New York City: Trump SoHo discounts rooms 20% for one-day sale

April 3, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

Donald Trump is so annoying that it’s extra annoying when he gets something right. Nonetheless, here’s what Hotel Chatter had to say about the 46-story Trump SoHo New York when it opened two years ago: “Undeniably Trump but the spacious rooms, Fendi furniture, Hudson River views and giant soaking tubs have won us over.”

Now Trump SoHo at 246 Spring St. has a one-day sale that discounts the pricey room rates and throws in a few cocktails too. You have to stay two nights, but with those views, who wouldn’t want to?

The deal: Trump SoHo New York’s Birthday Package offers 20% off the room rate and two cocktails at the hotel’s Kastel Lounge or the Library. Prices start at $300 a night plus tax, and a two-night minimum is required. 

When: The one-day room sale starts 9 p.m. PDT Sunday until 9 p.m. PDT Monday and is based on availability. Reservations are good for stays through Sept. 3.

Details: I couldn’t test this deal because the sale hasn’t started, but I asked Trump SoHo for a sample of the savings. Weekend rates in June usually start at $445 a night plus tax. Anyone booking during the birthday sale would pay $356 a night plus tax for the same room.

Room rates in April are lower, starting at $375, so choose your dates carefully. And I found (by testing some random dates) that weekend rates often are cheaper than weekdays.

Contact: Trump SoHo New York, (877) 828-7080

Article source:,1,2538674.story

Tuesday Travel Ticker: Alaska visits are up

April 3, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

An estimated 1.56-million out-of-state visitors went to Alaska last summer, 56% aboard cruise ships, the state reports. The total visitation figure of 1,556,800 represents a 2% increase over summer 2010; however, it is still 9% below the 2007 historical peak of 1.71 million . . . . The Madison in Washington, D.C. is offering a special “commencement concierge” to answer any questions that may arise May 12-20, when most college graduations in the area will be held. For info, (800) 424-8577 or . . . . Spring-break travelers should beware of continuing traffic delays along Highway 1 this week about 25 miles south of Big Sur, as crews close the road to stabilize the hillsides. Call (888) 836-0866 or visit for updates . . . . The Bellagio’s Conservatory Botanical Gardens has opened its spring display, “Dutch Garden,” featuring a 26-foot windmill, 11-foot carousel and a floral interpretation of Claude Monet’s “Fisherman’s Cottage on the Cliffs at Varengeville.” Free and open through May 13 . . . . One of the biggest rockabilly parties in the world returns to Las Vegas for four days starting Thursday at the Orleans Hotel Casino . . . . The Beach Boys’ 50th anniversary tour stops at the Red Rock Casino Amphitheatre  in Las Vegas on Sunday, May 27 . . . . San Diego’s Hotel Solamar,  near Petco Park, is offering a “Play Ball!” baseball package through October. Rates start at $149 a night; (877) 230-0300  . . . .  For all things Irish, check out, which just passed 1 million visitors per month….NYC Company, the city’s official marketing/tourism organization, will join with start-up firm CityMaps to launch a free smartphone app that allows users to navigate New York City using easy-to-recognize names and logos . . . . Travel quote of the day: “Paris is always a good idea.” (Audrey Hepburn in “Sabrina”)

Article source:,1,5323102.story

Airline performance is improving (even if you haven’t noticed)

April 3, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

U.S. airlines had more flights arriving on time, fewer passengers bumped from flights (or involuntarily denied boarding in airline lingo), fewer lost bags and fewer customer complaints last year, according to an analysis of Department of Transportation data.

The Airline Quality Rating 2012 report says 10 of the nation’s top 15 airlines improved their performance between 2011 and 2010. AirTran Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Frontier Airlines and Alaska Airlines ranked highest, and Continental Airlines (now United Airlines) and regional carrier Mesa Airlines showed the biggest decrease.

“During 2011, the industry lowered the involuntary denied boarding rate by nearly 30%, suggesting that most airlines are getting it together,” says Dean Headley, report researcher and associate professor of marketing at Wichita State University’s business school. “Still, more than a third of the customer complaints for 2011 were for flight problems, such as unplanned schedule changes, delays and cancellations.”

The quality rating calculated for overall airline performance increased slightly from -1.20 in 2010 to -1.08 in 2011.

AirTran improved on-time flights by 1.6% in 2011 over the previous year, and customer complaints dropped too.

But the number of passengers denied boarding involuntarily was worse than last year — .57 per 10,000 passengers in 2011 compared with .39 in 2010. The airline’s mishandled baggage rate remained the same; AirTran has the lowest mishandled baggage rate – 1.63 per 1,000 passengers — of all the other airlines.

