singapore (to UK), Delta (Caribbean), American, more 

LAX-Paris for $446 + Atlanta, San Francisco, Dallas, New YorkWeekend Edition

Test your planespotting skills with our new quiz! (over 2,000 have tried. Avg score is 76%)

Routes: United (Tampa, Miami), Virgin America (Newark), Spirit, Frontier

Airports update: Denver’s problem, More CLEAR, O’Hare expands, JetBlue innovates + more

Inside look at Virgin Australia’s refurbed B777 (Photos, 3D Streetview)

7  JetBlue lie-flat seats coming to an airport near you?

DEAL! $540 to Hong Kong from U.S. East/West coast, roundtrip (Now one stop) SFO-Beijing nonstop now $546

Surprisingly few Americans use Uber, Lyft

10 The Best Western surprise

 

Don’t miss your chance to get $150 in gift cards for trying the new Upside app! Here’s how

QANTAS LAX

Cool view of the other Australian carrier while at the Virgin Australia event at LAX (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

Etihad opens a new premium lounge in LAX’s Bradley Terminal

Are these the world’s most high-tech hotels?

Business traveler spending on taxis drops 51 percent in two years

Starwood Preferred Guest partners with Wi-Fi hotspot provider

French carrier La Compagnie offers unlimited transatlantic travel for $35,000

Another Delta hub gets CLEAR lanes: Detroit 

Too bad: Fewer widebody aircraft on order

Uber says its drivers are ow cruising The Strip in Las Vegas. (Image: Jim Glab)

Allegiant adds new nonstops from Oakland to Las Vegas. But would you? (Image: Jim Glab)

Allegiant adds Oakland-Las Vegas nonstops for just $58 roundtrip, but…

Clever: Lufthansa sells seats on Airbnb

Actor Michael Caine changes his name for faster airport security

Chase 5/24 rule means your credit card application could be dead on arrival

Are you signed up for PreCheck but never seem to get it? TSA wants to hear from you:

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Dear Readers: The TravelSkills blog will be on vacation until September. We hope you have a nice summer! 

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Popular: LAX update + Asia fare sale + New United 3D video + Cheap airports + Alaska Air pondering

Delta, LAX, T5

Delta’s crowded Terminal 5 at LAX on a busy summer day- soon a thing of the past! (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

Delta’s stunning plan for Los Angeles – LAXWeekend Edition

DEAL: Amazin’ Asian discounts (UPDATE: Currently $533 round trip to Hong Kong from East & West Coast cities on United, Cathay Pacific)

Tokyo Haneda daytime rights: The winners are…

Astonishing! A class action that actually paid off for flyers

Delta’s striking new plans for New York – LaGuardia

JetSuite

Slick ceilings inside JetSuite’s Embraer planes where overhead bins are removed (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

6 Routes: Alaska transcons, Jetsuite in California, Southwest, United,American

United gets on TSA’s speedy screening lines bandwagon

Top 10 cheapest airports in U.S.

Travel start-ups: Another one bites the dust

10 Thought-provoking: Business travel burnout is a thing

Take this slick 360 degree tour of United’s Polaris experience- it’s interactive! 

United has created a whole new site devoted to its new Polaris Business Class. Although we won’t see it until December, it’s cool to check out what’s coming soon. For example, the video above is actually a 360 degree tour! Take a look by clicking the arrow above

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

Delta’s new business class lounge at Dublin

Major upgrade planned for Chicago O’Hare

Unlimited Cheez-It Crackers now on JetBlue

American Airlines Slashes Partner Mileage Benefits

Falling fares taking a toll on airline profits

Details of United’s bribery scandal

Emirates A380

Interesting planespotting at SFO: An Emirates A380 with a LA Dodgers livery. Thoughts? (Photo: Jonathan Khoo)

United giving away a billion miles to Chase MileagePlus cardholders

Air New Zealand’s new Safety Video

Delta is no longer Memphis’ largest carrier

Paris Hilton to launch her own hotel brand

Delta hires an outside agency to manage its social media accounts

Curb, a ride-hailing app for taxis, expands to five more cities

A early look at the Upside app

What’s this all about? Earn $$ for booking package deals? Yep. Click for more info

Do you have the freedom to select your own travel suppliers on business trips – and are you flexible when it comes to your airline and hotel arrangements? Would like like an Amazon or Best Buy gift card with your next travel booking? If so, you’re the target for a new travel booking and rewards company. Find out more about Upside here– sign up for the beta and get $150 gift card!

