01/30/12

Alaskan Airlines Pulls Prayer Cards

You haven’t got a Prayer in the Sky…

Alaskan Airlines pulls religious cards after 30 years.

Alaskan Airlines has long had a tradition of providing prayer cards to their passengers at meal time.  The small carrier has been doing this for over 30 years and recently made the decision to discontinue the service in order to respect the diversity of religions or non-religious affiliations held by their passengers.

President of Alaskan Airlines, Brad Tilden stated “This difficult decision was not made lightly.”  And it seems the decision has gained disapproval from Sarah Palin former Governor of Alaska who has commented on her Facebook page with this comment “The Alaskan Airlines prayer cards should be looked upon as an All-American, hopeful, encouraging gesture. Please don’t discontinue the cards.”

If this is “All – American” it does not encompass the beliefs or lack of beliefs of each American as the country has a diverse and varied list of religions and a growing number of Atheists.  The decision of Alaskan Airlines to discontinue the cards is in step with the trend of removing religious affiliation from business and non-religious companies.

This action may or may not impact the airline as the list of independent carriers continue to dwindle due to several major purchases over the last few years.  Northwest was purchased by Delta, United is purchasing Continental, and Southwest is purchasing AirTran.

With the possibility of mega-airlines, trying to please everyone, all the time is not a possibility.  While some may see Alaskan Airlines actions as a loss of tradition, for others it is business as usual.

01/30/12

Federal Regulations Force Airlines to tell the REAL Price

What is the Real Cost of purchasing an airline ticket?

 

Is it really a bargain?

New US Federal Regulations may have a negative effect on sales as passengers are given their total prices with taxes and fees included.  Currently when an airline runs a sale they advertize the base fare and tack on a little note to tell you “this does not include Federal and State taxes.”  This is where the discrepancy between advertized price and purchased price begins.

Base fares do not take into account Federal or State taxes, Passenger Facility Charges, Fuel Surcharges, and a number of other charges added to the final price.  These taxes can produce a significant difference in fare once calculated and in some cases it can almost double the fare.

 

The Real Cost of Traveling

 

One example of a large fee is the Fuel Surcharges, carriers like Southwest hedge their bets on fuel prices and were able to keep their costs low (no longer the situation) while other carriers were forced to increase ticket prices to include a higher fee.  This is common practice for International carriers outside of the US like Lufthansa or KLM and it doesn’t make a difference if the flight is a codeshare or not. (A codeshare is when a carrier such as Delta offers flights on another carrier such as KLM.)

For a great article about how fuel surcharges affects ticket prices read this article from USA Today.

When the fuel crisis hit American Airlines (along with other carriers) was forced to raise a fuel surcharge from between $40 US to $120 US per segment  – that’s each flight taken.  If you have connecting flights; that is $120 X 4 for a round trip ticket.  Though these increases occurred on international flights into the UK, it nonetheless caused some sticker shock at the final price.

Airline costs are going up and with the new EU rules on greenhouse gas emissions for airlines, the fees for travel can only continue to rise.  The new Federal Regulations that airline tickets include all fees may have an adverse affect on the buy population, but if you have to travel and budget your expenses, knowing the costs up front is important.

For more information on the new regulations check out this eturbonews article.

For more information on the EU greenhouse fees check out this previous post here.

01/29/12

Travel Warnings Lifted for Bangkok

The all clear was put out for travel to Bangkok by several countries to include Israel and China.  Additionally it looks as if Germany and France have lowered their warnings but the number of countries to have placed travel restriction warnings for Bangkok numbered 18 and included the United States – those 14 other countries still have some sort of warning listed.

The warning was in response to the capture of a suspected terrorist from Lebanon.  Israel was one of the first countries to impose the travel warning and the first to remove it as well which will send a signal to other countries which will likely remove the warning as well.  Although the US has not yet retracted the Travel Warning – it is no longer listed on the State Department website.

If you’re planning travel and you are from the US, take a moment to check out Travel Warnings here.

