Retired Austin Travelers

Who We Are...

As our name implies, we are (mostly) retired folks (singles and couples) who (mostly) live in and around the Austin area and who all  share a love for the Adventures of Travel.

All you need is the desire to travel, or hear from other travelers. That's it!     Join us at our next event! 

If you would like to receive reminders of our upcoming meetings, please contact Bill Kemp (wmbkemp@gmail.com) and ask to be added to the email list. Notices usually are sent two weeks and two days before each RATs meeting.

For comments and questions about this website, please email Miles Abernathy (miles99@gmail.com).

News & Information

Trip Reports

Carolyn Barkley's Blog!

The late Carolyn Barkley, one of our most seasoned travelers, wrote a very interesting Travel Blog about her extensive travels, complete with photos.     Check it out!
           carolyntravels.com

 Ann Cabot Discovers Réunion

Ann Cabot
discovered a picturesque, though remote island named Réunion.   Governed by France, the island lies East of Madagascar, off the East coast of Southern Africa.  
   Link to view Réunion photos

our Next Travel Chat Event... 

The next Travel Chat is scheduled for 2 PM on August 18, 2022. John Berry biked around Europe this summer and will share his wild adventures in a talk entitled 'What ELSE can go wrong on the way to a High School reunion and back'.  No doubt we will be amazed by his travels.   Don't miss this exciting travel talk!

The meeting may be held in-person only, no Zoom.  

In Person: Vaccinated members can meet in person at the WellMed Center at 706 W Ben White Blvd. in south Austin. The driveway into the parking lot is on the westbound feeder road of Ben White (290) just west of South First Street.  We meet in the conference room of the Senior Community Center, room 125A. According to their website, WellMed requires masks.
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Travel Chat meetings are usually scheduled for 2 PM on the third Thursday of every month. Those dates are August 18 and September 15. Later dates, which may change, are October 20, November 17 and December 15, 2022.   

Hot Travel News

Ctrl-F to search past News items.

Http://archive.is will let you read articles that are behind a paywall.

Airline Award Ticket Change & Cancellation Fees. (8/18)

70 free things to do in Chicago. (8/18)

American, United order supersonic jets. (8/17)

Are Euronet ATMs scams? (8/16)

Tips for getting best currency exchange rates. (8/16)

How to pack for travel w/ just carry-on. (8/15)

Rent a car from one company, get it from another. (8/13)

More cruise lines dropping vaccine requirements. (paywalled) (8/13)

Choice - Radisson merger tactics. (8/12)

New Zealand doesn't much want budget travelers. (8/11)

New homeowners near DC airport outraged at noise from planes. (paywalled) (8/10)

Hertz devalues loyalty program by 27%, no warning. (8/10)

Holiday Inn Express may reduce free-breakfast benefit. (8/10)

Japan, Taiwan entry rules changes in mid-August. (8/10)

Limited time: Americans can renew passports online. (8/10)

What to do in Mexico City. (8/10)

Biz class to Japan just $1639+ r/t. (8/9)

Thailand May Legalize Gambling To Attract Tourists. (8/9)

Guide to cancelling flights, getting refunds w/ US airlines. (8/8)

Southwest improves moving-map inflight video.

L.A. May Require All Hotels To House The Homeless. (8/8)

Dublin airport fibs about security line wait times. (8/7)

Rough landing injures Southwest flight attendant. (8/7)

You can use Southwest points for travel on other airlines. (8/3)

Travel blogger kicked out of Bali for false reporting. (8/3)

So Much Lost Luggage, Workers Are Putting Some in Trash. (8/1)

Cruise lines dropping covid vax, test requirements. (7/31)

Kimpton Hotels giving 'emotional support beverages'. (7/31)

Airport lounges getting more numerous. (firewalled) (7/31)

Stuck Overnight At The Airport? Book Your Own Hotel. (7/31)

UK train drivers vote for fresh strikes. (7/28)

Use an air sickness bag to create mount for phone. (7/28)

Credit card chargebacks to fix travel problems. (firewalled) (7/28)

