Tag: Travel Channel

Expedia Hangs Up its Phone Booking Fees

Expedia.com today announced that they’ve eliminated their $20 booking fee for travel reservations made over the phone.  Here’s what the NYTimes reported frexpediaom their In Transit blog:

“It’s the latest move in a fee war that has been playing out over the past several months among online travel agencies. Earlier this year, Expedia eliminated online fees for changing or canceling car rentals, cruises, hotels and most flights. It also did away with online booking fees for flights. Orbitz and Travelocity quickly followed suit, eliminating flight booking fees in June and later scrapping change and cancel penalties on hotel reservations.

Expedia wouldn’t say exactly what percentage of its bookings are made by phone, but Forrester Research estimates about 10 percent. The move gives Expedia a pricing advantage over airlines, which levy surcharges for phone bookings, said Henry H. Harteveldt, principal travel analyst at Forrester. Still, he does not expect that airlines will match Expedia’s decision.

But how about other online travel agencies? No word yet on whether Orbitz or Travelocity will eliminate their $25 charges for booking flights by phone.”

Here’s some more travel news you can use:

  • Amie O’Shaughnessy, editor of family travel site Ciao Bambino! shares her top tips to make family travels smoother, and rounds up some great holiday escapes.  Check them out here.
  • The travel blog Jaunted has compiled five of the best ways to top off your mileage account and gain some extra miles without even leaving the ground.  “Everyone wants to be able to make it rain with excess miles, and with a little work and creativity, you’ll be doing just that.”

  • Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. has won a bidding war to control Cox Communications Inc.’s Travel Channel, the companies announced today.  Scripps has been aggressively pursuing international expansion. It has announced joint ventures to launch the Food Network in other countries. Travel Channel is seen as a network that could sell well internationally, aiding expansion, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Staying Healthy When You Travel

If you’re a busy business traveler, you know that exercise and healthy eating while on the road are near impossibilities.  Well, if you want to know how it’s done, read this story from today’s Wall Street Journal detailing how fitness expert Jillian Michaels (from the TV show “The Biggest Loser”) maintains her healthy eatinJillian Michaels 2g and exercise habits while constantly traveling for work.

“Ms. Michaels… packs her own snacks and breakfast foods—or sends them FedEx to the hotel where she’s staying. Before arriving, she asks the hotel to clean out the minibar so she can fill it with her own food, such as dry roasted almonds, Greek yogurt, fruit, carrot sticks, hummus, protein bars and shake mixes. ‘I work 16-hour days when traveling, so fitness can be hard,’ she says. ‘I get meticulous about my diet under these circumstances.’

She also brings along fitness DVDs that she can pop into her computer and easily do in her room. Rather than use her own (’I'm a little weirded out by myself,’ says Ms. Michaels), she prefers hard-core circuit training and cardio-based fitness DVDs.

Ms. Michaels often calls ahead to find hotels with gyms and nearby health-food stores. A gym doesn’t have to be upscale. ‘As long as you push yourself, it doesn’t matter how fancy the equipment is,’ she says. She also asks hotel concierges to find local gyms where she can get day passes and take spinning classes. To stay healthy, she prioritizes sleep and tries to boost her immunity before plane rides with vitamin C.

No matter what kind of restaurant she’s in, Ms. Michaels likes to ask for fish grilled with lemon or garlic sauce on the side and steamed vegetables. When you’re away from home, staying in shape ‘just requires [that] you be a little high-maintenance,’ she says.”

Here’s some more travel news you can use:

  • JetBlue said today it will boost its service from Boston Logan by 30 percent by next summer, as bigger carriers pull back and competition from rival Southwest heats up.  JetBlue plans to offer up to 78 daily flights from Boston to 33 destinations.  That includes two more flights to Chicago and Raleigh Durham, N.C., for a total of three daily flights each. JetBlue will also add flights from Beantown to San Francisco, San Diego, Washington and spots in the Caribbean.  JetBlue currently serves more cities out of Boston than any other airline.
  • United Airlines, the first carrier to make the Boeing 737 a staple of its fleet 41 years ago, retired the last of those jets yesterday as “Flight 737″ lifted off from Washington Dulles International Airport before dawn Wednesday and touched down at every one of the carrier’s hubs on its way to a giant maintenance base in San Francisco.   Mechanics will strip down the plane and prepare it for its final journey to the central California desert, where it will be parked.
  • Forbes has partnered with the Travel Channel to produce FORBES LUXE 11, a luxury lifestyle series consisting of 10, hour-long episodes.  The series, featuring Forbes content and Forbes on-camera talent, will begin airing on a weekly basis starting Saturday, Nov. 7th @ 10 PM ET.  Topics will include: Exclusive hotels, extravagant meals, extreme excursions, luxury steals, icy hot spots, first-class traveler, high seas style and billionaire-owned hotels.  Robin Leech would be proud.