Prime Reading & Audible
As an Amazon Prime member, you can read books like The Handmaid’s Tale and Harry Potter free with Prime Reading. The feature offers over a thousand free books and magazines to download on any device with a Prime membership. I think it’s one of the best unknown Amazon Prime perks out there, especially for frequent travelers. As a Fire Tablet user, I browse this section before any long flight and download at least one free book for my trip.
Also be sure to check out Amazon’s Audible channels or audio books, which are free to Prime members.
Insider Tip: For Kindle users, a Prime membership grants you access to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, where you can borrow a book each month, along with one pre-released book per month with Amazon First Reads.
Amazon Credit Cards & Points
Making the most of every dollar you spend is another Amazon Prime perk. Prime members have exclusive access to certain credit cards: The Amazon Prime Store Card and Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card.
The Visa card is exclusive to those with a Prime membership and gives you five percent back on Amazon and two percent back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, with no annual fee. You can redeem your points for Amazon purchases; and the card also has travel benefits like no foreign transaction fees, baggage delay insurance, and travel accident insurance.
The Store card lets Prime members receive five percent back on Amazon purchases, also has no annual fee, and gives access to promotional financing.
Some credit card companies, like American Express, offer one year of an Amazon Prime membership with their cards, while others let you “Shop With Points” on Amazon, though you won’t get Prime benefits.
A recent news story may make you rethink taking a sleeping pill on a flight.
Canadian Stephen Bennett was on his way to Cuba from British Columbia with his wife and son on October 13 but had a layover in Toronto, before boarding his last flight with WestJet.
His doctor had prescribed him a sleeping pill to take before the connecting flight, as Bennett had not slept on the overnight flight from the westernmost province in Canada.
Prior to boarding his WestJet flight to Cuba, Bennett took the sleeping pill and then quickly fell asleep after boarding the plane. Before take-off, a crew member tried to wake him, and the next thing he remembers is being awakened by his wife and the flight attendant telling him he had to deboard the plane because he was a “medical emergency.”
Paramedics were called and removed Bennett from the plane in a wheelchair, a move Bennett found humiliating. Once he was checked out by the paramedics, they let the WestJet crew know that he was able to fly, but WestJet denied him entry back on the flight.
Bennett even got his doctor to e-mail a note that said he was healthy and capable of flying, but it didn’t help.
"It was so humiliating," he told BBC. "Basically, the stewardess became judge, jury and executioner."
In a statement to BBC, WestJet said, "We stand by our crew's decisions and believe that what we have offered to this guest is reasonable under the circumstances.”
WestJet offered Bennett and his family a place on the next flight – a week later – despite the fact that they had booked an all-inclusive vacation package under specific dates.
The family declined WestJet's offer and booked a flight with another airline, lost two days of their family vacation, and had to pay an additional $1,525 for new tickets and a hotel in Toronto.
travel usa, travel news, US Travel Magazine travel articles
What Time of Day Should I Book My Flight?
According to urban legend, you should buy on Tuesday mornings because airlines dump new fares and seat allocations on Monday nights. It’s also rumored that travelers shouldn’t buy on weekends, as consumers lap up the seats allocated to the lowest fare buckets on Saturdays and Sundays, leaving less low-priced inventory.
Here’s what George Hobica, founder of our sister site Airfarewatchdog, says: “No one can accurately predict where airfares are heading any more than we can predict the stock market.”
Hobica’s blog points to a quote from an airline revenue manager on the subject: “To say that there is one time of the day or one day of the week that is better than another is false. Plus, fares are so dynamic, since they are based on market conditions and the actual number of passengers who are currently booked on a specific flight, that they can change rapidly at any time.”
But the manager goes on to contradict himself a little bit: “Many airlines tend to announce sales on a Monday, leading other airlines to match certain fares the following day, but this is not a hard and fast rule.”
