Travel Industry

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 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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Congress Ends Air Traffic Control Furloughs…Until September

April 26, 2013

Well it looks like after all the political posturing over the air traffic controller furloughs brought on by “sequestration cuts” that Congress is finally getting its act together and has approved a bill that will end the furloughs and should keep the air traffic control system operating normally…at least until September 30. The House passed […]

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Sequestration Air Traffic Control Cuts Go Into Effect – Tips On Avoiding Huge Air Travel Delays

April 22, 2013

Well, today’s the day that Congress’s sequestration cuts finally go into effect for the FAA and air traffic controllers have to start taking one furlough day per 10 work days. The FAA and major news outlets are all predicting huge delays – up to 6,700 flights per day – but is all this going to […]

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Interesting Travel Data: Cheapest Times to Fly and Top Destinations From 2012

April 3, 2013

Every so often I like to check in with the good folks over at Kayak since they’re always gathering mountains of up-to-the-minute data about travel trends, consumer behavior and what all of us can expect from airlines, hotels and destinations in the coming months and years. Recently, they sent over data they’d compiled from 2011 […]

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Spring Break Travel Trends. The Best Time To Book Is…

March 6, 2013

One of the best vacation times of the year fast approaches: Spring Break! And it’s not just about tequila shooters in Cancun or dragging the kids out to Hawaii for a week. The holidays are far behind us and summer is still far ahead, so it’s about time to start thinking about a relaxing trip […]

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How the Sequestration Could Negatively Impact Travelers

February 25, 2013

Budget cuts – also known as sequestration – currently set to take place in Washington on March 1 (Friday!) could mean significant flight delays for U.S. travelers, though the hope is that these cuts can be averted in time to save a lot of these airport nightmares from taking place. In a press conference at […]

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Reminder: Come See Me at the LA Times Travel Show This Weekend

February 21, 2013

Just a reminder for any readers who are in or around the Los Angeles area, I’ll be speaking on a panel at the  LA Times Travel Show this weekend at the LA Convention Center downtown.  Admission is $10 per day and you can buy tickets here. The other people I’ll be on the panel with […]

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Come See Me at the New York Times and LA Times Travel Shows – January and February

December 24, 2012

Over the next two months, I’ll be appearing at both the New York Times Travel Show (January) and the Los Angeles Times Travel Show (February), so if you are around either city on the dates listed below, I’d love for you to come by and hear me speak and for the chance to meet some […]

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Black Friday and Cyber Monday Travel Deals – Discounts at Priority Club, Marriott, Starwood, Airlines and More

November 23, 2012

We’re foregoing the usual Destination of the Week – especially because this Black Friday, rather than braving the hordes overrunning retailers from coast to coast, it’s better to be safe and sound at home clicking away to get great savings and mileage bonuses…all without having to sleep out on the sidewalk outside your favorite store […]

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