Airfarewatchdog
Advertisement

rss feedAirfarewatchblog

Don't Miss a Single Travel Tip!
Follow Us on Facebook
I already like Airfarewatchdog on Facebook

Int'l Fare of the Day: Los Angeles to Madrid $664 round-trip, including taxes

Posted by Tracy Stewart on Tuesday, October 14, 2014

As part of the previously mentioned Europe sale, fly from Los Angeles to Madrid for $664 round-trip, including all taxes, on United.

Searching United.com, we found seats departing LAX on Wednesday, March 11, returning from MAD on Thursday, March 19.

Plenty of other dates are also available for travel from fall through early May.

For booking info, see our Fare Details.

Madrid image via Shutterstock

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

Advertisement
Advertisement

Domestic Fare of the Day: New York to Albuquerque $188 round-trip, nonstop

Posted by Tracy Stewart on Tuesday, October 14, 2014

As part of the current sale from JetBlue, fly nonstop from New York to Albuquerque for $188 round-trip, including all taxes.

We found seats for weekend travel, departing JFK on Friday, October 31, returning from ABQ on the following Monday, November 3.

Other dates are also available for travel through December 18.

For booking info, see our Fare Details.

Above image via Shutterstock

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

Int'l Fare of the Day: Chicago to Dublin $429 round-trip, incl. taxes

Posted by Tracy Stewart on Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Fly from Chicago to Dublin for $429 round-trip, including all taxes, on Air Canada.

Searching AirCanada.com, we found seats departing ORD on Tuesday, March 3, returning from DUB on Wednesday, March 11. Flights connect via Toronto.

Other dates are also available for travel from fall through early May 2015, excluding peak holiday periods. 

For booking info, see our Fare Details.

Dublin image via Shutterstock

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

7 Special Perks for Social-Savvy Travelers

Posted by Caroline Costello on Tuesday, October 14, 2014

(Photo: Simone Becchetti/Getty Images)

Travel providers lure social media stars with special perks, discounts, and freebies nowadays. Check-ins on Foursquare or Facebook, tweets, retweets, and Instagram posts are traded as currency in exchange for loyalty points or discounted rates. In most cases, the more followers you have, the larger your reward. But even an everyday traveler with a less-than-impressive fan base can leverage tweets and likes to save money on travel.

Many of these influencer promotions come and go. Last year, American Airlines gave complimentary airport-lounge passes to passengers with high Klout scores. In 2012, United ran a promotion bestowing airline miles upon Foursquare users who checked in at airports. Official tourism boards often run limited-time offers on sites like Pinterest and Facebook; follow your favorite destinations to keep an eye out. For the best offers that you can use now, I've focused on active promotions, many of them permanent (or at least semi-permanent) loyalty or reward programs that compensate social media activity.

 

(Photo: Hotelied)

Hotelied

Here's the premise behind just-launched booking site Hotelied: "Taste makers"—folks with heavy social media followings—receive customized discounts on hotel stays. Hotelied does the dirty work by negotiating cheaper rates for online influencers. You link your social media accounts to the site, and Hotelied asks hotels to give you reduced rates based on your popularity. The company's website puts it plainly, if tactlessly: "Hotelied recognizes the fact that not all travelers present the same value to hotels and provides hotels with a platform to specifically target and customize their offerings to their most desirable traveler segments." The notion of straight-up linking customer value with social media clout is disturbing; apart from that, Hotelied might make some sense for travelers who spend a lot of time on sites like Twitter or Facebook. The largest discount available is 50 percent, yet Hotelied doesn't specify how many followers a person must accumulate before getting half off a stay.

 

(Photo: 8 Hotels)

The 'Instagram Hotel'

The 1888 Hotel in downtown Sydney is known as the "Instagram Hotel" thanks to the property's willful spotlight on the culture of snapping and sharing, in addition to the tangible rewards it offers social media connoisseurs. Its well-designed guest rooms are clean, graphic, and picture-perfect—ideal for Insta. Guests with more than 10,000 Instagram followers are eligible to receive a complimentary overnight stay, and Instagrammers who share property pictures tagged #1888hotel are entered to win a free night. If you like being the center of attention, this really is your place. 1888 has a "Selfie Space" with a special backdrop in the lobby. Give your selfie the hotel's signature tag and your image will appear on a screen near the reception desk. Smile and say "me"!

