Airlines Pitch Frequent-Flier Mile Deals to Travelers Wary of Covid

Besides wearing a mask on an airplane, there’s one other thing you should definitely do if you are traveling this fall or over the holidays: Use your miles.

A survey of pandemic award prices finds airlines are making award seats available at very cheap prices in miles or points. First-class seats, which give you a bit more social distance on board, are a particularly good value.

In its 10 busiest markets, United’s award seats for various travel dates in November averaged only 12,833 miles round trip, about half the cost of what traditionally has been a standard domestic coach ticket of 25,000 miles.

JetBlue

averaged only 15,167 points round trip. For first class, American was only 42,500 miles round-trip, Delta only 49,100 miles.

“The answer is a resounding yes—it is a good time to

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5 Houston luxury hotels take top spots on Conde Nast Traveler’s awards for best hotels in Texas

Magical getaways. Sumptuous digs. Over-the-top amenities. When a hotel lands on the coveted Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards List for Top 20 Hotels in Texas in 2020, it has arrived at its zenith for a luxury hotel. Never a town to disappoint when it comes to luxury accommodations, H-Town is home to several exclusive, extravagant hotels, including five that have landed a top spot on the list.

AUTUMN GETAWAY: Austin’s Hotel Magdalena brings design inspired by 1970s lakeside vibes


The Readers’ Choice Awards questionnaire is comprised of lists of possible candidates in different categories, and a minimum number of responses are required to be eligible for a Readers’ Choice Award.  The candidates are judged on a criteria which is specifically relevant to their category, based upon a five-point scale from excellent, very good, fair and poor.

Emerging as the top readers’ pick of all Houston hotels, the venerable Lancaster

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‘Handy Travel Mates’ Helps Travelers Find Top Luggage with Tips, Reviews, and More

'Handy Travel Mates' Helps Travelers Find Top Luggage with Tips, Reviews, and More

Handy Travel Mates helps consumers make informed decisions on travel bags, luggage, and even destinations

OCTOBER 6, 2020 – When wanderlust strikes, it’s imperative to be prepared with the best luggage. The team at Handy Travel Mates has come together, offering dynamic travel expertise, to create a website where travelers can find reviews and tips on travel bags and luggage, as well as an insider perspective of sought-after travel destinations.

For instance, Handy Travel Mates offers articles such as “7 Best Places to Visit in Germany in Winter” and “7 Most Beautiful Places in Austria” to help tourists get a look at some of the best travel spots.

“We’re here to help with our detailed guides, tutorials, and tips to help your trips go that much easier,” said the team at Handy Travel Mates. They’ve recently released articles such as “How to Attach a Luggage Tag” and “How to Keep

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Travel agents wait for the world to reopen from COVID shutdowns; here’s how they’re staying afloat with travelers wary of cruises and flights

NORTHAMPTON — The DRI-Voyage, as travel agent Martha S. Borawski describes it, is the travel option for people who normally like a cruise but are not getting on a plane — much less a cruise ship — anytime in the foreseeable future due to the risk of coronavirus.

“It’s a three-night hotel stay package you can drive to in your own car and I’ve got great deals lined up with hotels and resorts in the northeast,” says Borawski, president of Pioneer Valley Travel in Northampton, of the mini-vacation concept she originated in the midst of the pandemic.

She’s been working at the family-owned business for 50 years.

The DRI-Voyage is one option for travelers concerned about venturing out amid the pandemic, focused on destinations within two- to three-hour drives from Western Massachusetts. So, too, are deals she’s worked out with RV rental companies for driving tours in the United States

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DIA, Southwest Airlines try to calm travelers’ nerves ahead of holiday travel season amid COVID-19

Tom Starr, Southwest Airlines’ general manager at Denver International Airport, donned a surgical mask and safety vest Tuesday morning. Just after 10 a.m. he called for the attention of the corporate travel managers gathered around him. He was about to lead them on a tour from the check-in counter to a Southwest gate on the airport’s Concourse C with a focus on COVID-19 safety and cleaning efforts.

“My goal is to walk you through what travelers will experience,” Starr said, “and help us all build some confidence in travel.”

National air traffic was down about 68% in late September compared to the same time in 2019, according to DIA officials. During the week of Sept. 20-26, 214,459 people passed through the airport’s security lines, 53% fewer than the same week in 2019, officials say.

But Denver’s airport is seeing more people than most.

