Category Archives: Air Travel

WOW air Seeks Inspiring Women via Social Media Campaign

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Hey, ladies, is there an amazing woman in your life that you look up to? Show her some love on social media and maybe she might be rewarded with a trip.

In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8, Wow air is encouraging Americans to nominate an inspiring woman they known for a chance to win a free trip.

For their contest, this Icelandic low-cost airline is encouraging females across the United Sates to share stories about important women in their lives on Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #wowwoman and tagging @wowair between now and March 7, 2019.

On March 8, WOW air will repost the most inspirational stories and give the winner two tickets to a destination of her choice within the airline’s global WOW air network.

To distinguish relevant entries apart from other posts that may use #wowwoman, Facebook and Instagram entries must also include the airline’s handle, @wowair.

For more information about this WOWwoman contest, visit this link. See here for its terms and conditions. Now tell me below, who would you nominate?

Black Friday Cyber Monday Sales

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Creative Commons Photo / James Evans

For travelers, it’s that most wonderful time of the year for deals. For the 2018 holiday season, here’s a roundup of Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday sales and promotions.

G Adventures’ Cyber Week Sale begins after midnight on Tuesday, Nov. 20, and runs until the following Monday, Nov. 26. It involves savings trips on that depart between December 1, 2018 and July 31, 2019. More than 500 different small-group tours on six different continents will be marked down.

Gate 1 Travel will hold its annual Black Friday sale November 21-23. During the three-day sale, customers can save up to $2,500 on all Gate 1 Travel, Discovery Tours and Signature Collection packages. Select promo codes include:

  • Spend $500 or more and receive $50 off with promo code BKFR50
  • Spend $1,000 or more and receive $100 off with promo code BKFR100
  • Spend $2,000 or more and receive $250 off with promo code BKFR250
  • Spend $4,000 or more and receive $500 off with promo code BKFR500
  • Spend $10,000 or more and receive $1,000 off with promo code BKFR1000
  • Spend $20,000 or more and receive $2,500 off with promo code BKFR2500

Customers can book online using the codes on November 22 or by calling 1-800-682-3333 between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST on November 21 and November 23.

Between November 23 and 26, visit Expedia’s Black Friday & Cyber Monday page and get a coupon worth an extra 75 percent off of selected hotels. Deals are available for a limited time only.

Visit Hotels.com between November 23 and 26 and you’ll get a mystery coupon worth anywhere from 7 to 99 percent off your hotel.

Save up to $1,900 per person on air-inclusive packages with Friendly Planet Travel’s Cyber Monday sale. Book travel between midnight ET on Monday, November 26, and 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, November 27.

Intrepid Travel will begin its Cyber Sale on November 20.

On Black Friday only, Perillo Tours is offering $500 off per couple ($250 per person) on all 2019 Italy and Hawaii escorted tours.  The offer is valid on new bookings only for travel January 1 – December 31, 2019.  The 24-hour Black Friday sale is bookable online, via phone or email from 12:01am to 11:59pm on November 23, 2018.  Must use booking code BlackFri18.

Delta is offering Black Friday deals through its website, mentioning savings on “flights to Asia, Europe, South America, the Caribbean and more.”

Visit Hotels.com between November 23 and 26 to get a mystery coupon worth anywhere from 7 to 99 percent off your hotel.

Ryanair has a Cyber Week Sale happening now through November 26.

Qatar Airways A350-1000 Arrives at JFK

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Photo courtesy of Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways welcomed in its new A350-1000 from Doha, Qatar Sunday afternoon, Oct. 25, to JFK airport on the first U.S. route for this high-tech commercial flight.

I got an inside peek at this aircraft, in particular its Qsuite business cabin,  and here is what I saw.

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The airbus will be known by the flight number QR702 and will run as the evening flight of the two daily Qatar Airways flights on a Doha-NYC route.

Along with having its inaugural flight to JFK, the A350-1000 is touting the airline’s QSuite, a business class cabin with a first-class appearance. Upon boarding the aircraft, I walked directly into the business class cabin and my eyes popped.