Several sources publish data on the correlation between advance purchase period and airfares. The ideal time to buy a domestic ticket is 54 days in advance, says CheapAir, or seven weeks ahead, says Expedia, which are essentially the same findings. For international trips, the ideal period is 171 days ahead of departure, according to the same Expedia report. CheapAir refines the estimates: 96 days before trips to Europe and 96 days prior to Latin America trips. Both sources indicate that you can come close to the absolute lowest price over a wide range of dates: CheapAir’s “window” for good deals on domestic tickets is 27–114 days in advance; Expedia’s window is 50–100 days.
Avoid booking too early and too late. Too late is especially bad; you pay a huge premium for buying within a week or two of departure—even on airlines that nominally assess no advance-purchase limit.
A European vacation might not seem like the most affordable getaway, but the city of Paris is taking on a new measure to help families get around for less.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo announced in a statement that children under the age of 11 will be able to ride on public transit for free starting in September, even non-Parisians. This is one small step in the Mayor’s plan to hopefully make public transit free to everyone, according to The Local.
Currently, children under the age of four already ride the Paris Metro for free, but children ages four to 11 are charged half-price. The new measure will also allow people with disabilities under the age of 20 to ride for free, as well as give elementary, high school and university students half-off their Imagine’R travel pass. People between the ages of 14 and 18 will also be able to use the city’s bike system for free, according to Lonely Planet.
All of these measures, of course, are also meant to encourage a cleaner environment in downtown Paris, which the Mayor hopes to make more pedestrian friendly and have a reduced number of cars in the area.
According to CityLab, the streets in Paris are slowly being “pedestrianized” by reducing the number of car lanes and banning certain cars from the road. Up until now, opponents of these measure have criticized the changes by calling them elitist and prejudiced against lower-income suburbanites, CityLab reported. But cheaper or even free public transit can be seen as an answer to those critics.
Single use, one-way fares for adults on Paris' public transit cost €1.90 ($2.17), which is relatively cheap compared to other major metropolitan areas around the world — a single fare subway or bus ride in New York City is $2.75 — but no one is here to argue against a free ride. Many other cities, like Berlin and London, have discounted or even free rides for children under certain ages, according to Lonely Planet.
Other non-alarming causes of emergency landings include minor mechanical issues (think: a spilled soft drink on an electrical outlet), broken bathrooms (like this Delta flight from New York City to Seattle that made an emergency landing in Billings, Montana because the plane’s bathrooms had stopped functioning and passengers “couldn’t hold it any longer,”) and a lithium battery laptop that started burning a passenger’s backpack en route to SFO.
With all of that said, emergency landings should still be taken seriously. Our point is simply that they happen very rarely, and when they do, they’re rarely a true emergency, like a loss of cabin pressure or engine failure. So feel free to relax, recline, and enjoy your flight.
Prime Music & Prime Video
With Amazon Prime, you get unlimited, ad-free streaming on Prime Music. And while Prime Music has over two million songs, Prime members also get a discount with Amazon’s other music streaming service, Music Unlimited.
Another one of the lesser-known Amazon Prime perks is Prime Videostreaming, which grants you access to award-winning original movies and TV shows like Manchester by the Sea and The Man in the High Castle. Amazon also hosts other network TV shows like Mr. Robot and The Sopranos. Prime Video also has a library of popular shows and movies to rent and buy.
Insider Tip: You can add premium network subscriptions to your Prime membership via Amazon Channels. This allows you to watch channels like HBO, STARZ, and Showtime without having a cable or satellite account.
Travelers know convenience often comes at a price. And while some services don’t pay for themselves, Amazon Prime and the included Amazon Prime perks, can be a worthwhile investment for tech-savvy and entertainment-driven travelers.
A membership now costs $119 annually (or $13 monthly); for that price, you get well-known benefits like free two-day shipping, access to exclusive deals, and Prime Video. But the real boon for travelers are the lesser known Amazon Prime perks that deliver trip-ready extras like entertainment, last-minute delivery, photo storage, and even frequent flyer points. I decided to see if I could use Amazon Prime perks to become a more prepared and happier traveler, and was impressed by the results.
Longtime Hawaiian Airlines flight attendant Emile Griffith died on Thursday while working on a flight from Honolulu to New York City, the carrier announced on Friday.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss,” said Ann Botticelli, senior vice president of corporate communications, of the airline’s 31-year veteran in a statement provided to PEOPLE. “Emile both loved and treasured his job at Hawaiian and always shared that with our guests. Our hearts are with Emile’s family, friends and all those fortunate to have known him.”
