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Domestic Fare of the Day: San Jose to Honolulu $378 round-trip, nonstop

Posted by Tracy Stewart on Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Still available! Fly nonstop from San Jose to Honolulu for $378 round-trip, including all taxes, on Hawaiian Airlines and Alaska Airlines.

Searching Hawaiian, we found seats departing SJC on Sunday, November 16, returning from HNL on Monday, November 24.

Other dates are also available for travel through mid December. Not available over peak November holidays.

For booking info, see our Fare Details.

Oahu image via Shutterstock

To learn more, visit Tracy Stewart's profile on Google+

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Int'l Fare of the Day: Chicago to Beijing $710 round-trip, nonstop, incl. taxes

Posted by Tracy Stewart on Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Fly nonstop from Chicago to Beijing for $710 round-trip, including all taxes, on United.

Seen below, we found seats available for travel over the week of Thanksgiving, departing ORD on Thursday, November 20, returning from PEK on the following Thursday, November 27.

Other dates are also available for travel in late fall, with slightly higher fares ($718) through winter.

For booking info, see our Fare Details.

Forbidden City image via Shutterstock

To learn more, visit Tracy Stewart's profile on Google+

Int'l Fare of the Day: Los Angeles to Hamilton, Bermuda $341 round-trip

Posted by Tracy Stewart on Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Fly from Los Angeles to Hamilton, Bermuda for $341 round-trip, including all taxes, on Delta Air Lines.

We found seats available in spring, departing LAX on Tuesday, April 14, returning from BDA on Monday, April 27. Flights connect at New York JFK.

With a 330-day travel period, you'll find plenty of other dates also available throughout the year.

For booking info, see our Fare Details.

Bermuda image via Shutterstock

To learn more, visit Tracy Stewart's profile on Google+

Domestic Fare of the Day: New York to Burbank $278 round-trip, nonstop

Posted by Tracy Stewart on Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Fly nonstop from New York to Burbank for $278 round-trip, including all taxes, on JetBlue.

Searching JetBlue.com, we found seats departing JFK on Thursday, November 13, returning from BUR on Monday, November 17.

For booking info, see our Fare Details.

Similar fares available for travel to Long Beach LGB.

Hollywood image via Shutterstock

To learn more, visit Tracy Stewart's profile on Google+

Avoiding Airport-Parking Gouges

Posted by Ed Perkins on Wednesday, October 29, 2014

On a recent three-week trip from my home airport, I chose to stay the night before departure at an airport-area motel. Why? Even though the airport is only 25 minutes from my home, the motel's stay-park-fly package was the best deal. The room rate was $80 for one night, with shuttles to/from the airport and up to 30 days of parking included. The airport's long-term parking lot charge would have been $180 and the round-trip taxi fare from my home would have been close to $100.

My situation wasn't unique. Airport parking at even long-term or "economy" lots can be pretty expensive. At Seattle-Tacoma, for example, the least expensive parking is $28 per day or $130 per week, and costs are in the $20 range at many large fields. Independent off-airport lots typically charge just enough less than the airport to generate business. And even when you live relatively close to your airport, taxi and shuttle rates can often cost more than one night in a motel.

If you have to drive more than 50 miles to catch a flight, a parking package can look even better. Also, by staying at an airport-area motel, you can pretty much assure yourself that you won't encounter any unexpected delays in catching your flight.

Hundreds of airport-area hotels offer packages that combine one night's accommodation with up to 30 days of "free" parking, although most stop at seven, 10, or 14 days—in the hotel's parking area, with shuttle service to/from the airport. If you plan to arrive back home on a very late flight, most hotels also let you take the overnight stay at the end of your trip instead of the start. Most also provide for parking beyond the nominal limit for an extra daily charge.

I know of three online agencies that specialize in parking packages at airport hotels:

* Park Sleep Fly, the pioneer in the field, currently lists participating hotels near about 150 large and medium-size airports in the United States and 33 in Canada.

* Stay 123/Hotel N Parking, apparently the same outfit, provides similar coverage.

* BuyReservations posts accommodation/parking packages near 70 U.S. airports plus Montreal.

Park Sleep Fly and Stay 123/Hotel N Parking list mainly the same hotels, but the overlap isn't total. You might as well check all three agencies just in case any one agency doesn't cover all your options.

Also, many airport-area hotels and motels independently offer similar packages. If you don't find what you need on one of the nationwide sites, you can Google something like "airport hotel parking packages (city)" to find other choices. Also, your travel agent may have access to deals.

Although the online blurbs often boast "free" parking, the one-night package room rate is almost always higher than the hotel's lowest available rate. But the difference in rates is much less than the cost of parking for a week in an airport-area parking lot. I've usually found the premium for a week or more of parking works out to only a few dollars per day, and much less than you'd pay at most big airports for just the parking.

