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Do you know what it takes for a free upgrade or free flight?

How Much Do You Know About Frequent Flyer Programs?

How Much Do You Know About Frequent Flyer Programs?Frequent flyer programs allow you to earn certain travel benefits based on the number of miles (or occasionally the number of trips) you fly on a particular airline. Typical awards include a free ticket or a free upgrade from coach to first class. Some airlines also offer "elite" programs which provide check-in and boarding priorities, and "affinity" credit cards which earn mileage credits when you use them for purchases. In order to earn these benefits you must become a member of that airlines program; this can often be done through a travel agency. There is no limit to the number of programs you may join. Before deciding which program(s) to join, compare them carefully. You dont want to get "hooked" on one program by accumulating a high mileage balance, only to learn that another program offers superior benefits for your particular situation. In making your decision you should consider: - the rate at which credits are earned, - minimum credits earned per flight (e.g. you are only going 200 miles but the airline always credits at least 500) - whether you are most interested in free tickets for yourself, "companion tickets," or upgrades, - how much credit is needed for the awards you are interested in, - deadlines for using accumulated credits (e.g., in some programs miles expire after three years), - whether the airline serves the cities you would like to travel to, and whether it has tie-ins to other airlines (especially foreign carriers) and to hotels and car rental companies you would use, - whether awards are transferable or for the members use only. Each airlines program carries certain conditions and limitations. You should carefully read the promotional material and the "fine print" booklet that the airline should give you when you become a member. Also, pay attention to notices that you receive in the mail after you enroll; they sometimes describe changes in the program. Here are some other important considerations to keep in mind when comparing frequent flyer programs:Airlines reserve the right to make changes, often on short notice. This can include changes to the conditions and limitations and also to the awards and the rate at which awards are earned. Keep track of the mileage you have earned, and check it against the statement that the airline mails you. Keep your boarding pass and the "passenger coupon" portion of your ticket If the airline adds a new route after you enroll, especially an international one, you may be able to earn mileage on that route but not use awards there. Dont plan to use an award immediately after earning enough credit for it. The airline needs time to credit the most recent mileage and then issue an award certificate or ticket. Availability of space on flights for "frequent flyer" s is often treated in the same manner with many of the same conditions as deeply discounted air fares. This could include advance reservation requirements, blackout periods (generally during peak travel times, including holidays), length-of-stay limits, and limits on the number of frequent flyer seats on many flights (to as few as zero on some flights). If your award flight is canceled or greatly delayed, can you travel on another airline? If your own plans change after an award ticket is issued, can the ticket be used on another flight, or can the trip be canceled and the mileage re-credited to your account? One special reminder: airlines often restrict the transferability of mileage earnings. Almost without exception, the sale (or even attempted sale) of credits or awards violates the provisions of the program and may result in the revocation of all accumulated mileage and/or termination of your participation in the program. However, awards can usually be given to others as gifts. Persons who buy coupons also run a risk. If the airline suspects that the bearer of a coupon or ticket is not the party designated to use the travel document, the airline may refuse to honor it and may even confiscate it. In such cases, the airline invariably disclaims any obligation to the bearer of the coupon or ticket; the purchasers recourse, if any, would be with the seller of the travel document. The Department of Transportation does not regulate airline frequent flyer programs. These are matters of individual company policy. If you are dissatisfied with the way a program is administered, changes which may take place, or the basic terms of the agreement, you should complain directly to the company. If such informal efforts to resolve the problem are unsuccessful, you may wish to consider legal action through the appropriate civil court.

