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Travel Industry

Malaysia Airlines Offers Refunds on All 2014 Flights

July 21, 2014

Like most people, I’m still struggling to comprehend the tragedy that is Malaysia Airlines flight 17. Unlike the last Malaysian Airlines tragedy where endless questions remain unanswered, this incident looks to be exclusively the handiwork of terrorists, and the full effects are yet to be seen. This incident could have happened to any airline, and […]

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Enterprise Rolls Out New Enhancements to Its Loyalty Program

July 8, 2014

Driven by a highly competitive rental car market, Enterprise Rent-A-Car recently announced some sexy new enhancements to its Enterprise Plus loyalty program, including points earning/redemptions in Europe, the option of receiving an e-receipt following a rental, and status match opportunities. First launched in 2012, the Enterprise Plus program earns its members one point per qualifying dollar spent on Enterprise rentals, and free rental […]

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TSA Bans Uncharged Gadgets on Transatlantic Flights to US

July 8, 2014

If you’re headed to the U.S. on a transatlantic flight, make sure your cell phones, laptops, tablets and more are charged by the time you get to the airport, or you might not be allowed to board with them. As part of the Enhanced Security Measures announced by the Secretary of Homeland Security last week, the […]

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New TSA Fees Will Make Airfare More Expensive

July 2, 2014

Thinking about planning a big trip? Best to book your flights now, before they become more expensive. Starting on July 21, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will more than double – and no longer cap – the mandatory security fee they charge most airline passengers. Formerly this fee was $2.50 for each leg of a flight, with a […]

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Status Matcher Helps Travelers Attain and Keep Elite Status

June 30, 2014

Yesterday I answered a reader question about airline status matches and challenges, and I mentioned a website called Status Matcher, which provides a bounty of information about the status match and challenge policies of most airlines, hotels, and even auto rental companies (hat tip to TPG reader Ali who introduced me to the site!). I think this website […]

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Budget Airline PEOPLExpress Returns to the Skies This Summer

June 5, 2014

Beloved 1980s budget airline PEOPLExpress has re-opened for business. Domestic service in the Northeast and Southeast U.S. will begin on June 30th, with fares starting at $76 each way.  PEOPLExpress originally flew from 1981-1987 until it was absorbed into Continental, and was known not only for low fares, but friendly, efficient customer service. In the current climate of fierce (and often frustrating) competition amongst budget airlines, PEOPLExpress has taxied back onto […]

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New Aircare Program for the Traveling Gambler

June 2, 2014

Air travel is full of pitfalls like missed connections, flight delays, lost baggage, and cancellations (this past winter actually saw the worst cancellation record in U.S. aviation history), and while travel insurance and airline policies, government regulations, and credit cards offer compensation for some of them, a fleet of loopholes could leave you stranded on the proverbial tarmac. […]

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Musement: Book Discounted Tours Worldwide + TPG Discount

May 28, 2014

I’m a procrastinator and rarely pre-book tours or activities before I travel abroad. I usually like to meet up with friends or friends of friends in cities, but honestly- sometimes the best way to understand the history and culture of a new city is with an experiences tour guide. I think part of the reason why […]

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IRS Proposing New Tax Burden on Loyalty Programs

May 23, 2014

In the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s 2014-2015 Priority Guidance Plan (or business plan), the IRS is currently proposing that travel industry companies pay taxes on the front end of their loyalty program transactions, rather than waiting to pay those taxes until program members make redemptions. This shift in tax timing would mean that travel industry companies would almost […]

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What Is Your Flight Takeoff Ritual?

May 20, 2014

Today I flew from Paris Orly to Nice and right as the engines were starting to wind up, the hip guy next to me did a big sign of the cross and started praying feverishly. Wondering if he knew something I didn’t I started to get worried, but then I realized it was just his […]

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TSA PreCheck To Include International Airlines, Starting With Air Canada

April 29, 2014

Since its initial launch in October 2011, the Transportation Security Administration’s expedited screening program, PreCheck, has become so popular (used by about 5 million out of the 14 million weekly airline passengers at the US’s 450 airports) that these days  it’s sometimes the slowest security lane at the airport.  That hasn’t stopped its forward march, however, and […]

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Transparent Airfares Act of 2014: Making Airfare Purchases Less…Transparent?

