Our friends over at Skift.com are reporting the demise of Executive Travel, once the business class read of American Express Platinum Card Holders and part of the AmEx travel pub portfolio until Time, Inc. bought them out along with Travel + Leisure.
We, here at TravelHushHush (as longtime contributor to the pub) are sad to see it go. The magazine had an imaginative editorial crew and bright, original content.
Road warriors are left with a growing few options for in-print companionship on the road. There's Business Traveler, in a new incarnation spin-off from the UK mothership and Global Traveler, helmed by Fran Gallagher who published the original Business Traveler. There's also Premier Traveler, which is helmed by alumni from the old US version of Business Traveler.
Looks like there's room for a new nextgen, road warrior pub with a purely online presence, 2.0 graphics and social media savvy...
Maybe Entrepreneur Magazine, which regularly sponsors content with Sir Richard Branson, can go road rogue and move in to fill the space that ET is sadly leaving...
United Airlines has announced that it's celebrating V-Day with a new "Love in the Air"
sweeptstakes. The airline wants couples to share love stories that began or were fueled by a flight on United for a chance to win two BusinessFirst tickets anywhere in the world the airline flies.
Heartthrobs can write their 500 word of less story and submit with a pic (until Feb. 5 at noon CST) by visiting hub.united.com.
Since the contest is not called "Lust is in the Air," we're thinking Mile High hook-ups might not be what they're looking for, although when we think, Love is in the Air, we kinda think of stuff like this...
Delta's new safety video features our favorite icons from the 80's including big hair, slouchy tops, the dreaded mullet and Alf (remember Alf? Don't admit it!).
The video which will be shown on board from January 30 features Kareem Abdul Jabaar, Alf, Teddy Ruxpin leg warmers, hair scrunchies and our favorite, a plastic Devo hat being stored under the seat in front...
Unfortunately, this blast from the past can't bring back stuff like leg room, free in flight meals or complimentary baggage check.
Sit back, relax and fly "Like a Virgin."
If you're a Downton Abbey fan like us, odds are, you're probably a Masterpiece Theatre-style Anglophile, too. What's not to love? Shakespeare, Byron, Austen, James Bond and now the lives and loves of the Crawley family and their downstairs crew.
For those of us who imagine ourselves as covert Crawleys, membership in The St. George Society might be just the ticket. One of the oldest charitable groups in New York, the Society (named after St. George, patron saint of England and the dude with the dragon), has been helping its fellow countrymen in need or distress since 1770. Yup, since before the Boston Tea Party when we got all uppity and threw out some perfectly good Earl Grey.
How could you not get a secret Anglophilic rush when asked to stand at every meeting and toast "the health of Her Majesty the Queen?" The Society, which also has a vibrant new "George" club of young professionals, is comprised of expats who look like they'd be right at home in a Downton Abbey drawing room. Currently, it's helmed by President, Robert Titley, whom many know captained Visit Britain and currently manages public relations for Wales and a number of other UK concerns.
We were invited to their annual meeting dinner and lecture last week, which included a dish-y "Real Downton Abbey" lecture by Country House Historian Curt DiCamillo.
Apparently, Downton's fortunes and families closely mirror the real Carnarvon family who reign at Highclere (the real Downton) to this very day. The house was really turned into a hospital during World War I, with many wounded veterans moaning, "Highclere..." when they got shot because odds on survival were far greater at the great country house. We also learned that Almina Carnarvon who started the hospital, was very much like Downton's resident do-gooder, Isobel Crawley (Penelope Wilton), who hovered over the wounded and dying like a guardian angel and who "rather lost her way," once the hospital was no longer needed (something like Isobel's sad and solitary state in Season 4).
Almina was a great British philanthropist whose efforts saved many a young life, mirroring the society's efforts which over the years include such fascinating back stories as buying coal or wood for families in freezing Pre-Revolutionary New York, shipping a "spinster" back home on the White Star Line when her "American Dream" didn't pan out in 1898 and helping British War Brides settle into American life.
Apparently, the Society has a whole secret cache of historic documents and papers about these and other efforts. Today, they work largely with youth and the elderly, doing work that both Almina and Isobel would be proud of.
The Society (which unlike Downton Abbey is open to all, regardless of bloodline or background) boasts a pledge we could totally see Isobel taking...
