A picture-perfect trio of islands lapped by turquoise waters, the Maltese archipelago has all the charm of nearby Sicily with far fewer tourists. Valletta, the tiny nation’s capital and a UNESCO World Heritage site, feels like something plucked straight from Westeros. The historic walled city dates back to 1565, and has a vibe that’s Mediterranean with a North African twist. This underrated destination is finally stepping into the global limelight as a 2018 European Capital of Culture. To celebrate the occasion, the city has planned more than 140 projects and 400 events throughout the year. The festivities begin on January 20, with contemporary dance, a choral symphony, and acrobatic performances across the city’s four main squares. Should you miss the grand opening, swing by in February for Carnival, or in June for the Malta International Arts Festival and the Valletta Film Festival. —Diana Hubbell
JetBlue Technology Ventures (JTV)  is a wholly owned subsidiary of JetBlue that was established in February 2016. JTV is the venture capital arm of JetBlue that invests in and partners with early-stage startups in the travel, hospitality, and transportation space. Its mission is to improve the end-to-end experience of travelers everywhere. As of November 2018, JTV has invested in 21 startups, including hybrid planes, machine learning algorithms, and ground transportation. Investments range in size from $250,000 to $1 million.
September 21, 2005: Flight 292 en route from Burbank, California, to New York City performed an emergency landing at Los Angeles International Airport (pictured on the right) following a failure of the front landing gear during retraction when it turned 90 degrees. The plane landed after holding for about three hours to burn fuel and therefore lighten the aircraft. The aircraft came to a stop without incident on runway 25L, the second-longest runway at LAX. The only apparent damage to the plane upon landing was the destruction of the front wheels, which were ground down to almost semicircles, and the tires; the front landing strut held. The passengers were unable to see themselves landing despite the DirecTV service in each seat, as they were instructed to brace.
Thai tourism is as robust as ever: more than 21 million international visitors poured into the capital in 2016, making it the world’s most visited city. To accommodate all those arrivals, the metropolis is welcoming a bevy of posh new hotels in the coming year. The Waldorf Astoria Bangkok will have a spa, rooftop bar, and outdoor infinity pool overlooking the Royal Bangkok Sports Club, while the 155-room Bangkok Edition will open this summer in MahaNakhon, a towering skyscraper with a swirl of cubical cutouts wrapping around the building. Four Seasons and Capella both have properties in the works on the Chao Phraya Estate, a lush riverfront development that’s part shopping and dining destination, part tropical escape. The Michelin Guide will make its long-awaited debut here this year, drawing attention to one of the world’s most dynamic culinary scenes. And for art lovers, there’s a flock of brand-new multipurpose creative spaces to explore, including the Thailand Creative & Design Center, which just relocated to a former General Post Office on historic Charoen Krung Road; Warehouse 30, a series of World War II-era warehouses revamped by starchitect Duangrit Bunnag; and ChangChui, an immense complex of bars, shops, and restaurants constructed out of upcycled materials, including an airplane salvaged from the scrap pile. —Diana Hubbell
In addition to more than 100,000 artifacts, including pieces currently stored in the vaults of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, the new museum will sport a Modernist design courtesy of Heneghan Peng Architects. Chosen from more than 1,550 design proposals from architects in 82 countries, the final building will echo both the geography of the plateau on which it rests as well as the Pyramids themselves. When the museum partially opens in 2018, visitors in the immense atrium can soak in the majestic sight of both the Pyramid of Menkaure and the Great Pyramid of Khufu from a floor-to-ceiling glass wall. —Diana Hubbell
Known as the Tibet of Japan, the remote Iya Valley is tucked away in the mountainous interior of Shikoku, the least visited of the country’s four main islands. Tourism to the region took a leap forward when it hosted the World Rafting Championship in 2017 — putting its turquoise Class Four rapids firmly on the adventure-travel map. New ziplines and hiking trails are sprouting up in the canyons, while upgrades have been made to accommodations in the area’s traditional thatched-roof farmhouses, or minkas. Chiiori House is the most luxurious; the property also maintains an excellent portfolio of more affordable options. —Adam Harney Graham
6. Get credit or refunds for hotel price drops. If you find a lower price on Travelocity or a competitor site two or more days before your scheduled hotel check-in date, Travelocity will refund or credit you the difference. As with flight price drops, you’ll also receive a $50 coupon for a future hotel or hotel + flight package valued at $100 or more. To file a claim, fill out a Travelocity Price Guarantee application within two days after booking the hotel.