Delta-Southwest feud over Dallas Love Field is nowhere near resolution

Choice Hotels is the latest to offer direct-booking discounts for loyalty members

Air fares by 6-8 percent cheaper this summer

Southwest invites customers to share stories, advice online

Cathay Pacific will introduce a credit card for U.S. travelers

CEO says Alaska Air “spending a lot of time pondering” how to merge w Virgin America 

NOTE: Be sure to click here to see all recent TravelSkills posts about: How to get the BEST summer fare dealsOne airline fee fading fast | Trip Report: Aer Lingus Economy Class | 5 top jobs for frequent travelers  | First class phase out coming soon

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Most popular: Upgrades + Brexit + New routes + SFO secrets + Turkish Updates

Turkish Airlines

A sea of Turkish Airlines tails at Istanbul Ataturk Airport last month (Chris McGinnis)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

Buying vs. hoping for upgrades

Brexit cutbacks hitting Delta, othersWeekend Edition

New Routes: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Newark, JFK, San Diego

What’s in your “Anytime Bag?”

6 SFO secrets you should know

Southwest’s interesting new PreCheck promotion

Huge travel website wants your flight reviews

Surf Air: All-you-can-fly in Europe for $3,250

9 UPDATES: Turkish Airlines: We’re back! (but…)

10 Southwest Airlines adds new Mexico flights from Bay Area

Learn how to pour a perfect pint at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin (Chris McGinnis)

Learn how to pour a perfect pint at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin (Chris McGinnis)

Don’t miss out on an amazing Delta/Air France / KLM sale to Dublin, Ireland with fares as low as $368 round trip from SFO (seriously!) and around $275 from East Coast cities. These fares won’t last, but they have been live since Friday.

Check out this super cool visualization video of all flights tracked by FlightRadar24 during June

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

What happens to dogs that flunk out of TSA bomb sniffing training

Airlines auctioning premium seats instead of giving away upgrades

Delta upgrade certificates now valid on Virgin Atlantic

Almost HALF of TSA employees cited for misconduct

Newly passed air travel legislation is a huge win for consumers

American's Admiral's Club at SFO has unusual bonsai type trees (Image Chris McGinnis)

American’s Admiral’s Club at SFO has unusual bonsai type trees (Image Chris McGinnis)

American boosts prices for Admirals Club memberships this month

In NYC, taxis still dominate over Uber, Lyft

Delta partner Virgin Atlantic orders a dozen new Airbus A350s

American Express Global Business Travel forms a partnership with Airbnb

American adds Barclaycard

NOTE: Be sure to click here to see all recent TravelSkills posts about: How to get the BEST summer fare dealsOne airline fee fading fast | Trip Report: Aer Lingus Economy Class | 5 top jobs for frequent travelers  | First class phase out coming soon

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Most popular: Southwest PreCheck | SFO secrets | New routes | China trip report | JetBlue to ATL?

SFO

An unusual perspective of SFO sent in by reader Monte Deignan who was inspired by our SFO secrets post this week!

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

Southwest’s interesting new PreCheck promotion

6 SFO secrets you should knowWeekend Edition

Routes: Alaska, American, JetBlue, Frontier, Allegiant

Trip Report: United BusinessFirst to Xi’an, China

The secret reason for new hotel loyalty discounts

Be the first to try American’s premium economy cabin

Surf Air: All-you-can-fly in Europe for $3,250

New tech speeds up airport security screening

6 highly annoying habits of infrequent fliers (Don’t miss the reader comments on this one!)

