Adelman Travel Newsline
It's like stepping into a fairytale
Adelman's Amy Kemper recently experienced life in the beautiful Swiss town of Lucerne. Located on the north end of Lake Lucerne and with the mountains as its back drop, this historic Swiss hamlet is "stunningly beautiful," according to Amy. "I felt like I was in a fairytale the whole time with the quaint and colorful timber-framed architecture that borders the stone streets of the Old Town," said Amy. Lucerne and its car-free Old Town area are compact and easy to explore, with the main sights being within walking distance. "Lucerne also features an easy-to-use bus system if your hotel is on the outskirts," Amy notes.
One of the most iconic sites in Lucerne is the Kapellbrücke, otherwise known as Chapel Bridge. This spectacular covered wooden bridge, which was originally built in 1333, is especially interesting because it has more than 100 17th-century pictures hanging from the roof rafters inside that depict patron saints and scenes from Lucerne's past.
Other interesting sites include several historic churches, museums, a second covered bridge and the famous Lion Monument. The monument is a memorial to the soldiers who lost their lives during the French Revolution and features a huge figure of a dying lion, which was carved into the side of the sheer rock face.
No matter what time of year you visit, Lucerne is great for outdoor enthusiasts who will enjoy the beautiful lake in any season. Lucerne also serves as a convenient base for taking day trips into the mountains. If visiting in the winter, there is plenty of great skiing and other cold weather sports including snowshoeing and tobogganing within easy reach of Lucerne by public transportation?even by boat.
Lucerne also features great shopping and restaurants. According to Amy, "We had an amazing lunch in Lucerne with fondue and wine! The cheese blend was specially made for the restaurant ? It was delicious!" If you would like to learn more about this charming town, please give Amy or any of our professional vacation consultants a call at 800-749-7116, or visit our website at www.adelmanvacations.com.
Airport workers vote to strike at O'Hare on Nov. 29
About 500 airport workers including baggage handlers, cabin cleaners, janitors and wheelchair attendants voted to strike at Chicago O'Hare airport on Tuesday, November 29. The workers, which are being supported by the Service Employees International Union, are seeking better wages along with union rights. The strike is deliberately planned for after the busy Thanksgiving week as "It was never their intent to disrupt travel," a spokesman said. The length of the strike has not yet been determined, according to union officials.
The effects of such a strike are unclear at this point. The Chicago Department of Aviation has said it is not anticipating any disruption in service and officials from both American Airlines and United have said they are taking steps to avoid inconveniences for their customers. However, any disruptions at O'Hare could have a ripple effect on flights across the country.
Travelers should also note that on the same day, fast food employees from McDonald's in 340 cities and other supporters are also planning rallies at O'Hare, Los Angeles International and Newark-Liberty International Airports.
Travel made easier just in time for the holidays
Several new enhancements have been unveiled that are designed to make travel easier. Both American Airlines and United have opened new automated security screening lines at Chicago O'Hare. The new lanes automate many of the tasks at security screening checkpoints such as drawing bags into the x-ray machines, returning bins back to the start of the line and diverting bags that need additional inspection. Similar to the automated checkpoints first launched in Atlanta, these new systems are said to reduce checkpoint wait times by 30 percent. American Airlines officials said the automated lanes will also be deployed in Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami and New York's JFK as soon as possible.
The Transportation Security Administration is testing a new system that will provide travelers with details about when Precheck lanes are open at specific airports. To view this information, visit www.tsa.gov/precheck/schedule. TSA officials note, if a Precheck lane is not open, travelers can still show their TSA Precheck boarding pass to a security officer to receive expedited screening in a standard lane.
Then, global airport information provider FlightSpeak has launched a new mobile app called Checkpoint, which provides security wait times so that travelers can better anticipate security line delays at the busiest airports worldwide. The company says, "The new feature leverages a combination of flight volumes, weather information and machine learning to improve wait time estimation accuracy. The app also enables passengers to upload their own security wait times, providing current real-time estimates based on real-world experiences."
Changes are on the horizon for the Alaska Airlines' Mileage Plan loyalty program. The carrier will begin considering fare class when awarding upgrades from coach to first class. Elite status will still be used in determining top priority then passengers paying higher fares will be given the next highest priority. Starting Dec. 5, Mileage Plan members with elite status who book coach award tickets will be eligible for complimentary first class upgrades. Then starting in January, elite members will also be able to upgrade to Alaska's premium-economy lite section, Premium Class.
Faster satellite based Wi-Fi service will be available on over 500 American Airlines mainline aircraft in the coming months. This will occur as part of American's announced plans to switch to ViaSat as its Wi-Fi provider.
Officials at British Airways announced that the carrier will invest $110 million to improve its facilities at U.S. airports. The majority of improvements, which will occur over the next five years, will be made to check-in, security and gate areas at New York's JFK, in addition to lounge facilities in Boston, Chicago, Houston, Miami, San Francisco and Seattle.