How To Survive Amsterdam Without Going Broke

How To Survive Amsterdam Without Going Broke

Amsterdam and especially Amsterdam hotels may not be known for affordability, but that doesnt mean it isnt possible to travel the country on a budget. The experienced thrifty traveler knows how to visit even the most expensive countries for less you just have to follow the insider secrets.Luckily, globetrotters follow some pretty simple rules for saving money, so you dont have to be an expert to travel for less. Anyone can do it!The first thing you need to know is how to get around town. Fortunately, because Amsterdam is a compact area with beauty everywhere to be seen, getting from place to place isnt as difficult as you might expect it can actually be quite fun! Compared to everything else in the city, transportation is relatively inexpensive, especially if you know what to do.Traveling the city for cheap begins right when you arrive in Amsterdam. Visit the VVV office across from Centraal Station right away. Most people in Amsterdam speak English very well, so you dont have to worry about communication problems. If you speak to the staff here, they will assist you in finding the cheapest and quickest route to your destination.Whenever you can, forget about paying for transportation and walk. This is not only free (the best deal you can get) but the best way to take in the city. Again, because Amsterdam is small and easy to travel, follow the locals and walk as much as possible. This is also a lot of fun. You can use the free map from the VVV to find your way just watch out for the many cyclists traveling through the streets.In fact, thats yet another way to get around Amsterdam, just as the locals do. If you really want to have some fun, use a bicycle for your local travels. The city is made for cycling, but you have to keep in mind this doesnt necessarily mean cycling around the city is a piece of cake. Cyclists move along at high speeds and follow special traffic signals, so having a good amount of previous experience on a bike will be helpful.For traveling longer distances, the tram system is an economical and efficient way to travel from point A to point B. You can purchase tickets in Stationsplein at the small office beside the VVV or from bus and tram conductors. Youll need to get a dagkaart, strippenkaart, or sterabonnement depending on how long youll be staying in Amsterdam.Another option: take the bus. Local and regional buses can take you where you want to go, and there is even a night-bus system that can help you get around during the wee hours between midnight and 4 a.m., when other transportation is unavailable.The railway or metro is another good possibility. To get from Schiphol airport to Centraal Station, the railway is the most direct connection, while the metro can take you to the outlying districts.The ferry system also takes pedestrians and cyclists across to Amsterdam Noord for free.For lodging, be sure to book your room in advance as this will no doubt save you a ton of cash.A person has to eatIn Amsterdam, youre going to need to eat at some point in time. Its possible to enjoy some fantastic grub on a budget if you know where to look.Bars and coffee shops also sell food, which usually costs much less than meals in a restaurant. A variety of delicious sandwiches are available in these establishments for a very low price.Amsterdam is famous for its pancake houses - they are the perfect place to grab a quick bite to eat for a good price. But dont expect American style pancakes the Dutch version, called pannekoeken, is made with many different ingredients, and can provide a very satisfying meal to hungry travelers.Another tip: vegetarian and whole food restaurants offer moderately priced food and a healthy dining experience. If youre not into vegetarian, check out the Leidseplein district here you can find Greek, Italian, Mexican, Japanese, and Indonesian food in addition to the traditional Dutch delicacies. In this area prices are competitively priced.While youre on the move, grab some frites (which are just French fries). This snack is cheap and tasty, and is served in a paper cone with mayonnaise instead of ketchup. Or, if you dont mind the taste of herring, grab a herring on a bun (haring broodje) almost anywhere in the city for a decent price.Or, buy your entire meal from a vending machine - in Amsterdam, vending machine meals are sold for low prices! For dessert, try a stroopwafel. You can find this in supermarkets and fresh from street vendors. Its simply a thin cookie resembling a waffle, filled with yummy caramel.Finally, avoid the eateries directly in tourist areas. Stray off the beaten path just a little and youll find much more affordable food that tastes delicious. Another tip: dine at one restaurant a day, and purchase the rest of your food from markets and grocery stores. This will pare down your food budget considerably and its a great way to cut down on vacation costs.Amsterdam doesnt have to be expensive, so what are you waiting for? Start planning your next vacation to this wonderful city and youll be enjoying a vacation without paying through the nose.

