Tag: Book

Skyscanner expert explains how to use flexible travel to book with confidence for 2021

LONDON, Dec. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Skyscanner’s US travel expert Mark Crossey today shared expert advice on how keen vacationers can use flexible travel to book future trips with confidence.

“As news of vaccines nearing readiness has broken, we’ve seen travelers turn their attention to next year. American travelers have been very engaged with the changing restrictions on travel in 2020 and are keen to get away safely within official guidance.

“Many airlines have scrapped domestic fare change fees indefinitely and extended the removal of international change fees until 2021. The emergence of truly flexible travel fares has not gone unnoticed and US travelers are taking advantage. Skyscanner has responded to these trends with a series of safer, smarter travel features to help US travelers book with confidence that they’re getting the right price, with the right added extras.

What is a flexible flight ticket?
“Generally speaking, a flexible flight ticket is one that allows for changes or cancellations without a fee, with a smaller-than-usual fee, or another condition that makes it easier for the traveler to change their plans. Many airlines have agreed to eliminate change fees altogether in response to the uncertainty the pandemic has created.

“When searching with Skyscanner’s “Flexible Ticket” option, this feature shows which airlines have changed their booking terms. The filter will only display airlines that offer flexible tickets, or hotels and car hire with free cancellation. And if you like to dot your i’s and cross your t’s, we also link directly to the airline’s booking policy so you can review all of the fine print.

“While Skyscanner will always do its best to show you the most up-to-date prices and policies, it’s important to check the terms and conditions of your specific ticket at the time of booking to ensure you’re fully briefed on the details of its change policy.”

Can I buy a plane ticket without a set date?
“You need to set a date when you book most flights. However, if you buy a flexible ticket, you can move the flight date and time until the ticket’s validity period (which is usually, but not always, one year from the date of purchase) ends.”

Which airlines are offering flexible flight tickets?
“There are several airlines offering flexible flights through the end of this year and beyond, some have even expanded their change fees and cancellation policies.

“During 2020 we have made some changes to our site and app to make it extra easy to find flexible airline tickets. Simply select the ‘Flexible tickets only’ box or toggle to show only those covered by flexible policies.”

American Airlines: “As of October 2020, American currently offers free changes and cancellation on all tickets, including Basic Economy fares booked through December 31, 2020.”

Delta Airlines: “Like American, Delta allows its customers to change, and, if necessary, refund all trips booked through the end of 2020. Additionally, Delta has extended the validity of all tickets until the end of 2022.”

United Airlines: “On their website,

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The Best Day To Book Travel For 2021

This year and travel did not get along, but for every postponed holiday and desperate staycation, there will be another bucket list trip sometime in the future. If you’re banking on 2021 to indulge your wanderlust, Travel Deal Tuesday may be your best day to book next year’s vacations. On Tuesday, December 1, travel providers will be offering major discounts and flexible policies, should 2021 not be as pandemic-free as hoped.

But for globetrotting optimists, travel booking app Hopper has outlined exactly what travelers can expect this Travel Deal Tuesday, to plan ahead for a promising vaccine and more normal year ahead.

“In recent years, Travel Deal Tuesday has become one of the best days to book travel. While this year has looked different in many ways, Americans are still excited about the promise of a good deal,” said Liana Corwin, Consumer Travel Expert at Hopper. “If you’re thinking about future travel, December 1 will be a great day to take advantage of low rates and unprecedented flexibility, as travel providers are expected to offer discounts on spring-summer 2021 travel and flexible booking options.”

Before you book an itinerary, take a look at what to expect on Travel Deal Tuesday, and start packing. Well, almost. Here’s how to make the most of the day’s deals:

The best time to book next year’s vacation is Tuesday, December 1

In honor of travel deal Tuesday, prices are expected to be 34% lower on December 1, compared to the same date last year, with great deals on spring and summer 2021 travel. Hopper’s data detects an average of 34 deals per second on this travel holiday, which is 30% more deals than the average day.

Take advantage of special discounted prices

Stay thrifty on Cyber Monday, because Tuesday will offer savings of up up to 40% off flights, 40% off hotels, and up to 30% off select Avis and Budget car rentals via the Hopper app.