April 28, 2014

This past March, President Obama announced his Fiscal Budget for 2015, which includes a proposal to increase aviation fees and taxes annually by $4.2 billion. Almost two months later, the almost universally unpopular Transparent Airfares Act of 2014 now seems poised to pass into law. This act would void a 2012 Department of Transportation (DOT) […]

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Top Summer Travel Destinations

April 23, 2014

The good people of Kayak.com have been watching ticket sales, search trends and airline news to come up with the hottest summer destinations for 2014. Here were their findings and the key takeaways. Memorial Day According to Kayak, not only are more Americans planning to travel this Memorial Day, but more of them are heading […]

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What Is A Bitcoin and Might They Be Useful For Travelers?

April 16, 2014

TPG Assistant Editor Melanie Wynne takes us through a quick history of the bitcoin and analyzes the future of this digital currency and whether travelers could take advantage of it in the future.  In the four-year history of the digital currency known as bitcoin, I’ve referred to it as the “LaserDisc of money” more than once, […]

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FAA Eases Rules on Portable Electronic Device Use in Flights: Changes Could Come As Early As November 1

October 31, 2013

Today the FAA officially approved a measure to allow passengers to use more electronic devices during taxi, takeoff and landing, though each airline will need to follow guidelines and roll the changes out once they are fully prepared. Devices like iPhones, iPads, Kindles, DVD players and headphones may remain on during taxi, takeoff and landing […]

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Should There Be a Minimum Seat Width Size for Long Haul Travel?

October 29, 2013

You can often find me giving tips on how to get the best economy seats on a plane – a consideration that’s more important than ever now that nearly every airline seems intent on squeezing as many passengers as possible into their planes in order to increase profit margins. I’m not the only consumer advocate […]

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Tips For Thanksgiving Travel, When Is The Best Time To Buy Airfare?

October 15, 2013

Pumpkins and Halloween decorations are suddenly everywhere, and that means that Thanksgiving is just around the corner, so it is time to start booking your travel plans if you haven’t already. Trying to make sense of airfare fluctuations and fare rules is a tough game to play, especially around the holidays, and Thanksgiving is usually […]

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How A Government Shutdown Will Impact Travel

September 30, 2013

Whether you agree with it or not, it looks like a government shutdown is becoming more and more of a possibility. If it happens there will be far-reaching effects, including thousands of government workers furloughed- many of whom who support the travel industry in one way or another. That’s because the government is involved in […]

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FAA Recommends Allowing The Use Of Electronic Devices During Take Off and Landing

September 27, 2013

Yesterday, the members of the FAA advisory committee held a closed-door meeting to discuss the use of electronic devices during flights. It was agreed upon that passengers should now be able to use their smartphones, tablets, e-readers, and other electronic devices during take off and landing as long as they are in airplane mode. Airplane […]

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Review of Silvercar – A New Luxury Car Rental Startup

August 29, 2013

TPG contributor Matthew Goldman takes us for a spin with Silvercar, one of the latest “disruptive” travel innovators that’s bringing concierge-style service to car rentals in cities across the Western US (so far) and might just change the way we all rent cars in the future. Innovative startups have “disrupted” the travel industry in many […]

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Can American Airlines Survive Without A Merger?

August 26, 2013

I’ve been asked a lot about the US Airways/American Airlines merger and my opinion is that it will be bad for consumers for a variety of reasons. No one can predict what will happen to fares (numbers can be massaged to prove either case), but deep down I believe they will and I don’t think […]

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The Big Business of Business Class Cabins

August 3, 2013

I just read a pretty interesting article in the NYT about the fierce competition between airlines to build the perfect business class seat- one that maximizes both passenger comfort and airline revenue. The piece interviews a bunch of industry execs who offer unique insight to the behind the scenes “arms race” that is going on […]

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Comparing Airline Checked Bag Fees To Baggage Shipping Services

May 8, 2013

Like many other airline fees, checked bag fees have become a fact of life, so we asked TPG contributor Adee Braun to take a detailed look at how much you can expect to pay to check your suitcase and compare airline fees to the services that will ship your bags for you. With checked bag […]

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Higher Airline Change Fees Are Here To Stay – United, US Airways and Delta All Raise Prices

May 1, 2013

Update: On the morning of the publication of this post, American Airlines also announced it would be matching United, US Airways and Delta in increasing its ticketing change/cancellation fees for travel within the U.S., between the U.S. and Canada, and between both the U.S. and Canada and Mexico, Puerto Rico & the Virgin Islands, the […]

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