01/28/12

2 Free Southwest Airline Tickets…Facebook SCAM!

Did you get a request to add a Facebook app for the chance to get 2 Free Southwest Airline tickets?  If you answered yes and you’ve done the click through then know that you’ve been scammed!  There are no free Southwest Airline tickets, instead you have now offered an unknown source access to your personal data and access to be able to post to your Facebook page as YOU!

The Better Business Bureau and many other websites have reported this ongoing Facebook Scam.  Don’t fall prey and don’t give this app the ability to gather information about you.  If you’re looking for free tickets you might want to channel that energy into something else.  The airlines aren’t in a position to offer free tickets and if there are free tickets floating around on the net, it’s coming from companies that have purchased bulk seats from an airline.

Remember: If it looks too good to be true…it probably is.

For similar stories click here.

01/27/12

Alternative Spring Break Options

Alternative Spring Break Ideas for young adults

Volunteering

Looking for Alternative Spring Break activates?  Not interested in joining in the drunken parties by the pool and acting like you’ve lost your mind?  Consider an alternative in volunteering for Spring Break and do something to build your community or communities around the world. 

Volunteering for Spring Break is a great way to help out your own community or to explore the globe and contribute to a cause you believe in.  Spending time and effort to put in some physical labor building houses, or churches, or feeding the homeless, or even just providing home care for elders or children can be a rewarding change of pace. 

Local Alternative Spring Break Options

If you don’t have the money to pay your own way to an exotic locale, then consider your own neighborhood and see what kinds of volunteer options are available to you.  If you can’t leave the country, but want to consider your options state side, then check out Living Lands and Waters.  This group is passionate about cleaning our waterways and offers unique opportunities to help clean up along the Mississippi River.  Certain places are always looking for volunteers to help out like soup kitchens, nursing homes, churches, women’s shelters, vet clinics, and nonprofit organizations.

International Alternative Spring Break Options

If you’re an adventurous person, you can find international locations that need volunteers.  There are actually several organizations that specialize in making these plans. One such organization is Projects Abroad, click the link to check out the plans.  They offer trips that coincide with the major university spring break schedules.  They have plans set up for Mexico, Jamaica, Costa Rica, and Morocco, find out more about what they have to offer this year by clicking on the link.

 Another great place to check out is United Planet – they have their Unite Planet Quest and it’s open to many different groups to include High School, College, Organized clubs, and more. The trips aren’t just at Spring Break, they have much to offer if you’re taking a semester or a year off and want to do some work around the world. Take a look at their site to find something that sparks your interest.  

Get Involved and Give Back

Alternative Spring Break options can be a great way to get involved or find a way to give back to your community, if you’ve got some time then check out Habitat for Humanity and lend a helping hand to someone working on a better future and see the results of your hard work when it’s all said and done. 

Spring Break is an opportunity to find out more about yourself and your community and even places around the globe so don’t miss out.

01/27/12

JetBlue Winter Fare Sale!

JetBlue Sale

JetBlue Sale

It’s almost time for Spring Break – where are you going this year?  Take a minute to ckeck out the new fares from JetBlue for their Winter Fare Sale!

JetBlue Winter Fares on Sale for travel dates between 1 FEB 2012 until 4 APR 2012.  These tickets must be purchase by 8 FEB 2012 and are for travel on Tuesdays/Wednesdays only.  There are blackout dates listed between 16 FEB 2012 and 27 Feb 2012 and each ticket requires at least a 14 or 21 day advance purchase.

The fares are selective and center around flights out of Boston (BOS), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Long Beach, Ca (LGB), New York (JFK), Orlando (MCO).

If you’re planning on a Spring Break Vacation then get in on these fares quickly as they won’t be around for long.  This is the perfect time to get plans ready for your Spring Vacation and the savings are pretty impressive.  For more information on flights, times, and rates check out JebBlue’s Winter Sale here.

Looking for more sales?  Check out the Sales and Specials Page to see what’s happening.

