This Week in Travel News via

This Week in Travel News: 24 February 2017

This Week in Travel News

Active travelers have a need to know! Every week, there are things that can and do impact the art and act of travelling. Things you need to know about. We’ll report the highlights here, so you can focus on what you do best: Travelling! In case you missed it, here’s what happened This Week in Travel News!

Now Boarding: Group 310…

Frequent fliers on American Airlines know the drill: Your ticket clearly says “Group One,” but there must be five or six groups who get called to the gate ahead of you. #AirlineMath

That little oversight is fixed with a new boarding procedure starting 1 March. Your Group One assignment is now Group Five. Oddly enough, about as many people will still get on the plane ahead of you, but now you know you’re Group Five.

Previously, as many as five groups were called to board through the Priority boarding lane. Afterwards, Groups One to Four were invited to board through the Main boarding lane. Because One, as it turns out, is not actually the first priority.

In the “New World Order” at American, Frequent Fliers with status, Military in uniform, some credit card holders, and those who’ve paid for Priority will occupy Groups One to Four and board, as before, through the Priority gate. Groups Five to Nine will follow, through the Main gate. Simple enough.

Confused? Curious? We’ve got the deets over here.

Amtrak in This Week in Travel News via

Pairing is Caring!

Taking the train has become one of our favorite ways to travel! We get excited just climbing aboard, and love watching the scenery at eye level through our window. What could be better? Well, FREE comes to mind.

Right now, Amtrak is offering a free companion fare when you purchase an adult fare on the Texas Eagle or Heartland Flyer. You could pair up with a friend, family member, or even your spouse and go see America for half price. The Texas Eagle is the railroad equivalent of Route 66; it goes from Chicago to LA, crossing seven states and the Continental Divide. Or choose the Heartland Flyer with daily service between Oklahoma City and Fort Worth.

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Travel must be purchased by 14 May, and completed by 15 May 2017.

Three Times the Double

SPG has a Double Point bonus offer underway. Starwood Preferred Guest members who register for the SPG Double Take promotion by 15 March will get double base Starpoints for their first three stays before 15 April. Plus, members receive an invitation-only Double Take Bonus.

That amounts to two additional Starpoints per eligible dollar, for a total of four Starpoints per dollar. Elite-level Starpoints and other bonuses will not be doubled, but the offer does stack with other promotions. We’ve heard of two different Double Take Bonus Offers:

  • Earn 10,000 points after 20 nights, and 500 bonus points for each night after that up to a maximum of 15,000 points.
  • Earn 5,000 points after 10 nights, and 500 bonus points for each night after that up to a maximum of 15,000 points.

The SPG Double Take Bonus is essentially the same as Marriott’s MegaBonus offer, which also rewards double points for your first three stays after registering, through 15 April.

Hilton Honors in This Week in Travel News via

You know that dream where you’re flying?

Over the past few weeks, Hilton Honors has been rolling out the bonus points. This time, they’re rolling some AAdvantage Miles your way in a promotion they call, appropriately, Earn Miles in Your Sleep. Once registered, Hilton Honors members earn 500 AAdvantage Miles either per stay or per night, through 27 March.

500 AAdvantage Miles per Night 500 AAdvantage Miles per Stay
Hilton, Curio, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites, and Hilton Grand Vacations properties. Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton, Home2 Suites, and Homewood Suites

In order to earn AAdvantage Miles, Hilton Honors members must:

  • Select Points & Miles as their earning style in their Hilton Honors Profile
  • Select American Airlines as their preferred Double Dip Points & Miles partner
  • Register in advance for the promotion.
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Disney Cruise Lines in This Week in Travel News via

Disney Spreads the Magic

Disney Cruise Line has rolled out their itineraries for 2018, which includes new destinations where the cruise line has not stopped before.

The Disney Magic is scheduled for three special Mediterranean sailings in June and July 2018, which will include the cruise line’s first visit to Genoa. The 7- and 10-day itineraries also include Barcelona, Marseilles, Nice, Livorno, Naples, and Rome.

The Magic then embarks on Disney Cruise Line’s first British Isles cruise on 2 September 2018. That itinerary includes the company’s first port call in Cork, Ireland, and will also visit Dublin, Liverpool, and Greenock, Scotland.

Also in 2018, Disney Wonder will return to Alaska for the summer season with five-, seven-, and nine-night cruises. Departing from Vancouver, the cruises will visit Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point, and the Tracy Arm Fjord. Disney Fantasy will sail the southern Caribbean in June. The 11-night cruise visits the tropical beaches of Aruba, Barbados, Martinique, St. Kitts, Puerto Rico, and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.

The Weekly Win

Speaking of Disney magic – that’s with a little m, different than the ship with a big M. There’s more than a little magic up for grabs in the Weekly Win. Essence presents the Endless Magic Sweepstakes, with a Walt Disney World vacation grand prize. We know you want to win it, so go see the details.

Weekly Win - Endless Magic Travel Sweepstakes via

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