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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Novel Non-Stops

My first travel column for The Georgetowner.
The bi-weekly glossy is aimed at Washington, DC's first-class travelers.
Here's a brief peek, but click on the link above for the full skinny.
Washington jet-setters now have a full slate of exciting new options for non-stop travel out of the DC area. Several international carriers have chosen 2012 as their year to get acquainted with Washingtonians, while some of the old standbys are adding new destinations--international and domestic--to their schedules.

If you fly out of Dulles, there might be a fjord in your future. That’s because Icelandair is back in the Washington region after a fjour-year absence. This time, instead of flying out of BWI, it’s flying out of Dulles. During the summer, Icelandair has six flights a week to Reykjavik. This is an airline known for offering long-weekend deals (the flight is less than six hours), so keep an eye on its website, particularly during non-peak travel months.

Good news for United MileagePlus members, who can rack up plenty of points on the airline’s three international routes introduced this spring.  United Airlines now flies a daily non-stop to Dublin, Ireland, to Manchester, England and to Doha, Qatar.

If you have a hankering for seven-star hotels and a yen to see the tallest  building in the world, enjoy a far-flung exotic adventure via Emirates.The highly-rated Middle Eastern carrier inaugurates its daily non-stop service from Dulles to Dubai on September 12. Book business class before July 5 and save $1000. 

If you feel like a shorter hop, Porter Airlines may be just the ticket. This top-rated Canadian carrier started flying between Dulles and Toronto City Airport in April. There are now four flights each way each day. What passengers get for their money--perks such as access to premium passenger lounges, and free wine, beer, and snacks on board.

Heading south of the border, AeroMexico launched daily non-stops from Dulles to Mexico City in May.  If you want to get a bit of that Latin flavor without leaving U.S. territory, opt for JetBlue’s new non-stop service from Reagan National (DCA) to San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Of course, you’ll have to wait until August 23 to head to the islands.

DCA to San Juan? What gives, you say? The FAA’s new Modernization and Reform Act, signed on Valentine’s Day, grants slots for eight new non-stops between DCA and destinations beyond the airport’s normal 1,250-mile perimeter.   In particular, that’s a sweetheart deal for Washingtonians looking to travel to California. There are several new non-stops to the West Coast, including a daily American flight to Los Angeles and a daily United flight to San Francisco.  US Airways starts flying non-stop to San Diego in July and Virgin America wings its way to SFO on August 14.

Meantime, if you want to wander up the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, Condor Airlines is scheduled to begin twice-weekly non-stop service between BWI and Frankfurt, Germany next month. Condor tends to offer seats at lower fares than its Lufthansa counterpart, so if you are heading to Germany, you’ll get high marks for comparing prices.

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