Delta Air Lines
Lie-flat seating will be added to three more of Delta's transcontinental routes. Starting on April 24, 2017 the lie-flat seats will be available on its Los Angeles-Washington D.C. route. Then on June 8, flights with lie-flat seating will launch between Boston and San Francisco and between New York and San Diego. These new routes will complement Delta's lie-flat seating service already available from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Delta is also pleased to announce that it was named the top U.S. airline in the annual Business Travel News Airline Survey. Delta has earned this top ranking for the sixth consecutive year. Delta has achieved this continued success in large part due to its record-setting operational performance, which it guarantees to its corporate customers in its industry-first Operational Performance Commitment. Delta has also excelled by introducing new technologies such as automated security checkpoint lanes, which were first launched in Atlanta, and its new Radio frequency identification (RFID) bag tracking system. Mobile app users are now receiving push notifications that provide updates on the status of their checked luggage as it makes its way through the system.
United said it will launch Basic Economy airfares on select routes in order to better compete with ultra-low cost carriers such as Spirit Airlines. While the rates will be low, they will come with some very significant restrictions. Travelers on Basic Economy tickets will not be allowed to use the overhead bins. Instead, they will be restricted to carrying on only one small item that must fit under the seat in front of them. Customers will also be placed at the end of the boarding line and will be restricted from upgrading or changing their ticket. In addition, passengers will not be able to select their seat. Instead, one will be automatically assigned at check-in. Some of these restrictions will be waived or modified for elite status customers, but miles accrued on these fares will not count toward earning next year's elite status. The Basic Economy fares will be available for purchase starting in January for travel in the second quarter of 2017.
IHG Rewards benefits still available through Adelman
In a recent communication to its Rewards members, IHG stated that as of Jan. 1, 2017, members must book directly through IHG channels in order to take full advantage of all the benefits that come with being an IHG Rewards Club member.
The communication refers to "Corporate Travel Sites" as being approved booking channels. In this reference, Adelman Travel is considered a Corporate Travel Site. Thus, IHG reservations made through Adelman will still be eligible for all applicable reward benefits. In addition, travelers booking the Adelman rate will also receive 250 bonus points along with the other benefits.
ADELMAN HOTEL COLLECTION
Homewood Suites by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton
Whether you are staying for one night, one week, one month or more, Homewood Suites by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton provide great value for guests. Each property features spacious suites, guest-driven amenities and award-winning service.
Homewood Suites amenities include fully equipped kitchens, free Wi-Fi in all guest suites, lodge and meeting rooms, free full hot breakfast served daily, and a complimentary evening social with drinks served Monday through Thursday. Other amenities include the on-site 24-hour Suite Shop® convenience store, guest laundry, complimentary grocery shopping service*, swimming pool, fitness center and 24-hour business center.
*Guests pay for the actual groceries
Home2 Suites feature separate living and bedroom spaces, as well as the Home2 Suites "working wall," which incorporates the kitchen and a flexible working/media space. Guest rooms also come with a fully accessorized kitchen, full-size sleeper sofa, flat-screen HDTV, and free Wi-Fi that extends to outdoor spaces. Guests will also appreciate the Home2 MKT® which is stocked with convenient items and is open 24 hours, free daily breakfast at the Inspired Table?, a combined laundry and fitness area. Home2 Suites are also pet friendly.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has downgraded the status of the Zika virus. It is no longer considered an international emergency. Instead, Zika is now in the same category as other dangerous mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria and yellow fever. The WHO first declared a state of emergency on Feb. 1 as the disease spread across the Western Hemisphere. However, according to WHO, "the disease and its associated consequences no longer present a public health emergency of international concern." Travelers are still advised to take appropriate steps to prevent mosquito bites so as to protect themselves from any of the mosquito borne illnesses.
Strategies for surviving the Thanksgiving rush
Thanksgiving is the busiest travel time of the year with planes running close to 100 percent full especially on more popular routes. Crowded airports and potentially iffy weather can present a variety of travel challenges. The following tips will help you minimize some of the common hassles associated with holiday travel.
- Pack lightly. Doing so will save on checked baggage fees and will reduce potential hassles associated with trying to find empty space in the overhead bin.
- Is cranberry sauce a liquid? Can you bring a snow globe in your carry-on bag? Are wrapped gifts allowed? Make sure you are familiar with TSA policies before you pack. Visit their web site at https://www.tsa.gov/news/releases/2015/11/24/tsa-prepared-busy-holiday-travel-season to review their holiday travel guide.
- Check your "everyday" bags such as your purse or briefcase to ensure there are no prohibited items such as a Leatherman tucked away in one of the compartments.
- Take advantage of advanced online check-in when available. Print your boarding passes at home or use electronic boarding passes if offered. Make sure you bring your government issued photo identification.
- Reconfirm all travel arrangements and check the weather around the country. Storms anywhere in the airlines' network can impact your schedule. The Adelman website at www.adelmantravel.com offers quick and convenient links so you can verify flight status and keep an eye on the weather or other possible delays.
- Utilize technology. Smartphone owners can take advantage of a variety of travel applications, which will help keep you informed, especially if there are unexpected changes. Don't forget to fully charge your smartphone before leaving home.
- Allow plenty of time to drive to the airport, park, and then navigate through the crowds as you traverse your way through security and on to your departure gate.
- For a respite from the gate crowd, consider buying a day pass to the airline's airport lounge.
- Remember, the Adelman team is just a phone call away if you run into unexpected disruptions or delays.
Visit our Web site at www.adelmantravel.com for more travel information, resources and unique services including corporate travel management and vacations.
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