(NewsUSA) - Business travelers may feel like they live in the sky, but one airline is working to make sure they have their feet firmly -- yet comfortably -- planted on the ground.
As an extension of its new business class service, Aer Lingus has opened a lounge at JFK International Airport in Terminal 5, aiming to offer the warmth of Ireland to travelers even before they begin their journeys. From natural-stone wall accents to oak floors, raindrop-shaped light fixtures to pint glasses along the bar, the space inspires function and relaxation.
"You can see when you look through this lounge the Aer Lingus brand," says Jack Foley, vice president North America for Aer Lingus. "You can see the Irish roots in it, but you can also see the functionality of a business trip in this lounge."
All business class customers and Gold Circle members (plus a guest) can enjoy a wide range of amenities. They include a business center with complimentary Wi-Fi, separate quiet area stocked with chaise lounge-style chairs and revitalizing areas that feature everything from TVs to showers.
The facility also offers patrons the chance to dine pre-flight, where a hot buffet, soups and sandwiches, and wine and spirits are served.
Located across from Gate 26, the lounge is also well situated should travelers desire to take in the airfield or the historic TWA Flight Center. However, history buffs need not look any further than the lounge, which features a wall installation remembering prominent Irish Americans such as President John F. Kennedy and artist Georgia O'Keeffe.
Aer Lingus moved to Terminal 5 less than two years ago, Foley says, citing it one of the "top 10 terminals in the world."
"Now we have our own piece of Terminal 5, which really sets the brand apart," he says.
In Dublin, the airline's headquarters, travelers will also find enhanced features to that airport's business-class lounge. The Aer Lingus Gold Circle Lounge, located in Terminal 2, is a tranquil setting where guests can comfortably recharge. In addition, the lounge now has a shower area where guests can refresh pre-flight.
For more information, visit www.aerlingus.com.
(NewsUSA) - If, like most business travelers these days, you are in the air more than in your home or office, it's important to be able to stay comfortable and connected while logging all those miles.
While you may be inclined to tackle the stack of pesky e-mails that continue to pile up, experts say that instead of trying to get a fickle Wi-Fi connection to work while you're en route, a better use of your time might be to rest, relax, and recharge.
The following tips should give you plenty of reasons to look forward to your next Business Class flight:
For more information, visit www.aerlingus.com.
(NewsUSA) - Visitors driving to Yellowstone National Park's iconic geyser, "Old Faithful," also will travel via tire once they exit their cars for a closer look. Old Faithful now boasts a porous, clean flexible walkway made mostly of recycled Michelin tires. The pavement surface, known as Flexi-Pave and manufactured by the company K.B. Industries (KBI), is gentler to the environment than asphalt because the permeable composite material allows for better erosion control and preservation of the natural patterns of groundwater flow. In addition, the walkway surface is extremely durable and tolerant of heat and cold, and does not leach any oil into the surrounding environment.
"The material used to create KBI's Flexi-Pave is completely benign and therefore can be used safely with the delicate aquifers here in Yellowstone," said Kevin Bagnall, CEO and founder of KBI, in a statement. The Old Faithful Walkway Project covers 6,400 square feet and includes 900 Michelin tires. "The path allows 3,000 gallons of groundwater to pass per square foot. It also is designed to diffuse the water's force, helping prevent erosion," Bagnall noted.
"The Old Faithful Walkway Project is a great example of what a difference a company devoted to sustainability can make in the world's first national park," said Karen Bates Kress, president of the Yellowstone Park Foundation, in a statement. "We are fortunate to have a corporate partner as farsighted, public-spirited and generous as Michelin," she added. In fact, Michelin flew in a team of employees from across the country to help complete the construction of the walkway. The 10 volunteers were winners of a company-wide contest to participate in the project.
Michelin serves as a major corporate sponsor of the Yellowstone Park Foundation, with a goal of helping the park curb operating expenses and reduce the consumption of raw materials. To that end, Michelin regularly donates and helps maintain thousands of tires for Yellowstone National Park's more than 800 vehicles, including patrol cars, garbage trucks, snow plows and load-hauling tractor trailers. The tires feature the latest in green tire technology to help save fuel and reduce emissions.
