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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
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.
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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
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.
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
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 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
November 25, 2012 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
As an information technology supervisor at Pitzer College in Claremont, Dennis Crowley had so much work to do last year that he finished 2011 without using nearly five days of paid vacation. "And to be frank, I was too busy to even realize I was losing time," he said. Crowley's situation is not unusual. A survey by Harris Interactive Inc. found that by the end of 2012, Americans will leave an average of 9.2 days of vacation unused, up from the average of 6.2 days in 2011. Nearly 90% of those questioned said they would take more leisure trips on their vacation if they had the time and money to do so, according to the survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults that was commissioned by travel website Hotwire.
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
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.
TRAVEL
January 19, 2014 | By Jen Leo
There is no shortage of travel websites to make your life easier or your travels cheaper. But who has the time to keep track of all of them? Here's a short list of travel websites that are worth bookmarking and using for pre-trip research. All the Rooms : Would you rather stay in a four-star hotel or a private cottage with views and a hot tub? How about a B&B versus a budget-minded hostel? You might not think about all your options unless they were right in front of you. That's why the addition of All the Rooms to the accommodations booking game was so exciting last year.
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
February 27, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
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. Instead, American Airlines now offers only to waive change fees for travelers who have a pre-purchased ticket and want to use it to attend the funeral of an immediate family member.
BUSINESS
December 29, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
Is it time to say goodbye to the hotel minibar? A recent survey by the travel website TripAdvisor.com found that the hotel minibar was the least important amenity for U.S. travelers. Only 21% of travelers ranked the mini-bar as an important amenity, compared to 89% who called free in-room wireless Internet the most important. There is little financial reason to keep minibars. Hotel consulting firms estimate that minibars generate no more than 0.24% of total hotel revenue, with much of that eaten up by the cost to check and restock the bars.
BUSINESS
January 5, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
If a ban on cellphone calls on commercial planes is lifted, a majority of travelers said they would be willing to pay extra to sit in a chatter-free quiet zone on the planes. That is the finding of a poll of more than 3,400 fliers by the travel website Airfarewatchdog.com. Of those polled, 53% said they would pay to sit in an airplane's quiet zone. It's a relevant question because the Federal Communications Commission is now accepting public comment on a proposal to lift the 22-year-old ban on cellphone calls on commercial airlines.
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