So are passengers happy about airlines doing a better job? Headley said in a Reuters story that it’s really unclear whether consumers notice. “Sometimes small changes don’t always translate to better expectations and better perceptions of outcomes.”

Article source:,1,6020239.story

You can travel to faraway places without flying

April 3, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

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I am often asked, “Where can I go without having to fly?” One great trip to do without flying is taking a 14-day cruise to Hawaii.

Imagine visiting paradise without having to fly. You save your flight costs to Hawaii and still get to visit four of the most beautiful tropical islands in the world. Hawaii has always been one of my favorite destinations.

Hawaii cruises are so popular that cruise lines are adding more and more sailing departures each year. It is so easy – you board your ship in Los Angeles and enjoy all that the ship has to offer for four days in route to the Hawaiian Islands. You will then explore each island, seeing beautiful waterfalls, incredible rain forests, relaxing beaches and so much more. After your tour of the islands, the ship then sails back to Los Angeles.

Imagine visiting the island of Oahu, stopping to see the Arizona Memorial, Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head and shopping at the International Marketplace.

On Maui, enjoy the whaling town of Lahaina, beautiful Kaanapali Beach, Haleakala Crater or whale watching during the winter months.

On the garden island of Kauai, see the beautiful rain forests and cruise by the incredible Na Pali coastline.

On the big island of Hawaii, take an excursion over to the amazing Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to see the active Kilauea volcano.

There is so much to see and do on all of the islands. There is even a 28-day Hawaii cruise that drops down to the islands of Tahiti before returning to Los Angeles.

No airport hassles, no security lines, no baggage fees. Just drive about six hours to Los Angeles and sail away into the sunset. We have been sending people on the Princess and Holland America cruises to Hawaii for years and most people come back with a nice tan and totally relaxed from the days at sea.

There are also summertime cruises from San Francisco to Alaska. Your 10-day adventure starts by passing under the span of the massive Golden Gate Bridge as you sail out of the San Francisco Bay.

Your Alaska inside passage cruise will stop in the capital Juneau, the rustic town of Skagway which is the gateway to the Klondike and Ketchikan which is famous for totem poles and shopping. The highlight of the trip is the cruise through Glacier Bay National Park experiencing the towering glaciers as they crack and crash into the bay with a thunderous roar.

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Cheapflights Media Chooses iJento for Multichannel Customer Intelligence Solutions

April 3, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

iJento today announced a new implementation of its technology for
Cheapflights Media, an online leader in flight deals publishing.
Cheapflights Media is an international media network, which publishes
top travel deals, allowing users to compare from hundreds of partners
including online travel agents, consolidators and airlines. With a
mission to be the starting point for travel, Cheapflights works to
deliver the industry’s best airfare bargains, expert tips and

Cheapflights Media partnered with iJento to help with the integration of
online and offline data. Cheapflights has a multichannel approach
towards interacting with customers including by newsletter, social media
and of course, natural search. The website also prioritizes driving
relevant traffic to its partners. Once the multichannel data is
integrated within the new iJento Datamart, Cheapflights Media will be
able to analyze its various visitor segments and how well its mix of
deals and partners matches with customer behavior and interests. iJento
provides Cheapflights Media with the ability to integrate all of its
online and offline customer data to get a better understanding of
consumer behavior, which helps the website better serve both its users
and partners.

Alan Martin, Chief Financial Officer, Cheapflights Media said:
“Cheapflights is different from other travel industry players in that we
attract people in and then direct them elsewhere. We chose to work with
iJento on multichannel customer intelligence to help us better segment
our visitors with the goal of delivering deals increasingly tailored to
consumers’ needs and serving our partners with even more relevant

Peter Ryan, CEO, iJento said: “We are very proud to be working with
Cheapflights based on the uniqueness of our truly multichannel customer
intelligence platform and ability to provide open access to
visitor-level consumer data. Partnering with companies like Cheapflights
Media demonstrates the power of understanding multichannel and
multi-device consumer behavior and how that can be harnessed for better
customer interactions and more value for partners.”

About iJento

iJento is a technology company that helps data driven organizations
integrate and analyze their customer information across multiple
channels and devices. The company helps major brands and businesses
including Allianz, Cheapflights Media,, LV= and Tesco get direct
access to their visitor data and gain sophisticated insights into
customer behavior, interests and intent at the individual level. To meet
market demand, iJento provides clients with two different options: an
end-to-end solution for clients requiring an iJento only web analytics
and multichannel customer intelligence solution and an enhancement to
existing web analytics solutions such as Adobe SiteCatalyst and Google
Analytics. iJento is an international company operating in the USA, UK
and Australia.


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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 US, Canada, UK, 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 .