Griffin was aboard flight HA50, working alongside 11 crew members to help serve 253 passengers, the airline said.
The flight had departed Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport at 4:13 p.m. HST bound for John F. Kennedy International Airport. But nearly three hours into the trip, the plane was diverted to San Francisco International Airport (SFO), where it landed shortly after 11 p.m. local time, the airline said.
According to KPIX, Griffin suffered a medical emergency, which prompted the pilot to ask over the loudspeaker if there were any doctors on the flight. Several passengers assisted the crew to perform CPR on Griffith, the outlet reported.
Upon arrival in San Francisco, agents and crew worked with medical personnel as well, the airline explained.
“All passengers were re-accommodated on the first available flights and will be provided compensation,” the carrier said. “We sincerely appreciate our guests’ patience and understanding.”
Access to Exclusive Products & Deals
An Amazon Prime membership grants access to a variety of products and deals that can save you money on travel-related products and clothes. Prime members have early access to Lightning Deals (also called Prime Early Access Deals), Prime Exclusives, and a whole day dedicated to member shopping deals, Prime Day, which is typically in July.
Another one of the lesser-known Amazon Prime perks is a service called Amazon Elements. This Prime-exclusive line is limited right now (only baby wipes and vitamins so far), but the idea behind it—a dedicated store that uses customer feedback and reviews to create better products—has the potential to become an invaluable tool for travelers who only have enough suitcase space for high-performing products.
Prime Samples is also an incredibly useful perk for travelers; the sample-size products only available to Prime members are great for bargain-priced toiletries and snacks. Plus, you get reward cash for purchasing.
Amazon is also providing discounts at Whole Foods for Prime members: An additional 10 percent off sale items and special deals on select items.
Insider Tip: If you order through Alexa-enabled voice shopping, you get access to even more deals and discounts as a Prime member.
For at least two decades, industry experts have been speculating about basic timing factors in finding the lowest airfares. The big question: When is the best time to buy plane tickets? So far, nobody has been able to come up with definitive answers that stand the test of time for very long. But that doesn’t stop them from trying. There are numbers-based guidelines touted by travel experts. And there are tools and data that can help you ascertain the right time to buy. Here’s the latest information on mastering the art of airfare booking.
How Far in Advance Should I Book My Flight?
And you can get it for $99 right now.
You can do all the preliminary research you want, but it won’t prevent the inevitable: One day you will likely check into a hotel room or vacation rental that is below your standards. Whether it’s a rogue hair on a “clean” sheet, a pillow case that reeks of cigarettes, or a duvet cover that has seen fresher days, the bed of your nightmare is out there — but there is a way to prevent your trip from starting off on a germ-filled foot.
CleanseBot, a patent-pending robot, has been developed for just this type of occasion. The pocket-sized technology can sanitize and disinfect surfaces — including the hotel bed — and is equipped with a UV-C light that is said to prevent the spread of airborne viruses. Launched on IndieGogo, a crowdfunding platform, on Jan. 6, the robot has already raised more than $1.3 million. According to its page on the site, in a study conducted by an independent third party, the CleanseBot was found to kill 99.99 percent of E.coli.
The CleanseBot has three modes. The first is an automated setting that cleans underneath the bed’s blankets and can be set for 30 or 60 minutes. The second, the handheld mode, cleans smaller objects, like the alarm clock, phone, and T.V. remote — likely the germiest item in your entire hotel room, a surprising study found. The third mode, the powerbank mode, is for charging the device. The CleanseBot can run for four hours before needing a charge.
Early backers of this product, which is still in its prototype phase, can buy it at a discounted price. A single travel robot costs $99 right now (a 61% discount of the original price of $259) and is expected to ship in April 2019. Other packages on the IndieGoGo site allow eager customers to buy multiple robots for less.
Access to Exclusive Products & Deals
With Amazon Prime, you get unlimited photo storage via Amazon Photos, which is perfect for backing up your vacation photos and storing your favorite memories. Photos are easily organized, you can share photos in a “Family Vault,” and you can even order prints directly from Amazon.