Book 2021 travel with flexibility

If booking travel this early makes you nervous, and, rightfully so, 2020 has been a year of uncertainty, know that travelers who book through the Hopper app are eligible for 20% off the company’s Refundable Booking Plan for flights and hotels, and Flexible Dates Plan for flights only). If you choose to cancel, you’ll get 100% back in travel credit, or 80% cash back, depending on your trip details. Hopper’s Flexible Dates Plan also allows travelers to instantly change the date, time, and even airline for any reason up to 24 hours prior to departure.

Check airlines for Travel Deal Tuesday promotions

Airlines such as Hawaiian Airlines, Emirates, Air Canada and Icelandair have already confirmed they’ll be participating in Travel Deal Tuesday this year. Check with specific airlines to see what deals and offers they will promote on Tuesday.

Take your time planning

Still hung up on whether you

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How to book holiday travel without risk of losing money, full refund

  • Travelers are preparing to take to the skies this holiday season should book their flights carefully to avoid losing money if the pandemic worsens. 
  • Airlines are waiving change and cancellation fees but that doesn’t mean a refund if you have to cancel.
  • Using airline points and miles or travel credits can help ensure maximum flexibility and help get the best deal.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The onset of the pandemic in March saw thousands of travelers rush to cancel flights as the global outbreak decimated the ability to travel. Non-essential travel was discouraged and outright banned internationally as borders swiftly closed, and staying at home became en vogue.

With the public settling into a pandemic entering its eighth month and Thanksgiving fast approaching, many are pondering a return to the skies to visit friends and relatives. The winter holiday season, after all, has historically been the busiest travel time of the year for Americans thanks to the cluster of family-oriented holidays in a three-month span. 

But the pandemic has inflicted an ever-changing new normal and US cities and states that are currently a low-risk could become the next epicenters in a matter of weeks, casting doubt on future travel plans. Airlines realizing this have done away with some change and cancellation fees while providing new tools that are making it easier to hedge travel plans this holiday season, if used properly.

Travelers booking flights should follow a basic principle of avoiding shelling cash – or avoid it as much as possible –since the possibility of a refund is slim for a customer-initiated cancelation. If paying with cash is the only option, flyers should consider a refundable ticket or settle for the fact that they’ll likely only receive a travel credit for future travel.

Cash tickets can also be refunded if an airline initiates a flight cancellation or makes a change to a flight after you’ve booked it. Our guide to schedule changes outlines under which circumstances a flyer can get a refund for a non-refundable ticket.

Here are two ways to protect your wallet during the holiday travel rush. 

Using a travel credit or gift card

Delta Air Lines gift card

A Delta Air Lines gift card.

melissamn/Shutterstock.com


Flyers who’ve canceled a flight due to the pandemic are likely sitting on a pile of travel credit from the airline with which they booked. It’s like a gift card in that the value can only be used on that one airline. 

Using up these credits for the holiday can help avoid a cash purchase and prevent a loss if the flight needs to be canceled for any reason. Airlines may just issue another credit if the trip ultimately needs to be canceled and no cash will be lost, though that depends on the airline.

Credits also have an expiration date so it’s better to use them now if a trip is guaranteed to be a go. They usually expire after a year from issuance but some airlines are extending those dates as travel

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A Connecticut hotel gets a makeover, a book celebrates 200 years of Maine, and puzzles can take you places

HERE:

HOTEL MAKEOVER IN STAMFORD

It’s a tough time to debut a hotel rehab but Connecticut’s The Lloyd does it with style. Located in the heart of downtown Stamford, each of the 94 guestrooms has been given a top-to-bottom renovation with modern West Elm furniture, spa-like bathrooms and luxury amenities such as plush bathrobes and natural essentials from Malin and Goetz. The complete makeover continues in the public spaces such as lounge area that includes a café by day and intimate bar by night, and high-tech fitness center with core and cardio fitness training equipment, Peloton bike, and The Mirror for on-demand cardio, yoga, and boxing classes. Additional amenities include valet parking, fresh-brewed coffee delivered to your door, and turndown service. Don’t want to drive? The hotel is half a mile from the Amtrak Station and local Metro North line. Rates from $179. 203-363-7900, thelloydstamford.com.

BOOK CELEBRATES 200 YEARS OF MAINE

As the weather gets colder, curl up in front of a wood stove or wrapped in a blanket on your couch and peruse the dazzling photos, illustrations and stories in the Bicentennial Edition of Maine the Way. This 200-page special edition publication, released in partnership with the Maine Office of Tourism, delves into the state’s colorful history through the decades (from when it was granted independence from Massachusetts in 1820) as well as looking at the people shaping the present and future of its land, cities, and seas. While reading, you can plan your next excursion to the Pine Tree State. $35. mainetheway.co

Those looking for a secluded (and warm) winter getaway may want to consider Caerula Mar Club in sleepy South Andros, Bahamas.
Those looking for a secluded (and warm) winter getaway may want to consider Caerula Mar Club in sleepy South Andros, Bahamas.

