Greetings from hot and smoky Southern California. Fortunately, what we’re experiencing is nothing compared to Northern California but the air quality here is still pretty bad and there’s ash on parked cars and balconies. I have mad respect for the first responders and those battling these fires. The experts say it’s not even peak fire season yet so that’s unsettling. BTW: The photo above was taken on Saturday around 9am; we beat the long weekend beach crowds by going early and leaving early.
Good To Know: Anyone who smells smoke or sees ash should limit their outdoor exposure and keep windows and doors closed.
Really Good To Know: Real Time Air Quality Monitoring.
It’s hard to believe that Labor Day has come and gone, that kids are now back in school, whether it’s in-person or virtual, and that summer is unofficially over. Speaking of children, we’ve rounded up some face mask options for kids, which are great if you’re running errands, traveling or sending your kids back to school. We are keeping Jack home from preschool this semester so things are busy at our house, keeping the two little ones entertained. The other day, I overhead Natalie saying, “Jack! Stop kicking your sister!” Jack replied (in his sweet and innocent voice), “I’m not kicking her, I’m hugging her with my feet.” I hope everyone who’s got kids going back to school during these surreal times has a wonderful and successful school year.
Busy Labor Day Weekend at TSA Checkpoints
I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing since we’re in a middle of a pandemic. But it was a busy Labor Day Weekend at TSA checkpoints nationwide: Passenger volume on Friday (“getaway day”), September 4 was 968,673; on Saturday, September 5 it was 664,640; on Sunday, Sept. 6 it was 689,630; on Monday (“return home day”), September 8 it was 935,308. Labor Day weekend air traffic surged but was still down 60% from last year. And on Tuesday, September 8 there were 704,075 individuals at airport security checkpoints.
JetBlue To Fly Nonstop Between Palm Beach (PBI) and Los Angeles (LAX)
Great news for those that travel between L.A. and South Florida. JetBlue announced plans today to begin flying between Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The new daily nonstop service is scheduled to begin on November 19, 2020 which is just in time for Thanksgiving and the winter season.
Hawaiian Airlines Bids Aloha to Change Fees for All Flights
Some more good airline news: Hawaiian Airlines has joined United, Delta, American and Alaska Airlines in nixing the dreaded change fee (Southwest Airlines never had them). Effective immediately, Hawaiian Airlines eliminated change fees for guests who purchase tickets or redeem HawaiianMiles for Main Cabin, Extra Comfort or First/Premium Cabin Class seats. Main Cabin Basic guests, who buy the lowest fares between the U.S. mainland and Hawaii, can modify their flight date without a change fee for tickets purchased just through the end of the year under the airline’s existing COVID-19 waivers.
Now we’re just waiting for JetBlue to join the party.
Boeing Admits a New Manufacturing Flaw on the 787 and Tallies More 737 MAX Cancellations
More trouble for Boeing according to the Seattle Times: “Boeing on Tuesday disclosed a new manufacturing quality issue with the 787 Dreamliner, this time with assembly of the airplane’s horizontal tail in Salt Lake City. The disclosure comes after last week’s revelations of quality control problems at Boeing’s South Carolina plant affecting the 787’s aft fuselage.”
Travel Tweet of The Week:
Joe Brancatelli (@joesentme)
“The ultimate irony: China is now demanding potential U.S. visitors have proof of a negative Coronavirus test within three days of boarding a flight …” Full story.
USA Passport No Longer One of the Most Powerful
According to Quartz and the Passport Index: Last year, a US passport was one of the most powerful ones in the world. Thanks to our government’s mishandling it, a US passport holder can only travel to 86 countries without a pre-approved visa (as of September 2).
Woman Banned From American Airlines After Calling Flight Attendant ‘Mask Nazi’
TMZ: “A woman had the audacity to call an American Airlines flight attendant a “mask nazi” — and several other choice phrases — after she was asked to properly wear her face mask, and now she’s been banned for life.”
Allegiant Air Removes Man For ‘Disrupting’ Flight After He Allegedly Asked Flight Attendant To Wear Face Mask
Newsweek: “Even while wearing a mask, it’s possible to be removed from a flight for violating guidelines. A man was deplaned from an Allegiant Air flight Monday morning after he allegedly asked a flight attendant to put a face mask on.”
