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Aer Lingus Launches New Business Class

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Aer Lingus is the latest airline to introduce a new-and-improved business class cabin, launching in 2015. And from what we can tell, the upgrades—and the fact that passengers will get pre-clearance from U.S. customs at Dublin Airport—will make it a solid option for travel across the pond. Here’s what you can expect:

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British Airways Launches 72-Hour Fare Hold

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Booking a flight but not quite ready to pull the trigger—and you’re worried the fare could go up the next day? We’re already big fans of Options Away, an app and website that allows you to lock in a specific airfare for up to 21 days by paying between $4 to $45. (Click here for a Q&A with the start-up’s co-founder Heidi Brown.) Now, as a result of customer feedback, British Airways has a similar option that lets flyers put flights on both BA and codeshare partner Iberia on hold for up to 72 hours for $10. Available now, the option shows up on the web page after you've selected your flights (look for the red box that says "Hold your flights and price"). Only one traveler’s name is required to hold flights, and seats can be held up to three weeks before departure. Note that some destinations are excluded; visit the website for the full list. 

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

Photo courtesy of John McKenna / Alamy

How to Prepare for an Icelandic Eruption

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Remember the great Eyjafjallajökull eruption of 2010 that spewed ash across European airspace, stranding millions of travelers throughout the continent—and beyond? Iceland may be giving us a repeat performance, this time care of the Bárðarbunga volcano (that's Bardarbunga to English speakers), which has been increasing its seismic activity over the last week.

A few days ago, the agency that monitors the volcano raised the threat level to the aviation industry to ”orange,” the second-highest rating, putting airlines around the world on alert for possible flight disruptions due to ash clouds. Though it’s still unclear if the volcano will actually erupt, travelers planning to fly to or through northern Europe in the coming weeks should be prepared. Here’s what you need to know:

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How I Got Over My Fear of Flying

Fear of Flying

Aaron Spelling had a train car. Aretha Franklin has a custom bus. Even Marge Simpson suffered from it. I came by my pteromerhanophobia (fear of flying) honestly: my mother wrote a novel called Fear of Flying. But it started even before that. My DNA was equal parts deoxyribonucleic acid and panic. This didn’t mean that I didn’t fly. I grew up on Pan Am Flight 002, a Boeing 747 that went from JFK to Delhi with a stop at London Heathrow. We flew Clipper Class (which was Pan Am’s old-school name for business). The flight was always chaotic, stuffed to the gills, hot as the inside of an oven, hours late, and populated almost entirely with screaming babies. At least that’s how I remember it.

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What Is an Airline Code Share?

Airline Code Share

If a carrier issues you a ticket for a flight operated by a different airline, that’s the result of a code-share agreement. This happens frequently between international alliance partners (SkyTeam; Oneworld; Star Alliance), but is not restricted to them. Be advised: not all code-share flights are equal in the eyes of your frequent-flier program; some may not count toward elite-​qualifying miles or segments.

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Luggage of the Month: Turnbull & Asser x Globe-Trotter

Luggage of the Month

Though the days of traveling with heavy trunks are over, the glamour of a classic leather steamer remains—and on wheels, thank goodness!

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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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Which Credit Card Points Program is Right for You?

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It’s pretty much indisputable that airlines are making frequent flyer miles harder to use. Across the board, we’ve seen programs increase the amount of miles needed for awards—all while restricting the amount of seats available at the lowest level and adding new fees. However, it isn’t all doomsday. Luckily, credit card bonuses are extremely lucrative and there are now more ways to earn miles than ever before. Whether from online shopping or dining out, you should be getting miles for almost every purchase.

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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

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