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London’s edgy Tate Modern exhibits and swanky Bond Street shops are once again just a flight away for San Diego residents. Yesterday British Airways launched its third attempt since 1988 at daily nonstop flights between San Diego and Heathrow, the city’s only direct flight to Europe.
British Airways last flew from San Diego to Heathrow in late 2003, but discontinued service when 9/11, mile-high fuel costs, and penny-pinching business travelers created a perfect storm for the airline industry.
Today, the route is decidedly more promising. Oneworld membership now links British Airways to American Airlines, and business travelers are finally returning to the front of the plane. For San Diego travelers, the appeal is obvious: A nonstop flight to Heathrow lets Southern Californians reach almost any major city in Europe with only one connection.
Starting rates for round-trip tickets are $895 in June.
Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on flights, hotels, packages, and more travel deals.
Richard Branson’s fashionable Virgin America has long been a Savvy Flyer favorite for its seatback on-demand TVs, comfy leather chairs, and premium drink selections (think Ghiradelli hot chocolate, Blue Moon, and Honest Tea). Our only complaint: The California-based airline should service more airports.
The airline took one step to remedy that today when it launched service from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. For now, the routes head west daily from ORD to San Francisco (SFO) and Los Angeles (LAX), though we have our fingers crossed for East Coast connections in the future.
To celebrate, Virgin is slashing fares from Chicago to five cities, plus offering triple mileage points on Windy City flights. Travel is valid between June 1 and June 30 or August 24 and November 16, and you must book by May 31.
Escape to San Diego this spring and enjoy its balance of big city amenities with a laid back beach vibe. The Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina, which just completed a $35 million renovation, is currently offering nightly rates of $119 – a 38 percent discount! The Sheraton boasts 1,053 guest rooms with panoramic views of the cerulean San Diego Bay and the city skyline, and features five restaurants, three pools, tennis courts, a spa, and jogging trail. With its location on the water and just ten minutes from the San Diego Zoo and the lively Gaslamp Quarter, guests at the Sheraton are sure to experience the best sun-filled activities San Diego has to offer. Rates are valid through May 30 and subject to availability.
THE VALUE: Regularly, rack rates at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina start at $194 — that’s a $75 nightly discount!
THE CATCH: Book by April 4, or miss out!
THE DETAILS: To book, visit www.sheraton.com, or call 866-924-8704, using code CCCLTO.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find great rates on flights to San Diego!
Check out our San Diego Travel Guide to see all that San Diego has to offer.
It may only be entertainment, but the settings of movies and TV shows do have the power to transport. So it made me think that with the Oscars just a few weeks away, I should share my picks for the top 10 movies that capture both the romance and beauty of a place – and are actually fun to watch.
Bora Bora: Couples Retreat Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau may be the stars of this 2008 comedy, but Bora Bora steals almost every scene. Filmed at The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort (doubling as the fictitious Eden Resort – and shown above at left), the movie is not as winning as Wedding Crashers, but it will make you want to raid your bank account and fly off to this ridiculously romantic paradise.
New York City: When Harry Met Sally I live in New York City and this 1989 romantic comedy nails what I love most about my hometown – winter, spring, summer, and fall. With scenes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Central Park Boathouse, Yankee Stadium, and Katz’s Delicatessen (a sign still hangs above the seat where Sally showed Harry how to fake it), this Nora Ephron-written, Rob Reiner-directed classic is like calling a dear friend who lives here each time you watch it.
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.
Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on hotels, airfare, packages, and more.
I don’t usually like to mix spa treatments with alcohol. I’m already woozy after a massage, it defeats the purpose of detoxifying scrub and body wrap, and my skin during a facial usually gets way more antioxidants than a glass or two of pinot noir. But I might change my mind about spa happy hour. When everyone is rushing to their cars or the subway after work, many spas are offering deals on relaxing massages and rejuvenating facials. Guess which group is going to age better? Even more common are communal treatments like manis and pedis, where you can socialize and sip a cocktail (responsibly) then head home when the traffic has thinned.
