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BUSINESS
October 24, 2012 | By Hugo Martin
The cost to visit Grandma this Thanksgiving is up 9% over last year. But if you are flexible on your travel days, you could save up to $288 on airline tickets, according to the Travelocity website, which calculated the average airfares for the period of Nov. 17 to Nov. 27. The average round-trip domestic airline fare for that period is $386, including tax, a 9% increase over the same period in 2011, according to Travelocity. But that fare is $5 below the average domestic fare around the Fourth of July holiday, the website said.
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BUSINESS
April 27, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
Airline mergers have put more than 70% of the nation's domestic traffic in the hands of four major carriers. But low-cost airlines still have some influence over airfares. A new study shows that when an airline such as JetBlue, Spirit, Frontier, Alaska and Southwest launches service on an existing domestic route, the average price from all carriers drops as much as 67%. It's good news for travelers, but aviation experts say most popular routes are still dominated by the four biggest carriers - United, Delta, Southwest and the soon-to-be-merged American Airlines and US Airways.
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BUSINESS
April 22, 2012 | By Andrea Ahle
FORT WORTH — With pointy red gnome hats, a cruise giveaway and plenty of balloons, Travelocity turned sweet 16 last month. But it hasn't been all cupcakes and champagne for the travel website. Once considered a trailblazer, Travelocity has struggled for the last few years to keep up with competitors such as Expedia and Priceline. "We weren't moving as fast as we needed to," Chief Executive Carl Sparks said about newer, nimbler competitors. "We're 16 and so sometimes we think of ourselves as one of the elderly companies in the space because we were around since its inception.… Yet 16 is quite young for a multibillion-dollar company.
BUSINESS
April 27, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
Florida-based Spirit Airlines has topped another unflattering ranking. A few weeks ago the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund analyzed complaint rates among passengers over the last five years. The ultra-low-cost carrier came out on top of that list. Spirit now ranks at the top again - for the rudest flight attendants. A survey of 3,400 people by the travel website Airfarewatchdog found that 26% said Spirit has the rudest flight attendants. Air Canada came in second with 14%, followed by Frontier Airlines with 11% and Virgin America with 9%. Southwest Airlines was at the bottom of the list, with only 1%. The service given by flight attendants may reflect how they are treated by airlines, according to a flight attendants union.
TRAVEL
February 8, 2014 | By Jen Leo
Name: Trekkel.com This website service is a city primer and itinerary planning tool that considers the way you like to travel. What it does: Pick a city, and then adjust the slider bar to measure your interest in 12 travel topics such as Iconic Landmarks, Killer Views, Nature's Wonders and Shopping's My Game. Trekkel returns its top picks. Then toggle between pics for what to do, where to sleep, eat, shop - or all of the above. You can filter by dates, budget, ratings and more.
TRAVEL
November 10, 2013 | By Jen Leo
Here's a website that helps you locate vacation rentals in proximity to your interests. Name: Pinocular.com What it does: It lets you search based on activities you like and how far you want to drive or fly from major cities in the U.S. and Europe. There are 85 activities to choose from or combine. What's hot: It's helpful that Pinocular pairs vacation rental options with activities I am interested in - and some I hadn't even considered. I could find properties that are near horseback riding, fishing, hot springs, opera, laser tag, geocaching and more.
BUSINESS
July 30, 2012 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
Air travelers, rejoice: Relief from soaring airfares may be just around the corner, at least temporarily. For travelers, it can't happen soon enough. In the first three months of the year, the average domestic airfare in the U.S. climbed to $373, up 4.8% from the same period last year, according to the U.S. Transportation Department. That was on top of an 8.3% increase in fares in 2011 and another 8.3% increase in 2010, according to statistics from the agency. But air travelers should get a break next month, when airfares are expected to drop 10% to 20%. That is the prediction from Rick Seaney, chief executive of travel website FareCompare.
BUSINESS
March 5, 2012 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
Gas prices may be rising, but that hasn't dampened Americans' dreams to hit the open road. About 25% of men and 33% of women say they have not driven across the country but "always wanted to," according to a survey released last week by the travel website Expedia. And 41% of Americans and nearly half of men who were surveyed said they've already driven cross-country at least once in their lives. The survey of 2,262 adults by Harris Interactive on behalf of Expedia went beyond Americans' automotive bucket lists.
BUSINESS
April 2, 2012 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
With airfares to Europe on the rise, it looks like Americans are planning to rediscover the good ol' U.S.A. this summer. As a result, perhaps more Americans will use the opportunity to visit some of the country's landmarks such as the Alamo and the Grand Canyon that sometimes get overlooked. Summer airfares to Europe have climbed about 11% compared with last summer, according to travel website Kayak, which attributes the jump to airlines trying to cash in on travelers visiting the London Olympics starting in July.
BUSINESS
March 20, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
Has the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 nearly two weeks ago had an effect on travel to the Asian country? It depends on who you talk to. A German-based travel website says it has seen a 22% drop in searches among U.S. users for hotels in Malaysia since the flight disappeared. But Malaysian tourism officials say they have seen no significant drop in travel to the country. The Boeing 777, carrying 239 people, disappeared March 8, sparking a massive search across miles of open sea and theories that range from terrorism to alien abduction.
