JetBlue to Offer New Fresh Food and Beer On Board by Seth Miller

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Fresh food and Beer On Board by Jetblue? Sounds cool, right? Everyone wants to enjoy their flight especially the food that airlines offer. But not just fresh foods but also beer from Sam Adams. Passengers will surely enjoy these two new things in Jetblue.

Customers ordering those fresh meals, or anything else on board, will also once again have the opportunity to pair their food with a beer from Sam Adams. JetBlue had previously offered bottled beer from the Boston-based brewery on-board but pulled it last year due to the increased weight and fragile nature of the bottles. The brewery has finally introduced the “Sam Can,” a custom-designed can for their beers, so now JetBlue gets to serve them once again.

Read more: http://www.fodors.com/news/jetblue-to-offer-new-fresh-food-and-beer-on-board-6923.html by Seth Miller

Emirates: 2013 World Airline (News from Fodor’s by Seth Miller)

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For travelers looking to experience the best that airlines have to offer it is, once again, time to look east. SkyTrax released its 2013 World Airline Awards, the awards will be from Top 10. Emirates got the SPOT this year.

Emirates has taken the top spot in the ratings, jumping up from an 8th place score in 2012. Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline said: “For us, the awards clearly reflect a vote of confidence from global travelers, who acknowledge and appreciate our continuous drive to deliver high-quality service.â€� Qatar Airways slipped from number 1 to number 2 and Singapore Airlines held at 3rd place.

Within North America the top scoring airline was Air Canada which came in at number 20 in the rankings. Virgin America, Delta, JetBlue, and United Airlines were all in the top 60; all but Virgin America improved their ranking versus the prior year. Turkish Airlines took the top prize in Europe with Lufthansa and Swiss joining them in the top 20.

Customers looking for the best in-flight entertainment options would do well to stick with Emirates; the carrier continues to win in that category as they have for many years. If it is cabin service that strikes your fancy flying with Cathay Pacific or Qatar Airways should get you the best in the sky. And for the cleanest cabins look no further than ANA, the Tokyo-based company, which won in the first year this category was judged.

The SkyTrax World Airline Awards awards are based on more than 18 million passenger reviews covering travelers in 160 countries and more than 200 airlines.

Read more: http://www.fodors.com/news/skytrax-announces-2013-world-airline-awards-6885.html by Seth Miller

Basic Tips While Travelling Abroad

With the progression in the tourism industry, travelling around the world has become more affordable. People don’t only travel for work or business. Traveling becomes an expression of leisure and relaxation.

Following are some helpful tips to plan well if you decide to travel to a new country:

Identity

Only if you have a proof- identity, you can be known as a recognized citizen of your home country. While you are travelling or if you are in another country, you may be asked to present your proof- identity in an unexpected situation. Hence it is advisable to always carry your passport or driving license that can help to prove your recognition- citizenship, age, etc.

Your Suitcases

Knowing the luggage rules is important to avoid any penalties and discomfort. Search and know the right ruled from the right source. Some places do not allow perishable food items on flight. Every country has their different rules and checking procedure. You can also call your carrier for you to able to get the accurate answer or you can check online.

New Culture & Food

It’s often useful to understand or get to know different cultures, traditions and beliefs of a foreign place. For example, some Arab countries have preferred dress codes.

It’s also great if you know how to speak simple words like “Hello”, “Thank you”, and “Sorry”. People will appreciate the effort and your passion on knowing things about their place.

When it comes to food, try not to eat unhealthy or junk foods. It’s always a routine to us that if you will visit another place, you will search for their well-known food. So, better search and know what the do’s and don’ts.

Communication

Communicating while travelling or settling aboard is one of the important things that you could be doing. Today, with new technologies it is easier for us to get a means of communication. It’s always important to us to keep in touch with our family or for business use.

Places Around You

Discovering new places is exciting, relaxing and it keeps you occupied during your free time. Contact a travel agency or a travel planner to guide you. The internet is a good source to help you with information. Reading article about travel tips and ideas will help you gain more knowledge on how to have a successful travel.

Reference: http://www.eurograduate.com/lifestyle/article.asp?id=3381&pid=5

3 Reasons to Travel While You Were Young

“Living young, wild and free” are terms that the youth of today can relate to… Fresh out of college and in the beginning of your professional career is a time of empowerment, enjoying yourself, going out with your friends, finding yourself, and learning. When you get older, you will have more responsibilities and you will have to prioritize your life such as mortgage payments, retirement funds, and of course parenthood. Instead of doing some of the most influential activities while you’re older such as exploring the world, you should take advantage when you can before you are over the age of 30. You will be able to get in-depth understanding of each destination that you visit without the hassle of vacation times, responsibilities and other factors that can prevent you from really digging in and realizing how amazing the world really is.