10 Lyft’s posh new option, but how much does it cost?

Virgin Atlantic SFO

Deep selection of bourbon & new nibblies at Virgin Clubhouse at SFO (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

We took a spin through the recently refurbished Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at SFO this week for a reveal of its new snack menu (from Whitechapel in SF) and a presentation by its talented mixologist Justin who’s been running the exquisite full service bar with his wife for 10 years. TIP: A Virgin spokesperson said that the club should have airside access by next fall (2017). Virgin Atlantic has two flights per day from SFO, the first one, which departs at 5:40 pm is still using the older Airbus A340; the 9:10 pm departure uses its new 787 Dreamliner. By October, both flights will be operated with a Dreamliner. Our advice: Book the 9:10 pm departure and arrive at the Clubhouse early for a few Manhattans or Old Fashioneds, then pour yourself onto the plane for a good night’s sleep! Don’t forget that the club is open to business class ticketholders and both Virgin and Delta Elites with same-day transatlantic nonstop flights to London.

Remember when a US Airways A320 took a dive into the Hudson River? Watch part of that drama unfold here on the official trailer of “Sully” (IMDB) starring Tom Hanks in theaters this September.

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

JetBlue to return to Atlanta in 2017

The REAL story behind TSA PreCheck enrollment mess

WIRED mag goes inside Delta’s “Mission Control” VIDEO

United’s board goes from worst to first in 3 short months- sign of turnaround?

TSA Horror Show has been fixed- for now at least

Maybe ATL is not so “international” after all

How much do Uber drivers really make? Not much!

KLM Beer Heineken

KLM to offer a first: Beer on tap inflight (Photo: KLM)

KLM will offer in-flight beer on tap

One major airport in the world hasn’t lost a bag in 20 years

Travel + Leisure names Virgin America best U.S. airline for ninth straight year

Boingo offers free airport Wi-Fi to Android users for six months

Singapore Airlines will introduce bidding system for seat upgrades

Hey have you given Lyft a try yet? We’ve recently been won over by friendlier drivers, ease in tipping, and rides in the front seat. Get $20 off your first ride when using our link!

Lyft Logo

NOTE: Be sure to click here to see all recent TravelSkills posts about: How to get the BEST summer fare dealsOne airline fee fading fast | Trip Report: Aer Lingus Economy Class | 5 top jobs for frequent travelers  | First class phase out coming soon

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Most popular: SFO in 3D + Delta discounts CLEAR + Washing planes + Uber prices

Lake Burton

Happy Fourth from Lake Burton, GA! (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

1 San Francisco’s new airport terminal (See interactive 360 degree view below)

2 Delta’s deep discounts for CLEAR membership

3 Worst airports for customs/immigration linesWeekend Edition

4 How often do planes get washed?

5 Routes: San Francisco, LAX, Houston, San Jose, New York, Washington, Chicago

6 A chat with Qantas CEO re LAX, SFO, 787, lounges

7 Stunning changes at iconic NYC hotel

8 Airport news: Houston, Chicago, San Jose, Orange County

9 Uber scraps surge pricing – not!

10 6 highly annoying habits of infrequent fliers

Don’t miss! New Hotels in Honolulu, Washington DC, Atlanta, Boston, Cleveland

SFO Interim B

Click to see a cool 360 degree view of new SFO Interim Terminal B

Brexit won’t affect British Airways operations much

Delta plans special summer events at its Atlanta, JFK Sky Clubs

Interactive 360 degree view of SFO Interim Terminal B

Five years after merger, United flight attendant groups might finally get a single contract

EU gives antitrust clearance to merger of Starwood and Marriott

Airlines consider virtual reality headsets to replace traditional in-flight entertainment

Boeing said to consider a supersized 777 model to compete with the Airbus A380

Starwood plans to open a Four Points by Sheraton in Havana this month

Southwest’s new platform will enable easier booking

Starwood expands keyless entry guest room technology

NOTE: Be sure to click here to see all recent TravelSkills posts about: How to get the BEST summer fare dealsOne airline fee fading fast | Trip Report: Aer Lingus Economy Class | 5 top jobs for frequent travelers  | First class phase out coming soon

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Most popular: Unprecedented JetBlue offer | Annoying flyers | Next for United? | Turkish | Reclining wars