THERE:

GET PAMPERED IN SECLUDED BAHAMIAN HIDEAWAY

Those looking for a secluded (and warm) winter getaway may want to consider Caerula Mar Club in sleepy South Andros, Bahamas. The resort’s 18 oceanfront suites and six private villas, tucked between lush mangroves and powder-white shoreline sands, offer elegant accommodations that blend traditional architecture and midcentury modern style with contemporary furnishings, Belgian linens, aged marble stone, and soft white oak floors. Three on-site dining options range from a café and smoothie bar to casual lounge serving artisanal pizzas and fresh fish tacos to a Caribbean-inspired fine-dining restaurant with sweeping ocean views. The island’s coral reefs are a perfect spot for outdoor activities such as diving, snorkeling, boating, and fishing. Rates from $485-$585 per night. 800-790-6845. www.caerulamar.com. Before booking, check out updated entry and travel COVID-19 protocols on the Bahamas Tourism website: www.bahamas.com/tourism-reopening.

The recently opened Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco at Embarcadero.
The recently opened Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco at Embarcadero.

BOOKMARK THIS HOTEL FOR FUTURE TRAVELS

When it comes to travel, it’s said that location is everything. That’s certainly true at the recently opened Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco at Embarcadero, centrally located in the Financial District just steps from tourism favorites such as Union Square, the Ferry Building and Fisherman’s Wharf, and the California cable car route. Residing in the top 11 floors of a 48-story landmark, the 345 California Center, the hotel offers

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Should I Use Miles to Book Holiday Travel in 2020?

By Sam Kemmis

Many frequent travelers haven’t stepped foot on a plane for months. Yet, with the holidays approaching, it might be time to dust off the old airline mile account and start booking award travel.

Or is it?

Setting aside the question of whether it’s wise to travel at all this winter, here we’ll dive into the question of using travel rewards like airline miles and hotel points to book holiday travel. Do award bookings offer good value compared with paying in cash in 2020? And do they offer greater or different flexibility in case plans change?

By the Numbers: Airline Mile Value

As part of our updated 2020 airline mile valuations, we compared cash and award booking prices across many dates, including “peak” holiday travel at the end of December. This lets us compare the average cent-per-point value for these bookings during the holidays compared with other times.

This shows us that there is no simple answer to the question, “Is using miles during the holidays a good idea?” American  (AAL) – Get Report, Southwest  (LUV) – Get Report and United  (UAL) – Get Report offered better-than-average value for holiday reward bookings, in our analysis, while the other airlines offered average or slightly below-average value.

Also, these are average values, and individual cases will vary. Some United redemptions will offer lousy value, while some Delta  (DAL) – Get Report redemptions will (presumably) offer good value during the holidays. The best bet is to compare the cash and award booking prices for your own route and dates, using a calculator like this one.

Keep in mind that the “value” of an award redemption depends not only on the number of miles needed to book it but also the equivalent cash price. And one of the interesting variables making this year unlike others is that cash prices for holiday travel remain historically low.

Make Sure to Check Cash Prices

Usually, the allure of using miles to book holiday travel comes from the sky-high cost of normal cash fares. That is, when faced with a ludicrous cash ticket price, many travelers wonder whether points and miles offer a better value. But that’s not the case this year.

According to airfare tracking app Hopper, Christmas airfare is 40% lower in 2020 than 2019, with an average round trip airfare costing just $222. And unless demand increases soon, those prices are likely to remain low until the last minute.

The price of Christmas airfare has actually decreased as the holiday approaches, tracking well below the 2019 average.

Importantly, low cash prices usually mean lower “value” for miles, since the cost of award bookings is often more fixed than cash prices. That is, the lower-than-average value shown above for some airlines may simply be the result of lower-than-average cash prices.

Again, it’s important to check the relative value of your own route before booking. If the cash prices are low, you might not need to

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Analysis: Should You Use Miles to Book 2020 Holiday Travel?

Many frequent travelers haven’t stepped foot on a plane for months. Yet, with the holidays approaching, it might be time to dust off the old airline mile account and start booking award travel.