“Let mercy be our boast and shame our only fear.”
We'll drink to that...and to Her Majesty, The Queen!
The New York Times has reviewed the new Broadway show, "Craving for Travel" and it's not pretty.
Neil Genzlinger in his January 27 review of the show, created by travel agency owner Jim Strong, calls the piece "blatantly promotional" and "lightweight twaddle."
The piece is indeed promotional. Co-sponsors include Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Virtuoso, Strong Travel Services, Holland America Line, Seabourn Cruise Line, Viking River Cruises, Sabre Travel Network, Cox & Kings and Travelex Insurance Services.
Genzlinger says the play provokes the question, "Huh, there are still travel agents?"
Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?
So Alfred has gone down to London to audition his canapes at The Ritz.
If you've ever been to London, you'll know where Alfred went on his first trip to Old Smokey. The Ritz, London, has been on Park Lane at the corner of Piccadilly Circus since 1906.
Here is their famed & fabulous Palm Court where you still need a jacket and tie to sit down....
Yes, folks, you can still get escorted out of the Ritz lobby (and certainly won't be let in to the Palm Court) if you're not properly dressed. We had a designer friend who showed up and wanted to look around in a smart pair of Prada shorts. He was met at the door and promptly asked to leave. "But they're Prada!" he exclaimed to no avail. Lord Grantham and the Duchess would be pleased.
Over 300 passengers are so sick with an unknown but possible norovirus that the New York Post called the line, "Hurl Caribbean."
The scorecard as of this weekend was: 281 passengers and 22 crew members down with the unknown malady aboard the Explorer of the Seas which is berthed at Bayonne, NJ.
Health officials boarded the ship at St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands on Sunday and RCC officials have increased their efforts to disinfect the ship.
Meanwhile, passengers have more than "Good Feelings" to deal with. Maybe the next commercial the cruise line does should star the famed, animatronic "Devil Baby" complete with pea soup vomit.
Just as Entertainment Weekly reported that the the Weinstein Company has shelved the new biopic "Grace of Monaco," news arrived that the eagerly awaited and sumptuous looking movie starring Nicole Kidman would lead the 67th Cannes Film Festival.
Director Olivier Dahan and Harvey Weinstein have apparently been fighting over edits. EW doubted that we might ever see the luminous Princess Grace amidst all that stunning Cote d'Azur scenery EVER. But the scheduling of the film as the first movie at Cannes (scene of so much of Grace's former glories) seems to portend the best.
We'll keep our fingers crossed. Meantime, doesn't the trailer remind you of that Kidman Chanel Number 5 commercial...
The TSA has published their 2013 Year End Review and in the process, have named their top five airports for "guns discovered."
The geographical layout covers the South (Atlanta), Texas (kind of a no-brainer), Phoenix and Denver. Here's the breakdown:
Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta snags a dubious "win" at number 1 with 111 discovered.
Dallas Fort Worth comes in at number 2 with 96 guns.
George Bush International, Houston clocks in at 68 guns taken making it number 3.
Phoenix is bringing up the rear at number 4 with 66 guns and Denver is 5 with 51 guns confiscated in 2013.
The TSA also confiscated thousands of ninja like "throwing stars" along with a "retirement gag gift made to look like an explosive device" taken off an unwary passenger in Florida (imagine the laughs that would have set off at the nursing home!). Various other stockpiles of "black explosive powder," inert mines, knives, training weaponry including an inert "suicide vest" and other fun stuff was found.
What we've never been able to get the TSA to clarify is what the hell happens to the people who try to bring this weaponry on board? Apparently, the weaponry is confiscated and the perps just go on their merry way--with a stern talking to from TSA officials. We're not even sure if trying to sneak a ninja throwing star or an AK-47 onboard a passenger airline gets you on the famed "No Fly List."
OH NO THEY DIDN'T!!!
Definitely in the "Oh no, they didn't category" this week is the "whiteface" ad that made All Nippon Airlines lose face this week.
little one @ashotoffaith Jan 19
ARE YOU SERIOUS. FAIL @ANA_Carrier YOU HAVE GOT TO DO BETTER THAN THIS. EMBARRASSING.
