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...


A commercial court in Brussels, Belgium, declared on Jan. 3 that the activities of the ride-sharing company Uber were illegal. The court determined that only drivers with taxi licenses driving for approved taxi companies could be hired for rides in the city.

Belgium's government is split between two semiautonomous sides: the French-speaking southern half and the Dutch-speaking northern half. Due to the split, the court's ruling only affects Uber in the Dutch areas of the...


Liechtenstein celebrates its National Day, Staatsfeiertag, each August 15th, and it's even more special in 2019, as it is the 300th anniversary of the country's independence.

National Day begins with a proclamation by the prince and the president in front of Vaduz Castle, followed by a reception in the castle's garden, which everyone present is invited to. (It is the only day of the year the garden is open to the public.) A day-long fair in Vaduz ends in a fireworks...


• 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)...