Prime members also get 5G of free storage for files, videos, and anything else you want to store on the cloud with Amazon Drive.
Offline Downloads for Entertainment
One of the best lesser-known Amazon Prime perks perfect for travelers is offline downloading for TV shows and movies. You can even search by this feature on the Amazon Video app. Just go to the Library icon, hit “Refine” and filter by the “On Device” option. All downloads will go to a download folder on the app, or you can watch directly from the show’s or movie’s page.
What Are Some Other Ways to Get Fare Alerts?
You can get fare alerts directly from your favorite carrier. Many airlines offer weekly or periodic email notifications of special sales and other useful information. It’s a good idea to set up alerts from an airline with which you frequently fly, especially if you collect miles.
Many OTAs and metasearch systems also offer regular airfare-deal bulletins, including the two giants, Expedia and Priceline.
Food Delivery: Prime Pantry & AmazonFresh
Amazon Prime members also receive exclusive access to Prime Pantry. This service allows for convenient delivery for household items like toiletries, delivered straight to your door. Just make sure to add five qualifying products so the shipping is free. Prime members also receive coupons and discounts on hundreds of items through this service.
If you want to schedule a delivery at a vacation home rental or to have upon your return from vacation, check out Amazon’s grocery delivery service, AmazonFresh. Try AmazonFresh Free Trial , which is only available to Prime members.
Sure, trying to fit a hair dryer into your already overstuffed luggage may sound like a pain in the butt, but trust us, you’ll want to start making space for it after reading this.
According to an in-depth investigation by ABC, hotels have a plethora of issues when it comes to cleanliness. And though this issue has been well documented, what hasn’t been focused on until now is just how gross hair dryers in hotels can be.
Chuck Gerba, a microbiologist who worked with ABC for their hotel cleanliness experiment, swabbed items in nine different Los Angeles-area hotels to find out which ones are the nastiest, and he was not impressed with what he found. "There must be some things you can do with a hair dryer that I am not aware of, because some of them were pretty germy," he said.
The investigation noted that items like the hair dryer may become even dirtier than sinks and toilets because they are often overlooked as an item in need of cleaning by housekeeping, and thus can go days – or even years – without ever being disinfected.
And it wasn’t just in low-cost motels that Gerba found the hair dryers to be particularly disgusting. According to ABC, Gerba tested the dryers at a number of hotels, which varied in price from $98 to $500 per night.
Beyond the dryers, Gerba also found that six of the nine bathroom sinks he tested had germ levels considered excessive.
"The biggest concern in a hotel room is picking up cold, flu virus or viruses that cause diarrhea," Gerba said. "It doesn't take very many to make you ill."
Gerba also noted that looks and price can be deceiving when it comes to hotel health safety. He added that some of the items often found in low-cost hotels, like plastic cups in wrappers or plastic bags for the ice buckets, can actually offer more germ protection than their swankier counterparts.
So next time you travel, perhaps back a blow dryer, or let your mane go au naturale – you are on vacation, after all.
Discounted Memberships: Student & Family
If you’re ready to join Amazon Prime, look into some of the discounted membership services first to see if you qualify. Right now Amazon offers Amazon Family and Prime Student at discounted rates.
Amazon Family costs $99 per year with a free 30-day trial, but lets you create a household—meaning multiple users—for shared family benefits. Amazon Family also comes with FreeTime Unlimited—a subscription service for kids’ entertainment—as well as special discounts on household products and diapers.
Prime Student comes at the discounted rate of $59 per year with a six-month free trial to start and a special student page filtered for college-specific needs.
So that's something to consider before you list.
Airbnb guests are making themselves at home — really at home. Like, in the bedroom. And the kitchen. And the bathroom.
Over half the people that use the home rental service admit to having sex in their renters’ place. A new survey asked over 1,000 guests and 100 hosts if people were getting it on, and 54 percent of guests reported that yup, they had sex in someone else’s house or apartment while staying there.
