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What the Ebola Outbreak Means for Travelers—Updated

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As new cases of Ebola continue to be reported in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea—plus two each in Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo (the first outside of West Africa)—travel bans are increasing through the continent, implemented by both international airlines and local African governments. Here is what you need to know now.

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Expert Travel Tips from Twitter's Melissa Barnes

Melissa Barnes

Melissa Barnes, Twitter's head of global brands, shares her business travel tips, from how she fights jet-lag to her go-to app.

Q: How often do you travel?

A: Between 50% and 60% of my time is on the road.

Q: What is your go-to travel app?

A: American Airlines app. I've checked into many a flight as I'm speeding to the airport. (Disclaimer: I'm usually in the back of a cab and not driving when I'm checking in via my phone)

Q: What are your must-pack items?

A: A charger for my Mac, an international converter, workout clothes, a pair of heels, and a good dress. And I'm always packing a few extra super chargers for my phone. As long as I've got power, I can figure the rest out.

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Las Vegas’s New SLS Hotel, By the Numbers

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Las Vegas’s old Sahara Resort is being reborn as the SLS, a three-tower, Gensler-designed property on the north part of the Strip. Like its Miami counterpart, hotelier Sam Nazarian tasked Philippe Starck with creating a vision for the interiors, giving each of the buildings a distinctive look and feel.

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Beautified App Releases Version 2.0—Plus an Exclusive Travel-Friendly Beauty Kit

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Call it the HotelTonight of the beauty world: Beautified gives users the power to book last-minute haircuts, manicures, facials, massages, and more at salons and spas around New York—and in the coming months, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Today marks the launch of a completely redesigned app, one with twice as many spas and salons (including Bliss), plus a new fitness category that offers highly coveted classes from Barry’s Bootcamp, Body by Simone, Flywheel, and Physique 57.

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New Centurion Lounge Debuts at New York's LaGuardia Airport

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Less than a year after debuting a Centurion Lounge at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport—which we profiled in detail here—American Express is at it again, this time in New York LaGuardia's Terminal B. Like its counterparts in Texas and Las Vegas's McCarron International Airport, the 5,000-square-foot space provides all you would expect from a world-class airport lounge, including high-speed Wi-Fi; numerous power outlets; private, noise-buffering work stations; and a food-and-beverage program that goes beyond stale bagels for breakfast and an uninspired wine list.

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Pay-What-You-Want Hotel Program Launched in Paris

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Last winter, we loved Switzerland’s creative “pay what you want” hotel initiative—and for three weeks this summer, Paris is following in its neighbor’s footsteps. Now through August 10—peak high season—five Right Bank hotels in the City of Light are letting guests spend the night and then decide what they think their experience is worth.

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TSA Offers $15,000 for Ideas to Improve Airport Security Checkpoints

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Think you know what it takes to make airport security checkpoints less hellish? The Transportation Security Administration has put a call out for ideas on Innocentive, asking for ways to create a more efficient screening process that accommodates all levels of travelers—standard, premier, and TSA Pre✓™—employees, flight crews, and passengers in wheelchairs.

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Delta Airlines to Roll Out Free In-Flight Entertainment

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In a move that dramatically challenges the monetized world of inflight entertainment, Delta Airlines announced that all classes of passengers on domestic and regional flights longer than one and a half hours will be able to access movies, television shows, music, and video games for free.

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Finnair Opens New Helsinki Airport Lounge Complete with Finnish Sauna

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On August 4, Finnair is upping the airline lounge ante with a new Premium Lounge at Helsinki Airport, open to Platinum and Gold Finnair Plus members and other oneworld top-tier customers. Set near Gate 36 in the non-Schengen area, the space has interiors by dSign Vertti Kivi & Co—and includes everything you’d expect from the design-forward carrier: Eero Saarinen’s renowned Tulip and Womb chairs, Marimekko tableware, and Iittala Ultima Thule glasses—originally created for the airline in 1968. Other perks: private shower suites and a Finnish sauna, complete with Finland-made toiletries that incorporate forest berries.

Brooke Porter
Brooke Porter Katz is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1.

 

Photo courtesy of Finnair

Hawaiian Airlines Update: New Premium Economy Seats, Inter-Island Flights, and More

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Hawaiian Airlines—one of T+L's World's Best Airlines for food (and the only U.S. carrier to still serve complimentary meals in coach)—is the latest to invest in a new premium economy class, launching today. Installed on all A330 aircraft, the Extra Comfort seats have five more inches of legroom for a total 36 inches of pitch (on par with most other domestic carriers, though Virgin America and JetBlue both have 38 inches). Other benefits include priority boarding; free on-demand, in-seat entertainment; and personal power outlets. On international flights, travelers will also receive a souvenir pillow and blanket and premium meals.

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