Travel Briefs

A Skyhour gift card can be purchased in hour and half-hour increments at $1 per minute (one hour costs $60 and a half-hour, $30). The card can then be used to book flights of equivalent time through the Skyhour website on any of the more than 350 participating airlines.

For example, a 12-hour flight can be booked with 720 Skyhours ($720) on any airline flying a chosen route.

All major US airlines and many international airlines, such as British Air, Emirates, Lufthansa and...


• In Japan, as of Jan. 7, 2019, a departure tax of ¥1,000 (near $9) is being charged to any traveler departing the country by air or sea.

• As of January, each passenger arriving in Amsterdam, Netherlands, by cruise ship is being taxed €6 (near $7) for a one-day visit or, for an overnight stay, even if it's on the ship, €8 per day, starting on the day of the ship's arrival. This tax is included in the cruise fare.

Due to the tax, MSC Cruises and...


As of Dec. 17, all airlines in Australia now weigh carry-on bags on domestic flights to ensure they meet weight requirements. Any carry-on bag over the weight limit will need to be checked. The allowed one additional "personal item," such as a handbag or similar small bag, will not be weighed.

Qantas and Virgin Australia both limit carry-on bags to 7kg (near 15.4 pounds). The budget airlines Tigerair Australia and Jetstar Airways also have a weight limit of 7kg, but each offers an...


Marriott announced on Dec. 4 that it will pay for replacement passports for anyone who can show that their passport numbers were used fraudulently due to the data breach of Marriott's Starwood-brand hotels (Jan. '19, pg. 4). The personal information (names, addresses, etc.) of at least 500 million people was stolen in the breach, and passport numbers were among the info of about 327 million of them.

The breach exposed guest records from 2014 up until September 2018, when it...


The online travel agency CruiseWire (Miami Beach, FL; 888/422-4334, has introduced a Back to Back Cruises search option, allowing visitors to the website to find and book one-way and back-to-back cruises.

The website lists 11 popular cruise lines offering a total of 25,000-plus cruises to 121 countries. Custom searches can be sorted by company, destination, date and even age of ship.

June 6, 2019, is the 75th anniversary of the 1944 D-Day landings in Normandy, France. Visit for info on special events, including the following:

June 1-9 — Reconstructions of the US camps Camp Geronimo (Sainte-Mère-Église) and Camp American (Viervelle-sur-Mer) will be open to the public.

June 2-9 — Civilian reenactors portraying American and German forces will be on Omaha Beach outside Viervelle-sur-Mer. The beach-entry fee of €7 (near $8)...


The short-term-apartment-rental company Airbnb announced on Nov. 19 that it would no longer list apartments for rent in Israeli settlements in the West Bank, effective immediately.

Israeli settlements in the West Bank are a contentious issue, as Israel has been accused of illegally taking land from Palestine, something that Israel denies. An Airbnb spokesperson said that the decision was made because the settlements were at the "core of the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians...


A data breach at Starwood (owned by Marriott since 2016) exposed the names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and passport numbers of about 327 million hotel guests. Other guests also had credit card information stolen, bringing the total to about 500 million people; however, the credit card numbers and expiration dates were stored with two levels of encryption, and Marriott does not know if the thieves were able to successfully retrieve that information.

The breach,...