When airlines endeavor to showcase their friendliness to the LGBT community, they tend to take a multipronged approach. From consumer marketing to sponsored partnerships to employee policies, carriers aiming to take off with gay passengers have a variety of angles to exploit. On the marketing side, United Airlines uses email blasts through the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association. Delta Air Lines offers LGBT vacation packages through its Delta Vacations brand, featuring hotels that meet criteria as gay-friendly properties. American Airlines maintains a gay and lesbian travel section on its site as well, with information about LGBT events, news and special offers. Virgin Atlantic, meanwhile, includes LGBT travel recommendations on its blog. Across the Pacific, Air New Zealand has been among the most successful at attracting attention with its LGBT-focused marketing efforts. In 2008 the company launched what it called the first North American “Pink Flight” — a specially themed service from San Francisco in celebration of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. And the carrier staged a same-sex wedding at 30,000 feet after New Zealand legalized such unions in 2013. Several airlines partner with LGBT organizations to sponsor special events and support causes. Southwest Airlines, for example, is the official carrier of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, the Gay-Straight Alliance Network and the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. The carrier also includes working with LGBT-owned suppliers among the goals of its supplier diversity initiative. United Airlines maintains a presence in pride parades in five of its hub cities, serves as the official airline of Equality Illinois and is a Gold Level Partner with IGLTA. And in 2015 the airline became the only top-tier Diamond Level partner of the National Gay Pilots Association, a nonprofit organization of LGBT pilots and aviation enthusiasts, many of whom work in commercial aviation. The way an airline treats its LGBT employees, in fact, provides another way the industry gauges which airlines are most respectful of the community. Most major airlines in the United States, for example, include LGBT employee groups; American Airlines has one of the newest since its merger with US Airways resulted in a combined group called Pride, which boasts about 620 members. And JetBlue touts its perfect score of 100 on the 2016 Corporate Equality Index, a rating from the Human Rights Campaign based on surveys and reports on corporate policies and practices related to LGBT workplace equality.
Southwest Airlines is cutting almost 20 non-stop routes as of January 2020. The airline says the move will allow it to focus its efforts on top destinations. The airline announced the move last month, with flights from Boston (BOS), Dallas Love Field (DAL), Los Angeles (LAX) and Orlando (MCO) seeing the most cuts.
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.
Mandarin Oriental, Geneva now offers its Royal Penthouse suite, one of the largest in the city at nearly 3,500 square feet, with an additional 1,800-square-foot terrace.
For any traveler interested in backcountry camping, wilderness exploration or any other type of outdoor adventure, REI now offers a wilderness safety training course to the general public. The programming is in partnership with the National Outdoor Leadership School, takes place on weekends and is “ideal for all outdoor enthusiasts.”
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
Ryanair will soon start its first round-trip Georgia flights. The flights, which start this November, will connect the capital Tbilisi (TBS) to Milan Bergamo (BGY) four times weekly and the western city of Kutaisi (KUT) to Bologna (BLQ) and Marseille (MRS), both twice weekly. Then, in April, Ryanair will add twice weekly flights between Tbilisi and Cologne (CGN).
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
Attend one of the most acclaimed fall events, Autumn at the Arboretum, in Dallas. In its 14th year, the annual event is known as one of the best pumpkin festivals in the country, with its creative displays featuring more than 90,000 pumpkins, gourds and squash. The event takes place at Dallas Arboretum, Sept. 21 –Oct. 31. Alongside thousands of pumpkins, guests glimpse 150,000 autumn flowers across the 66-acre space.