Vacation Packages: More hotels, resorts and inns offer romantic, family, wedding, honeymoon and other packages than people realize. If your heart is set on a particular getaway, check their web site for current offers. In some cases, the property will offer a romantic package that you can add on to the cost of your stay, such as flowers or a gift that can be prepared ahead of time. In other cases, the romantic package will include the room rate as well. When you are researching the best places to vacation, it pays to check for packages.
jetBlue experienced its first-ever quarterly loss during the fourth quarter of 2005 when the airline lost $42.4 million, enough to make them unprofitable for the entire year of 2005. The loss was the airline's first since going public in 2002. JetBlue also reported a loss in the first quarter of 2006. In addition to that, jetBlue forecasted a loss for 2006, citing high fuel prices, operating inefficiency, and fleet costs. During the first quarter report, CEO David Neeleman, President Dave Barger, and then-CFO John Owen released JetBlue's "Return to Profitability" ("RTP") plan, stating in detail how they would curtail costs and improve revenue to regain profitability. The plan called for $50 million in annual cost cuts and a push to boost revenue by $30 million. jetBlue Airways moved out of the red during the second quarter of 2006, beating Wall Street expectations by announcing a net profit of $14 million. That result was flat when compared to jetBlue's results from the same quarter a year before ($13 million), but it was double Wall Street forecasts of a $7 million profit, Reuters reports. The carrier said cost-cutting and stronger revenue helped it offset higher jet fuel costs. In October 2006, jetBlue announced a net loss of $500,000 for Quarter 3, and a plan to regain that loss by deferring some of their E190 deliveries and by selling 5 of their A320s.
Visitors may want to return to the Belgian capital in 2018 to visit two cutting-edge museums. The Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Art opened in the once-infamous Molenbeek district’s old Belle-Vue brewery this past spring, to showcase contemporary art from around the world. There’s also the Citroën Cultural Centre, a new collaboration with Paris’s Centre Pompidou, which will launch its first exhibition in May. The edgy JAM Hotel, an industrial-chic property with exposed brickwork and concrete beams housed in a former art school, is the perfect place for culture-lovers to stay. Don’t leave town without paying homage to Belgium’s UNESCO-recognized beer culture at youthful breweries like Brasserie de la Senne or Brussels Beer Project, both of which are shirking brewing traditions in favor of more experimental microbrewery techniques. —Meredith Bethune
A new crop of five-star brands are coming in 2018, including the Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, the Four Seasons Los Cabos at Costa Palmas, the Montage Los Cabos, 1 Hotel & Homes, and the first Nobu Hotel in Mexico. Foodies will want to make a reservation at Acre, a restaurant-farm from executive chefs Kevin Luzande and Oscar Torres, who are set to unveil 12 new treehouse guest rooms on site. —Christopher Tkaczyk
This year, Buenos Aires becomes a hub for art, sports, and politics: the inaugural Art Basel Cities program, the Youth Olympic Games, and the G20 will all take place in the city, beginning with the multi-year Art Basel initiative. Though the Argentinean capital is already home to an eclectic collection of galleries, Art Basel Cities promises to elevate Buenos Aires’ reputation in the global art scene by offering professional support for local artists, as well as lectures and workshops throughout the year to draw art lovers to the city.
Various consumer rights organizations and activists called for the creation of a government mandated “Bill of Rights” to protect air travelers from future experiences similar to the one previously described. On February 20, 2007, jetBlue released an apologetic response to the events that had taken place less than a week before with the creation of their Customer Bill of Rights, which offers financial reciprocation if a customer's flight is delayed or cancelled.
Located at the tip of the Baja Peninsula, the two small colonial towns of Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo have become the hottest vacation destinations in Mexico in recent years. With wide, pristine beaches, lively nightclubs, glam resorts, and a farm-to-table food scene, the oasis of Los Cabos is drawing tourists in record numbers. As a result, the hotel scene is booming, with a clutch of new developments and renovations completed this year along the Tourist Corridor, including the sleek Chileno Bay, an Auberge Resort, and a stunning beachfront Solaz resort.
In September 2009, JetBlue made changes to its TrueBlue program. In the new program, members receive three points for every dollar spent toward a flight, excluding taxes and fees, plus an additional three points for every dollar spent on a flight if booked online directly on the JetBlue.com website. Additional points are awarded if the member uses the Barclay's issued JetBlue Mastercard credit card to purchase the flight. The price of flights in points depend on the fare of the flight in U.S. dollars. The new program launched on November 9, 2009.
On December 13, 2007, jetBlue and Germany-based Lufthansa announced jetBlue's intent to sell 19% of jetBlue to Lufthansa, pending approval from US regulators. Following the acquisition, Lufthansa stated they plan to seek operational cooperation with jetBlue. Lufthansa plans to offer connections to JetBlue flights in Boston, New York (JFK), and Orlando International Airport (no longer a connection).
Though decades of civil war made parts of the island unsafe, tourism is on the rise in Sri Lanka, where international visitors exceeded 2 million for the first time in 2016. The momentum is particularly strong along the south coast, which has the highest concentration of hotels and resorts after Colombo. The 172-room Amari resort recently opened on the beachfront in Galle (known for its UNESCO-protected Dutch fortress) with ocean views from every balcony. Water also plays a central role at Alila Koggala, a new luxury eco-resort with 36 suites and private villas, opening 20 minutes outside of Galle in June. The property sits on the serene shores of Lake Koggala and will feature an ayurvedic spa where treatments can be taken on a platform floating on the lake. Further along the south coast, Mirissa Beach is attracting travelers in need of a full mind-body reset. The laid-back surfer town — think Venice Beach minus the tech crowd — comes alive at night with bars and barbecue restaurants overlooking the turquoise bay; when you’re ready to turn in, there are earthy, low-key lodges peppered throughout the jungle, such as Surf & Yoga, which offers daily on-site yoga and private surf lessons. —Alex Schechter