Thanks to the recent U.S. launch of AirHelp, Americans have an easy way of filing claims if a flight from or within the European Union is delayed, cancelled, or overbooked. (Flights from the U.S. to the EU are covered only if operated by an EU-based carrier.) Under EU regulations, compensation can be as high as $800, but according to AirHelp founders Henrik Zillmer and Nicolas Michaelsen, only 2% of eligible flyers make claims—and only .06% actually receives what’s due.
It's been a rough week for airlines on social media.
After a Dutch teenager jokingly tweeted a bomb threat to American Airlines—she has since been arrested—the air carrier is now fielding dozens of other fake bomb threats over Twitter.
Meanwhile, U.S. Airways, is in crisis mode after it accidentally included a pornographic picture in one of its tweets. Even though the airline deleted the Tweet soon after, the image had already gone viral, with thousands of responders mocking U.S. Airways.
One bright spot: Southwest Airlines had a hit with its stand-up comic flight attendant delivering one of the coolest safety briefings we've ever heard. (Watch video above.) If you're going to go viral, that's the way to do it.
Peter Schlesinger is a research assistant at Travel + Leisure and a member of the Trip Doctor news team. You can find him on Twitter at @pschles08.
Q: I’m headed to Napa for a food festival and need to keep my luggage light (so I have plenty of room for edible souvenirs!). How can I maximize my travel wardrobe? —Rebecca Wasserman, via e-mail
A: Two words: convertible clothing. These pieces work double- or even triple-duty, wherever you roam.
This two-sided silk dress (pictured) can go glam for cocktail hour (just add heels and sparkling accessories). $349, Durga-Kali.
I’ve long loved Rome 2 Rio as a transportation guide: it tells you every possible way to get from Point A to Point B, and offers in-line prices and itineraries. Since I started using it, I’ve realized just how efficient train travel can be—factor in security lines and early airport arrivals, and the train can take less time than flying, depending on where you’re going. For the first time, an OTA is in agreement, as CheapAir has announced today that it will be integrating Amtrakrailway reservations into its flight search system. Now, when you search for routes connecting, say, New York and Boston, you’ll see airfares interspersed with train routes, so you can compare prices and schedules. Better yet, you can mix and match airfares and train reservations, so that you can capitalize on a discounted international flight that leaves from a city a few hours away.
Soledad O’Brien, Journalist: “I grab a bag of Swedish Fish when I’m running to a flight—pure sugar, delicious, and chewy.”
Simon Doonan, Creative Ambassador, Barneys NY: “I am a health nut, so I am all about Starbucks oatmeal and a bag of almonds. If push comes to shove I will go for a California Pizza Kitchen blowout.”
Sam Shank, CEO, Hotel Tonight: “A double americano and a chocolate-chip cookie.”
Dylan Lauren, Founder, Dylan’s Candy Bar: “A box of Jujubes. If I can, McDonald’s for a diet Coke. Fountain sodas taste better.”
Mario Batali, Chef/Restaurateur: “I do not eat at airports ever, except for Rick Bayless’s place in Chicago’s O’Hare.”
Still hesitating about heading Brazil for the FIFA World Cup (June 12-July 13)? The game plan just got a little easier: Brazilian airline, TAM has scheduled 750 additional flights for the tournament period, including hops between the 12 cities hosting matches.
See Brazil in Best Places to Travel Now
Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.
Photo: Robert Whitman
There have been a boatload of travel innovations revealed today, and the Trip Doctor news team is pretty excited about them all. Here are a few of our favorites:
Microclimates on a Plane: Soon, passengers flying Virgin America will be able to set the temperature for their immediate surroundings thanks to a new partnership with thermostat company Nest (see video above). Expect the "Nest-controlled microclimates," with temperature settings ranging from "Cancun Afternoon" to "Chicago Polar Vortex," on Boston- and Newark-bound flights from both Los Angeles and San Francisco first, with implementation on all routes completed by the end of 2014.
Forget the 30-second elevator pitch: now you can have an entire three-hour flight to bounce ideas off your industry icon or dream business partner on Delta Air Lines’ new Innovation Class.
A few months ago, Delta eliminated free Delta Sky Club guest passes for American Express Platinum, Centurion, and Delta Reserve cardholders. But credit card company seems to be making up for the loss in it’s new partnership with Boingo: free, unlimited Wi-Fi. Starting this June, Platinum, Centurion, and Corporate Gold card members will have access to more than a million hotspots in airports, hotels, and retail locations around the world on up to four devices. We know what you’re thinking, and unfortunately, the answer is no—this does not include inflight Wi-Fi.
Brooke Porter Katz is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1.
Photo courtesy of American Express and Boingo
True or false: booking a hotel and airfare package is cheaper than booking each component separately. If you guessed true, you’re right—most of the time, anyway. But there are exceptions. Helping you navigate those murky waters is Kayak, which has just launched a tool to aggregate package pricing and help you find the best options.