Oh, also, they had sex not just in the bedroom — and bed — but in the shower, on the couch, and in the kitchen, respondents admitted. Pass the bleach.
While most hosts acknowledge they didn't think their visitors were observing abstinence, they never thought guests would do it all over the house: More than a quarter of guests report having sex in the shower, and more than a fifth report getting down on the couch. Kitchen trysts were at seven percent. (We hope away from the toaster?) Not surprisingly, the thought was unsettling for hosts who cooked a lot.
Even more disturbing were the 32 percent of guests who admitted to leaving post-sex dirty sheets behind. Many hosts clean up their homes themselves, so they weren’t too pleased with this discovery.
The company reports several million guests a year, but it’s often both hosts and guests have troubling experiences. There are the horror stories of guests who have found their rented digs disgusting or dangerous, or hosts discovering their guests using their pad to throw a wild party, sell drugs, or film a porn.
Minor infractions that still annoyed homeowners were leaving the air conditioning on for the whole day, failing to fully read the check-in information, sneaking in extra guests without paying, and changing arrival plans on short notice.
Nearly half of all Airbnb owners have seriously considered no longer hosting because of their guest’s behavior, but the extra income was just too good to pass up. More than a fifth of those asked did take down their listings as a result of guest behavior. But Airbnb hosts earn more than $900 a month on average, so those hosts who quit the platform could be leaving more than $10,000 of extra income on the table every year.
So, what's it worth to have someone hooking up in your kitchen?
When Do Plane Tickets Go on Sale?
The best time to buy an airline ticket is when it’s on sale; that means you have to stay on top of the airline marketplace. Airfare sales crop up at random times. Typically, the purchase window is short—sometimes just one day, often a few days to a week—but the sale fares are usually good for a month or more.
As Hobica puts it, “Pounce when there’s a deal.” And remember: With almost all U.S. airlines, you can cancel your ticket within 24 hours of booking at no charge. Even if you’ve already bought your fare, you can keep looking for a better offer within that 24-hour window.
diagnostic procedures through the latest in-house blood analyzers for immediate results. The facility includes a well-stocked pharmacy, in-hospital surgery suite, in-house digital x-ray capabilities, hospitalization area, and indoor boarding kennels.
Soft Tissue Surgery
In-Clinic Blood Analyzer
Preventative Health Care
International Health Certificates
Not only can JetBlue passengers stream Prime Video on most JetBlue flights, they can also earn TrueBlue points via Amazon purchases. Simply shop through your unique link (which can be found here) and start earning points. You can earn three points per eligible dollar spent; just make sure you understand which products are excluded from the offer—this includes things like subscription Kindle products and AmazonFresh.
How Do I Stay on Top of Fare Sales?
Unless you enjoy the prospect of spending much of every day searching airline and OTA websites, the best way to keep on top of airfare sales is to subscribe to one or more airfare alerts. You have a range of choices. And we can help. Start with our own free fare alerts, our sister site BookingBuddy, and Airfarewatchdog’s famous fare alerts. In addition, many individual airlines, big OTAs, and metasearch systems offer airfare alerts or promotional bulletins.
Keep two important factors in mind when you search: First, Southwest fares are not available from any OTA or metasearch system; you can get these alerts from the SmarterTravel, BookingBuddy, and Airfarewatchdog links above or from Southwest directly. Second, any time a big airline announces a sale, competitors usually match it, at least where they compete directly, within 24 hours. So always take some time to shop around before you book.
Taking a family vacation can be a wonderful thing. However, for many people, escaping it all for a bit of fun with the fam can be cost prohibitive. One airline is hoping to change all that by letting children fly for free. Yes, for free.
On Monday, Frontier Airlines announced its new Kids Fly Free program. And they aren’t just talking about little ones. According to the airline, children 14 years old and younger are eligible to fly free when they travel with an adult.
“Kids Fly Free shows our continued commitment to being America’s affordable and family-friendly airline,” Barry Biffle, President and CEO of Frontier Airlines, shared in a statement with TravelPulse. “We’re the only airline going all out for families in this way—it’s exactly what we mean at Frontier by 'Low Fares Done Right.'”
