A Little Wit Goes a Long Way

villageIn a piece for Worldhum.com, travel writer Katie Krueger describes going to a village market in Senegal and attempting to buy peanuts from an old woman who was selling them by the bagful. Krueger greeted the woman in the indigenous Wolof language, and tried to bargain for the best price, Senegal-style, by engaging the vendor in small talk. Krueger even told the woman her adopted Senegalese name, Kuuma N’dour, which identified her as one of the Sereer, one of the dozens of ethnic groups in the African nation.

“What a terrible name,” the woman responded. “You must be very stupid.”

Krueger asked the woman her name, and she responded, identifying herself as a member of the Joola, a tribe whose members are considered cousins of the Sereer.

“Joola?” Krueger replied. “You are selfish and love to eat rice, you pig.”

“I like rice? I don’t think so,” the vendor shot back. “You are my slave, and I know you spend all day eating peanuts.”

At that point, the vendor and everyone in the crowd began to laugh, as did a relieved Krueger. By local custom, she explains, the Joola and the Seerer are “joking cousins,” who greet each other by flinging insults. Ultimately, the woman not only sold her the peanuts for half price, but also invited her to dinner at her home.

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Posted in International

(World’s) 10 Best Airport Terminals

Airport TerminalAccording to Business Insider, Skytrax has released the results of its annual World Airport Awards based on 12.85 million customer nominations across 110 nationalities and included 410 airports worldwide. It incorporated passenger satisfaction across nearly 40 categories, including service and shopping and security and immigration. Click to find out if any of the airports in the U.S. made the list.

Singapore’s Changi Airport took the top spot in the World Airport Awards because it’s designed to literally alleviate the stress of travel, and offers passengers the opportunity to enjoy lots of greenery, an outdoor pool, and a butterfly garden. The airport sees 46.5 million visitors each year and scored high points for security, immigration processing, leisure options, and cleanliness. Other cities that made the top 10 list included Munich Airport, Vancouver International, and Hong Kong International.  No U.S. airports made it within the top 10 best airports. Read the full story on Business Insider.

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Posted in Airline News, Destination, International

Carnival Cruise Lines to Ban Balcony Smoking

Carnival CruiseThe “fun ships” are becoming healthier too: Carnival Cruise Lines announced this week that, starting October 9th, it will ban smoking on stateroom balconies, joining an ever growing fleet of companies restricting where guests can light up. Cigarettes will still be permitted in designated areas—such as certain nightclubs, casino areas, and several outdoor decks.

According to Carnival’s official statement, the shift comes in response to the “preferences of a majority of our guests.” It also brings Carnival in line with its sister companies Cunard and P&O, which updated their policies last August. Other brands owned by the Carnival Corporation, such as Seabourn and Holland America, still permit balcony smoking. The healthier trend is picking up speed among nearly every major cruise line, which has prohibited smoking on private balconies since 2006.

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Posted in Cruise

Premier Partner: JetBlue


JETBLUE AIRWAYS PRISM DESIGNSince June of this year, Jetblue has been offering the “Mint” Flight, a premium cabin with transatlantic flights (New York JFK to LAX) once a day starting at $599.

On the JetBlue Mint flight, passengers can partake in the Mint’s signature mint cocktail (with or without vodka), comfortable flat seats, gourmet food provided through a partnership with NYC restaurant Saxon + Parole, and gender specific amenity kits that contain items that will definitely be thrown in your luggage to take home. To read the article that has an entire review of the JetBlue Mint flight, click here.

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Posted in Featured Partner

Featured Partner: Hilton Hotels

Hilton Hotels offer a variety of promotional deals for travelers this summer. Sign up for Hilton’s Double Your HHonors promotion and you can earn double points or double miles on you next trip when you stay at participating Hilton Portfolio properties through July 31. Register for double points or double miles at http://www3.hilton.com. Also, for a weekend getaway, over 540 Hilton Hotels & Resorts destinations are offering special rates and breakfasts for two with their Bed & Breakfast package. Book by October 14. See the Hilton website for more special deals. Hilton Hotels, 7-9-14

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Posted in Hotels, Promotion

New TSA Mobile Device Rules Announced

DHS has announced new rules for mobile phones and laptops. Travelers on direct flights to the US from certain unspecified overseas airports must be able to power up devices when they go through airport security. Otherwise, devices that cannot be powered up will not be allowed on the plane. The new directive comes as concerns mount that known terrorist organizations have developed ways to turn digital devices into weapons that are not detectable by current screening procedures. Homeland Security officials have singled out the most popular smartphones for extra security checks on flights from Europe, the Middle East and Africa bound for the US.   Business Travel Executive, 7-9-14

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Posted in Travel Tips

Helping Air Travelers Navigate the Skies

Earlier this week, Airfarewatchdog.com released its Guide to Air-Passenger Rights to help make it easier for travelers to know their rights when flights are seriously delayed, rescheduled or canceled. “Some airlines will provide hotels if there are delays, and almost all will give money back if flights are severely delayed,” said George Hobica, founder and president of www.Airfarewatchdog.com, but “most airlines make their contracts of carriage and customer service commitments either hard to find, or hard to understand.” Thus, many people don’t know or understand the policies. Forbes 7-7-14

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Posted in Airline News

US Airways/British Airways July 2014 Codeshare Expansions

US Airways has further expanded codeshare operations with British Airways, placing US Air code on 11 more routes operated by BA. Planned codeshare destinations, all from London Heathrow, are: Amsterdam, Belfast, Bergen, Bucharest, Leeds, Manchester, Munich, Prague, Stavanger, Stockholm, and Warsaw. These codeshares will allow passengers to book their entire trip on US Air, thus synchronizing schedules, baggage handling, transfers, etc. for a smoother flying experience. Airline Route 7-9-14

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Posted in Airline News, International

Parking Robot Ray Bows At Düsseldorf

Düsseldorf Airport has become the world’s first airport to employ an intelligent robotic parking system for vehicle drop off and pick up. Travelers leave their cars near the terminal and the new parking robot named Ray handles parking cars for them. They reserve an individual parking spot before their trip via an online booking system, download the app, and then leave their car in in a special parking area at the airport. Connected to the airport’s flight data system, Ray knows when the customer will come for the vehicle and deposits it when the passenger returns. Business Travel Executive 7-9-14

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Posted in International

Featured Partner: Choice Hotels

Choice Hotels offers fantastic deals and special programs at more than 6,000 hotels across the globe with great vacation packages, special rates and travel rewards. Choose a well maintained and run, quality establishment for an excellent rate and amenities you want – like free high speed internet and breakfast. Take advantage of current specials; Book early and save up to 20% off the Best Available Rate at participating hotels or register before your first visit, stay twice between May 23 and Aug. 21 and earn a $50 gift card.

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Posted in Featured Partner, Hotels