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Baggage Delivery from Airport to Front Door Baggage Delivery from Airport to Front Door

January 28, 2013- American Airlines has been joined by United Airlines in offering travelers, who are in a hurry, the option of delivering their checked luggage to their hotel, home or office. Of course, there is a fee involved in the service.

BagsVIP, a part of Bags, Inc. operates the service. The service promises to deliver the passengers luggage to any location in a radius of 40 miles from the airport within a period of four hours of the arrival of the flight. Delivery can be booked via the phone or online up to 60 minutes before the departure of the flight.

The charges for the delivery are over and above the normal checked baggage fees a passenger pays. The cost is $29.95 for a single bag, $39.95 for two and $49.95 for between three and eight bags for United Airlines.

The same $49.95 fee is charged for as many as ten bags on American Airlines. Delivery times and fees are adjusted if the destination is over 40 miles and up to 100 miles away from the airport. If the passenger’s bags do not arrive within the four-hour window, the fees for the service are refunded.

The bag delivery service was started by American Airlines last August and is now offered in over 200 cities in the U.S. The airline said its customer feedback has been positive and the airline said it was looking forward to increasing the service to include other cities.

United Airlines rolled out its baggage delivery service in early January and only six cities currently have the service. Those six cities include Chicago, Boston, Houston, Honolulu, Orlando and Los Angeles. However, over 190 destinations in the U.S. will be added to the service shortly.

Bags, Inc. currently offers remote baggage check at all the Disney resorts, a number of cruise lines and some of the many hotels in Las Vegas.

All Full-Body “Nude” Scanners to be Removed All Full-Body “Nude” Scanners to be Removed

January 20, 2013 - The Transportation Security Administration on Friday confirmed that it would be pulling all of its all-body nude airport scanners that make a complete body image of travelers. The scanners have sparked widespread controversy over safety and privacy laws.

The TSA said it had made the decision to remove the imaging machines by the beginning of June. There currently are 174 scanners still used in 30 different airports in the U.S.

In place of the imaging scanners, the TSA will use additional wave body scanners, which produce a stick figure as its image, in some airports, while in others it will just have walk through detectors.

In 2009, following the failed bombing by the underwear bomber on Christmas Day, the TSA started to use the backscatter full body imaging technology in the country’s airports. The Christmas underwear bomber had plastic explosives concealed inside his underwear during a trip to Detroit from Amsterdam. Passengers on the plane restrained him after he had started a fire on the plane in an attempt to detonate his hidden explosives.

However, public outcry and many lawsuits were sparked by the nude body scanners charging that the scanners were an invasion of an individual’s privacy. Passengers were allowed to opt out of going through the body scanner, but would then have to have a pat down, which was considered by many to be equally invasive.

The government had contracted with a company to manufacture 500 of the full body machines at a cost of nearly $180,000 each, but announced that the contract had been terminated.

The body scanners have been replaced without fanfare by the TSA for the last several months. Larger airports where they have been already been taken out include Boston’s Logan International, Chicago’s O’Hare, LAX in Los Angeles, JFK International in New York and Orlando’s International Airport.

Twenty Percent of Women Become Ill when staying at a Hotel Twenty Percent of Women Become Ill when staying at a Hotel

January 16, 2013 - A hotel room is full of risk for hygiene for guests who are female according to new research from a leading online travel safety site. Close to 20% of female guests at hotels said, they suffer from some form of illness while staying at a hotel. That underscores the need for hotels to increase the bar on cleaning standards everywhere including inside the hotel room.

Nearly half of the business travelers staying in hotels are women and hotels have had to change to make sure the women’s needs are met. However, 60% of women polled said that the most important part for them was the price of the hotel, with overall cleanliness not being that much of a concern.

The online site Check Safety First has a Room Check system that monitors hygiene in the room scientifically. The site said that woman had to be more aware of the risk to their health in hotel rooms, as hotels are failing to meet sufficient standards. A new site in the UK (Room-check.co.uk) provides hotel users with the latest hygiene in rooms from hotels with consistently high scores.

When staying in a hotel certain things should be checked to ensure better the rooms are clean. A recent study said that the most hygienic area of the hotel room was the bathroom.

Close to 80% of women however like to eat while sitting on their bed, but the report says that area is one of the dirtiest areas in a hotel room. Mattresses and their pads are rarely changed by hotels therefore a large number of hotel guests could have left behind potentially harmful germs and bacteria.

Close to 98% of women guests watch television while in their hotel room. That makes the remote control very dirty, as the hotel cleans them. The area were coffee is made in the room is also very dirty.

Sixty-five percent of women use room service when traveling and that too can create other types of hygiene risks.

