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LATEST STORIES

Sunday musings: Quirky hotels, Better airline service, Roman holiday rules

We take a fanciful look at quirky hotels. You won’t find me staying at the Ice Hotel under animal furs, but having some vodka at the bar is certainly fun. How to get better airline service tips from a seasoned flight attendant. Finally, Rome starts publicizing and enforcing tourists behavior rules — so no swimming in the fountains.

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POLICY

What makes Real ID so important for air travelers today

What makes Real ID so important for air travelers today

For air travelers, the Real ID Act “hard” deadline of October 1, 2020 is fast approaching. Many U.S. citizens and lawful residents already have their new Real ID, but for others, the deadline is approaching too fast.

TRAVEL

How to keep a teenager engaged during time in Rome

How to keep a teenager engaged during time in Rome

I’ve been involved in planning a trip to Italy with a focus on Rome and Venice. The grandson of a good friend of mine is coming along. I need to show him Rome for teenagers. He is in 7th Grade and just entered his teens.

How do airline IT outages harm passengers

IT has become one of the most important factors in the operation of the national aviation system. It is the way that airline tickets are sold. The reservation systems provide airfares that may change several times a day and allow seats to be assigned They allow pilots and flight attendants to be scheduled to provide customer service. The findings of the GAO show an aviation IT system that currently has no federal oversight, few government records, and no DOT passenger protections.

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Open skies agreements get boost from US Department of State

For years Travelers United has stood by the Open Skies Agreements forged between the US and more than 120 partners.  Since 1992, the United States has pursued an “open-skies” policy designed to eliminate government involvement in airline decision-making about routes,...

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Tell Ticketmaster to stop their extra fees

Last week, Consumer Reports faced off with ticket behemoth Ticketmaster in Washington, D.C., over its practice of adding on fees that balloon the cost of sports, concert or event tickets. Travelers United (together with Consumer Reports) demands honest, all-in pricing from Ticketmaster – so the advertised price you see is the final price you pay.

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Visit an out-of-the-way Gaudi architectural gem in northern Spain

In the far north of Spain along the Atlantic coast, a soon-to-be-famous architect got his start. Here, Antoni Gaudi was commissioned to build a house for one of the richest men in the region. The creation was set in Comillas about 50 km. west of Santander, Spain. It is commonly called El Capricho. This fabulous home took full advantage of the movement of the sun, new construction materials, and Gaudi’s understanding of acoustics.

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Look into the soul of Alaska at the Anchorage Museum

There is one indoor experience that every visitor to Alaska should explore — the Anchorage Museum. This stunning building and its even more impressive collection of Alaska artifacts and art provides a spiritual and historic canvas upon which to better understand the human side of this amazing state of nature.

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TRAVEL SAFETY

Travelers, beware of measles hotspots in the U.S. and Europe

Travelers, beware of measles hotspots in the U.S. and Europe

Think about health issues, like measles hotspots, before traveling even in the US Travel, particularly international travel to many popular, “exotic” locales, can have serious health risks that must be considered before travel there is undertaken. Prevention and...

TRAVEL TIPS

Top 10 airports served by good public transportation

Top 10 airports served by good public transportation

When it comes to getting into the center of a US city you’re visiting from the airport, or getting to the airport for a trip out of town without worrying about parking, a taxi or airport shuttle van springs first to mind for most Americans. However, there are many cities where convenient and very affordable (compared to a cab or shuttle) bus or rail transit options exist that make the city to airport trip a breeze. Some are well known, others are hidden gems. Here’s an overview of ways to get to major airports from downtown during the holidays in the Top 10 airports serving US cities.

18 tips to improve your hotel personal security

Hotels across the globe are recognizing that they must do more than provide clean, beautiful rooms with comfortable beds and lots of amenities. Today, most hotels in every price range are taking guest security much more seriously. Hotels have installed electronic room...

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How to know when driving is better than flying

Airlines need to keep in mind that passengers often have choices. These choices may include other competing airlines, taking trains or buses, and driving. One of the biggest changes has been in the competition between driving and planes. Many consumers are choosing to drive when given a choice to take a trip where a drive is compared to a plane to travel for up eight hours.

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Learn how secure WiFi can make a whopping difference

Having secure WiFi is important for travelers, whether they are traveling in their neighborhood or to the other side of the planet. From Starbucks to Marriott, to Segovia or Milano, secure WiFi is important. Failure to secure your Internet connection allows anyone to track your Web activity.

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Skyway robbery — international airline change fees are out of control!

The explanations for change fees are that they require some amount of work for the airline (maybe, if a travel agent doesn’t do the exchange) and the lost opportunity cost of selling the original seat. Plus, airlines will also say that they have sale fares for those who are willing to lock in plans, and not pay the higher restrictive fares. Fair enough.  However, the real reason seems to be  —  “because we can.”

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These cities have the most fake hotel reviews

According to new research from fraud detection company Fakespot a third of hotel reviews are fake. The troubling study of fake hotel reviews also shows that you’re more likely to be fooled in some American cities than others.

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Ways to use less mobile data when you travel

While traveling we become even more dependent on our smartphones than usual. There are no other phones to use, we all need to get around so map programs are more and more important. Airline boarding passes are often loaded on cell phones. Apps that tell travelers the best hotels and restaurants are needed more than ever. And every time we pick up our mobile phone we need to use international data.

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Accomplishments

These accomplishments have been achieved by working closely with our members, national media, the travel industry, the Department of Transportation (DOT), Congress and many other agencies.

  • Creation of the Advisory Committee for Aviation Consumer Protections
  • Advertised airfares now include airfare plus, mandatory taxes and fees
  • Lost/damaged/delayed luggage compensation limit increased to $3,500
  • Passengers have 24 hours to change or cancel their nonrefundable tickets without penalty
  • Once an airfare is purchased, that airfare and ancillary fees cannot be increased
  • Families flying together act passed by Congress that requires family members 13 years of age and younger to sit with other family members at no additional cost.