"Helping build and provide material for this new pathway is very much in line with Michelin's goal of working with the Yellowstone Park Foundation," said Leesa Owens, director of community relations for Michelin, in a statement.
To find out more about Michelin tires, visit www.michelin.com.
(NewsUSA) - It's the bane of every cell phone user -- conversations that become garbled and calls that drop. These "dead zones," usually happen while you're on the road, and can be frustrating at best, while making you feel exposed and defenseless at worst. However, they also present a critical safety issue when driving during the winter.
As winter weather wreaks havoc on roads (never mind cell phone coverage), it becomes more important than ever to stay connected to family and friends -- whether it's to let them know you're running late, stuck in traffic or in an emergency situation.
That's why zBoost, a Georgia-based company that develops and manufactures cell phone signal boosters, is helping people stay connected no matter where they are, while giving winter travelers a sense of safety and security.
"As a realtor in snowy Ohio, I am on the road showing homes or visiting family, and I'm dependent on my mobile phone to stay connected," said Lisa Van Doting. "Before adding my zBoost Mobile1 cell phone signal booster, I was frequently in areas with no cell service, which left me disconnected and vulnerable in emergency situations."
The way it works is the zBoost Mobile1 is set up in the interior of any car or truck, and a mobile phone is placed in a sturdy, lightweight cradle (much like cell phones of old). The cradle amplifier connects to the dash-mount bracket and also connects to the vehicle's 12V power through a power adaptor via a USB cable. The magnetic antenna is mounted on the exterior of the car, which captures the signal outside of the car, brings it in through a narrow cable and amplifies it on the inside for a stronger signal, extending the in-vehicle cell zone (the phone must be in the cradle). The unit also boosts voice and text for all major cell carriers.
In addition to reducing dropped calls and combatting dead zones, it also extends the battery life of the phone, includes a hands-free option, and most important, extends your cell phone's range.
For more information, visit www.zboost.com/solutions-products/travel/zb245.html.
(NewsUSA) - If you were some innocent fleeing a terrorist attack, would you expect to be charged four times the normal cost of a car ride?
Alas, that's what happened to some Uber passengers last December when the "off the charts" demand for a quick escape from anywhere near the 16-hour siege at Sydney, Australia's Lindt Chocolate Café automatically triggered the controversial "surge-pricing" that Uber and other ride-booking services also employ here in the U.S.
Even some of the app-based companies' (former) biggest fans say that's just a fancy term for price gouging. "#Neverforget, #neveragain," read the hashtags celeb Jessica Seinfeld used in Instagramming a receipt for a whopping $415 Uber fare during a recent New York snowstorm. And so many lawmakers across the nation have their own pro-consumer reasons for wanting to crack down on the industry -- lesser players include Lyft and Sidecar -- that you'd almost think the very idea of summoning a ride on a smartphone was Evil Incarnate.
It's your call, but here's what you should know before booking one of those cars:
Your driver may not have been thoroughly screened. Newspapers have reported numerous cases of ride-booking drivers arrested for allegedly raping or assaulting passengers. But efforts to subject the newbies to the same rigorous background checks as taxi and limousine drivers -- akin to a "Not Welcome" sign for lowlifes -- have been fought by all three services.
"Background screening is a public safety issue," says Gary Buffo, president of the National Limousine Association (www.limo.org). "Competition is a good thing, but everyone needs to play by the same rules."
Uber, for one, has touted what it calls its "industry-leading (vetting) standards." But that claim took a hit last December when prosecutors in California alleged, as part of a consumer protection lawsuit against the company, that their drivers weren't being fingerprinted -- thus making its criminal checks "completely worthless."
Good luck suing if you're injured. Some ride-booking services allow drivers to carry personal, rather than commercial, insurance. (Hey, they use their own cars.) Testifying at a recent City Council hearing in Buffalo, New York, Kristina Baldwin, of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, called that a "serious insurance gap."