U.S. Airlines Have Banned 700-Plus Passengers For Not Wearing Masks
L.A. Times: “Delta Air Lines leads all carriers, having placed 270 passengers on its “no fly” list for flouting its mask policy. It’s followed by United Airlines, with 150; Spirit Airlines, 128; Frontier Airlines, 106; Alaska Airlines, 78; and Hawaiian Airlines, six.”
$1,000 Fines In Canada For Flying Without a Mask
Travel Industry Today: “Two Canadian airline passengers each face fines of $1,000 for refusing to wear face masks on board a flight, the first time Transport Canada has imposed a financial penalty for violating rules meant to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
American Airlines Allows Black Lives Matter Pins on Uniforms
MSN: “American Airlines is now allowing its employees to wear a Black Lives Matter pin on their uniforms, the airline said in a statement Monday. The decision comes after American Airlines employees saw people at other companies wearing BLM pins and asked if they could do the same. “American Airlines believes in equity and inclusion for all,” the company said in its statement. “Fundamentally, we believe Black Lives Matter is an expression of equality, not a political statement,” the statement continued. “It doesn’t mean other lives don’t matter, rather that in our society Black lives should matter and be valued the same as others.”
‘You Matter To Us’: Delta Air Lines Upgrades Black Traveler Harassed By White Flyer
USA Today: Demetria Poe is applauding Delta Air Lines for “taking a stance” against racism and discrimination after she was harassed by her seatmate during a recent flight from Minneapolis to Washington, D.C.
Americans Are Historically Glum, Travel Might Help
TravelIndustryToday.com: “Americans, apparently, are not happy people. Go figure. Mired in an out-of-control pandemic, unabated civil unrest, and a bitter, cartoonish federal election that illustrates deep divisions in the country, studies south of the border report that US citizens are experiencing their lowest levels of happiness in 50 years. Enter the US travel industry, which is ready to help. It aims to tell travelers: “When it’s time for you, we’ll be ready,” says USTA President and CEO Roger Dow, whose organization is supporting the activities of the coalition. “There is pleasure in planning travel, and when the moment is right, the industry is committed to being well-prepared for the safe return of travelers.”
Everything You Need to Know About Hawaii During COVID-19 and When Can We Visit Again?
Since so many people want to know what’s going on in Hawaii these days, when the islands will open to tourists and what it’s like to live there during a quarantine, I asked Hawaii guru Nathan Kam if he wanted to sit down for a virtual chat. He obliged and you can listen to or watch the interview here!
You Can Sleep in a Giant Barrel in a Blue Agave Field Near Tequila, Mexico
MSN: “Matices, Hotel de Barricas (literally meaning hotel of barrels) is a boutique hotel located within a tequila distillery just outside the Mexican town of Tequila, which is where the drink was invented. If you’re not feeling bothered by the excessive use of the word “tequila” so far, then this hotel is probably just for you. Matices offers visitors the chance to stay in a giant, barrel-shaped room that looks and feels just like an actual tequila barrel, all while being surrounded by a field of blue agave, the plant used in the production of tequila.”
7 Face Masks for Kids
Finding a face mask that your child feels safe and comfortable in and one that fits well is extremely important, whether you’re just running errands or planning to travel.
5 Ways to Prevent Motion Sickness on a Road Trip
Here are five tips to help you prevent motion sickness so you can enjoy a road trip without worry.
How To Rent An RV That Works For Your Travels
Are you trying to figure out how to rent an RV for the trip of a lifetime? Comparing RV rentals isn’t exactly like researching hotels or vacation rentals.
How to Stay Safe and Conserve Energy During Extreme Heat
For anyone who lives in or vacations in a hot climate here’s some timely advice.
Two Ways to Remove Beach Tar From Your Feet
I’m not sure if this is just a Southern California problem or not but oftentimes, when we go to the beach, we find patches of tar in the sand that range in size from a pea to a softball. And inevitably, despite your best efforts to avoid it, you end up stepping on some and finding patches of black tar on the soles of your feet that are almost impossible to remove. Here’s how to remove it.