Germany has a €9 train ticket good for unlimited trips for a full calendar month. (7/27)

If an airline wants to bump you from a flight (firewalled). (7/27)

Croatia opens important new bridge. (7/27)

How to add PreCheck # to Icelandair flights. (7/27)

AA Fighting Cyberpirates Using Fake Airline Emails. (7/27)
 
Solo Road Trip: You Can Do It & Love It. (7/26)

Delta Air Lines Free Wi-Fi Nationwide "Soon". (7/26)

5 ways to save time at car rental counter. (7/25)

Update: How to override hotel thermostat settings. (7/24)

Worst hotels in the world, as per Trip Advisor. (7/24)

Maine - Canada ferry back in service after 13 years. (7/24)

Covid home-testing answers. (7/23)

Unappetizing economy-class food on Delta flight. (7/23)

Cruise ship covid rules changing. (7/23)

BA workers at LHR get raise, call off planned strike. (7/23)

Secret stretch of coastal France that's nicer than Nice. (7/23)

AA facing Chapter 11 bankruptcy? (7/22, 23)

Some Popular Destinations Still Have Covid Restrictions. (7/23)

Active duty U.S. military members get TSA PreCheck free. (7/23)

AA Loses Money Flying Pax, Profits From Selling Miles. (7/23)

Blogger pans Avianca biz-class food, lavatory. (7/22)

Two unhappy families in big fight at Disney World. (7/22)

Heathrow passenger cap now lasts until October. (7/22)

8 hospitalized after air turbulence on AA flight. (7/22)

The interesting economics of airline award seats. (7/22)

Southwest opens schedule to Mar 8, 2023. (7/21)

Amsterdam baggage meltdown. (7/21)

Married Segments, a problem for award travelers. (7/20)

Free wifi "soon" on Delta. (7/20)

Electronic bag tags coming to Alaska Airlines. (7/20)

Reprieve for LHR pax, refueler strike suspended. (7/20)

In praise of the Boeing 747. (7/20)

Pilot Walks Off Plane bc He Had a ‘Fight’ With Co-Pilot. (7/20)

Thru October, Amtrak waives change fees. (7/19)

1500+ troops in/near Cancun to protect tourists. (7/19)

Malaysia Airlines offers flight pass for travel in southern Asia. (7/19)

easyJet adds support for pax this summer. (7/19)

How expensive is travel in Switzerland? (7/19)

3-day LHR re-fuelers strike starts Thurs, July 21? 28?. (7/19)

Evil Knievel's Snake River jump site visit. (7/19)

Australian law protects bad flight crew members. (7/19)

Sleazy $79 fee at Hyatt Mauna Lani Point Resort. (7/16, 7/19)

Possible changes to Disney park hopping rules. (7/19)

Nat Park Service reinstates some indoor mask mandates. (7/19)

Italy limits rental cars on beautiful Amalfi Coast highway. (7/19)

Turnabout: Emirates agrees to limit Heathrow ticket sales. (7/19)

8 things to do when first checking in to a hotel room. (7/19)

2-week+ pilot strike at SAS ends. (7/19)

Finnair's strategy for protracted Russian airspace closure. (7/19)

Things Americans do that seem odd to non-Americans. (7/18)

What it's like now to fly into Heathrow. (7/18)

Airbus, Boeing see long-term airplane number growth. (7/17)

NYC-DC via $20 bus compared to $100 bus. (7/16)

LOT Airlines has biz award space to Europe. (7/16)

Essential Travel Tips for Exploring Laos. (7/16)

Heathrow Express versus new Elizabeth Line. (7/16)

Hilton publishes "Beginner’s Guide to Hilton Honors."

