Adelman Travel Newsline
A sailing to savor
Oceania Cruises' elegantly charming Sirena, which was christened earlier this year, boasts some of the finest cuisine at sea. According to Adelman's Andrea Bateman who just returned from a Mediterranean sailing, "Oceania is known for being a great cruise line for foodies and it certainly showed on the new Sirena." The ship's culinary program was created and is overseen by world-renowned Master Chef, Jacque Pepin. "The food was really fantastic. I enjoyed lobster tails on three different nights... it was cooked to perfection!" Andrea exclaimed.
Passengers will definitely enjoy the variety of dining options as the Sirena has several distinctive open-seating restaurants. Besides the Grand Dining room, which Andrea said was wonderful, she raved about Sirena's specialty restaurants saying, "Red Ginger, which features bold Asian cuisine, was divine and Tuscan Steak was simply outstanding." Andrea also noted that the Terrace Café, which features an excellent buffet, also offers alfresco dining with fabulous views of the different ports of call, while the Waves Grill was great for a poolside lunch, Kobe burgers, surf and turf, and fresh fish. Lovers of French cuisine will want to be sure to visit The Grand Dining Room during lunch as it offers a surprise transformation into Jacques Bistro featuring classic French fare.
In addition to its top-notch culinary experiences, Sirena offers well-appointed cabins with contemporary furnishings and the serene colors of the sea. All suites and staterooms feature the all-new custom-designed Ultra Tranquility Bed. Andrea said the bed and bedding were wonderful... very high-end and extremely comfortable!"
Being a smaller ship, Sirena is easy to navigate and offers a very intimate experience. Andrea notes, "With only 684 passengers there was never a crowd of any kind, plus the staff was very warm, friendly and accommodating." Andrea continued, "I really appreciated Sirena's many little extra touches such as being given a complimentary bottle of water to take with you on your shore excursion or the great information, maps and insider tips which Sirena's staff provided at each port." Land excursions ranged from interesting and informative port city tours, some with extended evening stays, to a relaxing day at the beach. According to Andrea, "Sardinia's shoreline was so beautiful, the water was crystal clear and the sand at Ispiaggia De Pittulongu beach sparkled like diamonds." The relaxing beach day was a perfect way to cap off a full and fascinating shore excursion schedule.
For more information on the exquisite gourmet experiences that await you on the Sirena as well as on any of Oceania Cruises' other ships or for help with any of your other vacation travel needs give us a call at 800-749-7116 or visit our website at www.adelmanvacations.com.
Southwest's technical glitch continues to impact some flights
According to Southwest Airlines' website, "most systems are back online as of the start of our operational day Thursday, following performance issues across multiple technology systems as a result of an outage Wednesday afternoon." However, Southwest still had to cancel more than 300 flights as of 10:15 a.m. CDT on Thursday as a result of Wednesday's ground stop. The carrier continues to work to restore its full operating schedule and to assist customers who were affected by the disruption. Southwest is asking that customers check the status of their flights on southwest.com and arrive early to the airport as they expect longer than average lines. In addition passengers who are holding Southwest tickets from Wednesday through Sunday are eligible for flexible rescheduling per Southwest's guidelines.
Adelman will also continue to assist its customers who may have been impacted by Southwest's technical issues.
TSA works to further expedite security screenings
As part of ongoing efforts to reduce security screening wait times, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced two new initiatives. Based on the success of automated checkpoint lanes that were first tested in Atlanta, the TSA said it will roll out up to 60 more of the automated lanes by the end of the year. Delta first sponsored tests of the new system in May. Then American said it would help bring automated checkpoints to its facilities in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and Miami by fall.
The TSA also said it is opening temporary enrollment centers to help expedite the flood of PreCheck applications that have been filed in the past several months. The temporary centers, which opened July 19, can be found in 12 cities including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York City and Seattle. Applicants can make an appointment online. For more information please visit www.tsa.gov/precheck.
Eight U.S. airlines to serve Havana
The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded tentative rights to serve Havana to eight of the 12 U.S. carriers that applied for routes. Alaska Airlines, American, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest Spirit and United Airlines will be able to initiate service as soon as this fall from cities including Atlanta, Charlotte, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New Your City, Orlando and Tampa. Up to 20 daily roundtrips are being allowed between the United States and Havana under the agreement signed last February.
American announced that flights from Dallas to Madrid and Sao Paulo will be the operated with its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft starting Nov. 4, 2016. The new aircraft will feature 30 lie-flat business class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. In addition, the new aircraft will offer a Premium Economy cabin that features 21 seats in a 2-3-2 configuration. Premium Economy will feature leather seats with a 38" pitch and extendable foot, leg and head rests in addition to a state-of-the-art personal entertainment system with large touch screen monitors and other amenities.