JetBlue will add several extra flights between DEN and SFO for the Super Bowl (Image: Jim Glab)

One of the most lucrative offers ever from JetBlue this week. CLICK pic for details (Image: Jim Glab)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

6 highly annoying habits of infrequent fliersWeekend Edition

United Airlines CEO outlines what’s next

Routes: JetBlue, Virgin America, Alaska, American, United

Airport news: SFO, Denver, Washington, Hartford, Uber/Lyft

To recline or not to recline…

Turkish Airlines Olive Bar

One of FOUR olive bars scattered around Turkish Airlines massive lounge at IST (Chris McGinnis)

Trip Report: Turkish Airlines Business Class to Istanbul (Lounge review coming next!)

Clear gets a second wind

Say what? JetBlue matching Virgin America points balances

Airport briefs: LaGuardia, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Atlanta

Sounds like Qantas 747 will be at SFO for a while (Photo: Peter Biaggi)

Sounds like Qantas 747 will be at SFO for a while (Photo: Peter Biaggi)

10 A chat with Qantas CEO re LAX, SFO, 787, Lounges

Remember when the posh Ritz in Paris closed down almost two years ago for a full renovation? Well, it appears that cocktails at the Hemingway Bar should help foot the bill for the redo. TravelSkills reader BD sent us a photo of the drinks menu– each cocktail is 30 euros- about $35. Sante! Rooms this summer start at 1,100 euros or about $1,250.

Cocktail menu from the Ritz Paris hotel's Hemingway Bar

Cocktail menu from the Ritz Paris hotel’s Hemingway Bar

Hey have you given Lyft a try yet? We’ve recently been won over by friendlier drivers, ease in tipping, and rides in the front seat. Get $20 off your first ride when using our link!

Lyft Logo

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

This guy got a whole plane to himself! MSY-ATL

United’s plans for transpacific growth

5 things to know about travel to UK post Brexit- featuring a quote from Chris

Airports where Uber is available | Airports where Lyft is available

World’s longest (35 mile) train tunnel opens in Europe, cuts north-south travel time

Costco credit card switch goes into effect

Bright red sinks in restrooms & shower suites at Delta's new SFO Sky Club (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Bright red sinks in restrooms & shower suites at Delta’s SFO Sky Club (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

NYT: Airline lounges in the US getting an upgrade

Starwood’s Aloft brand introduces content streaming to guest room TVs

Study identifies credit cards with best travel insurance coverage

Major airports predict their busiest travel days this summer (mostly Thursdays and Fridays through Labor Day)

Airlines’ first quarter haul from bags, ticket changes: $1.7 billion

Video shows behind-the-scenes view of how your luggage is handled

Will the future of travel include flying hotel rooms?

EU will let Iran Air fly there again; carrier places big Boeing order

Don’t miss this gorgeous video of Cathay Pacific’s BRAND new Pier Business Class lounge at Hong Kong- getting RAVE reviews! Can’t wait to see it in person!

–Chris McGinnis
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NOTE: Be sure to click here to see all recent TravelSkills posts about: How to get the BEST summer fare dealsOne airline fee fading fast | Trip Report: Aer Lingus Economy Class | 5 top jobs for frequent travelers  | First class phase out coming soon

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Most popular: New routes + Aer Lingus + Trains + new 16 hour nonstop+ Virgin America

Empire State Building New York

Chris flew United to NYC this week and stayed at the Best Western Herald Square, next to the Empire State Building (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

New routes: LAX, SFO, Seattle, San Diego, Boston, New York, Atlanta

TSA PreCheck faces new strainsWeekend Edition

Trip Report: Aer Lingus, Economy class SFO-Dublin-Edinburgh

7 reasons to take the train instead of the plane

Singapore Airlines adds another nonstop from US

How to shop for summer airfare “deals”

This airline fee is fading fast

Airport briefs: LaGuardia, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Atlanta

Will Alaska preserve Virgin America’s brand?