Attractions Guide for Singapore

Attractions Guide for Singapore

There are myriad reasons for you to visit Singapore! Although it is the smallest country in Southeast Asia, Singapore is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. The combination of dream-like, exotic landscapes, imposing ancient temples and worship sites grant the island a mysterious, almost unreal feature, immersing travellers into a deep state of relaxation, appeasement and contemplation towards the wonders of nature. As soon as you arrive in Singapore, you will be overwhelmed by the magnificent sites and ancient architectonic structures, emerging from a landscape that seems to be untouched by man. The multitude of parks, botanical gardens and the beauty of the beaches found in Singapore render the diamond-shaped island a marvellous destination for tourists from all over the world. Contrasting with the exotic landscapes, vast parks and ancient architectonic remains, imposing sky-scrapers, wide boulevards and modern monuments suggest the advanced civilization characteristic to Singapore, defying the struggled history of the country afflicted by many political conflicts in the past. With a population of around 4.5 million people, Singapore has a pronounced syncretic character, bringing together people of different ethnical groups and various religious beliefs.Due to the multitude of Singapore attractions, the best thing to do is to seek the help of a local guide. Singapore guides can take you to the most interesting sites and local attractions, helping you discover the beauty of the island. Considering the fact that the majority of people in Singapore are fluent English speakers, the language barrier shouldnt be an impediment in interacting with the locals. If you decide to seek the help of a Singapore guide, you will be taken to a wide variety of ancient temples, monuments, parks, botanical gardens and even ports, sites of great importance to Singapore. One of the most important Singapore attractions is the temple Thian Hock Keng, referred to as the Temple of Heavenly Bliss. Thian Hock Keng is an ancient Chinese worship site, initially built in tribute to Ma Po Cho, the patron goddess of sailors, also known as the Mother of the Heavenly Sages. The temple was reconstructed in the 19th century by Tan Tock Seng and Tan Kim Seng, highly respected personalities in the history of Singapore. The entrance inside the temple is guarded by the statues of two imposing lions, symbols of strength and fertility in Asian culture. At the temple gates, door gods provide further protection against evil spirits, purifying temple visitors from malignant energies. In front of the altar is the statue of Ma Po Cho, flanked by statues of the Protector of Life and the God of War.Singapore is a country with a very interesting culture, built on the scaffolds of different ancient traditions and beliefs. If you decide to visit Singapore, you will be amazed by the intriguing contrast between ancient and modern, old and new, tradition and libertinism. A trip to Singapore is undoubtedly a remarkable and unforgettable experience for tourists from all over the world!

Cruising the Caribbean

Cruising the Caribbean

White sand beaches, seagulls floating freely, cold colored drinks with cute umbrella. Thats something that you really want. The perfect way to slow down is to go on a relaxing and enjoyable cruise to the Caribbean.You can chose from many travel packages when you decide to spend your vacation cruising the Caribbean, whether it be a 7-night Southern Caribbean Cruise, or a 4-night Western Caribbean cruise, you are guaranteed to experience the time of your life in this paradise earth.While planning your trip make sure that you dont miss the following option that your cruise package will offer you. The Adventure of the Seas Cruise ship features an ice-skating rink, a rock-climbing wall, in-line skating, a 9-hole miniature golf course, a day spa and fitness center and even a full-size basketball court. But thats just for starters. The Royal Caribbean International has a number of cruises that you can avail of. Lets take their 7-night Southern Caribbean Cruise on the Adventure of the Seas Cruise ship as an example of how a cruise should go. On Day 1, you would be at the Port of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Before the ship leaves at 8:30 PM, you can check out the sights at one of the largest islands in the Eastern Caribbean. In Puerto Rico, you have to check out El Yunque Forest and be amazed with the exotic flora. You can also go see Bao Grande, a natural pool that is so inviting, you might be tempted to take a dip. There are a number of tourist spots that you can still go see, but maybe a day would not suffice going around Puerto Rico.On Day 2, on the way to Oranjestad, Aruba, you can have fun on the cruise ship with Casino Royale, or pretty much anything you want to do with their onboard facilities.On Day 3, the cruise ship docks at the Port of Oranjestad at about 8:00 AM. Here, you can be taking a submarine 150 feet below the sea. On the surface you can go shopping for bargains or go for land sporting adventures. Just set your alarm and remember that the ship leaves at around 8:30 PM.On Day 4, the ship will dock at the Port of Willemstad, Curacao at 8:00 AM. If theres one thing that you would really hate to miss, it would be exploring the Hato Caves and their mystical underground lake. You can also go biking and enjoy a trolley-train tour, before the ship leaves at 5:00 PM.There will be more cruising to do on Day 5, so enjoy your day-off from land.On Day 6, you would probably be competing in a race in Philipsburg, St. Maarten and experience kayaking.On Day 7, you will find yourself sprawled out on the beach of Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas. You will have the whole day roaming around the beautiful island before getting back on the ship by 5:30 PM.By 7:00 AM the next morning, you will be back at the Port of San Juan, Puerto Rico with a memory stick full of pictures and videos from your cruise.Cruising the Caribbean is the perfect vacation for you, not only because it is affordable, but the whole cruise package is convincingly worth it.

