JetBlue Getaways: First Vacation Program to Partner with Google Offers

October 20, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

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- For only $30, customers will receive $300 towards any JetBlue Getaways vacation package of three nights or more for travel through Dec. 15, if booked by Dec. 11, 2011(a)-

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NEW YORK, Oct. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — JetBlue Getaways, the airline’s vacation program, is proud to be the first to partner with Google Offers to provide vacation package deals to their customers. For only $30, customers will receive a $300 discount towards any vacation package of three or more nights for a minimum of two people if booked by Dec. 11, 2011 for travel through Dec. 15, 2011. Google Offers subscribers in Austin, Boston, New York and Washington D.C. will receive the offer but the deal can be purchased by anyone at today.


“It’s Getaways for all, at an unbelievable discount!” said Grant McCarthy, Director of JetBlue Getaways. “Our customers are looking for value when they come to book and we strive to deliver. Our product comes complete with air, hotel, the Getaways Best Price Guarantee, offering the lowest available price on vacation packages, and a 24-hour support desk dedicated to Getaways customers before, during and after their trip. It’s a steal!”

“We created Google Offers to provide people with great deals that help them to discover new experiences and places to eat, shop and play,” said Eric Rosenblum, Director of Product Management, Google Offers. “By partnering with JetBlue Getaways to run today’s Google Offer, travelers in Austin, Boston, New York and Washington D.C. get front row access to getaways for less and the opportunity to experience a new place for the first time or perhaps return to a favorite spot.”

JetBlue Getaways offers a complete vacation package, with air, hotel, wheels and more. It offers vacation packages across 66 destinations throughout the U.S., Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean with exclusive deals on flights and directly contracted hotels. Members of the airline’s customer loyalty program, TrueBlue, can also earn six points for every dollar spent on Getaways vacation packages booked on, earning reward travel twice as fast. To enroll in TrueBlue or to learn more about the program or Getaways vacations, visit or call 1-800-JETBLUE, option 3.

JetBlue Getaways comes with JetBlue’s award-winning customer service and product, including a live in-flight entertainment system with more than 140 channels of free programming on personal seatback TVs (b) and reasonably priced first-run JetBlue Features movies from major Hollywood studios for a small charge (c). Customers also enjoy comfy leather seats that go easy on the legs with them most legroom in coach of any U.S. carrier (d) and unlimited complimentary snacks and drinks for the ride. 

About JetBlue Airways

JetBlue is known for its award-winning service and free TV as much as its low fares, offering the most legroom in coach of any U.S. airline (based on average fleet-wide seat pitch) and super-spacious Even More Legroom seats available for an additional cost. JetBlue is also America’s first and only airline to offer its own Customer Bill of Rights, with meaningful and specific compensation for customers inconvenienced by service disruptions within JetBlue’s control. Visit for details. JetBlue serves 66 cities with 650 daily flights and later this year plans to introduce service to St. Croix and St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands as well as La Romana, Dominican Republic and Liberia, Costa Rica, subject to government approval.  With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all fares are one-way, and an overnight stay is never required. For information or reservations call 1-800-JET-BLUE (1-800-538-2583), TTY/TDD 1-800-336-5530, 1-801-365-2583, or visit

