Last Saturday, the Olympic Torch relay set off in Great Britain and began a 70-day journey through the United Kingdom that will end on July 27 at the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games. The countdown has begun.
Set on making it across the pond this summer? It’s not too late—but you must act now! To inspire you procrastinators to begin booking, we present our last-minute get-to-London guide.
The good news: flights to the city’s hub airports (Heathrow, Gatwick, London City) are still available. Right now, a search of round-trip fares from major U.S. cities range from $1,100 to $1,500. Departing from Chicago, you’ll fork over about $1,200 for a round-trip economy ticket on Virgin Atlantic Airways (a seat in the carrier’s newly revamped Upper Class cabin will cost you $2,800).
These fares are steep—and getting steeper—but they aren’t higher than this time last year. “I don’t think airlines are price gauging,” says George Hobica, founder of AirfareWatchdog.com, a site that monitors ticket prices. “It’s still the summer season and we’re seeing reasonable fares for this time of year.”
You know how when you take a bus, and there happens to be that one person who opts to spend the entire ride on their cell phone, and it’s always a really loud conversation, and the whole time you sit there gritting your teeth and trying not to have a meltdown? (Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic.) Well this same pleasure is making its way onto a different kind of bus. An Airbus. Virgin Atlantic’s Airbus A330, to be exact.
JetBlue is holding one of its short-term, big-savings sales. Book today and you can fly between NYC and Nantucket for just $39. The sale covers travel between May 22 through June 21, 2012 and there are some blackout dates. The airline flies to all sorts of delightful destinations—St. Thomas, Turks and Caicos, New Orleans, Martha’s Vineyard—just looking at the list of places could launch an impromptu late spring/early summer vacation plan.
You may have heard the news: Spirit Airlines, one of the first carriers to implement a carry-on fee, will charge up to $100 per bag starting November 6.
That’s up from $45, the current carry-on cost for customers who wait and pay at the departure gate. Even if you plan ahead, you’ll still have to fork over a fee: the carry-on price at the airport kiosk will increase to $50 from $40. (Spirit considers carry-ons to be luggage stored in the overhead bin—passengers will still be entitled to a free personal item that can fit under the seat.)
What can you do to avoid a carry-on crisis the next time you travel?
We couldn't believe until we saw it. But it's real: Virgin Atlantic molded the likeness of the company's president, Richard Branson, into its ice cubes. Passengers in the airline's new upper-class cabin can look forward to "drinking with" Sir Richard starting later this month.
Lyndsey Matthews is an assistant digital editor at Travel + Leisure.
Dutch airline KLM has recently launched Meet & Seat, a program that ensures that you’ll probably LIKE your seatmate, even before takeoff.
Meet & Seat allows passengers with reservations to view the social media profiles of other passengers who’ve already selected their seats and who have opted to share their Facebook or LinkedIn info. The service is not yet available on every KLM flight.
I can think of few instances in which I would employ Meet & Seat: Say, if Viggo Mortensen were flying coach and decided to identify himself via Facebook. Not likely, right? I guess I will continue to use airplane time to read novels and trashy magazines and not chat with my seatmate until the landing gear has been engaged.
Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure.
Travel Pulse | Virgin Atlantic Airways has introduced a new Upper Class cabin that is part of its £100 million redesign of the Upper Class product. Virgin has created a new website that has a virtual tour of the new cabin. The site links to more than 40 YouTube videos that feature the new cabin.
The new cabin features an eight-foot-long bar billed as the longest in the sky...
According to the SEC, Form 8-K is the 'current report' companies file with the SEC to announce major events that must be disclosed to shareholders.
American Airlines has said it wants to emerge from bankruptcy as a standalone carrier. American Airlines parent AMR, which filed for bankruptcy protection on Nov. 29, 2011, is trying to slash its annual labor costs by $1.25 billion and emerge from court supervision. Next week, the struggling airline will try to convince a bankruptcy judge to let it void existing union contracts and impose new ones to secure those spending cuts.
Ever heard of an "Air Cruise"? Neither had we. But that’s the MO behind Mauiva, a budding travel company that launched last June with an out-of-the-box idea: bringing the cruise concept out the sea and into the sky. And why not? Taking to the skies means less time in transit, more time to explore, and luxury bragging rights to spare (travelers fly by private plane, and spend nights at four-star hotels along the way). After a quiet—but successful—launch with itineraries on the East and West Coasts, Mauiva is announcing today that it's making waves along one of the most traditional cruise routes—the Caribbean.