 

(Photo: teamstickergiant via flickr/CC Attribution)

Foursquare Freebies

Foursquare, the location-sharing app that allows users to virtually check in, blast their activity to friends, and trade tips about visited spots, is a terrific resource for travel coupons. Businesses around the world, from hotels to restaurants to attractions, offer discounts or perks via the app. (Users are awarded points and special badges for check-ins; discounts are often offered to those with points.) In the past, airlines have offered lounge access to avid Foursquare users. Although big-ticket Foursquare promotions from travel providers aren't as common today as they were a few years ago, there are still deals to be snagged. Right now, for example, Boston's Midtown Hotel offers free parking and Wi-Fi to guests who check in with Foursquare. Discover more up-to-date offers for various destinations by using the search tool on the Foursquare website or app.

It's important to note: Be careful about sharing check-ins on Foursquare when traveling. As a rule, it's unsafe to divulge up-to-the-minute location-based data on social media. You don't want the world knowing that your home is unattended and that you're on vacation. Use your Foursquare privacy settings wisely.

 

(Photo: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.)

Starwood's SPG Program

Starwood's loyalty program SPG offers Starpoints for enrolled travelers who link Facebook or Foursquare pages with their Starwood accounts then post check-ins to Starwood properties. You can redeem your Starpoints for hotel stays, flights, merchandise, and other stuff. There are a lot of strings attached, though. To get the points, your property must be offering a special check-in promotion during your stay. You can't book through a third-party booking engine such as Expedia or Orbitz; those bookings don't count as "eligible stays." And sometimes you might need a confirmed reservation to get the points—it all depends on the specific promotion. Check Starwood's Facebook or Foursquare pages to see what kinds of check-in promotions are available.

 

(Photo: m01229 via flickr/CC Attribution)

Marriott Rewards Plus Points

The social media angle of Marriott's rewards program is very similar to that of SPG. Connect your rewards account to your social pages, perform a "qualifying social action" (known to humans as a tweet or a Facebook or Instagram post), and earn points. Marriott Rewards points can be redeemed for stays at Marriott properties worldwide. Marriott has a handy little chart that tells just how many points a person will get for each post; see it here. A social check-in on Facebook, for example, is worth 25 points. Guests can even earn points for retweets, likely destroying any illusion of authenticity in the realm of personal social media accounts. If your Facebook friend begins obsessively posting about Marriott using the appropriate corporate-approved hashtags, you'll know why.

 

(Photo: Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants)

Kimpton Karma

Through Kimpton's new rewards program Karma, hotel guests can earn points for room upgrades, free stays, and other perks by spending money at Kimpton properties—and also by Facebooking or tweeting about Kimpton. It's a free program, and members get complimentary Wi-Fi and a $10 minibar credit during each stay, so it's worth joining whether you're a social media user or not. Unfortunately, though, Kimpton rewards for social media activity are not exactly guaranteed. Though Kimpton says you "might earn some additional Kimpton Karma love" through social media shout-outs, no real promises are made. And no language in the loyalty program's terms and conditions states a quid pro quo of points for posts. I get the feeling that having large numbers of followers will up the likelihood of Kimpton taking notice of your posts.

 

(Photo: Aloft Hotels)

Tweets as Tips When the Bellhop Is a Robot

You might run into a waist-high, screen-faced robot gliding around the halls of Silicon Valley's Aloft Cupertino Hotel. This robotic bellhop is called Botlr. Botlr accepts tweets as "tips" when performing menial tasks like bringing snacks or a toothbrush from the front desk to a guest room. Although Botlr doesn't care how many followers you have (for now, at least), the robot embodies the newfangled social-posts-as-currency model. You'll even save a few bucks by tweeting via Botlr's touch-screen face instead of having to hand actual money to an actual working person.

You Might Also Like:

 

 Incredible Free Museums Around the World

 

 

 

 5 Cozy Hotel Libraries in Exotic Places

 

 

 

 6 Warning Signs Your Hotel Is Not What It Seems

 

 

This article was originally published by SmarterTravel under the title Seven Special Perks for Social-Savvy Travelers.

Follow Caroline Costello on Google+ or email her at editor@smartertravel.com.

Aer Lingus Sale for Fall/Winter Travel

Posted by Tracy Stewart on Friday, October 10, 2014

Get a jump on your fall/winter flights to Ireland and the UK with the current sale from Aer Lingus. Fares are valid for travel from November 1 through March 31, excluding peak holiday periods. Rules and restrictions may vary slightly by route, so be sure to check our Fare Details for specifics.

Fares require a Saturday-night minimum stay.

All bookings must be made by October 22.