During early adulthood, your worldview is still being formed. It’s important to steward this time — to give you opportunities to grow. A good way to do that is to travel and see what the world has to offer.

There are three reasons to travel while you’re young:

  1. Traveling teaches you to live an adventure

While you are young; you should travel. You should use your time to see how wonderful God’s creation is! Traveling will not just let you see the world, it will really help you to discover yourself and taste the fullness of life. It’s worth whatever investment, money or sacrifice of time that may be required on your part.

 

  1. Traveling helps you encounter compassion

While traveling different places you will learn the history of every place that you will visit. Like, if you go to Southeast Asia, you may encounter the remnants of the slave trade. If Eastern Europe, you may see the lasting effects of war and persecution. If Haiti, you’ll witness the hierarchy of Western paternalism. By that, you will understand the world, you will have respect for the pain and suffering that over half of the world takes for granted on a daily basis and you will feel more connected to your fellow human beings in a deep and lasting way. You will learn to care.

 

3.  Traveling allows you to get some culture

The world is a stunning place that you will learn a lot from.  You will understand the dilemma of the world, and while you’re still young, may be able to change how the world exists today. Do not squander your time; you will never have it again. You have a crucial opportunity to invest in the next season of your life now. Whatever you sow, you will eventually reap because you won’t always be young.  And life won’t always be just about you. So travel. Experience the world for all it’s worth. Become a person of culture, adventure, and compassion.

 

Read more: http://goinswriter.com/travel-young/ BY JEFF GOINS

Why We Travel? By Paul Theroux

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IN the bungling and bellicosity that constitute the back and forth of history, worsened by natural disasters and unprovoked cruelty,  humble citizens pay the highest price. To be a traveler in such circumstances can be inconvenient at best, fatal at worst. But if the traveler manages to breeze past such unpleasantness on tiny feet, he or she is able to return home to report: “I was there. I saw it all.” The traveler’s boast, sometimes couched as a complaint, is that of having been an eyewitness, and invariably this experience — shocking though it may seem at the time — is an enrichment, even a blessing, one of the life-altering trophies of the road.

“Don’t go there,” the know-it-all, stay-at-home finger wagger says of many a distant place. I have heard it my whole traveling life, and in almost every case it was bad advice. In my experience these maligned countries are often the most fulfilling. I am not saying they are fun. For undiluted jollification you bake in the sun at Waikiki with a mai tai in your fist, or eat lotuses on the Côte d’Azur. As for the recognition of hard travel as rewarding, the feeling is mainly retrospective, since it is only in looking back that we see how we have been enriched. At the time, of course, the experience of being a bystander to sudden political or social change can be alarming.

Throughout history the traveler has been forced to recognize the fact that leaving home means a loss of innocence, encountering uncertainty: the wider world has typically been regarded as haunted, a place of darkness: “There Be Dragons.” Or as Othello reported, “Cannibals that each other eat, /The Anthropophagi, and men whose heads/Do grow beneath their shoulders.”

But it is the well-known world that seems particularly dire at this moment. Egypt has been upended, and I smile at the phrase “peaceful mob” as an oxymoron; all mobs contain an element of spitefulness and personal score-settling. Tunisia before the mass demonstrations and the coup was a sunny shoreline popular with European vacationers, and the chief annoyance to the traveler was the overzealous rug dealer.

The recent disaster-in-installments in Japan of earthquake, tsunami, damaged nuclear reactors and near-meltdown is a particular shock; Japan has long been regarded as one of the safest countries in the world. And now it seems a perilous place of inundated cities and contaminated air and undrinkable water. The earthquake itself was enough to inspire a sense of deep insecurity. And the idea that Christchurch, New Zealand, could be flattened and feel dangerous — this polite, orderly, beautiful, underpopulated, provincial, hymn-singing place — is yet another surprise.

Many people think of global travel as though presented on a menu, one of those dense, slightly sticky volumes that resemble the Book of Kells. But it is a changing menu, as certain places are “discovered” and others deleted. Libya is now a war zone, but only the other day the Libyan tourist board was encouraging visitors with promises of Roman ruins and cusucs bil-hoot (the Berber version of couscous with fish). Baghdad may have been the Paris of the ninth century, as Richard Burton described it, but James C. Simmons points out in “Passionate Pilgrims: English Travelers to the World of the Desert Arabs” that it has disappointed most travelers since then as, in their words, “a city of wicked dust,” “odorous, unattractive, and hot,” with an “atmosphere of squalor and poverty” — and these descriptions are from travelers in the 1930s, long before the invasion, war and suicide bombers.