Going for a stress-free travel

Whether you are going on business or pleasure,traveling can be very stressful. Tension can start from the planning stage up to the time you are leaving. However, stress does not have to ruin your business or vacation. These simple tips are guaranteed to help you get rid of that travel stress bug. Plan aheadThere is no replacing good planning. To ensure that your travel will be stress-free, make sure that your flights and hotel accommodations are booked and confirmed. This will put you at ease knowing that delays are unlikely and there will be no surprises at the hotel desk. If you arrange for transportation for the duration of your travel, all the better. In case, you will have to get around the city by taxi, it is good to ask the concierge to help you find a reputable taxi company. Be prepared to get lostRemember that you are on a foreign land and unless you have already traveled there a couple of time, youll have no way of knowing how to get around. Becoming lost is probably the biggest nightmare for travelers. Before embarking on your trip, buy a travel book with maps and some useful phrases that you can use with the locals. Carry with you a credit card, identification papers and enough money to get around the city in case you get lost. It is also a good idea to ask your hotel for a business card which you can show to locals when you ask for directions.By acknowledging that you can get lost, you can better prepare and be ready for anything. Keep the communication openNothing can be a better stress-buster than staying connected with your family when traveling. With todays technology, communication is increasingly more available. People who travel can now keep in touch through cellular phones, emails and text messages. Rates in international phone calls are also cheaper now than before. Reward yourselfDo not procrastinate. If on a business travel, make sure that you have done all your work before you go sightseeing. Set aside a day where all you can do is travel to different sights in the city. If your schedule is spread out, make sure that you have ample time to go somewhere. It will also help to make out an itinerary of places to see. You can always ask the hotel to help you with that.Eat local cuisineEating can minimize travel stress! So, treat yourself to local foods and stay away from your usual staple of burger, spaghetti and cola. Be adventurous and have fun in local restaurants. Before leaving, you can ask people who already traveled in the country if they can recommend any restaurants. Hotel personnel can also help you immensely. When youre there, dont hesitate to ask for the house specialty and enjoy!Keep a travel journalWriting down your experiences during your travel will not only preserves the memories, it will also help you relieve stress. Describe the sights that you have seen, the places that you have been to, even the people you have met. Get small keepsakes from each experience, a napkin from the restaurant where you have eaten, a receipt from a souvenir shop, a bus ticket going to a special place. This will keep the magic of your travel with you.

Air Passengers with Disabilities Know Your Rights

* A person may not be refused transportation on the basis of disability or be required to have an attendant or produce a medical certificate, except in certain limited circumstances specified in the rule. * Airlines must provide enplaning, deplaning and connecting assistance, including both personnel and equipment. (Some small commuter aircraft may not be accessible to passengers with severe mobility impairments. When making plans to fly to small cities, such passengers should check on the aircraft type and its accessibility.) * Airport terminals and airline reservations centers must have TDD telephone devices for persons with hearing or speech impairments. * Passengers with vision or hearing impairments must have timely access to the same information given to other passengers at the airport or on the plane concerning gate assignments, delayed flights, safety, etc. * New wide body aircraft must have a wheelchair- accessible lavatory and an on-board wheelchair. Airlines must put an on-board wheelchair on most other flights upon a passenger's request (48 hours notice required). * Air carriers must accept wheelchairs as checked baggage, and cannot require passengers to sign liability waivers for them (except for pre-existing damage). * Most new airplanes must have movable armrests on half the aisle seats, and on-board stowage for one folding passenger wheelchair. * Carriers must allow service animals to accompany passengers in the cabin, as long as they don't block the aisle or other emergency evacuation route. * FAA safety rules establish standards for passengers allowed to sit in emergency exit rows; such persons must be able to perform certain evacuation-related functions. * FAA rules also prohibit passengers from bringing their own oxygen. Most airlines will provide aircraft-approved oxygen for a fee, but aren't required to. * Airlines may not charge for services that are required by this rule. * Airlines must make available a specially-trained Complaints Resolution Official if a dispute arises. There must be a copy of the DOT rule at every airport.It's wise to call the airline again before your trip to reconfirm any assistance that you have requested.

Summary

Do you know what it takes for a free upgrade or free flight?