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Tag Results: Food & Drink
Most cities offer plenty of reasons to visit. Whether it’s fine art or great food, window shopping or bar hopping, there’s something to entertain just about everybody. At times the number of options might actually seem overwhelming to tourists and residents. For years though, multi-day cultural festivals and restaurant weeks have successfully promoted urban exploration, encouraging people to take a fresh look at a familiar town. More recently, spurred on by the non-profit Brewer’s Association and motivated hop heads, beer weeks have started to pop up around the country, too. In essence, a celebration of American-made ales and lagers, these events tap in to the excitement surrounding the current craft beer boom. And it doesn’t matter if you can’t distinguish a Gueuze from a Gose. Above all, beer weeks are supposed to be fun. Read more
The hardest part of traveling is never knowing when you’ll have your next drink.* At home, you have your liquor cabinet, the wine cellar, and the bottle of whiskey that you keep in the nightstand. Life is simple, if slightly blurry. At SkyMall Tuesday headquarters, we make our dogs wear those tiny brandy barrels that Swiss St. Bernards tote around. On the road, however, life can get dry. Airlines charge for drinks on domestic flights, minibar mini bottles are expensive, and hotel bars can be sad places. What’s a thirsty traveler to do? You can’t be expected to attend business meeting, go sightseeing, and visit your in-laws without your medicine? Nor can you ask your colleagues, friends, or family to stop at every bar your pass (or hold your martini glass while you visit the gift shop). Thankfully, SkyMall knows that discretion is the better part of valor (and cocktails are the best part of the day). The next time you’re going on a trip, be sure to keep your Personalized Cell Fone Flask in your pocket.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s revised regulations aimed at boosting airline passenger protection, announced in April, finally take effect today. Among the new rules, passengers are entitled to a refund of baggage fees if their bags are lost, increased compensation if bumped from oversold flights, and more effective notifications and handling of lengthy tarmac delays.
While airlines are already obligated to reimburse passengers for loss, damaged, or delayed baggage, they must now also prominently disclose all optional fees on their websites. These include fees for baggage, meals, canceling or changing reservations, and upgraded seating.
I recently had the pleasure of flying business class on Cathay Pacific from New York to Hong Kong. Everything about the flight was superlative, from the friendly service to the tasty Chinese cuisine and Murad toiletries.
In light of this experience, I was very intrigued to hear about what Cathay changed when it unveiled its new business class in March. When I flew with them in February, the best part, in my opinion, was the seats, which are each individually situated in “herringbone fashion” and surrounded by privacy partitions. This set-up is especially appreciable when trying to sleep: There’s no getting distracted or woken up by your neighbor moving around, turning on lights, or flipping through movies. The comfy seats also feature plenty of intuitive nooks and crannies in which to store your items close at hand. And, of course, they lie flat come bedtime.
Throughout the month of December, American Airlines will be offering a “5@5” happy hour service, featuring alcoholic drinks priced for just $5 each on select flights departing between 5pm and 5:59pm. The service, which will last for the duration of the flights, marks a $2 decrease in the price of liquor and wine, and a $1 off of beer. The offer is good on flights in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean, beginning December 1.
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Sure, we’ve finally come to accept that in-flight meals are largely a thing of the past (maybe not such a bad thing, considering this recent disturbing news on the FDA’s findings on airline food quality), but please don’t take away our precious peanuts! Though the Department of Transportation proposed a ban last week on peanuts – the quintessential mile-high snack – on planes to accommodate passengers who are highly allergic to them, nut-lovers have hope yet. Not only has the department agreed to review public comments on the issue, it has made it clear that the ban will not be implemented without solid scientific proof. As no studies are currently commissioned to prove that airborne peanut particles on planes can actually cause severe allergic reactions, our conclusion in a nutshell is that the pastime of peanuts on planes is likely to remain.
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Newsflash: Airline food is just as disgusting as it tastes. USA Today got its hands on the Food and Drug Administration’s reports on LSG Sky Chefs, Gate Gourmet, and Flying Food Group – three airline caterers who serve more than 100 million on board meals each year – and found that the companies prepare many in-flight dishes in completely unsanitary, and often downright sickening, conditions. In many of the caterers’ 91 kitchens, employers stored food at the wrong temperatures, cooked on dirty equipment, and ignored proper hygiene practices. Even creepier, the FDA reports say inspectors spotted cockroaches, flies, and mice at more than one facility. Let’s all breath a collective sigh of relief that Continental will shelve most domestic meals this fall – and vow to brown bag it on our next vacations.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch anymore . . . at least not in the skies! On Monday, Continental Airlines finally ended its holdout as the last major U.S. carrier offering free food onboard domestic flights, announcing it will cut complimentary meal service for economy passengers on routes in the U.S., Canada, and to popular Latin America/Caribbean “leisure” destinations (like Cancun, Mexico, and most Caribbean islands) this fall. Handouts will still be offered on all other international routes and any long-haul flight over six hours.
The airline is attempting to make the fee easier to swallow by claiming the new “food-for-sale” model will allow it to provide better variety and healthier options (think “gourmet wraps” and fresher salads, in contrast to the not-quite Michelin star-quality, microwaveable mini trays that are standard coach fare). Of course, “elite-level” flyers and those in first class still get the perk, and Continental will continue awarding light snacks (like those oh-so-tantalizing peanuts) and nonalcoholic drinks, to all.
Now charging fees for every conceivable in-flight comfort, major airlines are playing follow the leader yet again by prohibiting cash as a means of payment on board. Over the last year, the lengthy list of carriers with plastic-only policies or “cashless cabins” has grown to include American Airlines, Southwest, Alaska, Frontier, jetBlue, AirTran, Virgin America, and Midwest. Last week, Delta (for which credit purchases weren’t even possible a year ago), Northwest, and Continental announced they, too, have made the switch. Read more
Today, Ecuador-based AeroGal Airlines debuted daily nonstop flights between Guayaquil’s Jose Joaquin de Olmedo and New York City’s John F. Kennedy airports – the first-ever daily commercial air service between Ecuador and the U.S. AeroGal, which also has routes to Miami, is self-proclaimed to be one of the world’s safest and most “environmentally friendly” carriers (receiving accolades for its commitment to waste reduction). In-flight meals include traditional Ecuadorian delights such as empanadas and complimentary cups of canelazo, a popular fruit drink seasoned with cinnamon and served hot. Special introductory rates for the new JFK–Guayaquil route start at $548 round-trip (including taxes) and are available through January 31, 2010.
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