May 20, 2012
THE BEST WAY TO CHELAN, WASH. From LAX, Alaska, Virgin America and United offer nonstop service to Seattle; Southwest and United offer direct service (stop, no change of plane); and Southwest, Alaska, United, Virgin America and Delta offer connecting service (change of plane). Chelan, at the southeast end of Lake Chelan, is about 175 miles east of Seattle, about 155 miles west of Spokane. WHERE TO STAY Campbell's Resort, 104 W. Woodin Ave., Chelan; (800)
May 6, 2012 |
To celebrate the launch last month of Virgin Atlantic's newly redesigned upper-class section, the British-based airline is giving passengers some extended face time with Richard Branson, the carrier's billionaire founder. Upper-class passengers can order drinks chilled by ice cubes shaped to look like Branson's head and face. Four designers hired by the airline spent six weeks creating the mold for the Branson cubes. Branson founded the Virgin Group, a conglomerate that owns interests in Virgin Atlantic and San Francisco-based Virgin America airlines, among other businesses.
May 4, 2012 |
Virgin America Inc., the low-fare airline partly owned by U.K. billionaire Richard Branson, may seek an initial public offering of shares next year should market conditions continue to improve. "We'll be prepared by 2013" to do an IPO, Chief Executive David Cush said in an interview. The timing depends on the carrier's ability to generate a consistent profit and "present a compelling case for our long-term business model," and on investors' appetite for IPOs, Cush said. "We're not tied to any date, and we've got investor patience and sufficient liquidity," Cush said.
April 1, 2012 |
Question: What in the world is going on with airfares? I'm seeing airfares of more than $1,000 to European destinations and about half that for New York and Boston. Say it isn't so. Or at least say it won't last. Answer: I'm getting this question from leisure travelers who are seeing summer fares that may put their vacations on ice. And - are you sitting down? - it's probably not going to get better any time soon. Airfare experts point to three factors that are driving costs.
March 28, 2012 |
At first blush, Ritz-Carlton , Drury Inn & Suites , Four Seasons , Hotel Indigo and Hampton Hotels might not seem to have much in common, other than being places to lay your weary head at the end of the day. Some cater to the high-thread-count crowd; others want to attract those who mind their money but also mind an uncomfortable accommodation. But according to a J.D. Power & Associates study released this month, those lodgings are "customer service champions," which focus on serving the clientele and not the other way around.
March 19, 2012 |
Low-cost airlines that cut out many of the extras might not be expected to get high marks for service - just as fast food is unlikely to win culinary awards. But J.D. Power & Associates' 2012 Customer Service Champions did not include long-established carriers such as Delta Air Lines, United Airlines or American Airlines among the 50 companies from various industries that won the distinction this year based on value, service and other measures. Instead, the report listed low-cost carriers Southwest Airlines, JetBlue Airways and San Francisco upstart Virgin America as the only airlines to win the award.
March 9, 2012 |
United and Delta are the latest airlines to replace or upgrade bins to hold more luggage, the Associated Press reports. Expanding bins is a smart way for airlines to set themselves apart, says Henry Harteveldt, who leads airline and travel analysis at Atmosphere Research Group, a market research firm. “Especially if they cater to the business traveler, they're hoping it will give them a small but noticeable competitive advantage” . . . . The Los Angeles Clippers have announced a new partnership with Virgin America . . . . Brian Head Resort, three hours northeast of Las Vegas in southern Utah, has extended its season a week, to April 15. Look for 25% off spring break lodging and lift ticket deals here . . . . Yosemite National Park says that Big Oak Flat Road (Highway 120 within the park)
March 9, 2012 |
American Express cardholders who use Twitter can now tweet their way to discounts. The company said that U.S. cardholders can sync up their AmEx cards to Twitter to receive paperless, exclusive coupons to participating retailers such as Best Buy and Zappos by tweeting "special offer" hashtags. When the Twittering cardholder goes shopping at that merchant, the discount is credited to the linked-up account in a few days. "American Express is turning Twitter content into commerce by connecting cardmembers to merchants and delivering real world value to both," Ed Gilligan, American Express' vice chairman, said in a statement. At launch, participating merchants include 1-800-Flowers.com, Best Buy, the Cheesecake Factory, Dell, H&M, McDonald's, TicketMaster and Virgin America.
February 27, 2012 |
With major airlines raising prices three times since the beginning of the year, shopping for bargain air fares will be more critical than ever. Flash sales feature limited dates but they do offer good savings for a quick getaway or weeklong vacation. Here are two sales that end tonight (Monday) from Virgin America and Spirit Airlines. Virgin America: Cheapest fares for this sale are for travel on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from Thursday to March 14. During that period, one-way prices from Los Angeles start at $69 to San Francisco, $89 to Seattle, $109 to Dallas-Fort Worth and Chicago, $119 to New York City andWashington, D.C. Sale prices are higher but still discounted for travel March 15 through June 7. Read the fine print for restrictions by destination.
January 31, 2012 |
Groupon Getaways has a deal for travelers in Los Angeles and San Francisco who are bound for Chicago: $39 will get you $100 toward round-trip airfare and free in-flight Wi-Fi on Virgin America . The deal is good only for travel to and from the Windy City by the end of March. Here's how it works: Once you pay $39 via the Groupon sale page, you apply $100 to a single round-trip airfare from L.A. or San Francisco to Chicago -- a savings of $61. The ticket must be purchased from Virgin America at least three days prior to travel by 9:59 p.m. PST Feb. 29; travel must be completed by March 31. Take a minute to read the terms and conditions of the deal on Groupon before you make a purchase.