“We have been about 10% above the

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No major airport near you? Here’s how expert travelers still get amazing flight deals



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Savvy travelers know that the rush of nabbing an amazing mistake fare or unbelievably good flight deal is almost as exciting as the trip itself. But have you ever wondered how the experts do it — or how people who don’t live in areas served by major airports like Los Angeles or New York can get in on the killer deals?

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For travelers who live in smaller cities and rural areas, positioning flights are the secret hack you should keep in your back pocket, Sometimes, it makes sense to book an entirely separate round-trip ticket to get to the flight deal’s departure airport, then back home again at the end of your

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Travelers Can Enjoy Private Barge Cruises With A&K

Travelers planning trips in 2021 are looking to create safe travel bubbles and one way they are doing that is by booking barge cruises in Europe.



a car parked on the side of a road: Rendez-Vous barge in Europe.


© Abercrombie & Kent
Rendez-Vous barge in Europe.

Barges are an ideal way to explore regardless of the pandemic. They provide privacy, freedom and flexibility, and they are a relaxing, comfortable and slow-paced way to see some of Europe’s most famous attractions and off-the-beaten-path areas. Abercrombie & Kent (A&K) is highlighting the many advantages this type of travel presents at this time.

“Barge cruising encompasses so much of what we’ve learned to appreciate over the last few months at home. It’s all about traveling at a slower pace to immerse yourself in one region, and spending time outside—biking along picturesque towpaths, strolling through uncrowded local villages or simply watching the passing scenery from a cozy deck chair,” explained Liam Dunch, A&K product manager, Europe.

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Black travelers want the travel industry to stop taking them for granted

“I feel taken for granted,” said Williams, who said she spends as much time researching other Black travelers’ experiences of places she visits as she does the best rates and attractions.

Now a formal campaign is pushing travel brands and destination management organizations to stand behind their public expressions of support for racial justice with greater diversity and representation.

“The travel industry should reflect the world it represents,” said Davida Wulff-Vanderpuije, a Black travel writer and founder of the blog Wonders of Wanders. “We all get the same joy from travel. It’s not limited to just one group.”

Black travelers, however, describe very different experiences from white travelers.

When she was the only Black guest on a cruise, Wulff-Vanderpuije recounted, other passengers assumed she was an employee. “I’m not dressed in a uniform, I’m here holding a glass of champagne like you are,” she said. “Why do you assume I’m

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Asia’s coronavirus ‘travel bubbles’ fail to form, and travelers face a long winter at home

With the end of the year approaching, travelers holding onto hope they may still get to enjoy a quick winter escape in Asia are facing some hard truths right now.



a small boat in a body of water: In this photo taken on August 18, 2020 a taxi boat is anchored along an empty beach in Chalok Baan Kao Bay in Koh Tao island in the Gulf of Thailand.


© ROMEO GACAD/AFP/AFP via Getty Images
In this photo taken on August 18, 2020 a taxi boat is anchored along an empty beach in Chalok Baan Kao Bay in Koh Tao island in the Gulf of Thailand.

Christmas on the beach in Phuket? Highly unlikely — unless you’re willing to quarantine in a hotel for two weeks first.

Lunar New Year in Bali next February? Don’t book those flights just yet.



a group of people lying on a sandy beach: Though closed to international tourism, Bali remains open to domestic tourists.


© SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/Getty Images
Though closed to international tourism, Bali remains open to domestic tourists.

The list of countries in the region that are off limits to most leisure travel remains long and, according to the experts, is likely to remain that way for some time yet.

In early

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Trump bars American travelers from more than 400 hotels

CLOSE

President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that Americans won’t be allowed to bring home cigars and rum from Cuba under new sanctions likely to appeal to Cuban-Americans, a crucial voting bloc in the battleground state of Florida. (Sept. 23)

AP Domestic

Americans visiting Cuba are going to be prohibited from staying at 433 hotels that are believed to be owned or controlled by the government or “certain well-connected insiders,” the State Department announced Wednesday.

The order was taken as part of a broader effort announced by President Donald Trump to tighten restrictions on the Cuban government, a sharp reversal from the more open policies toward the island nation under President Barack Obama.

“Today we reaffirm our ironclad solidarity with the Cuban people and our eternal conviction that freedom will prevail over the sinister forces of communism and evil in many different forms,” Trump said in remarks meant to honor veterans

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