Adelman Travel Newsline
It's time to re-center and rejuvenate, so treat yourself to a wellness retreat
No matter how merry, the holidays can leave us feeling frazzled, overstimulated, or simply exhausted. So as the annual chaos comes to an end, it's time to get rejuvenated for the New Year. There are a variety of resorts around the world offering wellness retreats that promote mental focus, inner calm and a chance to soul search, which can help you re-center yourself and may also boost mental and physical health.
Adelman's Cheri Keller specializes in wellness travel and has personally experienced a variety of wellness-focused resorts. "Every fall, I take a group on a 'girls' weekend and each time I learn something that changes my life!" Cheri said. She particularly enjoyed her recent visits to the Canyon Ranch in Tucson and the Canyon Ranch in Lennox, Massachusetts. Each property offers beautiful grounds, along with an extensive menu of activities and classes including outdoor sports and adventures, cultural experiences and creative arts, nutritional counseling and cooking demonstrations, mind-body training and more. In addition, guests can take advantage of medical services, spiritual wellness opportunities and spa treatments.
Cheri participated in many activities including aerial yoga, on-land surfing classes and canoeing at Canyon Ranch. After a busy day, she chose to unwind with spa treatments including Ashiatsu, which is a deep barefoot massage.
"The food at Canyon Ranch is phenomenal, and everything is very fresh and very good for you," Cheri noted. "Because you are so active all day, you can still enjoy a little dessert without feeling guilty."
In addition to the Canyon Ranch properties, Cheri recently experienced the offerings at Miraval in Arizona, which is consistently ranked as one of the world's top destination spas by Travel + Leisure, SpaFinder and Condé Nast Traveler. She also visited the Carillon in Miami, which is located on a private beach and is said to be Florida's most comprehensive spa and wellness resort with its mind-boggling array of spa treatments and fitness classes. Cheri was particularly intrigued by the Carillon's Thermal Experience, which features an Igloo Room, Crystal Steam Room, Finnish sauna and experiential rains. "You can customize your experience down to the scents and sounds, all while getting relief from your everyday aches and pains," Cheri said.
Do you deserve a little pampering or some much needed time for yourself? Cheri or any of our Adelman vacation counselors can help you find the perfect wellness experience. Simply give us a call at 800-749-7116, or visit our website at www.adelmanvacations.com.
IHG investigates possible credit card breach
InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG), the parent company for more than 5,000 hotels worldwide including Holiday Inn, said it has hired a computer security firm to investigate a possible payment card breach at some of its U.S. locations. A pattern of fraud on customer credit and debit cards was reported and suggests a breach at some IHG properties, especially at Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express. The report comes nearly four months after IHG's Kimpton brand found a malware attack on servers that processed payment cards at some of its hotels.
In a statement company officials said, "IHG takes the protection of payment card data very seriously. We are committed to swiftly resolving this matter. In the meantime, and in line with best practice, we recommend that individuals closely monitor their payment card account statements. If there are unauthorized charges, individuals should immediately notify their bank."
This is just the latest in a long string of payment card breaches that have occurred at many of the major hotel chains including Hilton, Hyatt, Mandarin Oriental, Starwood, Trump Hotels and White Lodging (twice).
Gatwick prepares for major gate shuffle
Airport officials at London Gatwick are advising passengers to reconfirm the terminal of their air carrier since three of its major airlines will be moving in January. British Airways will move to the South Terminal. Virgin Atlantic will move to the North Terminal. Easy Jet, which currently operates out of both terminals, will consolidate its operation in the North Terminal. These moves will be staggered over a three-day period starting on January 24. To ease the transition, affected airlines will run at reduced schedules during this period.
Renovations announced for JFK and DIA
Plans were recently unveiled for renovations at New York's JFK and Denver International Airport (DIA). In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo outlined a $10 billion project which will transform JFK back into a world-class hub. "Currently JFK is ranked 59th out of the top 100 international airports. Time has passed us by. We have to catch up," Cuomo said. The plan includes a major overhaul of the airport's terminals and security systems. Access to the airport will also be improved and expanded.
In Denver, officials will be addressing inefficiencies in the airport's baggage screening system. The $120 million project will accomodate security and efficiency needs of the TSA. By doing so, DIA will also be able to provide a better experience for travelers.
With the start of the New Year, American is enhancing its AAdvantage loyalty program by introducing new elite tiers. The new Platinum Pro tier requires 75,000 elite qualifying miles or 90 elite qualifying segments annually. This puts it between Platinum and Executive Platinum. The new Platinum Pro tier includes all the benefits of Platinum and adds unlimited complimentary upgrades in 500-mile upgrade markets, the option to upgrade a travel companion, a 72-hour upgrade window, the ability to earn nine award miles per dollar spent and oneworld Sapphire status. American is also making its Concierge Key invitation-only status a formal tier, which will be above Executive Platinum. With the addition of the new status levels, American will alter its boarding order to reflect these new groups.
In other news, American announced that it will bring its new premium economy class to flights between Dallas/Fort Worth and Paris in January. Premium economy will also debut on flights to Seoul in February. American first introduced its premium economy product this fall on flights from Dallas/Fort Worth to Madrid and Sao Paulo. Premium economy features more comfortable seating, upgraded meals, complimentary beer, wine and spirits and other enhanced amenities.
Then, the Department of Transportation has finalized its decision to give American Airlines the authority to offer seven weekly frequencies of service between Los Angeles and Beijing. American has until March 19, 2017 to launch the awarded service.