At an airport with high long-term rates, a parking package is a no-brainer. But at an airport such as Charlotte, where long-term parking is just $5 per night, the airport is likely to be a better deal.

The online airport parking specialist agencies listed also say they offer similar deals at major cruise ports. But when you take a closer look, you find that most of the "cruise port" listings are actually for airport-area hotels with shuttles to/from the actual port area. And, in many cases, the "free" shuttle is one-way only: You pay for the return trip. Only a few hotels are actually near the port.

Ed Perkins Seniors on the Go is copyright (c) 2014 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

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This article was originally published by SmarterTravel under the title Avoiding Airport-Parking Gouges. Follow Ed Perkins on Google+ or email him at editor@smartertravel.com.

10 Surprisingly Free Airline Perks

Posted by Christine Sarkis on Wednesday, October 29, 2014

(Photo: EVA Airways)

Surprise! We lost your luggage. Surprise! Your tray table is broken. While it seems like most airline surprises end in disappointment, a few bold airlines are delighting passengers every day with pleasing perks to make flying just a little better. Some—like traditional sweets on Turkish Airlines and lounge access on Porter Airlines—are available regardless of where you sit in the plane. Others—aromatherapy on ANA, for instance, or Birchbox goodie bags on JetBlue—are reserved for passengers in premium seats.

Turkish Airlines: Candlelit Meals and Turkish Delights

Intercontinental flights bring sweet treats to all passengers on Turkish Airlines. Traditional Turkish coffee and sweet, sticky Turkish delight candies are part of the in-flight experience for all passengers—including everyone in economy class. For business-class passengers, the small indulgences continue with candlelit meals. Electric candles glow within tiny luminarias that cast a soft, romantic light on meals provided by the airline's "flying chefs."

EVA Airways: Hello Kitty Everything

EVA has taken the go-big-or-go-home advice to heart with its Hello Kitty Jets. These six jets offer an all-in Hello Kitty experience that starts at check-in with Hello Kitty boarding passes and continues throughout the flight with themed music, headrest covers, paper cups, utensils, soap, meals, and ice cream. Flight attendants even wear Hello Kitty aprons. And while these flights are popular with families, the appeal goes beyond kids. According to Mr. K.W. Nieh at EVA, people of all ages book the Hello Kitty Jet flights. Want to see more pictures? So did we, so we compiled more of our favorite images into this photo tour.

Emirates: Toys for Kids

Kids will find plenty of entertaining company aboard Emirates flights. The airline's "Fly with Me Monsters" collection includes blanket buddies wrapped in soft fleece blankets, seat-belt critters (worn on the seat belt to make buckling up more fun), and magnetic sketching toys. Kids can choose one of four monster characters—Jimbob, Tezz, Camus, and Wagga—each with its own interests (including one who loves to take selfies).

Singapore Airlines: 3-D Games and Learning Apps

On select flights, Singapore Airlines offers entertainment that you can almost reach out and touch. Its range of video games includes 3-D and multiplayer games such as ThinkTanks. Passengers can also brush up on language skills with a Berlitz Word Traveler language-learning tool, learn about local customs with the b-Wise CultureQuest app, or listen to business-book digests using Soundview Executive Book Summaries.

ANA: Aromatherapy Cards

Deep breathing is one of the keys to a comfortable flight. And on ANA, each inhalation comes with a little something extra for business- and first-class passengers. The airline offers two aromatherapy cards that passengers can sniff or simply tuck into a pocket for a more subtle scent. The "Relax" card's lavender blend is used for sleep support, while the "Refresh" card helps to shake off end-of-flight grogginess and get you ready for your destination.

Porter Airlines: Lounges for Everyone

Lounge access for every passenger: That's what sets Canada's Porter Airlines apart. With free newspapers, Wi-Fi, and complimentary Starbucks coffee, Tazo teas, juices, sodas, and snacks, the airline makes waiting for a flight very nearly pleasant. Lounges in Toronto, Ottawa, and Newark feature comfortable seating, work spaces, charging areas, and did we mention free snacks?

Virgin Atlantic: In-Flight Bars

Fighting DVT has never looked so good. Upper-class passengers on Virgin Atlantic flights can stretch their legs at the onboard bar while sipping cocktails at 35,000 feet. The bar, which is separate from the cabin, can accommodate up to eight passengers at a time. Rotating signature drinks share the menu with Lanson Black Label Champagne, Aberfeldy 12-year-old single-malt whisky, and a range of other options.

JetBlue: Birchbox for Mint

Mint, JetBlue's new premium class, offers more than just lie-flat seats and full-bottle wine service. It has partnered with Birchbox for its amenities kits. Men's and women's kits are filled with travel-friendly items that change regularly. The current lineup includes Benefit Cosmetics mascara, Ernest Supplies Cooling Shave Cream, and The Laundress Wash & Stain Bar. Each kit also comes with a sweet treat as a parting gift.