Didn't declare 1/2 sandwich at Australian customs, big fine! (7/16)

Baubax travel jacket helps avoid bag fees. Plenty of pockets! (7/16)

How Uber started to suck. (7/16)

Pros and cons of Airbnb vs. hotels. (7/16)

The many biz's Buffett's Margaritaville has spawned. (7/16)

More horror stories of false arrest due to Hertz errors. (7/16)

Good advice regarding delayed & lost luggage. (7/16)

Enjoying Schlitterbahn & Comal River in New Braunfels. (7/16)

Turkish Airlines gets 6 new jets meant for Aeroflot. (7/15)

Heathrow briefly shut one of its 2 runways, now all OK. (7/15)

Airlines giving bonuses of FF miles to staff. (7/15)

Free night at Spain hotel, for exhibitionists. (7/15)

Video: Man forces carry-on bag into sizer, can't remove it. (7/15)

Rail workers to strike for another two days in August. (7/14)

How a teen "visited" 35 countries, 6 continents, in <24 hr. (7/14)

Comparison of airline Basic Economy fare restrictions (7/14)

AA, Emirates respond differently to LHR reduction request. (7/14)

NYC Ferry is cheap alternative to taxi, Uber, subway. (7/10, 13)

Flying to LHR? Book now, especially for biz class. (7/13)

IcelandAir flies baggage handlers to Amsterdam to help out. (7/13)

Qantas drops Vaccine Mandate on International Flights. (7/13)

For The First Time In Decades, 1 Dollar Can Buy 1 Euro. (7/12)

LHR sets 100,000 pax/day limit, cancels 1000 flights. (7/12)

Scenic drives in every state. (Hill Country is ours.) (7/12)

Notre Dame design plans released...big changes! (7/12)

How to Protect Yourself In Case of Fire at a Hotel. (7/12)

AA loses 423 cases of French cognac. (7/12)

In-flight theft is more common than you think. (7/10)

Siberia or Japan? Expert Google Maps Players Can Tell. (7/10)

Nasty water in Las Vegas hotel pools. (7/10)

Mobile Passport app could be better than Global Entry. (7/10)

Re: $$$ offers from airlines to take a bump. (7/10)

Heathrow tells pax to avoid liquids in carry-on bags. (7/10)

AA Pilots Union Tries To Scare Passengers From Flying. (7/10)

Creepy Trick To Get An Empty Seat Next To You on SWA. (7/10)

NYC subway news, lists of things to see and do. (7/9)

Advice: Pack light and don't check bags this summer. (7/9)

Marriott computer systems hacked again. (7/9)

Canada giving away 4,000 Annual Park Passes to Americans. (7/9)

Free personalized vehicle wrap from Hertz. (7/8)

Do you need a $20 International Driving Permit? (7/8)

Australia ends last covid travel restrictions. (7/8)

Boeing may cancel MAX 10 over safety rules. (7/8)

KLM cancels 10 to 20 flights/day ex Amsterdam. (7/8)

Emirates promises to deliver entire summer sched. (7/8)

LHR strike by BA check-in workers averted. (7/7)

How to get a Global Entry appointment sooner. (7/7)

Portugal dropped all COVID-19 entry restrictions July 1. (7/6)

Heathrow refueling workers plan 72-hour walkout 7/21-24. (7/6)
 
Austin Fairmont named one of best hotels in the world. (7/5)

Best river cruises in Europe. (7/5)

SAS declares bankruptcy following pilot strike. (7/5)

Visiting Venice for the day will cost up to €10 in 2023. (7/5)

How to use RJ to change FF number on a BA booking. (7/5)

Why France is the most visited country in the world. (7/4)

European flight cancellations - what you are owed. (7/4)

Review of Finnair's new no-recline biz-class seat. (7/4)

Qantas keeping vaccination mandate for pax. (7/4)

Australia ends vax requirement for visitors July 6. (7/4)

Insane/cool "Parallel Reality" departures board at DTW. (7/3)

Nuclear-powered airliner w/ 5000 pax proposed. (7/3)

(Updated) How to override hotel thermostats. (7/3)

AA may cancel 12,000 flights in July (pilot sched glitch). (7/2,3)

The story of John Lennon Airport in Liverpool, UK. (7/2)

Some international award travel sweet spots. (7/2)

Denver airport restroom windows offer unexpected view. (7/2)