10 What ‘Do Not Disturb’ really means at hotels

security SFO

Here’s the line at SFO’s busy Terminal 3 at 9 am last Tuesday. PreCheck took 3 minutes. Are TSA security delays overhyped? Leave your comments below.  (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

Easy 500 Marriott Rewards points: Just follow ’em on Instagram (thru June 21 only)

Lengthy “pardon our dust” period at the world’s busiest airport

New security lanes at ATL 30% more efficient

Harvard Business School: Hidden benefits of business travel

Watergate Hotel

Rendering of “Top of the Gate” a new rooftop bar at the recently revamped Watergate Hotel (Image: Watergate Hotel)

Legendary Watergate hotel reopens in Washington DC

Uber/Lyft competitor Wingz files to serve Miami Airport

Alaska Airlines adds more bonus miles to its Visa card

Inside look at United’s San Francisco hub operation VIDEO (states that 500 Global Services members use SFO daily)

Europe clarifies its rules for airline passengers’ rights

New $4 million art installation debuts at Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson

Hawaiian Airlines introduces bidding system for upgrades

Five years later, United’s flight attendant groups still haven’t merged

NOTE: Be sure to click here to see all recent TravelSkills posts about: How to get the BEST summer fare dealsOne airline fee fading fast | Trip Report: Aer Lingus Economy Class | 5 top jobs for frequent travelers  | First class phase out coming soon

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Popular: Fading fee + Purple plane + 5 top jobs + Cuba flights + Free Gogo + Biz Quiz

Wow Air

What is this Barney-like apparition flying over SF? (Photo: SFO)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

1 Some good news: This airline fee is fading fast

2 Do you have one of these? 5 top jobs for frequent travelers

3 This should help New: Global Entry enrollment office to open 24/7Weekend Edition

Routes: LAX, Denver, Paris, Minneapolis, NYC, Atlanta, Boston, Houston

5 Flying Barney Routes: Air China is back + WOW arrives with a purple plane + Lufthansa’s next month

Big summer/fall fare sale takes off (Expired, but stay tuned to TravelSkills for more sales)

7 AA joins the pack Big AAdvantage changes are coming soon

8 The big prize is missing What’s missing from DOT’s Cuba flights announcement?

9 Good news on the Left Coast California competition heats up

10 Where SkyMiles members are flying this summer

18 big business class seats upstairs on the QANTAS 747 (Chris McGinnis)

This Qantas seat was the most mis-identified on the Business Class Expert Quiz (Chris McGinnis)

Did you take our recent Business Class Quiz? Over 3,200 readers gave it a go and most did very well! Our readers really are business class experts (and they obviously read our famous Trip Reports very closely). Which seat was mid-identified most? It was the Qantas business class seat. Most players thought it was Turkish Airlines’ seat. The seat that nearly everyone got right? United’s BusinessFirst seat. Here’s a breakdown of scores:

TravelSkills readers are business class masters! Check out how you did!

TravelSkills readers are business class masters! Check out how well you did!

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

One free hour of Gogo wi-fi for T-Mobile customers starts June 13

TSA PreCheck application numbers triple, causing processing delays

Russia tries to break into the global passenger aircraft market

Will individual passenger drones be the future of air travel?

Trump Hotel Toronto

A room at the Trump Toronto hotel (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Trump politics hurting its hotel biz? Depends on who you ask 

Fascinating stuff: How to Read a Pilot’s Map of the Sky

Did Newark “sell” rider safety to Uber for $10 million?

Drama: Qatar A380 landing in Atlanta VIDEO

Most Americans did not stay in hotels before WW2- they stayed in boarding houses

Watch Emirates flight attendants steal the show at a LA Dodgers game VIDEO

Airbnb now allows corporate employees to book accommodations for co-workers

Smart suitcase can climb stairs, charge phones

Radisson loyalists can exchange points for TSA PreCheck fee

Geneva’s airport tries out a bag-checking robot

Sausalito California

Chris’s most popular Instagram post this week: Sausalito, CA at sunset. Click on image to follow him!