Of course, there is one small catch: Families must be enrolled in the airline’s Discount Den, which comes with an annual fee of $60. However, after enrolling, users will gain access to to the airline’s lowest available fares as well as the kids fly free program. According to the website, "On valid Kids Fly Free flights, one kid under 15 can fly for free for every adult Discount Den fare purchased,"
According to TravelPulse, The Discount Den membership works for up to six people on a single family itinerary. Families with young children will also gain access to priority boarding following zone one loading. To book, parents simply need to find qualifying flights and book via "The Works bundle." This also allows families to make changes to existing itineraries and even cancel flights with a refund.
However, it is important to note there are a few other restrictions with the fare (this is Frontier we are talking about). The fare does not include luggage, seat selection, or other travel add-ons, and children cannot earn Frontier Miles on their travels. But, it’s still a fantastic deal for families looking to travel together.
It's not pleasant, but it is an inevitable part of travel: delays. And worse, even, than sitting in an airport waiting for your delayed flight to finally begin boarding is when you've made it all the way onto the plane, squeezed yourself into your tiny seat, buckled up and then you just ... wait. And wait and wait.
In spite of the voice over the intercom optimistically informing passengers that they should "sit tight" because "we'll be on our way soon," soon never seems to arrive, leaving patience to wane and tempers to fray. If you've been sitting on the tarmac for more than than hour, you might start to seriously think about just getting off the plane. But is that really an option?
Actually, yes. Although you'll need to sit tight for a little longer. U.S Department of Transportation regulations state that "airlines are required to begin to move the airplane to a location where passengers can safely get off before three hours (of delay) for domestic flights and four hours for international flights."
Weigh your decision carefully though, as airlines are not required to let you back on once the flight is ready to depart, and you might end up separated from your luggage: "The airline may not be required to offload any passenger’s checked bags before the plane takes off," the DOT states. "Passengers will need to contact the airline about returning their checked luggage at a later time."
Should you choose to wait it out, you won't go hungry or thirsty, according to the DOT. "Airlines must provide you with a snack, such as a granola bar, and drinking water no later than two hours after the aircraft leaves the gate (in the case of a departure) or touches down (in the case of an arrival)." There are no federal requirements for an airline to financially compensate passengers, but many will do so anyway, so don't be afraid to ask, politely.
Surprisingly, considering they meet the very basic level of humanity, such regulations are fairly new. Following a few highly publicized cases in 2008 and 2009 in which people were trapped on planes for hours, the DOT to mandated the new rules in 2011. And it takes them seriously. When Southwest broke the law in 2014, the DOT fined it $1.6 million.
Nevertheless, flyers' rights advocates are concerned that the Trump administration may roll back the tarmac delay regulations (along with others). Last year, reported The Los Angeles Times, the DOT temporarily froze all pending airline-industry regulations as part of an administration push to cut the burden of red tape on American businesses. And it asked the public and airlines for comments on existing regulations that could be halted, revised or repealed.
"Many of the regulations/initiatives adopted or issued at the end of the previous administration are extremely costly, will be unduly burdensome on the airline industry, and should be repealed or permanently terminated," United Airlines said in its statement filed with the DOT.
Consumers' groups are not convinced. "The airlines are pretty clear that they want every consumer protection law repealed or not enforced," Paul Hudson, president of the nonprofit group Flyersrights.org, told The L.A. Times in March. "I'm concerned that they would try to repeal the few consumer-protection regulations that are out there."
Shipping Benefits: Prime Now
Yes, most people know free two-day shipping comes with a Prime membership, but did you know about the Amazon Prime perk that offers free same-day delivery? This feature is available in 8,000 cities (you can check availability by zip code here), and it’s perfect for travelers. Whether you’re in a rush packing and need a specific item or forgot something and need it delivered to your hotel room, Prime Now is a great benefit for travelers. Prime Now also includes restaurant delivery in select cities within one hour and features local stores’ products in select cities.
Insider Tip: Did you know that you can earn rewards for future purchases with free, no-rush shipping? If you don’t need your Prime order right away, select No-Rush Shipping and receive a discount or reward for a future purchase.