Afghanistan in the 1960s and ’70s for all its hassles (gunslingers, scolding mullahs, ancient buses, bowel-shattering cuisine) was astonishingly rich in tradition, ancient pieties and dramatic landscape, shimmering with the still-intact Buddha sculptures in Bamiyan, and penetrated with the sense of the medieval. There were robes, ragged turbans, daggers and even a certain dusty romance — dark eyes peeking from a Shmoo-like burqa. Kiss that goodbye. I well remember the jolting bus ride from the border city of Meshhad in Iran, the walk across the stony frontier to Islamic Qaleh, and finally the small-scale magnificence of the ancient city of Herat. It will be a long time before any farang with a backpack takes that bus ride again. And in Pakistan, the stupendous Greco-Buddhist ruins of Gandharan monasteries in and around Taxila, not far from Peshawar — only a dozen years ago a must-see spot — are now unvisited except by jihadis whose only mission is to deface them.

For the modern traveler there are recent and sharp reversals — the overthrow of longstanding governments, earthquakes, a volcano, the release of radioactivity into a blue sky and cows’ milk — all in the span of a few months. What then is the traveler to do except huddle and observe?

Tourists have always taken vacations in tyrannies — Tunisia and Egypt are pretty good examples. The absurd dictatorship gives such an illusion of stability that the place is often a holiday destination. Myanmar — yet another place recently traumatized by a deadly earthquake — is a classic example of a police state that is also a seemingly well-regulated country for sightseers, providing they don’t look too closely. (The Burmese guides are much too terrified to confide their fears to their clients.) Kenya’s 24 years under the kleptocracy of President Daniel arap Moi, which ended in 2002, never discouraged safari-goers, and in fact might have encouraged them to believe they were safe with so many conspicuous cops around. It is only relatively recently that tourists and hunters have begun to stay away from Zimbabwe. At a time when President Mugabe was starving and jailing his opponents in the ’90s, visitors to the country were applying for licenses to shoot elephants and having a swell time in the upscale game lodges.

By contrast, the free-market-inspired, somewhat democratic, unregulated country can make for a bumpy trip, and a preponderance of rapacious locals. The Soviet Union, with nannying guides, controlled and protected its tourists; the new Russia torments visitors with every scam available to rampant capitalism. But unless you are in delicate health and desire a serious rest, none of this is a reason to stay home.

American Airlines Favors Passengers Without Rolling Bags By David Koenig

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In a quest to speed up the boarding process, American Airlines is letting passengers board sooner if they travel lightly.

The airline said Thursday that people carrying just a personal item that fits under the seat — no rolling suitcases — will be allowed to board before most other passengers.

American said that the change will allow flights to take off sooner, helping the airline improve its on-time performance.

Airline officials say boarding times have increased in the last few years. The airlines have created this problem by reducing flights, which makes planes more crowded, and also charging fees for checking baggage, which encourages passengers to haul their luggage on board.

The result can be sharp-elbowed competition for scarce bin space that leads to short tempers among passengers and flight attendants.

(See also: Free things on planes you didn’t know you could get)

American tested the new boarding procedure at seven airports earlier this year and began applying it to all flights Thursday. Passengers carrying just a personal item such as a purse, backpack or computer bag that fits under the seat will board right after Group 1 premium passengers and before groups 2, 3 and 4.

The airline said that it will let passengers check a carry-on bag at the gate at no charge. That means savvy travelers will be able to move up in the boarding order and avoid checked-bag fees — $25 for the first bag, $35 for a second on flights within the U.S. — although they’ll have to retrieve their bag at baggage claim after they land.

If it works as designed, light travelers will be seated quickly. Fewer people will be stuck behind the inevitable guy who takes too long to hoist his rolling bag into an overhead bin and position it to his liking.

Kevin Doeksen, director of customer planning for American, said the change will cut boarding time by about two minutes per flight, “which doesn’t sound like much, but it adds up throughout the day.”

If the change results in fewer big bags being rolled on the plane, it could reduce the number of flights on which the overhead bins fill up. When the bins are stuffed, gate agents or flight attendants must ask passengers in the last boarding group to surrender their bag for gate-checking — an awkward situation all around.