Report: By 2020, 50 Million People From India Will Holiday Overseas Report: By 2020, 50 Million People From India Will Holiday Overseas

January 14, 2013 - Outbound tourism is starting to catch up with inbound in India and estimates are that by 2020 over 50 million people from India will travel for their holiday overseas. That figure was forecast by the Tourism Australia, a company run by the state that promotes the country as a leisure and business travel destination.

The report said the disposable incomes are making it possible for more Indians to travel to other parts of the world for their holidays. The Indian tourism and travel industry has grown an average of 8% in each of the last five years.

Domestic tourism in the country has reached 850 million visits, while arrivals of foreign tourists passed the six million annual mark in 2012. In addition, an increase in Indian tourist traveling has been seen to destinations near to India as they remain within the travelers’ budget and takes less time to make the trip, said a report from the U.N. World Tourism Organization.

A three-day fair is currently being held in Bangalore called Travel & Tourism Fair that has over 3,000 travel and tour operators participating, promoting their holiday destinations both within India and abroad.

The fair is provided to help the tourism and travel industry to meet with trade partners as well as potential business and tourism travelers offering holiday packages for upcoming summer vacations.

Along with China, which is a feature country, and Nepal as a partner country, there are tour operators from the U.S., Canada, Singapore, Egypt and Turkey taking part in the event offering special deals for early bird reservations.

There are also operators representing 20 states throughout India taking part in the event to promote religious, heritage, leisure, cruise, honeymoon and even medical tourism within India.

 

Orbitz Predicts 2013 Hottest Places Orbitz Predicts 2013 Hottest Places

January 06, 2013- Both in the U.S. and Internationally 2012 was a year of different milestone events that has set the tone for 2013 travel. New Zealand, Charleston and New Orleans have been projected as the top destinations for travel in 2013.

Part of that is due to national events, movie releases, flight offerings and new hotels coming online. The Orbitz Insider Index helps to identify what got last years’ travelers on the go and what the top destinations will be for travel in 2013.

One of this year’s hot spots is New Orleans. The city will host the Super Bowl on February 3, the Final Four in Women’s NCAA basketball and a number of music, lifestyle and food festivals that appeal to a wide variety of travelers. There are newly expanded flights and newly constructed hotels that will be available and a road improvement project worth over $90 million.

New Zealand will host many Americans who will visit down under in search of the famous Bilbo Baggins of The Hobbit fame. Americans will look for him amongst snow capped slopes and hillside villages on the island nation.

The tourism board in New Zealand reports that interest skyrocketed prior to the movie’s release with searches jumping by 265% during November. However, tourist board members are reminding travelers that there is much more to do in New Zealand besides Bilbo Baggins hunting. The country boasts the Maori culture, has unique wildlife and a number of beautiful wineries offering world-renowned wine.

Charleston is a great place to visit as it is one of the most historic cities in the southern part of the U.S. Access to the city has become even easier thanks to JetBlue adding new routes including direct flights from both Boston and New York starting sometime in February.

The city has a rich history, with architecture that is well conserved and an incredible restaurant community. Conde Naste Travelers’ Readers Choice Awards rated Charleston the 2013 top U.S. city and top world destination.

Record Number of Guns Confiscated from Travelers in the U.S. Record Number of Guns Confiscated from Travelers in the U.S.

January 2, 2013 - During 2012, the Transportation Security Administration confiscated over 1,500 firearms in U.S. airports that travelers were attempting to take on board their airplane. As of last Friday, the gun tally for the TSA was 1,527 firearms of which 1,295 of them were loaded. Officials said that by the end of 2012 the tally should total 1,550 or more.

When the weapon is located, the job of the TSA ends said the agency’s external communications director. David Castelveter said the agency does not have arresting authority nor detention authorities. If a passenger passes through security with a firearm, the procedure is to immediately call the local authorities. Some states will tell the passengers they have to take the firearm back home, while others takes passengers immediately to jail.

The number of arrests made for the firearms is not logged by the TSA. Castelveter said the police do not always keep the TSA apprised of the number of arrests, indictments and or convictions.

During the last six months of 2012, there has been a big increase in the amount of gun activity versus the first half of the year. Close to 700 guns were found in that time, with over 170 being loaded with rounds already in their chamber.

Texas had five airports in the top 11 for number of gun confiscations, while Florida had two airports. The Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport is where the most guns were confiscation of any airport in the country.

Travelers are reminded that passengers, regardless if they own a concealed weapon permit, cannot board a plane with a weapon. Airport officials recommend that passengers do not risk arriving at the airport with a loaded weapon for their own safety and that of the rest of the passengers.

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