Curious travelers are now getting a first look inside the world’s largest twin-engine jet.
Earlier this week, Boeing unveiled some of the features and potential cabin designs passengers will soon find on board the 777X.
Building on the cabins of the Boeing 777 and 787 Dreamliner, the new 777X will create a more spacious flight experience.
Its cabins will be four inches wider thanks to wall reductions of two inches on each side, and windows will be 16 percent larger than those found on the current 777 to provide every passenger with better views throughout their flight.
The windows will also be raised by two and a half inches to allow for more light and views even for passengers who won't be at a window seat.
According to the reveal, the business class cabin will have mechanical window shades and the option for dimmable windows (at the discretion of each aircraft owner).
Stop thinking about the winter weather and start thinking about the fun you're going to have this spring. These recently-announced airline routes could be just the ticket if you’re headed to Atlanta for the Super Bowl showdown, to Traverse City, MI for July’s National Cherry Festival or just poking around for a hip and happening destination for that spring vacation.
North to Alaska?
Allegiant Air is all for it, with new seasonal service starting May 22, 2019 between Bellingham, Washington (BLI, 97 miles from Seattle and 55 miles from Vancouver, B.C) and Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC).
Speed to the Super Bowl or Coast to Coachella
Though not quite spring, football fans headed to Atlanta to watch the New England Patriots battle the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII on Sunday, Feb. 3 will get transportation assists from Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, JetBlue and others.
JetBlue will add flights between Boston (BOS) and Atlanta (ATL) from Friday, Feb. 1 through Monday, Feb 4. One-way fares to Atlanta on Feb. 1 and 2 are running about $350, but if you’re willing to hang out in Atlanta until at least Feb. 6, fares back to Boston might be as low as $53.
Delta will add additional non-stop flights between Atlanta and both Los Angeles (LAX) and Boston on Friday, Feb. 1 and Monday Feb 4. On Friday, Feb. 1, Southwest will offer two extra nonstop flights (for a total of four) between Boston and Atlanta; a second flight between Los Angeles and Atlanta; and five flights (instead of four) to Atlanta from St. Louis (STL). On Monday, Feb. 4, the beefed-up schedule will be the same in reverse.
To make it easier for music fans to get to and from the 2019 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, American Airlines will be adding nonstop flights between Los Angeles and Palm Springs, CA (PSP) on April 12, 15, 19 and 22. The flights will be short (just 45 minutes), but they won’t be cheap: We found basic economy round-trip flights starting at $429.
Frontier is on the fast track
Denver-based Frontier Airlines will be rolling out almost two dozen new non-stop routes in spring 2019. The additions include new flights from Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU), Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport (LAS), Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) and Orlando International Airport (MCO), plus the addition of a new city, Boston (BOS), to the airline’s route map.
A LOT of them were due to "odor events."
If you watch the news at all (you shouldn’t, by the way), you probably feel like there are reports of airplane emergency landings every single day. Debilitating turbulence! Landing gear failure! Angry passengers threatening to kill everyone on board! (That one happened pretty recently.) Honestly, the deluge of information could make a nervous flier out of pretty much anyone.
But listen, it’s not as bad as it seems. We consulted Aviation’s Global Incident Map of 2017 (January 1 through December 26) and reviewed each and every recorded emergency landing of a passenger plane in the U.S. The good news: There were only 185 emergency landings total in the domestic U.S. out of an estimated 9.7 million flights — all of which concluded without incident. That’s a nerves-alleviating 0.00002 percent chance of having an emergency landing.
Even more relieving: The majority of those emergency landings were caused by weird-yet-innocuous odors or smells. Why is a smell worthy grounding a plane? Well, it’s a combination of taking precautionary measures, easing passengers’ fears, and avoiding odor-induced illness. (One American Airlines flight famously landed because a passenger “passed gas,” causing other fliers to become nauseous, according to the Raleigh-Durham International Airport.)
Consider that those chairs get a ton of traffic... and not much cleaning.
It's a universally accepted truth of travel that airplanes are often nasty, germ-filled, places. While you can't necessarily blame your last flight for that bug you picked up from the recirculated air onboard, you can blame it for any lingering nausea triggered when you encountered a a lump of crusty, mystery food-and-germ-stuff when you flipped down your tray table.