Or is it?

Setting aside the question of whether it’s wise to travel at all this winter, here we’ll dive into the question of using travel rewards like airline miles and hotel points to book holiday travel. Do award bookings offer good value compared with paying in cash in 2020? And do they offer greater or different flexibility in case plans change?

By the numbers: Airline mile value

As part of our updated 2020 airline mile valuations, we compared cash and award booking prices across many dates, including “peak” holiday travel at the end of December. This lets us compare the average cent-per-point value for these bookings during the holidays compared with other times.

This shows us that there is no simple answer to the question, “Is using miles during the holidays a good idea?” American, Southwest and United offered better-than-average value for holiday reward bookings, in our analysis, while the other airlines offered average or slightly below-average value.

Also, these are average values, and individual cases will vary. Some United redemptions will offer lousy value, while some Delta redemptions will (presumably) offer good value during the holidays. The best bet is to compare the cash and award booking prices for your own route and dates, using a calculator like this one.

Keep in mind that the “value” of an award redemption depends not only on the number of miles needed to book it but also the equivalent cash price. And one of the interesting variables making this year unlike others is that cash prices for holiday travel remain historically low.

Make sure to check cash prices

Usually, the allure of using miles to book holiday travel comes from the sky-high cost of normal cash fares. That is, when faced with a ludicrous cash ticket price, many travelers wonder whether points and miles offer a better value. But that’s not the case this year.

According to airfare tracking app Hopper, Christmas airfare is 40% lower in 2020 than 2019, with an average round trip airfare costing just $222. And unless demand increases soon, those prices are likely to remain low until the last minute.

Graph courtesy of Hopper.

The price of Christmas airfare has actually decreased as the holiday approaches, tracking well below the 2019 average.

Importantly, low cash prices usually mean lower “value” for miles, since the cost of award bookings is often more fixed than cash prices. That is, the lower-than-average value shown above for some airlines may simply be the result of lower-than-average cash prices.

Again, it’s important to check the relative value of your own route before booking. If the cash prices are low, you might not need to dip into your miles.

What about flexibility?

With another wave of the pandemic mounting, you don’t want to get locked into any holiday

Continue reading

Should You Use Miles to Book 2020 Holiday Travel?

Many frequent travelers haven’t stepped foot on a plane for months. Yet, with the holidays approaching, it might be time to dust off the old airline mile account and start booking award travel.

Or is it?

Setting aside the question of whether it’s wise to travel at all this winter, here we’ll dive into the question of using travel rewards like airline miles and hotel points to book holiday travel. Do award bookings offer good value compared with paying in cash in 2020? And do they offer greater or different flexibility in case plans change?

By the numbers: Airline mile value

As part of our updated 2020 airline mile valuations, we compared cash and award booking prices across many dates, including “peak” holiday travel at the end of December. This lets us compare the average cent-per-point value for these bookings during the holidays compared with other times.

This shows us that there is no simple answer to the question, “Is using miles during the holidays a good idea?” American, Southwest and United offered better-than-average value for holiday reward bookings, in our analysis, while the other airlines offered average or slightly below-average value.

Also, these are average values, and individual cases will vary. Some United redemptions will offer lousy value, while some Delta redemptions will (presumably) offer good value during the holidays. The best bet is to compare the cash and award booking prices for your own route and dates, using a calculator like this one.

Keep in mind that the “value” of an award redemption depends not only on the number of miles needed to book it but also the equivalent cash price. And one of the interesting variables making this year unlike others is that cash prices for holiday travel remain historically low.

Make sure to check cash prices

Usually, the allure of using miles to book holiday travel comes from the sky-high cost of normal cash fares. That is, when faced with a ludicrous cash ticket price, many travelers wonder whether points and miles offer a better value. But that’s not the case this year.

According to airfare tracking app Hopper, Christmas airfare is 40% lower in 2020 than 2019, with an average round trip airfare costing just $222. And unless demand increases soon, those prices are likely to remain low until the last minute.

Graph courtesy of Hopper.

The price of Christmas airfare has actually decreased as the holiday approaches, tracking well below the 2019 average.

Importantly, low cash prices usually mean lower “value” for miles, since the cost of award bookings is often more fixed than cash prices. That is, the lower-than-average value shown above for some airlines may simply be the result of lower-than-average cash prices.

Again, it’s important to check the relative value of your own route before booking. If the cash prices are low, you might not need to dip into your miles.

