You are currently viewing all posts written by Kristin Jackson.
December 9, 2013 at 11:29 AM
Goodbye cold Seattle, hello balmy Waikiki with a sun-bronzed Santa Claus, in red shorts and a Santa hat, strolling the Waikiki beach. And local ladies dancing the hula at a beachside park, wearing sparkling green leis and swaying as a band croons “Walking in a winter wonderland.”
When fresh off the plane from deep-freeze Seattle, there’s something wonderfully incongruous about Christmas festivities in a tropical haven like Hawaii. In Waikiki, the Honolulu visitor epicenter, the warm ocean waves lap the beach by the hula dancers. Santa stands under a swaying palm tree, by the light of a sparkling moon and flaming torches. Christmas decorations and lights shimmer in stores.
And those stores ….. I haven’t stayed in Waikiki for many years and I was dazzled by the number of luxury stores that have (more…)
December 3, 2013 at 11:26 AM
Delta Air Lines is going after more of Seattle-based Alaska Airlines’ turf, adding flights from Sea-Tac Airport to Vancouver, B.C., and Fairbanks.
Delta’s daily non-stop service between Seattle and Fairbanks begins May 29 next year; five daily flights to Vancouver, B.C., begin June 5 (on Delta’s affiliate SkyWest Airlines).
In recent months, Delta has been aggressively increasing flights from Seattle to Europe and Asia, as well as in North America.
Delta recently announced expanded service from Sea-Tac Airport to Anchorage, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, (more…)
December 3, 2013 at 10:11 AM
New snow, and avalanches, have prompted the closure of the North Cascades Highway for the season. Washington’s Department of Transportation announced the closure this morning.
The scenic mountain highway in northern Washington closes each winter. This is one of the later closings; last year it closed Nov. 20 and reopened April 16.
Get more information at the highway website.
November 25, 2013 at 1:41 PM
For travel advice on Vancouver, B.C., and Portland, see the online chat that we – Brian Cantwell and Kristin Jackson – did today. It followed stories we wrote about holiday fun in Portland and Vancouver in the print edition of NWTraveler — from Vancouver’s light-bedecked parks to Portland’s “yarn-bombing” (dressing up statues and trees with hand-knitted sweaters and scarves for the holidays). In this chat, you’ll find questions and answers that work for visiting the two cities at any time of year.
November 18, 2013 at 9:55 AM
Like many travelers, I get cranky about airlines. I’m annoyed by the ever-increasing extra fees, the ever-shrinking economy-class seats, the onboard battle for carry-on space.
But now for something completely different. Alaska Airlines actually makes it pretty easy to get a refund if the price of your airline ticket goes down after you bought it.
I half-heartedly checked out Alaska’s low price guarantee this weekend, thinking there was no way I’d find a drop in price for a December flight to Hawaii that I’d bought a while ago. But in about a minute, after a couple of clicks on the Alaska website, I ended up with a $60 refund (in the form of a credit to use on a future flight). For once, an airline made me happy.
Co-workers of mine use Alaska’s low-fare guarantee regularly. One just got back $85.51 on a trip to Palm Springs. Another, who’s nicknamed “Miles Boy” since he flies so much on Alaska and is a master at getting upgrades, estimates he’s saved about $1,000 (more…)
November 11, 2013 at 12:23 PM
Want to get a glimpse of how Washington’s governors live – and decorate for the holidays?
Head to Olympia on Dec. 4th, 11th or 18th for free tours of the historic Washington State Governor’s Mansion which is decorated for December festivities.
Hour-long tours of the public rooms of the 18,000-square-foot mansion are offered by reservation throughout each of the three December days; phone 360-902-8880 to reserve a spot – act quickly as the tours are very popular. Take note that cameras, backpacks and strollers are not permitted, and everyone 18 and older must present photo ID.
The Georgian-style mansion was built in 1908 and is furnished with antiques. Some furniture was purchased at that time from Seattle’s now-gone Frederick & Nelson department store and still remains, including the table and massive buffet in the elegant State Dining Room.
The mansion is both a private home for the governor (more…)
October 29, 2013 at 10:31 AM
Check in at least 40 minutes before departure for most domestic Alaska Airlines flights or risk missing your plane.
The airline Tuesday increased the minimum check-in time to 40 minutes before the flight’s departure, up from 30 minutes. The international check-in minimum remains at 60 minutes before the flight. The new check-in minimums take effect Wednesday, along with an increase in checked-baggage fees (which was announced last week).
Most of the airline’s passengers already check in well before those minimum cutoffs, thanks to online check-in. And those checking in at the airport usually do so well in advance since they need extra time to get through airport security lines. (The TSA recommends that passengers allow at least (more…)
October 25, 2013 at 2:15 PM
You’ll soon pay more to check a bag or change a flight on Alaska Airlines .
For tickets purchased on or after Oct. 30, the fee for checking a suitcase will increase to $25 for each of the first two bags (up from $20 per bag) and $75 for the third bag (currently $25). However, elite-level frequent fliers still get free checked bags.
If you change your flight less than 60 days before departure, you’ll have to pay $125. (The current change fee is $75 to $100, except for (more…)
October 22, 2013 at 12:42 PM
Most frequent-fliers have tales of white-knuckle flights. Turbulence can shake everyone up. Rough landings or in-flight engine problems make passengers fear the worst.
Now the online travel site Airfarewatchdog has come up with its 2013 list of thrilling – that is, scariest – airports around the world. Here’s the list:
- Sea Ice Runway, Antarctica: Unpaved, a chance the ice could crack under the weight of the plane.
- Gibraltar Airport, Gibraltar: Major highway cuts through the runway.
- Madeira Airport, Portugal: Last-minute sharp turns, strong turbulence over the ocean.
- Qambo Bamda Airport, Tibet: 14,000 feet above sea level (high altitude landings = extremely dangerous).
- Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport, Saba Island (Caribbean): Error = ocean landing, experienced pilots ONLY.
- Kai Tak Airport, Hong Kong: Closed in 1998, planes flew so low you could almost touch them (from apartment buildings edging the runway).
- Matekane Air Strip, Lesotho: Dirt air strip, drops off at a cliff.
- Eagle County Regional Airport, Vail, Colo.: Bad winter weather, tough terrain.
- Narsarauq Airport, Greenland: Constant turbulence/gusts of wind, last minute adjustments needed to avoid crashing into surrounding valley.
- Ketchikan International Airport, Ketchikan, Alaska Short runway close to mountains/ocean, bad weather.
October 22, 2013 at 11:38 AM
Bellevue-based Expedia, the giant of online travel agencies, is getting into vacation rentals.
Expedia said Tuesday it will include the listings of HomeAway, a major vacation-rental agency, in a pilot program expected to start early in 2014. It will begin with U.S. and Mexico rental listings.
Instead of traditional hotel rooms, more and more travelers are opting for vacation rentals — of homes or condos — to get more space, more privacy and a kitchen. Expedia already books hotels, flights, rental cars and more — so vacation homes were a logical next step.
“In exploring the addition of stand-alone vacation rental homes to Expedia.com in the U.S., it made the most sense to do so in partnership with HomeAway, the world’s (more…)
Trending with readers