Qantas: Preordered Meals

Ordering ahead: It's the perfect way to make sure the flight attendant doesn't run out of your preferred meal just before reaching you. On many international flights, Qantas offers premium-economy and business-class passengers the option to browse a menu and order items seven days to 12 hours in advance of flights, using its Q-Eat system.

Hawaiian Airlines: Island Specialties

Vacation starts just after takeoff on Hawaiian Airlines flights. The airline's focus on Hawaiian foods extends to its complementary offerings. On North America-to-Hawaii flights departing before 10 a.m., passengers are offered free mai tais. There's also POG (passion fruit-orange-guava juice), Koloa Breeze rum punch, AlohaMacs chocolate, and guava cookies. More Hawaiian specialties (toffee-coated macadamia nuts, local popcorn, and coconut cookies) are available for purchase.

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 21 Photos That Will Make You Want to Visit Seattle

 

 

 

 10 Things Locals Want You to Know About Seattle

 

 

 

 Washington's Best Wineries, Markets, More

 

 

This article was originally published by SmarterTravel under the title 10 Surprisingly Free Airline Perks. Follow Christine Sarkis on Google+ or email her at editor@smartertravel.com.

Int'l Fare of the Day: New York to New Delhi $774 round-trip, incl. taxes

Posted by Tracy Stewart on Wednesday, October 29, 2014

On Etihad, fly from New York to New Delhi for $774 round-trip, including all taxes.

We found seats departing JFK on Thursday, November 13, returning from DEL on the following Thursday, November 20. Flights connect via Abu Dhabi.

Other dates are also available for spring travel from March through May.

For booking info, see our Fare Details.

New Delhi image via Shutterstock

To learn more, visit Tracy Stewart's profile on Google+

Thanksgiving Travel: New York to Barcelona $651 round-trip, incl. taxes

Posted by Tracy Stewart on Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fly from New York to Barcelona for $651 round-trip, including taxes, on Aer Lingus.

We found seats for travel over the week of Thanksgiving, departing JFK on Thursday, November 27, returning from BCN on Sunday, December 7.

Other dates are also available for travel in late November/early December, with even lower fares available for travel in January/February on Norwegian. 

For a look at current finds from all over the US and Canada, visit our listings for Barcelona BCN.

 

Barcelona image via Shutterstock

To learn more, visit Tracy Stewart's profile on Google+

Domestic Fare of the Day: Oakland to Kahului, Maui $378 round-trip, nonstop

Posted by Tracy Stewart on Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fly nonstop from Oakland to Kahului, Maui for $378 round-trip, including taxes, on both Hawaiian Airlines and Alaska Airlines.

Searching Hawaiian, we found seats for travel over the Thanksgiving holiday, departing OAK on Monday, November 24, returning from OGG on Thursday, December 4.

Other dates are also available for travel in November/December, excluding peak holiday dates.

For booking info, see our Fare Details.

Maui image via Shutterstock

To learn more, visit Tracy Stewart's profile on Google+

Weekend Fares from United, American, and US Airways

Posted by Tracy Stewart on Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Here's a quick look at what's available for weekend travel on United, American, and US Airways. Most are valid for departure on Friday or Saturday, returning the following Monday or Tuesday.

Check our Fare Details for rules and restrictions.

Seats tend to go fast, so hurry!

Newark to Montreal $238 round-trip, including taxes

Newark to Atlanta $228 round-trip, including taxes

Newark to Louisville $228 round-trip, including taxes

Minneapolis to Denver $228 round-trip, including taxes

Tucson to Los Angeles $168 round-trip, including taxes

Los Angeles to San Francisco $168 round-trip, including taxes

Baltimore to Newark $168 round-trip, including taxes

Cleveland to Newark $168 round-trip, including taxes

Columbus to Philadelphia $260 round-trip, including taxes

Grand Rapids to Washington DC $168 round-trip, including taxes

Indianapolis to Washington DC $168 round-trip, including taxes

Chicago to Washington DC $228 round-trip, including taxes

Chicago to Raleigh-Durham $280 round-trip, including taxes

Los Angeles to Salt Lake City $270 round-trip, including taxes

Newark to Detroit $168 round-trip, including taxes

Houston to New York $326 round-trip, including taxes

Charlotte to Newark $270 round-trip, including taxes

Los Angeles to Phoenix $250 round-trip, including taxes

Los Angeles to El Paso $280 round-trip, including taxesd

Lexington to Chicago $240 round-trip, including taxes

Birmingham to Dallas $270 round-trip, including taxes

Dallas to Tulsa $230 round-trip, including taxes

Little Rock to Chicago $270 round-trip, including taxes

Above image via Shutterstock

To learn more, visit Tracy Stewart's profile on Google+

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