(a) Limit one per person. Promo code is valid until 12/11/11 (11:59 PM ET) for $300 off purchase of a JetBlue Getaways vacation package of 3 nights or more for 2 or more people completed by 12/15/11 (Blackout Dates: 11/18–11/28/11). Code (case-sensitive) is for one-time use for new JetBlue Getaways bookings only, will apply to only one JetBlue Getaways package (regardless of the number of packages, rooms, etc. in the reservation), and is not valid for JetBlue flights, cruises or any other products/services. After the redemption period ends on 12/11/11 (11:59 PM ET), the promo code loses its value, but buyers who have not redeemed the promo code will automatically receive a refund for the paid value ($30), credited to the credit or debit card used for purchase, within 1 week of the close of the redemption period.  For JetBlue Getaways reservations that are changed/canceled, a $100 fee per person plus any difference in package price will apply. For changes, the promo code will only apply to the modified reservation if it is booked by 12/11/11, is for travel within the eligible travel period, and otherwise satisfies all terms and conditions for this offer.  Buyers who cancel their JetBlue Getaways reservation booked using the promo code will forfeit the promo code value and will not receive any refund for the code.  Cancellations are for JetBlue Getaways travel credit only, valid for one year (and that credit will not include the promo code value). Code cannot be combined with any other offer or TrueBlue points. Except as required by law or as provided herein, code is not redeemable for cash, has no cash value, and cannot be partially redeemed.  Package must be booked through JetBlue Getaways by visiting or by calling 1-800-JETBLUE (1-800-538-2583), option 3, or for speech/hearing impediments, TTY/TDD, 1-800-336-5530; must be 18 or older. JetBlue Getaways packages are priced per person, based on double occupancy and do not include airfare taxes/fees.  See JetBlue Getaways Terms and Conditions for additional restrictions and details.

(b) Live satellite TV and radio programming is not available on flights outside the continental U.S.

(c) First-run features are available for $6 on flights longer than two hours.  Complimentary movies are offered on JetBlue’s flights to the Caribbean and Latin America.

(d) JetBlue offers the most legroom in coach, based on average fleet-wide seat pitch for U.S. airlines.

SOURCE JetBlue Airways

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Travelzoo Q3 tops estimates; shares jump

October 20, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:03am EDT

* Q3 EPS $0.36 vs est $0.34

* Q3 rev $38.7 mln vs est $38.4 mln

* New subscribers rose 14 pct in Q3

* Shares up 13 percent

Oct 20 (Reuters) – Travelzoo Inc reported
better-than-expected quarterly results, helped by an increase in
new subscriptions for its local deals newsletters, sending its
shares up 13 percent in pre-market trading.

Travelzoo, which offers travel and entertainment deals
through newsletters and on its website, said new newsletter
subscribers rose 14 percent in the third quarter.

The company is being courted by ChaPaVe Partners — a firm
set up only to acquire up to 1.5 million Travelzoo shares in the
open market.

On Oct. 18, ChaPaVe said the conditions it had set for the
investment had not been met and it would not file the proposed
tender yet. It expects to continue to pursue the offer after the
results are released.

For the quarter, it earned 36 cents a share. Analysts on
average had expected 34 cents a share, according to Thomson
Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue at the company, which competes with Expedia Inc
and Inc , rose 40 percent to
$38.7 million. Analysts had predicted $38.4 million.

Shares of the company were up $3.96 at $34.70 before the
bell on Thursday. The stock has lost more than half its value
since Travelzoo reported second-quarter results on July 21.

Article source: Navigates the World of Social and Mobile Airline Services

October 20, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

BOSTON, MA, Oct 19, 2011 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) –
Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and mobile apps… welcome to the new
standard of communication. Many passengers and airlines are now
corresponding through a variety of social media, mobile sites and
apps, and other online-only channels, also known as e-services. With
well more than 7 million collective followers on Twitter and counting
and, in many cases, dedicated customer support and booking agents
standing by to respond to social media requests, the airlines have
capitalized on these channels to connect directly with customers.
Savvy travelers should be prepared to take full advantage.

To make it easier for travelers to navigate this growing domain,, the online leader in publishing travel deals, has
compiled its list of Social And Mobile Airline Services — an easy to
follow table charting the e-services offered by 24 popular domestic
and foreign airlines including their mobile sites, mobile apps,
loyalty programs and special discounts with links to their social
media outlets: Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and YouTube channels.

“It wasn’t that long ago when the best way to ask an airline a
question, voice a concern, or check in for your flight was through
long phone menus, visiting an airline office in person, or by sitting
at your home computer,” said Lauren Sullivan, site editor for “Nowadays, things have changed dramatically thanks
to the ubiquity of smartphones, tablets and growth of social media.
This change is continuing to grow so now’s the time to jump on board,
if you haven’t already, and start an ongoing online relationship with
your favorite airlines.”

