Best Travel Deals and News – January 18, 2011 – New Airline Fees, Find Cheap Flights, Saving Money in Tokyo, Rate Your Flight and Airline on TripAdvisor

by brian on January 19, 2011

Travel news and deals of interest to YOU from around the Web compiled and edited by

If you know any great travel stories or tips we all should read, please send it to me and I will put an acknowledgment of your contribution in the posting.

Why Cruise Ship Lines Are Leaving California

The article states that the poor economy and violence in Mexico are the reason cruise ships are pulling out. Reading in the comments below the story, someone mentions the higher fuel standards required by being in California could be the real reason the cruise lines are leaving. Set up your home port in another country and you don’t need to do that. Cruise lines also will be able to pay less for fuel. Hmmmm….

10 Ways To Score Free Hotel Upgrades

You might have to give away a little information, but you can get an upgrade. Before you tell the front desk it’s your birthday, try using one of the other methods first.

Travel Video of the Week
Health and Beauty Secrets for Long Haul Flights
The folks at Air New Zealand put together a short video on things you can do to keep yourself fresh and looking and feeling good during flight and after landing. Drink water and sleep would be two good ideas right off the top.

Delta Asking Pax to Bid on How Much They Would Take to Get Bumped From a Flight

I didn’t know this but Delta allows you to bid on how much money you would take to be bumped from your flight. The airlines are hoping that people will bid down so that they can save money. Depending on the circumstances, Delta can offer up to $500 for someone to be voluntarily bumped. Now suppose everyone is willing to take $200? That is a significant savings for Delta. Travelers, don’t shortchange yourself or your fellow passengers. Let’s see if this spreads to other carriers.

What’s at stake in fight between American Airlines and online travel agencies

Will American Airlines come back to Expedia and Orbitz? Unless you are specifically looking for them, if you do a search on Orbitz and see don’t see American, you have to consciously go to the American site and plug in your flight informaiton. I would love to know if their bookings have gone down since being pulled from the online travel agencies (OTA). There is too much money being left on the table for both the airlines and OTAs. I think some agreement is reached is eventually reached.

Travelers Can Now Rate Airlines on TripAdvisor

With all the ratings that will be on TripAdvisor, will this sway people from booking on an airline because of mediocore service? Or will saving $100 on a round trip ticket make you turn a blind eye to the dismal reviews a particular airline may receive?

To be honest, I think all the airlines reviews will look alike and the reviews won’t damage any one carrier more than the other. I’m talking about the US carriers. Most would say they are dismal to begin with. Airlines in Asia are fantastic and I’ll bet will get higher marks than their US counterparts.

11 Ways to Save Big on a Trip to Japan

I didn’t leave Tokyo when I visited Japan, but if I did I would have loved to have gone to other cities on the Japanese bullet train or ‘shinkansen’. Rail passes and other great tips for Japan are in the article. Japan can be very pricey, but there are good ways to limit the damage to your pockets.

Which credit card companies besides Capital One drop foreign exchange fees?

Capital One has been the one company travelers have known and recommended as being foreign exchange fee free but other cards are getting hip to the advantage this gives travelers. Credit card companies want you to charge because they will get those interest payments. Anything that will entice you to use their card they are willing to do. They will eat the cost of the transaction fee to get your long term interest payments.

When Is An Airpass Worth It?

I like this quick comparison between air passes that allow you to fly extensively in a region for a price lower that if you booked tickets separately. Round the World tickets from the airline alliances, from ticket brokers and even JetBlue’s All You Can Fly to all its destinations can give you great bang for the buck if you have the time to use them. But there are restrictions so definitely read the fine print.

You may not want to fly these weeks in ’11-The 5 busiest U.S. air travel weeks of 2010

Not just Thanksgiving and Christmas week, there are other weeks of the year you may want to avoid taking to the skies.

11 New Airline Fees We Might See in 2011- Airlines Make > $700 Million a Month in Fees

Fees have saved the airline industry while at the same time annoying passengers to death by 1000 fee cuts. The author goes into what might be coming for future fees. I hope he is wrong on all counts…

5 Ways to Find Cheap Flights in 2011

One thing the article mentions was NOT using the closest airport. Don’t get locked into a particular airport because it is closest to you. Can you fly out of Newark EWK instead of Kennedy JFK? How about Charles De Gaulle vs Orly in Paris? Or Narita vs Haneda in Tokyo? The cost could be significantly lower by just changing the airport. Try the smaller airports also. Could a $25 cab ride save you $300 on a round trip ticket? Try it next time you need to book a flight.

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