After delaying a planned strike over the holidays, British Airways cabin crew said they will walk off the job for 48 hours starting on Tuesday, January 10, since no real progress has been made on their labor dispute. Next week's job action would affect "mixed fleet" staff that joined British Airways after 2010. This accounts for just 15 percent of British Airways' cabin crew. In a statement, airline officials said "We are now focused on protecting our customers from this unnecessary and completely unjustified action... and are working to ensure that all our customers can travel to their destinations." Union officials say they are still hopeful that a settlement can be reached.
In other news, British Airways announced that it will boost its service between London Heathrow and Phoenix to 10 flights weekly starting in May. Customers can already make reservations on the extra flights being offered in May and June.
Delta Air Lines
Delta and AeroMexico recently accepted the final order issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) that grants the airlines antitrust immunity and forms the largest cross-border aviation alliance between Mexico and the United States. Once the conditions of the agreement as set by the DOT and the Mexican Federal Economic Competition Commission are met, the two carriers can begin coordinating efforts that will allow for expanded destinations and frequencies while improving connecting schedules and providing seamless operations. On the ground the airlines will be able to improve the travel experience by co-locating gates, lounges and other facilities. Delta and AeroMexico will also increase joint sales and marketing initiatives.
The SkyTeam global alliance is discounting its Round the World fare by 15 percent for both economy and business class tickets of up to 26,000 miles when purchased by March 31, 2017. The reduced SkyTeam World Fare, which includes three to five stops, is valid on all 20 member airlines for any time period between 10 days and six months. SkyTeam is the leading global alliance in Greater China, Mexico, North America and Russia, plus it offers comprehensive networks across Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe and Latin America.
New airport signs remind travelers about REAL ID
New signs are popping up at airports across the country advising travelers who reside in states that do not meet the federal Real ID criteria that starting next year their drivers' license will no longer be considered a valid piece of identification when trying to get through airport security checkpoints.
According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) website, the following states are considered non-compliant and have not, at this point, been granted an extension.
KY, ME, MN, MO, OK, PA, SC, WA
If no further changes occur, residents from these states will need an alternate form of identification such as a passport to clear airport security starting Jan. 22, 2018.
Residents from these states should note that they will need alternate forms of identification to enter federal buildings, military bases and nuclear power plants starting Jan 30, 2017. See the DHS website (https://www.dhs.gov/real-id-enforcement-brief) for more information.
There are two dozen other states that are still not fully compliant but have been granted extensions, which will allow travelers to use their current driver's licenses at airports until at least Oct. 1, 2020. The DHS has provided an easy to follow info-graph highlighting this information along with answers to many common questions on their website at https://www.dhs.gov/real-id-and-you-rumor-control.
While the DHS says it is standing firm on the current deadlines, they have been modified and extended several times before. However, travelers from noncompliant states who want to be sure that they are not negatively impacted by REAL ID implementation issues should consider obtaining a passport. Please see our Tips section below for further information.
ADELMAN HOTEL COLLECTION
Even Hotels: Where wellness is built in
The new Even hotel chain was created for travelers who are looking for a happier and healthier stay. Designed with stress-free living in mind, Even Hotels offer facilities and amenities that will help travelers stick to their healthy routines, while being more rested and more productive. Even Hotels offer a bright, more natural and comfortable environment, which helps to balance work and rest. Their premium sleep system with natural eucalyptus fiber bedding helps to ensure a good night's sleep.
Even offers a best-in-class fitness experience with an athletic studio that contains top-notch equipment. There is also group classes and in-room training opportunities. Even's wellness-savvy staff can help guests develop an exercise regimen that will best fit their needs during the stay.
Even also boasts a game-changing dining plan that features healthy and convenient sit-and-stay meals or grab-and-go snacks. Even's fresh, great tasting, good-for-you food options are fully customizable to better address the needs of guests who are focused on specific diet goals such as heart healthy, or gluten-free.
Even Hotels are now available in Times Square and the Brooklyn and Midtown East neighborhoods of New York City; as well as Norwalk, Connecticut; Rockville, Maryland and Omaha, Nebraska.
Adelman customers are eligible to receive 250 bonus rewards points when booking the Adelman rate at Even Hotels throughout 2017. For more information or help with any of your hotel booking needs contact your Adelman travel consultant.
Is your passport set to expire in the next 18 months? If so, apply now!
The number of passport applications is on the rise. This is due in part to the high number of passports set to expire this year. When the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative was implemented in 2007 it resulted in more than 18 million citizens obtaining passports that were valid for 10 years. In addition, with the uncertainty over REAL ID compliance in certain states and the approaching deadlines associated with it, many more citizens are expected to apply.
While the State Department website says it takes on average four to six weeks for routine passport services, some reports indicate that standard passport processing time has been slipping out to more than six weeks. Travelers should plan accordingly if they want to avoid the extra fees required for expedited processing.It is important to remember that many countries require at least six months of remaining validity on a passport to enter their country. Thus, travelers should actually plan to renew their passport well before they hit the six month mark on remaining validity. As a reminder, the State Department no longer issues extra pages, so travelers who are running out of pages in their book must renew their entire passport. Also, the State Department is no longer accepting passport photos where the individual is wearing glasses. Travelers who must wear eyeglasses for medical reasons can submit a signed letter from a doctor along with the passport application and photo. For more information on obtaining a passport visit the State Department's website at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports.html.
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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