BUSINESS
March 30, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
Order a club sandwich from hotel room service in Denver and you will spend an average of nearly $12. Order that same sandwich in Los Angeles and you will be out about $17. That was one of the findings in a study by the travel website TripAdvisor, in an attempt to find out which cities have the highest costs for in-room hotel extras. To conduct the study, the website collected prices for a club sandwich, the dry cleaning of one shirt and several mini-bar accessories from hotels in 62 cities, including 15 in the U.S. Las Vegas was found to have the priciest in-room amenities, at an average of $68. Denver was the least expensive at $41. Los Angeles ranked the fourth most expensive city at nearly $61. The most expensive international city was Helsinki, Finland, where the average hotel amenities bill came to nearly $89 - that includes $20 to dry clean a shirt and a whopping $38 for a club sandwich.
BUSINESS
March 30, 2014 | By Hugo Martín
If you're against letting airline passengers talk on cellphones, you've gained a powerful ally. The Global Business Travel Assn., a trade group for the world's business travelers, submitted its opposition last week to a plan by the Federal Communications Commission to lift a ban on voice calls on planes. The group, which represents about 6,000 travel managers, called onboard calls "detrimental to business travelers. " The association even quoted folk singer Pete Seeger, who borrowed heavily from the book of Ecclesiastes when he wrote "there is a time to keep silence and a time to speak.
BUSINESS
March 20, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
Has the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 nearly two weeks ago had an effect on travel to the Asian country? It depends on who you talk to. A German-based travel website says it has seen a 22% drop in searches among U.S. users for hotels in Malaysia since the flight disappeared. But Malaysian tourism officials say they have seen no significant drop in travel to the country. The Boeing 777, carrying 239 people, disappeared March 8, sparking a massive search across miles of open sea and theories that range from terrorism to alien abduction.
NEWS
March 7, 2014 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
To the airport in Portland, Ore., we say: How do we love thy carpet? Let us count the many, many ways. To all fliers hanging out at airports, we say "Quick, look down!" I must have missed the memo that addresses what travel website Jaunted is calling the "shockingly popular" trend of people taking pictures of #airportcarpet -- often with their feet included -- and posting on Instagram. More than 880 carpet photos (and counting) have been shared on Instagram, ranging from Seattle Tacoma International Airport 's (SEA)
BUSINESS
February 27, 2014 | By Hugo Martín
American Airlines has eliminated its so-called bereavement fares for people who need to book a last-minute flight because of the death of a loved one. The airline, which is merging with US Airways, said it discontinued the fare as of Feb. 18 to be consistent with the policies of US Airways. In the past, American Airlines offered a bereavement fare that was lower than typical last-minute fares but varied based on route, departure time, availability and other factors. In a statement, the airline said: "With the advent of more choices, lower cost carriers and larger networks, the industry has started to move away from bereavement fares because walk-up fares are generally lower than in the past, and customers now have more opportunities to find affordable fares at the last minute.
TRAVEL
February 8, 2014 | By Jen Leo
Name: Trekkel.com This website service is a city primer and itinerary planning tool that considers the way you like to travel. What it does: Pick a city, and then adjust the slider bar to measure your interest in 12 travel topics such as Iconic Landmarks, Killer Views, Nature's Wonders and Shopping's My Game. Trekkel returns its top picks. Then toggle between pics for what to do, where to sleep, eat, shop - or all of the above. You can filter by dates, budget, ratings and more.
BUSINESS
May 17, 2013 | David Lazarus
Sandy Valdivieso and her husband intended to fly from Los Angeles to Dakar, Senegal. They ended up almost 7,000 miles off-course in Dhaka, Bangladesh. How something this bizarre could happen illustrates how a single mix-up on an airline's part can cascade into a travel nightmare of epic proportions. It also highlights how customer service can be found lacking, particularly in light of the fact that Valdivieso spent months trying to secure some sort of compensation from the carrier, Turkish Airlines, but received nothing but runaround.
NEWS
January 9, 2014 | By Mary Forgione, Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
Americans love Las Vegas -- and apparently are prepared to love it even more this year. Las Vegas topped the list of 14 cities that travelers say they most want to visit in 2014, according to a survey by an online travel website. Americans seem to favor big cities, at least one theme park destination (Orlando, Fla.) and beach cities, according to the findings of online travel website Hotwire . "Along with exercising or eating right, traveling more is one of the most popular New Year's resolutions," company president Henrik Kjellberg said in a statement Tuesday.  California was the only state to have three cities -- San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego -- make the cut. Besides Las Vegas , here's the rest of the most desirable destinations: 2. Honolulu 3. New York City 4. San Francisco 5. Orlando 6. Washington, D.C. 7. Miami 8. Los Angeles 9. New Orleans 10. San Diego 11. Chicago 12. Boston 13. Anchorage 14. Seattle Hotwire's average hotel prices in those cities include $181 in New York City and $59 in Orlando.
BUSINESS
January 26, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
Colorado on New Year's Day became the nation's first state to permit the sale of recreational marijuana. And since Jan. 1, interest in travel to Denver has jumped. Coincidence? Probably not. Data research from a travel website found that searches for airline travel deals to Denver have been outpacing searches for all other U.S. destinations, with a big increase jump starting Jan. 1. The study by Boston-based Hopper.com found that interest in travel to Denver climbed 6.3% above the national average in December and then by 14% during the first week of January.
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