Surge pricing can be a shocker. Uber did reimburse Sydney riders after getting skewered by the media. But New Year's Eve revelers in New York City, learning a lesson in supply and demand, apparently had no such luck. "The most expensive eight minutes of my life," the New York Daily News quoted one angry passenger.
(NewsUSA) - There are 2.5 million weddings in the United States each year, and the weddings business is a $40 billion annual industry, including the ceremony, reception, bachelor(-ette) parties and honeymoon.
Increasingly, newlyweds are opting for a cruise for a cost-effective and carefree honeymoon. About 5,000 weddings and vow renewals happen on cruises every year, and cruises now account for 15 percent of all honeymoons.
The inclusive nature of a cruise is a leading factor in the decision. A cruise provides a week of great food, pampering and entertainment for about $2,500 or less per person.
Most newlyweds say they prefer a week in a fun-and-sun destination. That makes cruises doubly attractive, since they visit several ports and offer a selection of shore tours.
Though the Hawaiian Islands remain the all-time favorite honeymoon destination, many newlyweds are choosing cruises in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean.
And there's no more romantic way to experience the wonders of the Med or Caribbean than a weeklong voyage aboard a tall ship. Star Clippers' three sailing ships only carry up to 170 or 227 guests, and visit some of the world's most exotic destinations.
Aboard Star Clippers, newlyweds can experience the luxury of a private yacht while sailing to smaller, lesser-known destinations big cruise ships can't visit.
Star Clippers' relaxed yet elegant shipboard atmosphere is the perfect antidote to months of wedding planning. Yet, the emphasis on beach time and water sports, and the array of soft-adventure excursions offered provide opportunities for couples to share new experiences as they start their life together.
Whether it's a fabulous honeymoon sailing through the Greek Isles, a barefoot wedding set on a Caribbean beach or a sunset vow-renewal ceremony performed by a ship's captain, Star Clippers offers the romance of a true sailing experience.
For more about Star Clippers, visit www.starclippers.com.
(NewsUSA) - The traditional golf resort is going through a major transformation.
While golf is still at the core, the newest properties increasingly offer activities and immersive experiences that appeal to golfers and non-golfers alike -- changing the way guests view and book their getaways. Central Florida's Streamsong Resort is one of the destinations on the forefront of this trend.
Set on 16,000 acres, Streamsong emerged on the site of a former phosphate mine. With towering sand dunes and extreme elevation changes, its land is more reminiscent of Scotland than central Florida. In just a few years, its two intersecting golf courses -- Streamsong Red and Streamsong Blue -- have earned a place on some of the industry's most prestigious rankings, including GOLF Magazine's Top 100 Courses You Can Play in the U.S. A third course, Streamsong Black, will open in late 2017.
"Today's golfer wants a broader experience," said Richard Mogensen, Streamsong's general manager. "Streamsong is designed with this guest in mind."
Beyond its two golf courses, the resort features many options to enjoy the outdoors or just relax. Home to some of the best bass fishing in the United States, Streamsong offers guided catch-and-release fishing expeditions on its prolific lakes. The picturesque sporting clays course, located 10 minutes from the lodge but still on property, is the perfect spot for beginners to learn and pros to refine their shots with guidance from certified instructors. The grotto-style AcquaPietra Spa, infinity lakeside pool, nature trail and tennis courts provide additional opportunities to unwind and enjoy the setting. Dining options, like the award-winning contemporary Italian restaurant SottoTerra, tempt the palate with fresh, innovative fare in spectacular settings.
Streamsong even looks different from the traditional golf resort. Its modern 216-room lodge and intimate 12-room clubhouse have captured architectural accolades for their design, which pays homage to the property's surroundings.
"Golf is absolutely in our DNA, but our eye is also always on delivering that complete experience," Mogensen said.
For more information, visit www.streamsongresort.com or call 1-863-428-1000.