NOTE: Be sure to click here to see all recent TravelSkills posts about: United’s newest, longest flight + Tipping Uber drivers + Qantas 747 Trip Report + Confusion over PreCheck policies + No-fee earlier flights

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Popular: Fare sale + Secret spaces + First class + New biz class + PreCheck

Turkish Airlines

On Turkish Airlines, flight attendants offer lemon, orange or raspberry juice as a pre-flight beverage. If you want Champagne, you have to ask for it (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Last week TravelSkills editor Chris McGinnis took a quick trip to Greece via Turkish Airlines. Wow! You are not going to believe the inflight service on these flights. Stay tuned for his Trip Report!

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):Weekend Edition

Heads up: Crazy business class sale to Europe (fading, but still a few deals!)

2  Secret spaces on planes you’ve never seen before

First class phase-out picks up steam

A typical window seat in United's new Polaris business class. (Image: United)

A typical window seat in United’s new Polaris business class. (Image: United)

United unveils new business class, dumps first

Routes: San Francisco, Portland, Atlanta, Houston, Washington D.C. + more

Transborder changes at SFO, Chicago, LAX, Houston, Minneapolis and SLC

Our famous photo of the updated men's room with a view at Singapore Changi Airport (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Our famous photo of this unusual men’s room at Singapore Changi Airport (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Bay Area gains one new Asia route (SFO-SIN), loses another (SJC-PVG)

Is TSA PreCheck too expensive?

TSA explains confusion over PreCheck policies

10 Routes: American, Delta, United, Southwest

The New York Times did a nice job covering Delta’s new “innovation lanes” at Atlanta’s south security checkpoint. Based on what we’ve heard from TravelSkills readers, the new lanes are working and lines have been reduced significantly since the lanes opened last week. Have you tried ’em? (They are very similar to lanes we’ve seen at London Heathrow Terminal 5). No word yet on where these newer, fast lanes may turn up next.

Video of the week: Delta’s new innovation lanes open at ATL security checkpoints- see how they work!

The New York Times reports: In the United States, passengers going through airport security usually unload their belongings into bins one at a time, but with the innovation lanes, five fliers can unload their belongings in five different bins at the same time.

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

Airports put brakes on Delta’s plans to add CLEAR fast lanes at hubs

Marriott Rewards offers airline bonus miles

American dumping Gogo for ViaSat inflight wi-fi

American politics make you want to move to Canada? Air Canada wants YOU! VIDEO

Delta forces Qatar Airways to use de-ice pad instead of gate for inaugural ATL flight

Take a virtual flight with Nicole Kidman on Etihad

Turboprops set to make a comeback in US

Former Virgin Atlantic 747 goes up for sale — on eBay

AA chief: Airlines should price more like hotels

Flying over the Bosporous, where Europe and Asia meet, on Turkish Airlines (Photo: Chris McGinnis) CLICK to follow me on Instagram!)

Flying over the Bosporous in Istanbul, where Europe and Asia meet, on Turkish Airlines (Photo: Chris McGinnis) CLICK to follow me on Instagram!)

State Department issues warning about travel to Europe this summer

Saudis invest $3.5 billion in Uber

New law requires rental firms to fix recalled vehicles before renting them

Southwest Airlines bulks up in the Bay Area

NOTE: Be sure to click here to see all recent TravelSkills posts about: United’s newest, longest flight + Tipping Uber drivers + Qantas 747 Trip Report + Confusion over PreCheck policies + No-fee earlier flights

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Popular: Disappearing first class + Hawaiian Airlines A330 makeover + AT&T free roaming + Rules of DND signs

First class on an update Air France B777- CLICK image for immersive view

Does international first class have a future? (Image: Air France)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

First class phase-out picks up steam

An unusual new lie-flat seat for a U.S. carrierWeekend Edition

What “Do Not Disturb” really means at hotels

TSA explains confusion over PreCheck policies

Delta Comfort+ expansion and confusion

Chase cards add a big new airline partner

Airport news: San Jose, Denver, Salt Lake City, Paris, Berlin

AT&T follows Verizon, T-Mobile to more roaming

Long TSA lines might keep many travelers from flying

10 Virgin Australia debuts a “new” 777-300ER

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

Earn Marriott Rewards even when not a hotel guest

An exciting new Chase Ultimate Rewards partner airline: Air France

Best Western summer promo: Stay 2x, get $50 

Take a look at this new $1.3 billion hotel near Washington, DC

Marriott’s mildly good summer promotion

Atlanta to get Tel Aviv nonstops? 