New York to Dublin $597 round-trip, nonstop, including all taxes

New York to Shannon $639 round-trip, nonstop, including all taxes

New York to Inverness $672 round-trip, including all taxes

New York to Southampton $778 round-trip, including all taxes

New York to Glasgow $829 round-trip, including all taxes

New York to Manchester $829 round-trip, including all taxes

New York to Edinburgh $829 round-trip, including all taxes

Chicago to Dublin $737 round-trip, nonstop, including all taxes

Chicago to Southampton $878 round-trip, including all taxes

Boston to Birmingham $829 round-trip, including all taxes

Boston to Dublin $627 round-trip, including all taxes

Boston to Shannon $669 round-trip, nonstop, including all taxes

Above image via Shutterstock

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

Holiday Fare of the Day: Los Angeles to Vancouver $307 nonstop, this weekend

Posted by Tracy Stewart on Friday, October 10, 2014

Just in time for Canadian Thanksgiving on Monday, fly nonstop from Los Angeles to Vancouver for $307 round-trip, including all taxes, on Air Canada.

We found seats departing LAX tomorrow, Saturday, October 11, and returning from YVR on Tuesday, October 14.

You'll find even lower nonstop fares ($236) available for non-holiday travel through February. 

Have a look at our fare finds for Vancouver YVR for a complete look at current deals from elsewhere in the US and Canada.

Above image via Shutterstock

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

Domestic Fare of the Day: San Francisco to San Juan $349 round-trip, incl. taxes

Posted by Tracy Stewart on Friday, October 10, 2014

Fly from San Francisco to San Juan, PR for $349 round-trip, including all taxes, on Delta Air Lines.

Searching Delta.com, we found seats departing SFO on Thursday, February 5, returning from SJU on the following Thursday, February 12. Flights connect via New York JFK.

Seats are a tad scarce for travel in fall months, with more availability from January through June.

For booking info, see our Fare Details.

Above image via Shutterstock

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

Essential Trip Tips for Sydney, Australia

Posted by George Hobica on Friday, October 10, 2014

Australia's largest city is also the jumping off point for exploring Australia, and the city with the most inbound flights from North America. Here are some essential tips to plan and enjoy your visit.

Airfare tips

October to March is Sydney's busiest tourism period, when the weather is most pleasant. Airfares are cheaper for travel during Australia's winter months (the North American summer), and higher for the Australian summer, with the southern hemisphere's spring and fall being shoulder season. Qantas offers the most non-stop flights, including some on Airbus A380 aircraft from Dallas and LA. Air New Zealand also flies to Sydney (sign up for both airlines' email alerts since they often send out promo codes with discounts of $200-$300) as does United and Virgin Australia. Expect to pay anywhere from $1,200 to $1,600 or more round-trip in economy class from the U.S. west coast depending on the season, along with whatever discounts you can find. Hotel plus air package deals can sometimes provide extra value, but always be sure to compare. Qantas also sells Walkabout Air Passes with discounted fares throughout Australia.

Getting through the airport

At least two weeks prior to your trip, U.S. citizens must apply online for an Electronic Travel Authority visa ($20AUS). And if you have an "electronic passport" with a microchip, look for the kiosks at immigration for a quicker entry upon arrival. You need to fill out an immigration card on entry, as well upon leaving the country. The train from the airport costs $21, round-trip.



Getting around the city

Sydney is very walkable—it's basically flat, with no hills to climb, and the streets are well marked. (Warning: pedestrians do not jaywalk, and police are not hesitant to fine you for doing so.)  Newsstands sell the recently introduced Opal Card, a stored-value transit card similar to London's Oyster Card and the cheapest and most convenient way to access public transportation. The daily maximum you'll pay for travel is capped at $15 for adults, $7.50 for children, or $60/$30 for a weeks' worth of travel, which includes buses, trains and ferries. As for taxis, they are metered and in egalitarian Sydney, where everyone is a "mate," people still ride in the front seat with the driver. Uber has come to town, and is gaining popularity.

Recommended hotels

As with airfares, hotel rates go down in winter (the North American summer). The highest rated lodgings with the most reviews, according to TripAdvisor.com, are two serviced apartments rather than hotels: Merton Serviced Apartments Campbell Street and its sister property Merton Serviced Apartments World Tower. Accommodations include full kitchens and washer/dryers. In the luxury category, the 155-room Sydney Park Hyatt gets top marks, but the prices are a splurge (in the $700 per night range). But perhaps the best value, say TripAdvisor groupies, is the Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbor, which recently advertised rates at $160 per night.