A380 lands with huge hole in side, reason unknown. (7/2)

Being an fearless traveler in your 70s and beyond. (7/2)

Austin BA pax tracks lost Airpods in UK every day. (7/2)

Should you keep your old expired passports? (7/2)

How to 'quickly' reach an airline customer service agent. (7/1)

Hawaiian Airlines offers inter-island flights from $29. (7/1)

United adding Guam / Japan flights. (7/1)

Pandemic expired-passport rule ends tomorrow. (6/30)

60-pax brawl aboard a Carnival ship. (6/30)

Hidden crew-rest areas of airliners. (6/30)

No-cost in-flight cellphone holder hack. (6/30)

Austin tiki bar "Tiki Tatsu-Ya" praised. (6/30)

8000+ wrongly-arrested Hertz customers?! (6/29)

Best kolaches to be found are at gas station north of Waco. (6/29)

Delta issues systemwide travel waiver for July 1-4. (6/29)

Air New Zealand’s Skynest economy bunk beds. (6/29)

You don't need to check a bag. (6/29)

Hudson's "Just Walk Out" stores at 3 airports. (6/28)

JetBlue sued for serving kosher food that probably wasn't. (6/28)

Praise for sitting in the back of the plane. (6/27)

NYC Ferry is subway, taxi, Uber alternative. (6/27)

How to get a quick Global Entry appointment for $29. (6/27)

Should you book round trips or one-ways? (6/25)

AA club re-opens in Charlotte. (6/25)

Eight cool airports. (6/24)

More United flight cancellations. (6/24)

Hertz paying  innocent people they sent to jail. (6/24)

Only 100 days left to use UK paper £20 and £50 notes! (6/23)

Oman Air to join the oneworld alliance (AA, BA, etc.). (6/21)

Japan tightens entry rules for visitors. (6/20)

Thailand drops 3 visitor restrictions July 1. (6/19)

Southwest expands schedule through January 4, 2023. (6/19)

Norse Atlantic offers US-Berlin airfare for $120 o/w. (6/17)

Why lodging prices are rising significantly. (6/17)

BA lowers fuel surcharges on awards w/ Iberia Avios. (6/16)

Five questions to ask when you check into a hotel. (6/16)

Viking River Cruises ends pre-departure test rule. (6/15)

Saudi Arabia to pay airlines to bring in tourists. (6/14)

Choice Hotels buying Radisson. (6/13)

US ends pre-departure covid  tests for incoming pax. (6/12)

AA Plats get extra legroom on Qatar Airlines. (6/10)

Disney secrets. (6/9)

Wizz Air CEO Is sick and tired of pilots prioritizing safety. (6/9)

Man sues AA after wrongly spending 17 days in jail. (6/9)

40% discount for some Southwest flights 8/16-11/5. (6/8)
 
Long delays to get appointment for a US visitor visa. (6/7)

13 best movies about travel. (6/7)

The 13 best movies about travel. (6/6)

Phantom award space on airlines, how to detect & avoid. (6/6)

What to do when car rental company has no cars. (6/6)

Weathering 10 days in hotel quarantine. (6/6)

Rules for bringing pets on planes. (6/5)

3 travel planning tips. (6/5)

Ryanair vs pax w/ fake South African passports. (6/4)

Fed-up UK pax climb thru baggage carousel to find luggage. (6/4)

Salt Lake City airport panned. (6/3)

Rick Steves on carry-on luggage. (6/3)

The limit of 'appropriate attire' for an airline flight? (6/3)

Finnair new non-reclining biz seat reviews. (5/17, 6/2)

SWA will extend expiring funds for 6 months, if you ask. (6/2)

Pilot calls cops for help after ground staff abandon plane full of pax. (6/2)

How to pay San Francisco bridge tolls for rental car. (6/2)

Hanoi travel guide (podcast) (6/2)

JetBlue delays Boston-London route launch. (6/1)
ALSO

  RATs are...

  Retired Austin Travelers
VISITORS ALWAYS WELCOME TO ANY & ALL OF OUR EVENTS
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