ICYMI: United and Orbitz hate Skiplagged; Melia opens another Cuba resort; Disney shuts its doors; and you’ll be home for New Year’s.

By Susie Reese

You’ve had a busy week with shopping, merriment, and fireworks. No worries! We’ve got you covered with the totally awesome travel stories you’ve missed this past week.


United Airlines and Orbitz Bash on Skiplagged

United Airlines and Orbitz want the airfare search website Skiplagged to see other people. In documents filed by the powerhouse duo, they accuse Skiplagged of helping customers find the “hidden city” in order to obtain lower fares and putting a direct link to United or Orbitz, misleading customers into thinking they are affiliated.

Paris Skipplagged United

Paris for less? Yes, please! (Credit: lornet/Shutterstock.com)

“In its simplest form, a passenger purchases a ticket from City A to City B to City C, but does not travel beyond City B,” wrote Orbitz and United in an anti-love letter, AKA a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Illinois, Travel Weekly reports.

What does that mean? Say you really want to go to Paris from Newark (and who wouldn’t?). Well, it might be cheaper to book a flight from Newark to Dubai with a stopover in Paris. Instead of heading onto Dubai, you just get off in Paris and enjoy a fabulous vacation with the one you love.

Why don’t United Airlines and Orbitz love this? Find out by reading here.

Travel agents, what do you think? Is Skiplagged guilty, or did it just want to have fun for less?


Meliá opens its newest resort in Cuba.

Face it. You’re ready to get your Cuba on, and Meliá has just the place for you to do it. The hotel chain has cut the ribbon on phase one of its newest all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean: Meliá Jardines del Rey. The Cayo Coco resort will be fully operational in February with 1,176 rooms, but the first wave has more than 624 rooms already welcoming guests.

Melia Jardines del Rey Cuba

Melia already has its footprint in Cuba with 27 hotels, including the new Jardines del Rey.

According to Meliá, the resort is designed like a sugar plantation and offers both contemporary style and tropical bungalows.

Meliá has been a major player in Cuban tourism for some time, catering mostly to our friends up north. It has more than 27 hotels in Cuba’s eight major tourist areas and could help create a legal tourism draw for U.S. citizens and residents.

Read more about Meliá Jardines del Rey’s opening in the Caribbean Journal here, and tell us what you think about travel to Cuba. Are you looking forward to it, looking forward to booking it, or both?


I’ll be home for New Year’s.

New Year's Holiday

Family and friends are a top priority during the holidays, especially New Year’s.

You might watch the ball drop in NYC on TV, but you most likely don’t want to be there. (Us, either!) A poll conducted by Yahoo Travel and Ipsos found that more than 31% of respondents would rather be home with their family and friends than anywhere else, though other popular choices included Times Square in New York City, Hawaii, Paris, London, Dublin, and even Buenos Aires. About 2 percent wanted to be in Samoa, the first place to celebrate the New Year.

Find out what’s the most popular destination for the holidays here (scroll down), but tell us where you’d like to spend New Year’s in the comments.

Travel Tip: If you happen to be at Disney World, then don’t try to get in the Magic Kingdom Park® for the fireworks. Head over to the Grand Floridian and past the outer buildings, there’s a lovely coast on the Seven Seas Lagoon. There, you’ll be able to see ALL the fireworks—the ones in the Magic Kingdom, the ones for the lagoon, and even the ones in Epcot®. “Why are you telling me this?” you ask.


Disney leaves some customers in the cold, despite Florida and California’s heat.

Guests were turned away from the gates at Walt Disney World® and Disneyland® on Christmas when the parks reached maximum crowd capacity. The closures only affected the Magic Kingdom Park® in Florida and Disneyland Park in California. Park employees urged funseekers to enjoy Disney’s California Adventure Park® in Anaheim or one of the other three parks in Lake Buena Vista.

The Magic Kingdom Park was closed due to high capacity on Christmas. (Credit: Katherine Welles)

The Magic Kingdom Park was closed due to high capacity on Christmas. (Credit: Katherine Welles)

While disgruntled park-goers took to Twitter to express their disappointment, those who made it into the park also voiced their disapproval at long lines and other travesties, the L.A. Times reports.

So what can Disney do about it? Hugo Martin has some ideas in here.


The NHL’s Winter Classic was classy.

The Washington Capitals beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 at the NHL’s annual Winter Classic, which took place at D.C.’s Nationals Park. Unlike previous classics which included snowy conditions and frigid temperatures, this game took place in a balmy 43.3 degrees with potentially dangerous sun glare that almost delayed the game.

Previous outdoor NHL games have been played at Wrigley Field, Fenway Park, Heinz Field, Citizens Bank Park, and even Yankee Stadium. The Winter Classic began as the Heritage Classic in 2003 when the Edmonton Oilers played the Montreal Canadiens at Commonwealth Stadium in Alberta. It was the most watched NHL regular season game in 36 years.

To read more about the Winter Classic, check out this roundup by USA Today, and watch the rink and stages be built here.


Google stalks you by plane.

Why download apps to tell you about your flight status when you can just google it? According to Reddit user jasenlee, if you type “Flight Status” into Google when logged-in, Google will pull up your flight information including your confirmation number, seat, terminal, and every email associated with that flight.

Give it a try on your next flight, but it only works if you used your gmail account when booking the flight. (You’re out of luck, Yahoo! users.)

Read more about this phenomenon here.