The surface on which you dine on the airline's culinary offerings has been proven to be the germiest place on an airplane, but we're guessing the cloth-covered spot where you park your rear can't fare a whole lot better. Which begs the question: How clean — or dirty — are airplane seats, really?
The answer, if you are boarding a plane that has had a short turnaround from its previous flight, is not very clean at all. While a cleaning crew does board the aircraft, if that plane needs to be back out of the gate in around half an hour, the crew is only going to be able to tackle the big, most obvious messes. So stray food wrappers and takeaway cartons will be swiftly removed from seats, bathrooms will be cleaned, and supplies restocked.
If they have the luxury of the plane being grounded for an extended period — say, an hour or so — before turning around, they can dive into the seatback pockets to get rid of trash, and maybe even run a vacuum cleaner across the floor, Thrillist reports. Giving the seats a decent clean, however, is still not within the crew's scope. For that, they have to wait until the plane is parked overnight, at which point, according to Thrillist, "galleys and lavatories get a thorough cleaning, waste is removed, and blankets and pillows are replaced. The plane is like the equivalent of when you clean up for company — but not right after the maid’s been there."
While the promise of a clean plane may provide some comfort for those dragging themselves out of bed early for the first flight of the day, take note that United told the Wall Street Journalthat their planes are deep-cleaned — which includes drycleaning the fabric covering the seat or scrubbing leather seats — only every 35 to 55 days. American reported every 30 days, and Delta every 90 to 100 days. And all of that time provides more than ample occasions for a ton of dirt — and miscellaneous filth — to build up.
When you step into an airplane with an attractive, design-forward interior — you recognize it instantly. (Think, for instance, Virgin America, and its nightclub-like, purple-glowing cabins.) That’s because most plane interiors are utterly drab by default.
But the method behind airplane designers’ decision making is not meant to turn you off with utterly unremarkable aesthetics. Instead, it’s nominally meant to soothe passengers — and it’s far from simple coincidence.
According to Boeing, color — and the science behind it — is a key consideration in airplane interior design.
“Color psychology plays an important role in developing the overall look,” Boeing notes on its website. “Studies show that people in different cultures associate certain colors with similar emotions or concepts. Blue/green is nearly unanimously associated with peace. Pink and lavender shades connote love, while blue/purple may signify nobility.”
So there you have it, your often drab, invariably dingy blue seats are actually meant to chill you out. (Does it work?)
Boeing explained further that designers who specialize in color psychology also note the importance of a color’s value when it comes to passenger experience: “Lighter colors may make something seem higher, larger, wider, and more open. Darker colors give the feeling of lower, smaller, narrower and more enclosed spaces.
Blue and green tones may also help a person feel cooler, and “blue can send a message of clean or fresh fragrance.”
On your next United flight, you’ll be able to stay entertained for free.
On Wednesday, the airline announced that it would lift charges for in-flight access to DIRECTV stations. On flights shorter than two hours, access to live TV used to cost $5.99. On flights longer than two hours, it was $7.99.
The free live TV streaming service is effective immediately on more than 200 Boeing 737 planes equipped with seatback entertainment.
In addition to the free TV, United passengers will also be able to access an expanded selection of entertainment available on personal devices. According to the airline, there are now more than 280 free movies and TV shows available to stream to phones, tablets and laptops.
"This year, we will be introducing a series of innovations and improvements designed to help build a great experience for all our customers," United's Chief Customer Officer Toby Enqvist, said in a statement. "Offering free entertainment, whether it's on seat back TV or on personal devices, is one example of how we are placing our customers at the heart of what we do and helping them to relax and enjoy their flights."
Although United is announcing the decision as grand news, it is not the first airline to offer free seatback entertainment. JetBlue already offers the same service — free DIRECTV streaming — for free throughout its fleet.
In October 2018, United CEO Oscar Munoz spoke about how the airline was trying to “de-stress” the travel experience. Part of Munoz’s plan was to roll out a new customer service initiative every week.