Brian David Berry @BrianDavidBerry Jan 19
Fly the unfriendly and #racist skies with #ANA Every ticket you buy, supports this mentality. Make it clear and DON'T fly #ANA @ANA_Carrier
ANA protested that the intention of the ads was not to offend but to show Japanese travelers the way to embrace international travel. What? Seriously?
What do you think? Do you vote for ANA for the new TravelHushHush OH NO THEY DIDN'T! award this week?
Yup, it's official folks. The Polar Vortex is now a travel thing. We just got the following in our InBox here at TravelHushHush....
"HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – Did the Polar Vortex blanket you in feet of snow, and leave you with frozen pipes and icicles the length of your house? Does the current round of freezing weather and snow have you pining for tropical temperatures, blue seas and sunny skies? Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort on Hilton Head Island has the cure: The Polar Vortex Blues package."
Travelers can now look forward to Polar Vortex getaways, airline packages, ski sales, skate rentals and so much more....
Now let's see if Disney and our friends at Norway Tourism can link 'FROZEN" with the Polar Vortex.
Genius marketing. Does Disney have friends at the National Weather Service?
Good Monday, Downton Divas! (SPOILERS FOLLOW BUT NOT ON A DRAMATIC SCALE)
As we all know now if we watched this Sunday's episode of Downton Abbey, the 1920's are really getting a showcase this season. Cousin Rose (she of the blushing complexion and wayward ways) keeps convincing Granthams to go to London and to hell in a jazz age handbasket, complete with gin & tonics and glittering flapper outfits.
In this episode, they all went to the Lotos Club (a real club, now demolished in 1920's London), where Rose set her cloche cap on a handsome African American lead jazz singer whilst her possy looked on in pre-Civil Rights-era horror. We all know that this will likely cause a stir back at home and lead to more drama later on but for now, lets all bask in the glow of 1920's London and its hallowed halls of hospitality.
One of our favorite 20's era London watering holes is the venerable Palm Court at the Park Lane Hotel. The hotel was built in 1927 and has wonderful Art Deco detailing throughout. We love the Palm Court's fabulous pink champagne afternoon tea. Rose and her new beau would adore it! Couldn't you just see them nibbling cucumber sandwiches while friends and relatives from the beau monde passed out over their Lapsang Soochang?
This impressive 1920's tea room has also hosted Ralph Fiennes and Julianne Moore who broke up here in the soooo sad 1930's era melodrama, The End of the Affair. The Palm Court is also open for drinks late into the evening so Lady Edith can stop off here after her sordid Notting Hill flat assignations with her new literary lover. (And by the way, if we all know Lady Edith we know that can't come to any good!)
Obviously designed to hit the "refresh" button on everyone's perception of cruising, Princess has debuted an emo-sweet ad that pushes the human connection button on cruising and travel.
BTW, doesn't the guy in the couple segment look kinda like Matthew McConaughey?
What do you think? Does Princess get it right with this or is the cruising public too jaded after a series of epic cruisefails to believe in "coming back new?"
We've all seen how Viking's Downton-attached ads have radically boosted river cruising. Will Princess' move get us all back on board?
If you're like me, you've flown on lots of transatlantic flights where you get to see Europeans freak out over cruel street pranks in short videos that get shown just before landing. Now it's New Yorkers' turn at the prank freak out booth.
Apparently, some kind of viral ad for the new movie "Devil's Due" had an animatronic "baby" spewing vomit and speeding around in a Rosemary Red baby carriage while normally non-plussed New Yorkers pee their designer jeans in fear.
For our money, though, we like this YouTube video from Brazil that shows unwitting "victims" meet up with a way more scary ghostdevilgirlwithdoll in an elevator.
Compare and contrast. How do Gothamites compare with their counterparts in Sao Paolo when it comes to bone-chilling fear and the underage undead?
As our good friend Liliane Opsomer, author of the 2014 Unauthorized Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids told us would happen, Disney has confirmed that "Frozen" the hit film featuring images and settings of Norway, will come to Broadway.
Disney's Chairman Bob Iger told Fortune Magazine today that the cool "hot" property was not going to be rushed into production and that "excellence" rather than speed was the key.
Meantime, our friends at Norway Tourism must be happier than a snowman in a blizzard.