A few weeks ago we reported on airlines cutting flights to match falling demand and save money. Another way the shrinking industry is offsetting losses is by introducing new fees.
It’s no secret that airlines, both here and abroad, have been sticking it to passengers, charging us for everything from checked baggage to blankets—even water. (A recent report from the Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics reveals airlines made an incredible 3.8 billion on such fees in the first six months of this year alone.)
Next week, however, the airline industry will hit a new low in its quest to separate travelers from their hard-earned dollars.
Tomorrow, September 22—besides being the first day of fall—also marks the 10th annual World Carfree Day! It’s not that we’re anti-driving (far from it), but it’s a great moment to consider using public transportation when you’re on a trip. The bonuses: you travel like a local, save money, and usually get there faster. Here are some tips to get you started:
Ready to ditch the humid summer heat of the East Coast? Hankering to go on a foodie tour of San Francisco’s North Bay or dine at some of the World’s Best Oyster Bars in the Bay Area or Seattle?
Good news, because West Coast airfares from New York City on Virgin America airlines (voted “Best Domestic Airline” in T+L’s 2009 World’s Best Awards) just dropped to $109 each way. Offers are good to these West Coast cities, and more:
The $109 fare is available for travel on Monday-Thursday and Saturdays between Aug. 28-Nov.18, Dec. 2-16 and Jan. 6- Feb. 10 (Friday and Sunday flights cost an extra $25). Tickets are on sale through September 8, but book quickly as certain flights may sell out.
For more information or to book, visit Virgin America.
Lyndsey Matthews is an editorial intern at Travelandleisure.com
Photo courtesy of Lyndsey Matthews
Attention would-be jetsetters, adventurers, vagabonds, and nomads: It’s time to call in that month-long sabbatical you've been due at work!
JetBlue has just announced an unprecedented deal aimed at people with a serious case of wanderlust. Through August 21, the airline is selling a month-long “All-You-Can-Jet” pass for $599 that offers travelers unlimited flights between September 8 and October 8, 2009 to any of the airline’s 56 destinations.
I admit it: I may the only Brooklynite left who hasn’t jumped on the bicycle trend. (Blame my Minnesota roots: I remain loyal to the birthplace of the Rollerblade.) But though I don’t own a bike at home, I do love to hop on two wheels to explore a city while on vacation, and am pleased report that more and more hotels are pedaling to, well, urban pedalers.
Have you visited Bing.com yet? I mentioned it briefly on Weekend Today a few weeks ago, but if you’re unfamiliar, Bing.com is Microsoft’s new search site—and its travel section is my current obsession.
I’m not sure about you, but when it comes to booking a flight, I get a little anxious. Is this the best fare possible? Am I going to get an Airfarewatchdog deals email and see that my $357 round-trip to Miami is now $275? Don’t fret: Help is on the way.
What is being touted as the most luxurious train in the world is now accepting bookings for its first season. And trust me, this ain’t Amtrak.
The Maharajas’ Express has four itineraries of six and seven nights and takes passengers to some of the most exotic destinations on the subcontinent, including Jaipur, Agra (home to the Taj Mahal), Varanasi, Delhi, Mumbai, and Udaipur (voted the best city in the known universe in the 2009 World’s Best Awards), among many others.
Looking for an exotic vacation that's also within reach? It’s likely you haven’t considered the United Arab Emirates, a country known to be the epitome of over-the-top luxury and conspicuous consumption. But with the debut of the country’s first low-cost airline, flydubai, (launching this week) and two new boutique hotels, there’s plenty of proof that the UAE—and Dubai in particular—are ready to welcome a new type of visitor: the budget traveler.
A new Muni bus line, dubbed the CultureBus, now services San Francisco's prominent cultural institutions. Bright yellow coaches bearing red "CB" logos will link the new California Academy of Sciences and the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum in Golden Gate Park with the Asian Art Museum in the Civic Center, Union Square, and all the museums in the Yerba Buena neighborhood. Riders will be able to enjoy everything from "penguins to Picasso."
Buses run daily every 20 minutes, from 8:40 a.m. to 5:50 p.m.; there's also an all-day, on-and-off fare of $7 ($5 for seniors and youths) that includes discounted admission to selected museums including the California Academy of Sciences and de Young museums. Ridership is projected to be between 168,000 and 250,000 per year. Today, 50 percent of visitors to the Bay Area ride the Muni system, especially the cable cars and historic F-line along the Embarcadero.