Harvard Business Review examines “Why Air Travel Is Terrible”

Delta’s new CEO reflects on his first 30 days on the job

Lufthansa extends partnership with NetJets for Lufthansa Private Jet service

World’s longest rail tunnel set to open in Europe on June 1

Small Luxury Hotels offer 30 percent off during August in London, Paris, New York

Survey: Flyers prefer Wi-Fi availability to in-flight food

Will flights face more clear-air turbulence due to climate change?

Etihad Airways produces a virtual reality film starring Nicole Kidman

NOTE: Be sure to click here to see all recent TravelSkills posts about: United’s newest, longest flight + Tipping Uber drivers + Qantas 747 Trip Report + Confusion over PreCheck policies + No-fee earlier flights

twitter-floowmeDo you follow us on Twitter? It’s a great way to keep up with the latest news!

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Popular: Cheaper phone roaming + Delta spat + More at SFO + Quiz + Norwegian Air + United secret

Can you name this business class section? Hint: Look at the big windows! Plus it's included in our fun quiz! (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Can you name this business class section? Hint: Look at the big windows! Plus it’s included in our fun quiz! (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

1 Must sign up to get it: AT&T follows Verizon, T-Mobile to more roaming

2 Nonstop ribbon cuttings Slew of new flights at SFOWeekend Edition

3 Oh, pulleeaze! Inside Qatar Airways event that sparked Delta tantrum [PHOTOS] (See comments)

Don’t miss the AJC editorial about the Delta-Fox brouhaha which starts out like this: Atlantans were aghast last week when the body of the beloved Fox Theatre was found in a car trunk, bound and gagged, a single shot to the back of the head.

4 Battle begins Alaska, Southwest fight for California with new flights

5 Try it, you’ll like it Are you a business class seat expert? Take our fun quiz! Come on, 2,000+ readers have taken it so far! 

6 Oldie but goodie remains popular TSA explains confusion over PreCheck policies

Premium Economy seats on Norwegian

Premium Economy seats on Norwegian Air (Image: Norwegian Air)

7 New nonstop Oakland-London on Norwegian: Low fares, low frills

Routes: Atlanta, Raleigh-Durham, Chicago, Newark, Honolulu, JFK

9 Check ’em out, then check in 4 brand new hotels in New York City

10 Members only Hilton’s big summer sale

TravelSkills was invited to a big United Airlines event in NYC in early June which requires signing a non-disclosure agreement to get in the door. Regrettably we can make it due to a prior commitment (flying Turkish Airlines to Istanbul!), but we’ll keep an eye out for the news. Rumor has it that United will reveal a new BusinessFirst seat design at the event. But who knows? What do you think it could be? Leave your prognostications below.

United is rolling out a new first class seat for its A319, A320 and some 757 aircraft (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

United revealed this new first class seat for its domestic A319, A320 and some 757 aircraft last year. Will a new BusinessFirst seat be revealed next week? (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

Atlanta Airport director Miguel Southwell sacked

Beware Delta’s new middle seat “upgrade”

United offering mystery elite status upgrades. Get one?

Scariest item ever seen by TSA? Gruesome

Summer sale at Kimpton hotels: 25% off + double points

Smarter to use ATL’s international terminal to avoid TSA security lines? Maybe. Maybe not. 

San Francisco’s newest tourist attraction: The Apple Flagship store on Union Sq

Delta CEO Ed Bastian

Delta’s new CEO Ed Bastian in his office at ATL HQ (Image: Airline Guys)

VIDEO: See inside Delta CEO Ed Bastian’s office at Delta HQ in ATL

Delta optimizes ‘SkyMiles Experiences’ website for mobile

Uber tests self-driving car in Pittsburgh

Eight low-cost Asia-Pacific airlines form an alliance

Falling fares will bring a record number of U.S. air travelers this summer

These are the most popular U.S. cities for meetings and conventions

American discontinues in-flight announcements of connecting gate information

(Image: Big Imagination Project)