A few notable airlines that are paving the social way include:

        --  Alaska Airlines - For a regional airline, Alaska does social media and
            e-services as well as the best of the biggest national carriers,
            including a recently redesigned mobile app that passengers can use to
            plan every aspect of their trip, down to seating assignments.
        --  Delta Air Lines - Delta combines social media and e-services extremely
            well, making especially strong use of its YouTube channel.
        --  JetBlue Airways - Even without a standalone mobile app, JetBlue really
            gets "it." The discount airline interacts continuously with more than
            1.6 million Twitter followers, answering customer requests in a near
            instant fashion.
        --  Southwest Airlines - With the largest amount of YouTube videos (7
            million and counting), 1.6 million Facebook likes and more than a
            million Twitter followers, Southwest stands out as a leader in online
            communication with its audience.
        --  United Airlines - Since beginning to merge with Continental, United's
            combined e-services presence is even more robust. With fully
            functional mobile sites, downloadable apps for each airline, a
            consolidated social media presence -- under United's brand and logo --
            the airline has potential to be the heaviest social hitter out there.

To view’s easy to follow and useful chart on Social
And Mobile Airline Services visit .

About Cheapflights Media
Cheapflights Media is an international
media network helping over 11 million visitors a month find top
travel deals. Our Cheapflights brand was launched in 1996 and
pioneered the online comparison of flight deals for users. Today,
users compare a wide range of deals from hundreds of partners
including online travel agents, consolidators and airlines to find
the very best flight deals. With a mission to be the starting point
for travel, Cheapflights works to deliver the industry’s best airfare
bargains, expert tips and inspiration. There are currently
Cheapflights sites in the U.K., U.S., Canada, Germany, Australia
New Zealand, France, Italy and Spain. For more information, visit . Our newest brand, Momondo, is a leading travel
search engine for finding comprehensive worldwide pricing and
availability on airfares. Winner of several awards, the site is ideal
for users on specific travel schedules. For more information, visit .

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        Mobile: +1 416-788-4573
        E-mail: Email Contact            


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Norwegian Breakaway’s transatlantic cruise starts at $749 each

October 20, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

Cruise fans who want to be first in line to board the Breakaway, one of Norwegian Cruise Lines’ newest ships, may now buy tickets for its inaugural 2013 sailings. The ship’s seven-night crossing from London to New York City in spring 2013 starts at a low $749 per person — just a bit more than $100 a day.

The deal: The Breakaway, which is still under construction in Germany, will hold 4,000 passengers and will be the largest ship to home port in New York City, according to the cruise line. The ship will make regular weeklong trips from New York to Bermuda; cabins for those cruises also are on sale starting at $1,199 per person, based on double occupancy.

When: The crossing leaves England on April 30, 2013, and arrives in New York on May 7.

Tested: I found cabins on several decks available for the $749 per-person rate, based on double occupancy. Total with tax and fees for the cheapest berth comes to $833 a person or $1,666 for two. The price doesn’t include travel to Southampton, England, and a return flight from New York City.

As a price comparison, a transatlantic crossing of the Norwegian Epic this October starts at $939 a person plus tax and fees and based on double occupancy. Note that every day on this cruise is spent at sea.

Contact: Norwegian Cruise Lines,  (800) 327-7030, or contact a travel agent.

Article source:,1,3090527.story

AirBerlin to begin Berlin-LA nonstop flights

October 20, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

Los Angeles and Berlin became sister cities at the height of the Cold War in 1967. Now AirBerlin will link the two in a more direct way.

The airline plans to begin nonstop flights between the German capital and Los Angeles in May. Germany’s second-largest airline after Lufthansa says in a statement that the new service will run three times a week. A random search in May (May 19-26) showed an LAX-Berlin round trip for about 700 euros, about $960. The airline also is increasing Berlin-New York flights to daily service.

So back to sisterly love — what does it all mean? The L.A.-Berlin Sister City Committee promotes student-exchange programs and even dedicated a patch of Griffith Park above the observatory to the Berlin Forest in 1990.

L.A. has 24 other siblings. Here’s the list of sister cities, in case you want to go visiting.