Grab your swim trunks and flippy-floppies – it’s time to beat the heat in San Diego this summer by cruising through the city’s beautiful bay with the I’m on a Boat package, available at the AAA Four-Diamond Hard Rock Hotel. Priced from $713 for a two-night stay in a studio room or suite at the prestigious property, the package includes breakfast at a local diner called Maryjane’s, as well as a two-hour luxury yacht rental.
You can choose between two yachts: the Formula 40 Performance Cruiser, outfitted with twin turbo engines, or the Sea Ray 310, which offers flat-screen televisions and an onboard barbecue – perfect for flippin’ burgers.
The added bonus: You’ll be granted VIP access to some of San Diego’s most popular nightlife venues, including Float and 207.
Keeping pace with the competition, Virgin America has launched its own fall, one-way flight sale with fares starting as low as $59! Experience the last leg of summer and all of autumn in the gorgeous west coast cities of San Diego, Seattle, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles, where the weather is sublime and the crowds are a fraction of what they were during the summer. Tickets must be booked by July 12 for travel between August 25 and November 17, 2010.
Sample One-Way Fares (Excluding Taxes):
• San Francisco?Las Vegas: $59
• Seattle?San Francisco: $79
• Washington D.C. –Los Angeles: $129
• Boston?San Francisco: $149
• Fort Lauderdale?Seattle: $149
• New York?San Diego: $169
• And more!
THE VALUE: These fares, compared to competitors, are up to $50 cheaper for short-haul flights and $150 cheaper for coast-to-coast flights.
THE CATCH: These fares are valid only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays and black out dates apply for Labor Day weekend.
THE DETAILS: To book your flight visit www.travelocity.com
WE’VE GOT MORE: Know your dates? Enter them in our Travel Search comparison tool!
Find a hotel for your west coast getaway at our Hotel Deals page.
FOUND A BETTER DEAL? Tell us about it!
Both AirTran Airways and Southwest Airlines are offering three-day sales on one-way domestic flights starting from $39 and $59, respectively. Fly to vacation destinations such as Nassau, Miami, San Diego, Orlando, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and more! Whether you’re looking for a family trip to Disney, a couple’s getaway in the Bahamas, or a weekend in Sin City, between these two flight sales, any vacation is possible. Tickets must be purchased by May 6 for both airlines. Travel is valid through June 23 on Southwest Airlines and August 25 on AirTran Airways.
Sample One-Way Fares on AirTran (Excluding Taxes):
• Charlotte?Atlanta: $39
• Orlando?Nassau: $44
• Indianapolis?New York City: $69
• Milwaukee?Denver: $84
• Baltimore?Miami: $89
• Boston?Fort Meyers: $89
• And more!
To book your flight visit www.airtran.com
Sample One-Way Fares on Southwest (Excluding Taxes):
• Phoenix?San Diego: $59
• Burbank?Las Vegas: $59
• Milwaukee?New York City: $91
• Boise?San Francisco: $95
• Albany?Orlando: $130
• Austin?Los Angeles: $134
• And more!
To book your flight visit www.southwest.com
Brown leaves and gray skies may have inspired the ‘60s classic “California Dreaming,” but flowering hillsides and blue skies will be on tap during a springtime visit. And there’s no better way to appreciate the Golden State’s scenic beauty than with an exhilarating seven-day drive down the Pacific Coast Highway (U.S. 1) from culture-rich San Francisco to seaside Santa Monica and beyond. Here’s my suggested itinerary:
Day 1: San Francisco Arrive at midday and rent a car (splurge on a convertible if the forecast is favorable). Spend the afternoon exploring the city’s neighborhoods, from posh Pacific Heights to funky Haight-Ashbury, with a stop at The Ferry Building along the Embarcadero to stock up on locally sourced snacks for the trip. Stay at Hotel Vitale, a Zen-like retreat with 200 light-filled rooms and Bay Bridge views (from $279).
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