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Chase releases new Hyatt Card with Smart Chip technology

Posted on 27 February 2012 by David

It was rumored that Chase was going to release a new version of their Hyatt Credit Card on Monday, February 27.   Today I got this email:

“TRAVEL THE WORLD WITH SMART CHIP TECHNOLOGY

You are one of the first Cardmembers who will receive a new Hyatt Credit Card with Smart Chip technology. This new feature will provide additional convenience and security when traveling abroad.

What you need to know:
Your new card will arrive within 30 days.
Your account number and expiration date will remain the same.
You can continue to use your current card until you receive your new one.

Explore your favorite corner of the world with the perfect travel companion, your Hyatt Credit Card.”

This is great since Smart Chip is used extensively throughout Europe and Asia and we occasionally got puzzled looks from merchants when we presented our “ancient technology” magnetic strip cards from the USA.  To our bemusement, some merchants didn’t even know how to operate the magnetic stripe feature on their terminals.

We’re glad Chase is introducing Smart Chip cards in the US as this feature is useful when traveling abroad!

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Unidos da Tijuca wins 2012 Rio Carnival [PHOTOS]

Posted on 24 February 2012 by Danica

13-dsc_8833-2012-brazil-rio-carnival-unidos-da-tijuca

We just heard the samba school “Unidos de Tijuca” won the 2012 Rio Canvival Championship! Congratulations to them! We’re not surprised they won since we felt they had a very artistic and creative presentation.

Monday had the two top schools so we’re very happy our analysis on which day to go to Sambadrome Carnival turned out correct! Second place went to Salguiero which also paraded on Monday.

In case you weren’t there, here are a few highlights of the floats and dancers of “Unidos da Tijuca”, the championship school. Enjoy the photos!

Were you there too? Which school was your favorite?

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Travel Update – Torres del Paine Reopens

Posted on 16 January 2012 by Danica

We alerted you to the closure of Torres del Paine Park in Chile due to forest fires a few weeks back.  At the time, all tourists within the park were evacuated, and the Chilean government announced that the park will not be reopened until the end of January.  We are pleased to report that as of today, over 80% of all trails within the park have been reopened to the public.

Nonetheless, our thoughts and prayers go out to those to lost their homes over the past month.  As a result of the fire, over 170 homes and 70 acres of land were destroyed.  Many more were forced from their homes.  It’s very unfortunate that a piece of this beautiful scenery was destroyed by fire.  This serves as a mental note to us (and hopefully to you as well) to be very diligent when setting fires in parks.

More information can be found here.

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British Airways Embraces the New Air Fare Disclosure Rule

Posted on 12 January 2012 by Danica

Have you ever had a hard time comparing air fares across airlines or even search engines? We have, and because of that, we always find ourselves spending extra time making sure the price we look at can be compared apples-to-apples. However, it looks like comparing prices is going to get much easier!

USA Today reported a new set of consumer-protection rules being demanded by the Transportation Department to bring transparency to how air fares are being disclosed to consumers. Under the new rules, airlines must include all government taxes and other fees in advertised fares, and they must start doing that within two weeks.

Not hours after we read the article, we received an email from British Airways which mentions the fares of a new marketing campaign already included all fees and charges, which comply with the new regulations. Kudos to them for being one of the first airlines to embrace the new rule.

British Airline - New Transportation Dept Fare Rule

How long will the other airlines take to comply? Not sure but they have two weeks to do it.

The only drawback to this? Airfares will ‘look’ like they’re suddenly much more expensive. But, on the bright side, what you’ll see is now finally what you’re going to get.

What do you think of the new rule?

 

 

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TRAVEL ALERT: Torres del Paine is CLOSED

Posted on 02 January 2012 by David

After learning about the Bariloche airport closure to complete repairs from the June 4 eruption of the Puyehue Volcano, we have been keeping a closer eye on natural events in South America.  Today, the Patagonia hotel where we have a reservation at notified us that the Torres del Paine park will be closed at least until the end of January.

More details can be found on the US State Department or the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office website.

We had just re-routed our travel due to the Bariloche airport closure.  Hopefully the Torres del Paine closure will not be extended since we are planning to be there Feb 1st!

Are you impacted as well?  Let us know your alternative plans.

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