01/26/12

Free Tickets to Japan – Not anymore!

Fly to Japan!

Free Tickets to Japan were up for offer in the planning by Japan’s National Tourism Agency as announced in October 2011, but it looks as if the buget crunch has put a stop to that pipe dream.  Although Japan’s economy is slowly getting back to normal, the money just isn’t there.

On Decemer 26, 2011 the Japanese National Tourism Agency put out a press release telling everyone that the 10,000 FREE Tickets were not in this years budget plans and had been disapproved by the goverment.

The National Tourism Agency and the Japanese goverment have concluded that providing tickets to cities affected by tsunamis and earthquakes wasn’t such a good idea. 

Japan is still dealing with the aftermath of destruction that has thousands of people homeless and left animals to roam free in devistated areas.  The Japanese Real Time site talked about the current state of the country as still dealing with too much to committ money to promote tourism at this time.  Perhaps when things get back to normal this idea might be reviewed, but as for now it looks as if you’ll have to break out that wallet if you want to FLY TO JAPAN!

 

01/26/12

Dubai International Terminal Hotel

Traveling through Dubai anytime soon?

Dubai International Hotel

Dubai International Hotel located in the DXB airport

The Dubai International Airport is a large transit point for many travelers heading into the Middle East or beyond and many times the layover can be excessive.  For travelers interested in getting a few hours of sleep in a bed instead of the floor, the Dubai International Airport Terminal Hotel is a great option.

Leaving the airport to get to a hotel requires entry into the country and that means going through customs, fighting the long lines and dealing with the local cab drivers to get to somewhere decent, unless you choose to stay at the Airport Hotel.

The Dubai International Airport Terminal Hotel is located within the Dubai airport at the arrival level of the Sheikh Terminal and is a 4 star hotel with all the luxury amenities you need to keep you fresh on your long travels.

The Dubai International Hotel has all the things you need to keep you sane; fitness center, state of the art business center, indoor swimming pool, gourmet dining and of course, LATE ARRIVAL Guarantee.

Location, Location, Location…

 

The hotel is located in both Terminal 1 and 3 before you get to the Customs and Immigration desk so you will stay in the secured area, but that means you will not be allowed to collect your bags so be sure to carry a change of clothes and your necessities with you in a carry-on bag.

One other important note is to make sure you have your boarding pass for your continuing flight.  If you are transiting and have not gotten your next boarding pass you need to do this at one of the Transfer Desks located in the Terminals or be sure to print out your 2nd flight boarding pass before you leave your departure city.  Should you mistakenly leave the airport, understand that you will NOT be able to check in for your new flight until 3 hours prior to departure.

The Dubai International Hotel requires a 24 hours cancellation, so be sure to cancel if your plans change.  If you need more information about booking a reservation then visit their site and contact the front desk and be sure to read the FAQ page on their site for additional travel tips.

Important information

 

To contact the Dubai International Terminal Hotel directly from the US use this phone number to get to the operator and faster service;

From the US: 011 97 14 224 4000

Dubai International Airport and Services click this link here.

Current Flight information for Dubai International Airport click this link here for arrivals and departure times.

Transit Information click here.

Dubai City Information click here.

01/25/12

Southwest Airlines 3Day Click-N-Save Deals

Southwest Airlines 3Day Click – N – Save Deals are available until Jan 26 so don’t miss out on the opportunity for low fares.  These wonderful Tuesday/Wednesday sales are the chance to shake free from the chains that keep you shackled to your desk.

Find fares from as low as $69 each way but note you have to have tickets purchased by Jan 26 and you must have at least 10 days advance purchase to get these deals. Flights are valid from Feb 3 until May 16th just like the AirTran sale.

The partnership is almost a solid go as Southwest and AirTran combine to create a low – cost alternative to the higher priced airline fares.  Keep watch for more sales and remember Spring Break is right around the corner so now is the best time to set your travel dates and get that deal!

Check out other deals here.