(Image: Big Imagination Project)

In case you missed Saturday’s post about one of our favorite subjects, the much-loved Boeing 747: The 747 Project

NOTE: Be sure to click here to see all recent TravelSkills posts about: United’s newest, longest flight + Tipping Uber drivers + Qantas 747 Trip Report + Confusion over PreCheck policies + No-fee earlier flights

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Popular: Cuba + More 787s + Delta upgrades + TSA mess + Uber headache

Havana man cigar

Hanging out with the locals on a hot day in Havana (Chris McGinnis)

If you’ve been reading TravelSkills this week, or following me on social media, you know that I’ve been on the first ship allowed to cruise to Cuba from the US in nearly 60 years. TravelSkills staff Jim and Kim have done an excellent job churning out the content and tips while I’ve been down here making history- many thanks to them!

I have not smoked a cigar since the night I graduated from the University of Colorado– I smoked one that made me sick, and the aversion has lasted a lifetime. But I know that there are plenty of readers out there who may treasure a fine smoke from Cuba. Want one? Then read my post Cruising into Cuba: It’s complicated and leave a comment. He or she who leaves the cleverest or most meaningful comment (as judged by me) will win this, a Montecristo Petit Tubo cigar, freshly imported, legally, from Cuba. –Chris

Monte Cristo Cigar

Want one?

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

Cruising into Cuba: It’s complicated

Weekend EditionRoutes: Virgin America, JetBlue, Delta, Surf Air, Sun Country

More transatlantic 787s for the Bay Area

Delta changes upgrade priorities

International premium economy cabins coming to Delta

TSA scrambles to fix long wait times as summer approaches

Secrets of air rage revealed!

Should I tip my Uber or Lyft driver? [Poll]

Airport briefs: Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Boston, Vancouver, Dubai

10 Uber’s getting headaches from Harvard Business School

United's ex-CEO Jeff Smisek appeared at SFO's new Terminal 3 in 2014 (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

United’s ex-CEO Jeff Smisek is back in the news… see below (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Links to stories from other sources that we thought you’d like to read:

InterContinental is the latest hotel group to unveil exclusive discounts for loyalty members

How do you move a 747 across the street? Very slowly. See video.

Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson has a new app for passengers

Delta inflight entertainment

Delta in-flight entertainment gets a new user interface

United starts selling gourmet popcorn in-flight

(Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Hollywood Airport? (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Burbank’s airport will drop the Bob Hope name

Here’s what goes on inside your body when you fly

Starwood SPG members split on hopes for program’s future under Marriott

Disgraced former United CEO gets $37 million compensation package

Cuba Santiago Fathom Adonia

Our Fathom ship Adonia entering the harbor at Santiago de Cuba (Photo: Fathom)

NOTE: Be sure to click here to see all recent TravelSkills posts about: United’s newest, longest flight + Tipping Uber drivers + Qantas 747 Trip Report + Confusion over PreCheck policies + No-fee earlier flights

twitter-floowmeDo you follow us on Twitter? It’s a great way to keep up with the latest news!

Please join the 125,000+ people who read TravelSkills every month! Sign up here for one email-per-day updates!

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Popular: Celeb Trip Report + Etihad SFO + United elites + HHonors promo + CLEAR

Like many other airlines, Delta is starting to get rid of these graceful, gas guzzling old birds. (Photo: Delta)

Like many other airlines, Delta is getting rid of these graceful, gas guzzling old birds. (Photo: Delta)

Delta’s 747-400s are so old, the carrier is moving them into museums! Check out how Delta moved this big bird off airport grounds to a final resting place near Atlanta airport where it will soon go on exhibit.

TravelSkills’ 10 most popular posts over the last week (descending order):

1- A celebrity Reader Report: Japan Airlines first class LAX-Tokyo-SFO

2- All Etihad, all the time, at SFO, JFK

3- United entices former MileagePlus elites

Weekend Edition4- Routes: Delta-London, Lufthansa cuts first class, More OpenSkies +

5- United Club improvements: hot breakfast, menus, beepers