JourneyEtc


Archive for October, 2010

Soho Beach Club Opens in Miami

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There’s another reason for you to go to Miami and celebrate the beach, the most beautiful people alive who just happen to be clad in bikinis, and the seemingly endless supply of sunlight. The Soho just opened its Beach House in Miami and it’s showing a lot of promise, so far.

Of course there’s a long waiting list (news: 750 people just got ahead of you) and a hefty fee ($1,500) for membership, but if you want the facilities bad enough, you can be a fortunate stranger and check in at the hotel. You’ll have to make a call for beach house reservations, though, because the last time we checked, the online reservation tool on the Soho Beach House website seemed to have done a Houdini on us.


Airlines Improve Peak Season Perfomance

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U.S. airlines which are notorious for having their flights delayed during peak seasons actually improved their performance the past summer. According to New York reports, there was only one aircraft delayed in the tarmac, and the delay was no more than three hours.

Generally, the airlines were able to bring their passengers to their destination on schedule, with the on-time rating of eighteen major airlines raised to 81.7%. This rating bested their performances in the past months. When they checked further, a rating that good during a peak season hasn’t been recorded in years, which is a good sign for travelers and airline companies.

Among the best performers were the Hawaiian Airlines and the Alaska Airlines. Third on the list is Continental Air. Those who didn’t perform so well included Comair (for its regional flights with Delta), Jetblue, and Delta Air. They were able to trace the improved general performance of the airlines when none of the 18 major players cancelled their flights.


Complicated Visa Application Process Affect Euro Tourism

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Almost 500,000 travelers either postponed or cancelled their trips to Europe. The alleged culprits for this are the new and complicated application processes for Visa. Some of the travelers just couldn’t be bothered with travel complexities, right now.

This is actually a fact now that the European Tours Operators Association (ETOA) found out how 450,000 tourists decided to put off going to Europe because of the new system in visa applications. The new system put a hamper on European tour plans especially for travelers coming from China and India. The bureaucratic red tape in these countries is most likely to just make travelers give up on their plans.

The reports also indicate that among visa applications across Europe, those that are for the United Kingdom are the toughest to process. France comes in second. Just recently, 58,000 travelers to the UK canceled their trips because of the slowness of the visa application process. ETOA also estimated that an even bigger number, about 314,000 travelers, gave up on the application completely.


The Opening of W Retreat Koh Samui Nears

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That’s enough to send anyone’s heart racing—that is if you’ve seen the preliminary slide presentations of the retreat. As in most W properties, the Retreat Koh Samui is built to impress. The hotel is slated to open on November 1, 2010. Because we’re all excited, we still think this can’t be soon enough. Can’t it open next week?

The first thing you’ll love about it is the sheer size of the private pools. The pool of the guest villa is almost as big as the guest house itself. For average New York Hotels, pools that size are meant to be used by all hotel guests. When you book your stay at one of the guest villas of the W Retreat Koh Samui, you have the whole pool to yourself.


Qatar Airways Pilot Passes Away while Flying Plane from the Philippines

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It a sad a frightening affair when one of Qatar Airways’ pilots dies while flying from the Philippines to Doha, Qatar. The flight had to be diverted for an emergency landing to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia so another pilot and crew could replace the pilot who passed away. Qatar Airways remains silent about the pilot’s cause of death, and gave no hint that the passengers were ever in any danger.

This happened last Wednesday, aboard Qatar Airways flight 645. The plane left Malaysia in no more than 2 hours and immediately headed to Doha. The landing in Malaysia was timed at 11:35 AM. When asked about the incident, Qatar airlines only assured us that their primary concern is still the safety and comfort of their passengers.


We’re not in Kansas anymore: Virgin Galactic’s First Solo Flight Completed

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While space tourism isn’t likely to become an actuality in a few years, here’s another major breakthrough. The Virgin Galactic’s VSS Enterprise, one of the first five spaceships built for commercial transport, just completed its solo flight. The test flight was the first time the spacecraft didn’t have to be hoisted to space and brought back down by Eve, its mother ship.

This time around, the VSS Enterprise flew 45,000 feet above the Mohave Desert on its own and landed safely back on earth. What’s more, the flight was manned, and the spaceship glided smoothly for 11 full minutes—a good sign in anyone’s standards considering the niche Virgin Galactic is breaking.

Richard Branson, founder of Virgin, enthusiastically said that the “sky is no longer the limit.”


Tallinn 2011 Europe’s Capital of Culture & Estonia’s 20th anniversary of Soviet independence

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Tallinn 2011
Europe’s Capital of Culture & Estonia’s 20th anniversary of Soviet independence

Throughout 2011 the Estonian capital of Tallinn will be hosting daily art, music, literature and cultural exhibitions, festivals and performances as the city takes on the role of European Capital of Culture, 2011.

During the year 251 different events are planned, with one large festival each month, such as the Jazzkaar jazz festival in April, Tallinn Old Town Days in June, the Youth Song and Dance Celebration and Tallinn Maritime Days in July, the Birgitta Festival for opera in August and the Black Nights Film Festival in November.

This, the largest cultural event in the history of Estonia, will attract some of the world’s biggest names in art, literature, music, film and culture.


8 Unusual museums for the curious minds

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Are you the type of person who’s wary about going to museums of fear of being bored out of your mind? Would you much rather stay at home instead of looking at ancient artifacts from behind glass cases? Today, we think our mission of getting you off the couch and sending you out the door is already cut out for us because we’ll be sharing with you a couple of museums that are in no way dull or boring.

These museums house some pretty interesting artifacts that will definitely grab your attention and possibly even change your mind set about museums. Okay, some of these things are pretty old, like the ones housed in the Museum of Jurassic Technology, but if you want to learn more about the dogs used for the Soviet Space Program or works of art that need a microscope in order to be viewed, then this is the place to be (just don’t expect to look at dinosaur bones).