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Sounds impossible to buy a ticket to the wrong destination, right? You’d never mistake York, England for New York State. But would you notice an airline issuing a plane ticket for Grenada instead of Granada, like British Airways did last month? Or the 1,500 mile difference between airline codes SJO and SJU? Believe it or not, these things do happen. Here, 9 commonly confused cities that should make you check your boarding card.
Finally, Oakland is getting the attention it deserves from travelers and media alike as one of the country’s coolest cities, having been skipped over for years for sister city San Francisco. But as Oakland enters the spotlight, it remains an extremely affordable destination for culture, food, and other entertainment. These budget activities will make any cost-conscious traveler wonder why you took so long to discover Oak Town:
If you, perhaps wisely, chose to refrain from the pandemonium of holiday travel, a new 48-hour JetBlue promotion could have you back in the sky sooner than you thought. The appropriately titled, if slightly laborious, FLY LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA sale went up this morning, covering 49 departure cities scattered all over the map – Albuquerque, Long Beach, St. Thomas, Charleston, San Juan, Las Vegas, to name a few. Even for January, a notoriously dead travel season, we found some pretty decent rates like New York to Oakland for $317 roundtrip, or Boston to St. Thomas for $330 roundtrip.
All flights must be booked by 11:59 p.m. EST on Wednesday December 18th, with a travel window spanning from January 7 – February 12 (individual blackout dates apply for specific routes).
So, what’s on offer? Let’s take a look:
This year, Europe’s third largest low-cost carrier, Norwegian Air Shuttle began a new transatlantic service with non-stop flights from New York City to Oslo and Stockholm, and they’re set to add services from Fort Lauderdale to the two Scandinavian capitals in late November, too.
Early 2014 will see an even bigger expansion for the airline, with flights from New York to Copenhagen launching in February; Los Angeles to Oslo, Stockholm, and Copenhagen in March; Orlando to Oslo in May; and Oakland to Oslo and Stockholm, also in May. The airline will also offer connecting fares to dozens of other European cities –and even beyond Europe, to Bangkok.
We’re pretty excited about these new flights, which will offer the first non-stop service by a low-cost carrier on the Boeing Dreamliner 787, and even more excited by their fares! We did a little digging around on Norwegian’s website, and here’s what we found: Read more
What do you think of when wines from the United States come to mind? Our first guess is Napa Valley. But the North American wine industry is much more than just Northern California (some spots on our list even have more history). From New England, all the way south to Texas and west to Colorado, wine regions are popping up all over the place. If you’re looking to escape the crowds and the often-jaded (or is it stuck-up?) vibe present in some popular wine destinations, venture outside the box (ever been to an urban winery?) and step into one of these regions where it’s not uncommon for the winemaker to serve you him or herself.
But come March, the Bay Bridge will shine as one of the Bay Area’s most brilliant tourist attractions when a spectacular art installation called the Bay Lights will illuminate the bridge’s western side with 25,000 individually programmable, energy-efficient white LED lights. It’s expected to be the world’s largest LED light sculpture, at 1.8 miles in length and 500 feet high.
The project, by world-renowned artist Leo Villareal, is scheduled to be unveiled on March 5 in a “Grand Lighting” ceremony. The installation will stay for two years, offering visitors and locals alike a fantastic – and free! – experience in a city that can be hard on the wallet. Read more
In our romanticized, and admittedly naive, fantasy about life as a movie star, nothing is as unquestionably glamorous as traveling around the world on location. But considering that central casting hasn’t yet discovered us, we’ll make do by traveling in the footsteps of the best picture nominees for the 84th Academy Awards.
In a program called Holiday Photos on the Fly, Southwest Airlines and Microsoft are bringing a little extra holiday cheer to your busy travel schedule: Santa Claus will be set up at 26 U.S. airports to pose for free holiday photos with passengers, young and old. Santa’s helpers from Microsoft will not only provide travelers with a free photo print, but also show customers how to edit and share their pictures. The program will run for the three weekends preceding Christmas in December (Dec. 2-5, Dec. 9-12, and Dec. 17-20) from 8am to 7:30pm. You can seek out Santa at the following Southwest airports: Albuquerque, Austin, Baltimore/Washington, Boston Logan, Chicago Midway, Dallas Love Field, Denver, El Paso, Fort Lauderdale, Houston Hobby, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Nashville, New Orleans, Oakland, Ontario, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, San Antonio, St. Louis, Seattle Tacoma, and Tampa Bay.
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Southwest Airlines has announced the upcoming debut of its “International Connect” system in partnership with Mexico’s Volaris Airlines – passengers can now book flights on the two separate airlines and coordinate baggage transfers all through Southwest’s website. Southwest has also launched a bilingual call center with international customer service representatives on hand to facilitate travel on the new service. International Connect flights feature service to five sites, including Guadalajara, Morelia, Zacatecas, Cancun, and Mexico City – they can be booked in association with Southwest flights via the Los Angeles, Oakland, or San Jose airports for travel beginning December 1.
Welcome to the era of the underground supper club, a kind of professional dinner party masterminded by a talented (and often amateur) chef bringing together a group of strangers, usually in a private home. Long common in Hong Kong and Cuba, a few started bubbling to the surface in the U.S. around 2001 and now they are sprouting up worldwide. These “culinary speakeasies,” which operate without licenses or inspections (partially explaining their aura of secrecy), turn out unique—and often transporting—dining experiences. For the food lover, they’re a welcome alternative to the overblown restaurant scene. For the traveler, they’re a way to explore a new city by breaking bread with the locals. We’ve culled a few impressive examples, both pioneers and up-and-comers, and will tell you how to get a seat at the table.
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