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The Qsuite in the A350-1000 has double beds, being able to fully lie flat for sleeping and enabling passengers in adjoining seats to create their own personal space. In this position, they literally look like a bed.

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The side entertainment console is complete with a said 4,000 entertainment options and a 21.5-inch movable widescreen. Buttons handling everything from setting massage vibrations to putting on a do-not disturb light (which gives a red background shade to your posted seat number). The units also have privacy panels for stowing away belongings, plus sliding doors for privacy.

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Toiletry kits are nice as well – BRIC’S travel cases containing products by Castello Monte Vibrano. I’m sold. Now, I just have to book a ticket.

 

Take Time Off in Tahiti Travel Contest

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Credit: Tahiti Tourisme

From the e-mail bag: United Airlines is holding a “Time Off in Tahiti” contest to recognize “the hardest working person in the U.S. with the trip of their dreams.” And that trip will be to Tahiti.

Apparently, the contest is inspired by data released by Project: Time Off, which finds that American workers are more likely to “lose” their vacation days that to use them. (That’s not good, people.)

According to Project: Time Off, 700-plus million vacation days go unused annually in the United States, with 52 percent of employees reporting unused vacation time at year’s end.  All told, nearly one-quarter of American workers say they used none of their time off to travel – and that’s a whole lot of happiness waiting in the wings.

So United’s “Time Off in Tahiti” contest probably is helping to fix that problem, at least for one lucky individual. The selected winner will be flown from San Francisco direct to Papeete, Tahiti (PPT), along United’s new route beginning October 30, 2018, to bask in the island’s timeless beauty.

However, he or she has to get someone’s nomination. In 300 words or less, a colleague, good friend or even maybe relative can put in a good word for any hard working, deserving person known personally or admired from afar at united.com/timeofftahiti.

Submissions are due by September 25, 2018; the winner will be notified on or around October 11, 2018. Project: Time Off will aid in the judging of submissions.

JetBlue Card’s Flip the Forecast Contest

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From the email bag…. if you’re in a wintry part of the United States, you know how much weather can screw up your flight plans. Apparently, JetBlue is making the most out of this current East Coast scenario with a “Flip the Forecast” contest.

Taken from the message I received:

JetBlue Card parked branded Airstream trailers in two drastically different locales, Boston and San Diego, connecting customers at each destination through a livestream video experience. Participants on both ends had the chance to win a pair of roundtrip tickets to the opposite location if they were able to convince and agree to swap locations with the other. We captured the challenge Bostonians and San Diegans faced on film to inspire other forecast flips across the JetBlue network: https://youtu.be/0nwSemuicaA

Apparently you can join in the fun too through “Flip the Forecast.” Starting today (March 6) through Saturday (March 10), JetBlue customers can submit a short video pleading their case for why they should flip their forecast through a national Instagram contest for the chance to win a pair of roundtrip JetBlue flight certificates.

Here’s how it works:

  • Ensure you have a public Instagram account (of course)
  • Create and upload a video telling us what city you live in and why you need to travel to a different one with a different climate
  • The city you reference must be in the United States and a city that JetBlue currently serves
  • The video post must include @jetblue, #FlipTheForecast and #Contest, and comply with Instagram community guidelines.

For more information on how to enter the “Flip the Forecast” contest, see the official contest rules.

At the conclusion of the contest on March 10, 2018 at 11:59 PM ET, JetBlue will judge and score each eligible entry based on creativity, storytelling and desperation. The 10 people with the highest scores will be notified via Instagram.

2017 – My Year In Review

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Creative Commons photo / maf04

2017 was a good year. I had some ups and downs but I made some pretty neat accomplishments. At the same time, I’m realizing with every year literally flying by, that I’m starting to more and more figure out where I want to be heading, travel and otherwise.

Here’s how 2017 went for me with a few milestones.

Working at an awesome museum

In order to help keep a steady cash flow for my travel budget and overall livelihood, I took a part time job at one of NYC’s most popular museums. With having a “come and go” schedule, I was nervous about whether or not my manager would understand, or more so accept, my “other job.” Or the fact I maybe could only work certain days or be gone for periods of time. There were some rough patches at first, but so far I’ve been lucky to be able to balance both my museum job and my travel job at the same time.