–Athens, Greece
–Auckland, New Zealand
–Beirut, Lebanon
–Bordeaux, France
–Busan, South Korea
–Eilat, Israel
–Giza, Egypt
–Guangzhou, China
–Ischia, Italy
–Jakarta, Indonesia
–Kaunas, Lithania
–Lusaka, Zambia
–Makati, Phillippines
–Mexico City, Mexico
–Mumbai, India
–Nagoya, Japan
–St. Petersburg, Russia
–Salvador, Brazil
–San Salvador, El Salvador
–Split, Croatia
–Taipei, Taiwan
–Vancouver, Canada
–Yerevan, Armenia

Article source:,1,5777537.story

Traveler’s Aide: Deals too good to be true usually are

October 20, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

In April, I logged onto the Princess site and noticed my sailing was only listed as an itinerary for 10 days. I called Princess and got the run around for almost two months. I had another Princess cruise planned in May, so I figured I would speak to the sales office when I was onboard. I did, and the director was confused when she saw my confirmation. She made copies and faxed them to the home office in California. She suggested that they might be able to transfer us to another ship to complete the second 10 days. I thought this was pretty reasonable.

Now Princess says this was a system glitch and the cruise is only 10 days. They claim that I am the only person who had this problem. I have five different documents that state that I purchased a 20-day cruise. Am I wrong for expecting what I originally booked? What can I do?

— Suellen Pierce, Wall Township N.J.

Answer:  Although the itinerary that Pierce booked was listed as 20 days long on the Princess website, and she received a confirmation of that extra-long voyage, the cruise in question was, in fact, only 10 days long. The Caribbean Princess was headed to dry dock immediately after the cruise, not continuing onwards on a sailing of any length.

“The cruise in question was a 10-day cruise and the pricing was correct for the 10-day voyage,” says Princess representative Julie Benson. “There simply was not a 20-day cruise.”

It was a mistake akin to what’s called a “fat-finger fare,” when cruise or airline fares or hotel rates are mistakenly loaded into booking systems at prices that are too good to be true. These apparent deals quickly vanish when the mistake is discovered, so few travelers tend to book them—unless word spreads online and frugal (or unscrupulous, depending on your perspective) bargain hunters flock to take advantage of the error, hoping travel providers will honor the erroneous prices. Some do, some don’t.

The culprit behind Pierce’s double-length itinerary snafu was an error in the Web booking tool, according Benson. Princess wasn’t aware of the problem until Pierce contacted the cruise line to ask why her itinerary was suddenly half as long as she expected.

“Since the error was technically not within our reservations system, but an error specific to the Web booking tool, it was not easily detectable by Princess,” says Benson. “It took a while to uncover this because our staff work within the reservation system and they could not recreate the booking error.”

In the meantime, Pierce called Princess repeatedly and faxed her confirmation showing the 20-day information, as requested, to the cruise line. It took almost four and a half months for Princess to give Pierce the final word that it was unwilling to honor the extra-long cruise, though Benson points out that Princess told her from the beginning that the 20-day cruise did not exist and was thus impossible to protect or book.

“We should not have continued to ask for her confirmation copies but, again, the agents here could not see what she saw and therefore continued to request this information from her,” says Benson.

Nonetheless, Pierce wanted Princess to deliver the 20-day cruise she purchased. An idea floated during her conversation on-board a different Princess trip in May gave her the idea that Princess might place the couple on a second cruise after their now-10-day Caribbean Grand Adventure wrapped up. But Princess demurred on that point.

“We are not aware of any specific offer made to her by the onboard sales director,” says Benson.

Princess offered Pierce an upgrade from her booked balcony stateroom to a mini-suite as a gesture of goodwill. However, Pierce declined the offer, and Princess canceled her booking and refunded her deposit.

After I contacted Princess about Pierce’s complaint, the would-be cruisers decided that they still preferred Princess to other cruise lines and rebooked their canceled trip. This time, they booked an inside cabin. Princess extended a new upgrade offer and placed them in a balcony stateroom. Princess valued the upgrade at about $500-$700 per person.