SOURCE: iJento

        Viki Lander 
        Chief Marketing Officer 
        Tel: +44 (0)7769 707025

Copyright Business Wire 2012


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New Viator website offers cheaper shore excursions for cruisers

April 3, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel Deals


Cruise lovers who hate being stuck with the expensive shore excursions offered by their cruise line can now find better value alternatives, thanks to a website launching today: Viator Shore Excursions.

The site, run by activity booking engine Viator, pledges discounts of up to 60 percent off the price of more than 500 comparable ship-arranged excursions.

Until now, cruise lines have had a near monopoly on the sale of shore excursions, which make up about 25 percent of a typical cruise line’s profits. Viator’s service amps up the price competition. There are other sources for deals out there worth trying, too, especially and

Searching for a shore excursion is straightforward. Enter your cruise ship name and sailing dates, and check the types of activities you prefer, such as jungle safari, privately led shopping tour, or a photography class. The site then shows you tours that sync up with your ship’s itinerary. It works at more than 80 ports for all of the major cruise lines, such as CarnivalHolland America,Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL)Princess, and Royal Caribbean.

For instance, the site is touting a Hilo, Hawaii, shore excursion to Volcanoes National Park to see active volcanoes Mauna Loa and Kilauea as well as the gorgeous Rainbow Falls, from $59 a person. The comparable tour on NCL is currently $89 a person.

Viator’s new site guarantees an on-time return to your ship or else it will pay the full costs of transporting you to the next port in time to catch up with your ship. In another perk, the company pledges that if you find a lower price for the tour elsewhere, it will refund the difference.

Tours are typically available to book up to a day in advance of arrival in port. In many cases there are no penalties if an excursion is canceled days ahead, though travelers should read the fine print on any offer before booking. In comparison, most cruise-arranged excursions can be canceled for a refund up to 36 hours in advance. Through April 30, 2012, bookings on Viator Shore Excursions that use the code SHOREX10 receive a 10 percent discount.

We hope the launch of the new site leads to a price war on shore excursions, which would be good news for anyone who likes to cruise affordably.

More from Budget Travel

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Arizona: One-way car rentals from Hertz start at $5 a day

April 3, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

Each spring Hertz runs a one-way rental offer: Pick up a compact or economy car in Arizona, drop it off in California and pay $5 a day for the rental. Bigger cars are included in this deal too at equally low rates.

The deal: I took Hertz up on this offer last year and spent 13 days driving more than 3,400 miles around the Southwest in a Nissan Versa. Sound insane? Maybe, but my car rental cost totaled $65, not including gas. Hertz makes this offer to reposition rental cars that have accumulated in warm-weather states during the winter.

With the Arizona Drive for $5 deal, one-way rentals may be returned to a Hertz location in California, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah or Texas. The car comes with unlimited mileage and a maximum rental period of 14 days. Use the promotion code “DRV5” when making a reservation.

When: The offer is good from April 4 through June 30, based on availability.

Tested: I checked availability for the cheapest rate for a car that would be picked up at Tucson International Airport on April 23 and dropped off at Los Angeles International Airport on April 30. I found a Kia Rio or Chevy Aveo available for $25 a week (cheaper than the $5 per day rate) plus tax and fees. With this deal, weekly one-way rentals for bigger cars cost $74.99 for a Chevy Malibu and $80.99 for a Ford Escape. (Prices don’t include tax and fees.)

One caveat: Make sure you check the pick-up or drop-off locations before you go. I found the Hertz location at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport adds  $42 in extra fees.

Contact: Hertz, (877) 826-8782

Article source:,1,7082511.story

Travel Deals: cruise options this spring and summer

April 3, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

Travel Deals: cruise options this spring and summer


Written by EDE News Staff

The cruise industry is currently suffering an image problem following a series of troubling incidents, most notably the Costa Concordia tragedy and more recently a damaging engine fire onboard the Azamara Quest during a voyage between Hong Kong and Singapore.

Despite this year’s run of bad press, cruise sales are not lagging as much as one might think. Analysts say this is because the industry was exceptionally strong going into 2012.

“Cruise pricing does seem, and surprisingly so, seems to be holding up,” said David Crooks with World Travel Holdings, owners of “Q4 of last year was very, very strong—almost record breaking days.”

However, because cruise ships need to leave the docks at more than 100 percent occupancy, the major lines are enticing potential customers with incentives. Free upgrades, onboard credits, and flight discounts are among some of the bonus options you should look for currently.

Crooks says you’ll find your best booking prices within 60 to 90 days of departure. Last minute deals are 14 to 30 days out.  Any closer than that and you will likely find only the least desirable cabins on the ship.

The best deals regionally are being found on ships in Europe and the Mediterranean. Also, the Mexican Riviera is currently a bargain route as a result of ongoing drug violence in Mexico.





Photo credit: Wikimedia - Baldwin040

Copyright 2012 – Eat Drink Explore Media

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