Competition for bin space has also made travel more stressful. Passengers in the last boarding groups often creep forward and jockey for position to be the first in their group on the plane.

Travel experts think American’s idea can speed up boarding if enough passengers leave their rolling bags behind.

Chris Lopinto, president of ExpertFlyer.com, said the key could be American’s offer to check bags at the gate for free. It won’t appeal to business travelers on a schedule, who don’t dare check a bag — ever.

“But that loophole would be great for people who don’t care about checking a bag or have a lot of people in their party,” Lopinto said. “If you’re a family of four and American is going to gate-check your bags, that can save you $100 (versus checking the bags) and you can board earlier.”

Jami Counter of travel website TripAdvisor said American’s free gate-checking offer was so attractive that it could reduce the amount American makes from checked-baggage fees.

“Why would you ever pay a baggage fee if you can gate-check your bag for free?” he said. “That’s a loophole you could drive a truck through. I see that being tightened.”

Counter said passengers might swamp gate agents with requests to check their bag for free. “Now their two-minute savings just turned into a 15-minute delay,” he said.

American’s Doeksen said the airline considered both but believes any increase in gate-checking and loss of checked-bag fees will be minimal. He noted that passengers can already roll their bags to the gate and check them there for free.

Annual Consumer Reports Study Ranks US Airlines By Seth Miller

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Which airline will provide you the best overall experience in the USA? According to the annual Consumer Reports study the best options for travelers are Virgin America, JetBlue, and Southwest Airlines. Hawaiian Airlines and Alaska Airlines round out the top five and are the only carriers to score above an 80 in the survey. At the other end of the spectrum, Spirit Airlines scored a 50 in this year’s poll, a number described by Consumer Reports as “one of the lowest overall scores for any company we’ve ever rated.”

The top airlines all scored high in customer service, baggage handling, and in-flight service. Both JetBlue and Virgin America received high marks for in-flight entertainment as well, despite JetBlue not yet having WiFi available on board (it is expected later this year). Both Virgin America and Southwest do. Virgin America and JetBlue have individual in-seat screens at all seats which customers enjoy.

Towards the bottom of the rankings were all the legacy airlines. Delta topped that group with a score of 71 while United, struggling last year to complete their integration with merger partner Continental, came in at the bottom with a score of 63. Low marks for these airlines were seen in the categories of cabin cleanliness, in-flight entertainment, and seat comfort.

Respondents also complained about flights being more crowded (they are at or near all-time highs across the industry) and cramped seating. With the legacy carriers (and Spirit) having, on average, the least personal space for passengers, it is not surprising that they showed up at the bottom of the list.

Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza took umbrage with the rankings, noting that they ignored the fare paid by travelers. While many Spirit customers in the survey noted they felt constantly “dinged” for more fees, the base fares are often the lowest. Baldanza believes that his airline’s passengers are still getting good value given the lower fares.

The rankings of the 11 airlines are based on a survey of more than 16,000 subscribers conducted in February 2013. Those surveyed flew a combined total of more than 31,000 domestic flights

Free Things on Planes You Didn’t Know You Could Get By Christine Sarkis

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From shrinking seats to ever-dwindling in-flight amenities, the airline industry really earns its tightfisted reputation. But if you know what to ask for, you’ll find that in-flight offerings are not quite as stingy as they seem. We asked author and former flight attendant Beth Blair for her tips on the free extras and services only available to those who know to ask.

So next time you’re hit with a headache onboard or have a thirst that’s going to take more than a glorified Dixie cup of soda to quench, know you can ask for—and most likely receive—a little onboard assistance

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Sanitizing Wipes

The stream of passengers passing through planes each day turns tray tables, armrests, and entertainment-system buttons into germ factories. If you’d like to clean your area before settling in, ask a flight attendant for a few sanitizing wipes; they often have them on hand, though it’s not something most passengers know they can ask for

The Whole Can

When you factor in the pile of ice that flight attendants load into those little plastic airline cups, you’ll find you’re not getting much liquid on each pass of the beverage cart. If you’ve got a thirst that’s going to take more than a few tablespoons of soda to quench, consider politely asking your flight attendant for the whole can. Blair says that most of the time, they’re happy to oblige. And if they can’t—for instance, because the plane is low on cans or isn’t getting restocked in the next city—flight attendants will still usually offer to simply come by again to refill your cup.