The cruise line was pleased to “have the opportunity to show our appreciation,” says Benson. “We hope she comes away with a different impression of Princess.”

How can you avoid trouble? 

Be wary of prices that are too good to be true. Rates for that 20-day itinerary were the same as a 10-day trip, a sign that something might not have been right.

Be reasonable. Cruise lines, airlines and hotels may or may not honor online pricing errors. It’s more likely they’ll come back to you with a discount voucher or upgrade than give you a free 10-day cruise, $28 round-trip tickets from San Jose, California to Paris or one-cent per-night hotel stay.

Read previous columns

Linda Burbank first began troubleshooting travelers’ complaints for the Consumer Reports Travel Letter. She now writes regularly for Consumers Union publications and is a contributing editor for National Geographic Traveler. E-mail her at Your question may be used in a future column.

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Kenya: Somali militant attacks hurting economy (AP)

October 20, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel News

NAIROBI, Kenya – Kenya’s tourism minister says his country sent troops into Somalia to search for people kidnapped by Somali gunmen and to push Islamist militants away from Kenya’s tourist destinations.

Najib Balala told The Associated Press late Tuesday that the army’s pursuit of Islamist militants was necessary because they were creating instability in the country and affecting the economy.

Balala said that as a result of a spate of kidnappings in Kenya by Somali gunmen, Kenya had to revise its marketing strategy to attract tourists. Kenya hoped to earn $1 billion in tourism income this year.

Somali gunmen have kidnapped four Europeans inside Kenya in the last six weeks. The French government said Wednesday that the French woman who was taken died in militant custody in Somalia.

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Fed-up NY flight attendant sentenced to probation (AP)

October 20, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel News

NEW YORK – A fed-up flight attendant whose spectacular exit down an emergency chute made him a national sensation completed his court-ordered treatment program Wednesday and was sentenced to a year of probation.

Steven Slater avoided jail time for his stunt when he pleaded guilty to attempted criminal mischief and agreed to undergo counseling and substance abuse treatment. On Wednesday, he was allowed to withdraw the plea on the more serious charge and plead guilty to a lesser charge after successfully completing his yearlong program.

“That was one moment, that was not indicative of who I am,” Slater said, adding that he was moving from New York to California and that he planned to write a memoir about his 20 years in the airline industry. “I feel like I’m in a much better place. I have control over my life.”

The former JetBlue attendant admitted he pulled the emergency chute on Flight 1052 from Pittsburgh on Aug. 9, 2010, after the plane landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport. He went on the public-address system, swore at a passenger who he claimed treated him rudely, grabbed a beer and slid down onto the tarmac.

Slater’s departure made him a hero to put-upon workers everywhere who have fantasized about quitting in a blaze of glory. He was a topic on TV shows, on the Internet and on the front pages of newspapers, with many cheering him for standing up to the often-inhospitable world of airline travel and others accusing him of childish and dangerously reckless behavior. Ricky’s of NYC made a Halloween costume of him last year.

But Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said it was no laughing matter. Brown scolded Slater — and the public — for not taking his actions more seriously. It cost $25,000 to fix the slide, and the plane had to be taken out of service, causing flight delays. The airline has also pointed out that someone on the ground could have gotten hurt — emergency slides deploy with potentially deadly force.

Brown said Wednesday he was satisfied with the outcome of the case and it “benefits society by fairly balancing the seriousness of the charges against the defendant’s need for rehabilitation.”

Slater, who has no criminal history, said he cracked under pressure because of his terminally ill mother, recently deceased father and health problems of his own, including HIV. A mental-health evaluation determined that Slater has a clinical disorder and alcohol-abuse problems. He was treated through the Queens Mental Health Court, an alternative to more traditional criminal justice. Every participant is assigned a case manager who prepares an individualized program and monitors progress. Graduates and success stories are often applauded in court.

JetBlue Airways Corp. suspended Slater after the incident and he resigned a year ago, leaving him unemployed. He must pay his former employer $10,000 in restitution, which is $831.25 a month.

Slater, 39, said his memoir was going to be a tribute to overworked flight attendants everywhere.

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