–JetBlue Sale: ALL U.S. flights on sale! Book by 9/10 and travel 9/22/20–2/10/21. Mon-Thu & Sat travel. Blackout dates: 11/21–11/30 & 12/19–1/4.
–Southwest Airlines Sale: Book by 9/9 11:59 p.m. Central Time. Nonrefundable. Seats, travel days, and markets limited. Blackout dates apply. Fares valid on nonstop service where indicated; if not indicated, fares are valid on single connecting service. Continental U.S. travel valid September 29, 2020 through March 4, 2021. Travel to/from Hawaii valid November 1, 2020 through April 8, 2021. Points bookings do not include government fees from $5.60 per one-way flight.
–Deals & Tips — Miami Hotels & Activities, Save up to 50%
–$32 & up — Miami Car Rentals
–$19 & up — Fort Lauderdale Car Rentals
–$34 & up — New York City Car Rentals
–$24 & up — Las Vegas Car Rentals
–$19 & up — Los Angeles Car Rentals
–Up to 40% Off — Rent an SUV for Trips Through September
–$1399 & up — Luxe Mediterranean Summer Cruise w/Free Upgrade
–$2199 & up — Luxe Greek Isles 10-Night Summer Cruise w/Free Upgrade
-Marriott Bonvoy Escapes: Marriott Bonvoy Escapes is a five-day sale that launches every Wednesday. Marriott Bonvoy members save 25% and non-members save 20% on stays at participating hotels throughout the United States, Canada, Caribbean, and Latin America. Marriott Bonvoy members always earn points, receive the best rates guaranteed, flexible cancellation policy, free Wi-Fi, and mobile check-in. Visit the Marriott Bonvoy™ Escapes website every Wednesday to book stays for the following four weekends (Thursday through Sunday), and seven days of the week at resorts. The minimum stay is one night, and deals can be accessed and booked at http://www.marriottbonvoy.com/escapes. Destinations and participating hotels vary each week.
-Marriott Bonvoy Summer/Fall Promotion: Marriott Bonvoy members planning a staycation or a getaway trip who register for the promotion will receive 2,500 bonus points for their first and second upcoming paid stays, at participating brands and hotels, plus a one-time bonus of 5,000 additional points after their third paid stay. There is no limit to the number of bonus points members may earn with this promotion. This means members will continue to receive 2,500 bonus points for every paid stay thereafter throughout the promotional period (now through October 18, 2020). Marriott Bonvoy™ members can register for the program here.
Once again, there’s a ton of travel news so I created separate posts for each category (air, cruise, domestic, international…) to help organize it. Below are links to most of the major travel industry stories…
Airline and Airport News:
- Nearly 1,000 flights in Canada have carried COVID-positive passengers since February
- United Airlines announced plans to expand its global route network with new nonstop service to Africa, India and Hawaii.
- See all the airline and airport news that’s got people talking this week…
- Has MSC Cruises cracked the code for a safe return of cruising?
- Two UK Cruise Lines First to Restart Cruising in the UK
- See all the cruise news that’s got people talking this week…
- ‘You matter to us’: Delta Air Lines upgrades Black traveler harassed by white flyer
- A Brooklyn couple was pulled from a city ferry in handcuffs on Saturday night after refusing the captain’s order to wear a mask or leave the boat.
- See all the domestic travel news that’s got people talking this week…
International Travel News:
- UK Man avoids wearing face mask on Tenerife flight by making tube of Pringles last four hours
- Welcome to Covid Island! Only Tourists Who’ve Been Infected Are Allowed
- See all the international travel news that’s got people talking this week…
Hotel and Lodging Travel News:
- Marriott to Lay Off 17 Percent of Corporate Headquarters Staff in October
- Luxury hotels are now COVID havens
- See all the hotel and lodging news that’s got people talking this week…
Miscellaneous Travel News:
- Obesity increases risk of complications from Covid-19, damages vaccine efficacy, study finds
- 14 Things You Probably Never Knew About Grocery Store Produce
- See the rest of the travel news that’s got people talking this week…