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travel news

iPads on Planes? In-Flight Ban on Portable Electronic Devices Under Review

By SHANNON KELLY

The dream of using your smartphone or iPad on planes to browse the Web during long runway delays could become a reality—at least in the U.S—as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reviews aircraft policies on portable electronic devices. (more…)

The Best Bathroom in Canada: Cast Your Vote Now

By SHANNON KELLY

Is this the best bathroom in Canada? (Photo: the Georgian Court Hotel)

An annual contest to find the best bathroom in Canada is underway, seeking, as contest host Cintas quips, to crown the “king of the throne”. (more…)

Google Street View Begins Mapping Canada’s Arctic

Google’s Street View tricycle in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut (Photo: courtesy of Google)

By SHANNON KELLY

Google’s Street View team has travelled to the Nunavut hamlet of Cambridge Bay, to map the most northerly region it has ever mapped.

The company will map the region using a tricycle equipped with a camera (transporting a Street View car up north was too expensive) and will receive help from community members to establish accurate maps. This is the first Google Street View project in Nunavut. Google is also donating computers so that community members can continually update maps in the region.

The maps will be available in the next few months.

Read more from the CBC.

Renovations Elevate the Hilton Toronto Airport Hotel and Suites

By TIM JOHNSON

Given a location directly across the road from Pearson International Airport, you might think that a stay at the Hilton Toronto Airport Hotel and Suites involves a bit of an exchange—that is, proximity for serenity. But this sleek property, which recently completed a two-and-a-half year, top-to-bottom renovation, has quiet, soundproofed rooms, meaning you can get both a good night’s sleep, and a fast shuttle in the morning. (more…)

What Does Google’s Acquisition of Frommer’s Mean for Travellers?

By SHANNON KELLY

Google’s acquisition of travel publisher Frommer’s last week for $25 million was big news in travel. Google bought Zagat last year and seems to be steadily moving toward being a travel content provider in addition to a search engine with lots of perks for travellers, like Google Flight Search (launched in June in Canada) and offline maps (also launched in June, for Android users).

But can you trust a search engine that provides its own content? (more…)

80% of Travellers Use Smartphones on Trips, But Not To Book

By SHANNON KELLY

Recent data shows that travellers are (figuratively and literally) tethered to their smartphones for trip planning and on the ground while travelling. The study, from eMarketer Inc., found that approximately 80 per cent of respondents use their mobile phone “all the time” while away. It also found that some 36.4 million Americans are expected to do travel research on their phones in 2012, with an anticipated 72 million using their phones for trip research by 2016. However, less than half of that number will, apparently, book their travel using their phone. (more…)

Canada’s Tallest Hotel To Open in Niagara Falls

By SHANNON KELLY

Photo: Screengrab, NiagaraFallsReview.ca

Preliminary plans for a 60- and 61-story, two-tower hotel—the tallest hotel in Canada—have been approved for Niagara Falls. (more…)

Want the Best Prices on Flights for Labour Day? Better Book Now

By SHANNON KELLY

Travel Web site and booking engine Travelocity has announced that the period between July 20 and 26, six weeks before the holiday, is the best time to book flights in order to get the lowest prices. That gives you until midnight tonight to make your travel plans if you want the best deal. The conclusion is based on trends over five years of flight booking with the Web site. (more…)

New Technology Could Shave 1 Million Hours Off Canada-U.S. Border Wait Times

By SHANNON KELLY

Photo: chucka_nc

Border wait times between Canada and the U.S. could get a whole lot shorter in coming months and years, thanks to improved sensor technology to be installed near customs plazas that will provide up-to-the-minute traffic information to drivers on the approach. (more…)

Do Your Travel Photos Suck? Hire a Personal Vacation Photographer

Hiring a personal vacation photographer may be expensive, but you'd avoid shots like this. (Photo: Jesse Newland)

It’s not surprising that resorts, attractions and tour operators offer pro photo sessions for their customers, but now, according to the Wall Street Journal, individuals are also hiring personal vacation photographers. (more…)

New Law Proposed To Prevent Airlines from Separating Families on Flights

By SHANNON KELLY

Photo: James Emery

Back in May we told you about a so-called “family travel tax“: new policies that some United States airlines are adopting that threaten to break up people travelling together on planes, including possibly separating parents from their children. In response to these family-unfriendly practices, a New York State Congress member has proposed a federal law in the U.S. that would prevent families from being separated on commercial airlines.

The legislation, proposed by Congressman Jerrold Nadler, is called the Families Flying Together Act of 2012, and would require airlines to keep families together on flights—without forcing them to pay extra for premium or guaranteed seats—and to make this policy plainly visible to everyone booking a flight.

The proposed law doesn’t have provisions for couples or anyone else travelling together.

Pay 30% Less on WestJet than Air Canada with New Routes in 2013

By SHANNON KELLY

WestJet’s new regional routes will utilize Bombardier Q400 turboprop planes

WestJet announced on Tuesday that its new short-haul flights will cost about a third less than the same Air Canada flights for last-minute trips. And this, WestJet CEO Gregg Saretsky told Reuters, is “at a minimum”. Prices could be even lower.

The airline plans to start the regional services in the second half of 2013, but hasn’t announced the details of where flights will start, saying only that they’ll begin either the west or east coast and will expand to the opposite coast the following year. WestJet will increase its workforce by 22%, adding 1,800 employees to accommodate the new routes.

WestJet has placed a conditional order for 45 Bombardier Q400 turboprop planes that accommodation 70 to 80 passengers each.

Read more at BNN.