What about flexibility?

With another wave of the pandemic mounting, you don’t want to get locked into any

Continue reading

Should You Book Holiday Travel Now or Later? | Travel

Hotels have generally been more flexible than airlines about cancellations, and policies are more generous since the pandemic started. Hyatt reservations for arrival dates through July 31, 2021, can typically be canceled at no charge up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival. Marriott is allowing guests to cancel most reservations for arrival dates through Dec. 30, 2020, at no charge up to 24 hours before the scheduled arrival date.

For hotels and airlines booked on points, most hotel chains will redeposit award points on canceled stays. Meanwhile, most airlines will allow you to change your flight for no fee, even if you booked on points.

Given that flexibility, it might make more sense to book travel now and potentially cancel last-minute versus procrastinating and scrambling to book.

Availability isn’t necessarily as broad as you might think

Sure, the number of overall travelers is way down, but travel availability is also way down. In the last week of October, there were 46% fewer scheduled airline flights than for the same week last year, according to airline analytics provider OAG.  Flights aren’t necessarily totally empty; there are just fewer of them.

Similarly, it might seem like a great idea to head to Disney World — where attendance is way down — but less than two-thirds of the hotels on property are open. What’s more, park hours have been reduced.

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How to use travel credit to book flights on US airlines; step-by-step guide

  • The upcoming holiday travel season is the perfect time to offload travel credit from flights canceled during the pandemic. 
  • Travel credit is often issued in lieu of a refund so an airline can keep the cash paid for the original flight.
  • Each airline is different in how flyers can use credit and this step-by-step guide for all 11 major US airlines explains how to book flights using it. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

If you voluntarily canceled a flight during the pandemic, chances are that you received a travel or flight credit and not a cash refund. 

Issuing a credit is the preferred method for airlines instead of cash refunds. It’s almost like an interest-free loan for airlines as it lets them keep the money paid for a flight without having to provide the service until a later date.

With the holiday season fast approaching, travelers are contemplating returning to the skies, and now is the perfect time to use up that credit before it expires.

Each airline is different in what they’ll allow the credit to be used for. Some airlines require that the same passengers use the credit while others are transferable. Credits may also be used to purchase extras like seat assignments or baggage allowance, depending on the airline. 

Prospective flyers seeking to use a credit should call their airline to confirm what it can be used for and if their credit can be used multiple times if the full amount won’t be used up in one trip. But once that’s all done and it’s time to book, the process is quite simple. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use travel credits when booking a flight on all 11 major US airlines. 

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Book a getaway and support others through Vacation Angel Network

The Seattle-based home rental business donates time in rental properties to families in need

SEATTLE — Wanna get away? Vacation Angel Network, a home rental platform based in Seattle, may have what you’re looking for.

“We have everything from small treehouses to giant mansions,” said founder John Fahey. “Your price range can be anywhere from a couple hundred dollars a night up to $5000 a night.” The network functions like Airbnb, but there are no added booking fees.

But the Vacation Angel Network doesn’t exist just to benefit renters, it also donates getaways in their homes to families in need, for free.

“Usually, it’s kids who are going through pediatric cancer, and we let their families go on a free vacation after they’re done with treatment,” Fahey said. “We’ve teamed up with a bunch of different foundations and they will nominate people for us.”

One of those families is the Wyneas. “It’s very nice to know there are a lot of people out there who are willing to help,” said Caleb Wynea. His daughter Aliyah was diagnosed with a rare benign brain tumor, “We didn’t expect this to happen to us, everything was pretty much normal until she had a headache that just wouldn’t go away.” 

Surgery to remove the tumor came with multiple complications and side effects. Aliyah had to learn to walk again, has ongoing symptoms similar to a traumatic brain injury, and her endocrine system doesn’t regulate normally. Outside support from the community and entities like Vacation Angel Network means everything to her parents.

“We’ve really developed a very virtuous cycle,” Fahey said. “For the homeowners, I know it’s a positive experience for them – I know it also helps their business out, incidentally. And then for the families, you just see it in their faces. They have an amazing time. The whole thing is just a really positive, feel-good experience.”

Vacation Angel Network features homes throughout Washington State, the Idaho Panhandle and parts of Western Montana. Fahey said he’s looking for new homeowners to join the network, and would love to spread out nationally someday.

KING 5’s Evening celebrates the Northwest. Contact us: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Email.

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