Top eats

October is food and wine month. There's no traditional Australian or Sydney dish or cuisine other than, perhaps, "shrimp on the barbie," made famous by actor Paul Hogan's appearances in those tourism television ads. But Sydney now has a considerable food culture, even though it's only been in existence for about 30 years. Australian beef is an especially tasty option, and you'll find lamb dishes on many menus. For fine dining, two highly recommended options are Nomad, 16 Foster Street in Surry Hills, with its Mediterranean-inspired menu sourced with local Australian ingredients, and long-running Rockpool, now in a new location at 11 Bridge Street in the Central Business District, where chef Neal Perry also provides tasty menus for Qantas. Whatever you end up choosing for dinner, be sure to save room for Gelato Messina, with locations in Darlinghurst and Surry Hills.

Top attractions

Tours of the Sydney Opera House, which, amazingly, took 17 years to build, are extremely popular and a great photo opportunity. The standard tour takes one hour, while the backstage option lasts two hours. For many who do it, climbing the Sydney Harbor Bridge is a highlight of their trip. Do it at sunrise or twilight and, of course, bring a camera. Even jaded locals are amazed by the experience.

Annual festivals

Every January the Sydney Festival brings stages around 400 contemporary cultural performances: around 140 events performed by more than 1000 artists in more than 30 venues. In October, the annual Good Food Month brings street food festivals and other culinary events to Sydney.



Off the beaten track

Don't be confused when Sydneysiders talk about "suburbs"—these are what you and I call "neighborhoods," inner-city enclaves similar to Sunnyside, Queens in New York City and there are hundreds of them; they include virtually anything outside the Central Business District. For an unusual insider's tour of "emerging" 'hoods such as Redfern and Darlington and hidden scenic spots that few tourists see, in a beautifully restored 1964 Holden sedan, sign up with My Sydney Detour, a unique private tour run by native son Richard Graham. A half-day tour costs $299 for up to three people and includes lunch.

Exchange rate

The U.S. dollar currently fetches 1.14 Australian dollars.

Tipping

Tips are not customary nor are they expected, perhaps because the minimum wage is $17 an hour.

Electricity

Voltage is 220, and you will need both an outlet adaptor and a voltage converter if you're using appliances without built-in converters (you don't want to fry your curling iron or WaterPik). Even many top hotels, airport lounges and other venues lack 110-volt outlets, although they usually provide adaptors on request or you can get them from housekeeping, but it's best to bring your own.

Sending a postcard home

You'll pay a rather pricey $2.60 to send that cute koala bear card to the U.S. and Europe.

Useful apps

Locals give high marks to the TimeOut Sydney and Australia Good Food Guide apps. The Sydney Official Guide app from Destination New South Wales is also highly rated. Arrivo Sydney (Android) and NextThere (iTunes) are useful public transit apps.

Useful websites

Destination New South Wales

Airfare listings to Sydney

Qantas

Air New Zealand

Virgin Australia

TripAdvisor Things to Do in Sydney

TripAdvisor Sydney Hotel Reviews

Above images: Sydney Harbour, Monorail via Shutterstock, gelato via Messina, Holden sedan via George Hobica

To learn more, visit George Hobica's profile on Google+

Holiday Fare of the Day: Seattle to Palm Springs $288 round-trip, late December

Posted by Tracy Stewart on Thursday, October 9, 2014

For holiday travel, fly from Seattle to Palm Springs for $288 round-trip, including all taxes, on United.

Searching United.com, we found seats departing SEA on Wednesday, December 24, returning from PSP the following Tuesday, December 30. Flights connect via San Francisco.

Prefer to go before or even after the holidays? You'll find lower fares available for nonstop travel on other dates in fall/winter.

Visit our fare listings for Palm Springs PSP for a complete look at current deals from all over the US and Canada.

Palm Springs image via Shutterstock

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

Domestic Fare of the Day: Los Angeles to St Thomas, USVI $380 round-trip

Posted by Tracy Stewart on Thursday, October 9, 2014

Fly from Los Angeles to St Thomas, USVI for $380 round-trip, including all taxes, on Delta Air Lines.

Seen below, we found seats departing LAX on Wednesday, January 28, returning from STT the following Wednesday, February 4. Flights connect via New York and/or Atlanta.

Other dates are also available for winter travel from January through March, with scattered dates in fall.

For booking info, see our Fare Details.

Above image via Shutterstock

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

  • Real deals from your departure city
  • Verified by our Dealhounds
Advertisement
http://rd.airfarewatchdog.com/?ad_user_tracking=%5Bsource%3D%2Ctaparam%3D%2Csupmt%3D%5D