Having More First-Time Destination Visits

One of my dream trips since childhood was to see China (I think I actually tried to dig a hole in my backyard but didn’t get far.). In May, I got to fulfill this wish with my visit to Suzhou, China, a city that resonates with Old China due to having canals, waterways and classic gardens. And I got to travel to destinations I probably never would have imagined: Israel, El Salvador, Guatemala, Croatia, and the Bahamas. I left prayer notes at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, tried surfing at a beach called El Tunco, toasted marshmallows over lava-generated heat at a volcano called Pacaya, and went on a Game of Thrones tour in Dubrovnik.  Not bad!

Staying at an Ice Hotel

A February snowstorm altered by plans for a work trip to Canada’s Quebec region, in that I completely missed the first day. But I still got to experience one major activity – spending the night in an ice hotel. Located outside of Quebec City, Hotel de Glace is a chilly location in which you can either go on a tour of this seasonal lodging (completely made from an ice and snow mixture) and/or pay to spend the night in one of its room. You have to get dressed well enough to handle an overnight stay (think winter gear that’s breathable while keeping you warm). I felt prepared and woke up once, maybe twice, but overall was glad to have tried it – and then to head back into a more warmer accommodation.

Seeing More of the US

I harp on this a lot but, in terms of travel, there is a lot more to the US than meets the eye. While the current political climate is pulling us in different directions, our nation’s cities and town have their respective offerings that can appeal to any traveler. I visited Montgomery, Alabama, which is the central point for major Civil Rights events such as where Rosa Parks’ arrest and the responding Montgomery Bus Boycott. Up north, Philadelphia has so many ties to the American Revolution, but it’s also got a major arts scene and a culinary assortment of everything from Israeli, to Southern, to German and Cuban eateries. For 2018, I’ve already booked a few trips to other US cities; can’t wait.

Choosing to Be More at Home

While I’ve been really grateful for all my 2017 travel opportunities, I’ve been trying to be better about exploring more of New York City. For the next two years, I’m viewing NYC as my homebase. Lately much of my exploring involves going around the neighborhood I stay in and going to and from work and meetings. So, I want to be sure in 2018 to see more of this city. I’ve tackled a lot – museums, landmarks, festivals – but I would love to discover more of its restaurants and districts. I’m also trying to expand my social circle more (most of my friends are married with children and others have moved on) so I want to get out there and meet new people. But if that next cool trip comes up…

What would you like to see or do in 2018? Let me know.

Star Alliance Worldwide Mileage Competition

Star Alliance

Here’s another travel-related contest for you. It involves Star Alliance, one of the world’s largest global alliances, and a million frequent flyer miles.

Star Alliance is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a worldwide mileage competition where travelers share their favorite cultural experiences for a chance to win one million frequent flyer miles (1,000,000 miles). Twenty-one winners will be rewarded with 1,000,000 frequent flier miles to be used on any of its 28 member airlines.

The competition is now underway and ends on July 31, 2017.

If you’re stumped on how you might use this prize, Star Alliance also offered some suggestions:

  • 2 first class tickets around the world. From New York to Paris to Dubai to Hong Kong, stop along the way and see the world in style
  • Fly an entire wedding party and guests to Hawaii
  • Reunite eight family members in Paris to enjoy all the city has to offer
  • Treat extended family to a Spanish beach vacation in Andalucía. Book luxury hotel accommodations with the miles and have some to spare for a rental car.

However, you have to enter first. To enter, visit this link. Note: you have to be a member of a Star Alliance FFP to participate. If you’re not but still want to enter this contest, you have to sign up and receive a membership number online in order to participate.

 

Then users select the Star Alliance FFP in which they wish to win the million miles and enter your FFP number. Next, contestants will upload a profile picture and an image of a favorite cultural where they will also describe their favorite cultural experience.

Judging will be carried out independently, by among others, Star Alliance’s 20th Anniversary partner, National Geographic. The winners wll be announced on September 28, 2017.