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Wing Pins for Kids

Most airlines have cut free food and snacks for adults and kids, but many still offer little fliers wing pins to commemorate their flight. According to Blair, “The pilots usually don’t have them though; it’s the flight attendants who have them stashed somewhere in the cabin.” Can you ask for a pin even if you don’t have kids in tow? We don’t know, but if you’ve tried, leave a comment below letting us know how it went!

Basic Medicines and Bandages

Whether it’s for a headache from takeoff or lingering airport heartburn, many flights are stocked with basic medications such as painkillers and antacids. Blair says that, most of the time, flight attendants also have bandages on hand for minor cuts and that “if you’re hurt, flight attendants are experts at making ice packs for injuries (either out of plastic bags or sick sacks).” Knowing this makes us wish flight attendants got merit badges.

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Water-Bottle Refills

As long as onboard supplies allow it, flight attendants are usually willing to refill your empty bottle of water for you. Blair says, “Most flight attendants are very generous with beverages.” Since passengers who carry their own water bottles will have had to empty them before going through security at the airport, this added service can come in extra handy for the hydration-conscious.

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Short-Term Babysitting

Parents flying alone with infants and small children have bladders too, and, happily, flight attendants are often more than willing to watch a baby or child for a few minutes while a parent runs to the bathroom or stretches his or her legs. “Watching babies was one of my favorite things to do in-flight,” says Blair. “For safety reasons, most airlines ask flight attendants to sit in the aisle passenger seat so they’re not standing and holding a baby.”

Help Finding a Doctor

Almost all airlines train cabin crew to ask for medical assistance onboard, so if you’ve got a personal medical emergency, a flight attendant will be your best bet for quickly finding a doctor in-flight. On most airlines, that means the flight attendant will make an announcement over the loudspeaker, but Lufthansa has a program which gives doctors frequent-flier miles for identifying themselves to the airline in advance

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Seconds

Did the bag of tiny pretzels leave you peckish? If you’re flying an airline with free snacks or meals, you can ask for seconds. If, after all passengers are served, there’s extra, flight attendants are likely to grant your request. Blair says flight departure times can help you predict the likelihood of there being extra food: “On some flights it seems nearly all of the passengers pass on meals or snacks (such as late at night). Those flights are the best bet for getting seconds.”

Help Switching Seats

Have a seat assignment that’s got you sitting far from a travel companion? Flight attendants are often willing to help negotiate seat switches so you can sit together. They can help as long as there’s time, says Blair, so if you’re going to ask for help, do it soon after boarding. They may ask you to wait until everyone has taken their seats (or until you’re at cruising altitude), but it’s better to have your polite request on their radar for whenever they have a second.

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Cockpit Tours

It may seem incredible given the concern about cockpit security, but if you ask, many pilots are more than willing to give mini cockpit tours before or after the flight. The best time for a visit is usually after a flight has landed, since that’s when pilots tend not to be as rushed. Blair says, “Pilots love to get visitors, especially wide-eyed children. It makes their day to have the chance to show off their ‘office.'”

Legoland’s Disco Elevator Takes You Higher By Katrina Brown Hunt

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Unless you’re allergic to primary colors—or LEGOS, of course—the biggest problem with the new Legoland Hotel in Carlsbad, California, may be that it’s not taller.

For a lot of grown-up guests, the coolest part about the otherwise kid-centric, three-story hotel may be the “disco elevator.” Inside, the walls are decorated with nightclub-ready LEGO characters, a strobe light hangs from the ceilings, and when the doors close, the lava floor panels light up and the music kicks in: ABBA, the BeeGees, the Village People. It makes you think: How many elevators out there have wasted an opportunity to be fun? (The hotel has figured out how to make everything enjoyable: there’s also a jump-able whoopee cushion corner in the elevator lobby.)

Nigel Woods, the project designer who created the elevator, told us that he felt he had to up the ante set by the elevator at another theme park hotel, the Alton Towers Splash Landing Hotel, in the UK. “It plays some ‘Hawaii Five O’ music,” he told us by email, “which my children (Emily, 9 and Lucy 6) and I loved to dance to as we went up to our room.” Then, he recounts, he saw a YouTube video of a disco elevator, “and fell over laughing. From there, the Legoland disco elevator was born.”

While at least one reviewer has pooh-poohed the elevator as a little intense for toddlers (or parents who haven’t had their morning coffee)—most guests at the hotel’s opening in April seemed to love it. Some of us may have wished the ride lasted longer than just two floors up from the lobby. Then again, some guests booked on the ground floor were guilty of mere joyriding.