As a reminder, beginning Aug. 1, 2016, American will change how AAvantage members will earn miles. Similar to other airline loyalty programs, under the new system members will earn miles based on how much they spend with American. Earning rates will be based on the passenger's status. American still plans on rolling out a new elite status level and will adjust qualification requirements on Jan. 1, 2017. Later in 2017, American will launch changes to its upgrade windows and prioritization. Upgrade priority will be based on a 12-month rolling Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQD) total, sorted by elite status level. More information on these changes can be found at https://www.aa.com/i18n/aadvantage-program/aadvantage-program-updates.jsp.
Delta Air Lines
Delta now offers discounts for SkyMiles members interested in joining the CLEAR expedited security screening program. Platinum, Gold and Silver Medallion members can apply for CLEAR for just $79.00, which is $100 off the regular enrollment fee, while Diamond members are eligible for free membership. Even general SkyMiles members are eligible for a discount, too. Currently CLEAR expedited screening can be found in 12 airports but will soon also be available in Seattle-Tacoma and in Washington D.C. National and Dulles airports.
In other news, Delta signed a code share agreement with Seaborne Airlines that will strengthen its offerings to the Caribbean. The agreement will expand Delta's ticketing to 10 Seaborne markets with up to 40 roundtrip flights. Delta will also offer expanded options to existing routes it serves.
Southwest revealed plans to build up Oakland as an international gateway. New Southwest service from Oakland, which is still subject to government approval, would start in February to Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta.
United announced it will move from Concourse E to Concourse C in Milwaukee's General Mitchell International Airport in early September. The move is being prompted by a renovation project in Concourse E that will change the area into an international terminal. Currently Milwaukee's International Terminal is located in a separate remote building. Air Canada will also be making a similar move from Concourse E to C, which is slated for mid-August.
What you should know about taking your smartphone abroad
When traveling abroad it is important to consider ahead of your departure how you want to deal with using your smartphone and how much it will cost. American wireless customers have been able to seamlessly use a foreign network for years, but the costs for such convenience can be quite high. Travelers who check with their service carrier before travel will find that many of the major wireless companies now sell international packages that offer data abroad and/or allow for roaming for an added fee. These international packages typically offer a savings over simply using your phone abroad but are not necessarily the cheapest options.
The frugal traveler who is willing to do some research and jump through a few hopes will want to consider purchasing a SIM card from a foreign carrier based in the country they are visiting. To do this you first must be using an "unlocked" smartphone, which means it is not restricted for use with just one carrier. You can purchase an inexpensive unlocked phone or you can request from your current carrier that they unlock your phone. Each carrier's unlocking process can be found online with a web search.
Once you have an unlocked phone, you can then purchase a SIM card from an overseas carrier when you arrive at your destination. Some providers will let you order a SIM card in advance to be sent to you before departure or to be delivered to your hotel upon arrival. If purchasing a SIM card from an overseas provider, it is recommended that you use a well-known carrier in each country because they are typically more reliable than off-brand companies. You should also note that you will have a different phone number when using a foreign carrier's SIM card.
A caveat for purchasing foreign SIM cards is that you will need a separate card for each country you are visiting, which means more costs. Thus, if you are traveling to multiple countries, using one of the US providers' international packages may be more cost effective and convenient.
Finally, another way to reduce phone costs while traveling abroad is to download one of the many data-based apps that allow for free messaging and calling. Apple iPhones include iMessage and FaceTime for placing calls or sending messages over a data connection. WhatsApp is another popular messaging option that can be used from most countries while WeChat is a popular option for China.
ADELMAN HOTEL COLLECTION
Omni Hotels & Resorts
We are pleased to announce that Omni Hotels & Resorts are now part of the Adelman Hotel Collection of preferred hotels. As part of our new relationship, Omni is giving Adelman customers a 5 percent discount off its Best Available Rates. In addition, for a limited time, the Omni Austin Downtown, Omni Berkshire Place in NYC and the Omni Houston at Westside are offering 10 percent off their Best Available Rates for customers who book through Adelman.
Omni, which boasts one-of-a-kind properties and is known for its high level of service, offers nearly 60 locations across North American. For help with reservations at an Omni property or for assistance with any of your other hotel needs, give your Adelman travel consultant a call.
ON THE ROAD
Avis Car Rental has added real-time control to its app. With Avis Now, customers can view and choose vehicles, change durations of rental agreements or get on-demand roadside assistance. Some automated car controls are also available. Avis Now is available to Avis Preferred members in 50 U.S. markets and will expand to select international destinations in the near future.
Lyft introduced Premier Service in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York. Customers can request high-end sedans or SUV's such as Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Lexus ES or Cadillac Escalades.
Uber has added additional features to its Uber for Business that will be especially beneficial for larger companies. Buyers can designate managers as reviewers, giving them the ability to watch their employees' trips. Travel Managers also now have the ability to flag rides that appear to be noncompliant.
Employees who have been added to the platform by their travel managers can pay with their individual corporate cards. Plus, users no longer have to contact customer support to change payment to a personal credit card if they inadvertently charged their corporate card in error.
Visit our Web site at www.adelmantravel.com for more travel information, resources and unique services including corporate travel management and vacations.
Adelman Travel Group
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