Is it worth buying stock in the online gambling company?

DraftKings (NASDAQ: DKNG) offers gambling enthusiasts a more convenient way to wager. For decades, people who sought entertainment through gambling were forced to potentially travel for hours to geographic destinations where the activity was permitted. More recently, several state governments have thought it wise to legalize gaming online.

DraftKings is benefiting from this state-by-state expansion. However, it is spending aggressively to acquire customers in each new market, and the losses to the bottom line have investors concerned. The stock fell 41% in 2021 and has kept falling in 2022. Here are three reasons why DraftKings stock could be a buying opportunity for long-term investors in 2022.

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1. Accelerating revenue growth 

From 2017 to 2020, DraftKings’ revenue grew from $192 million to $615 million and at an accelerating rate – from 17.9% in 2018 to 42.9% in 2019 and 90% in 2020. With three quarters of results announced so far in fiscal 2021, management expects to deliver 96% revenue growth for the full year.

Meanwhile, DraftKings has been expanding into more and more states. In its third-quarter ended Sept. 30, the company added Wyoming, Arizona, and Connecticut to its list of states in which it offers mobile sports betting. That brings the total number of states where it provides the service to 15.

Most recently, DraftKings launched mobile sports betting in New York. The state is estimated to bring in $1 billion in gross gaming revenue annually. If DraftKings can earn anything close to the 33% market share it claims in the rest of its markets, New York could help significantly boost revenue growth in 2022.  

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2. An asset-lite business model 

Another strength DraftKings has going for it: an asset-lite business model. Traditional brick-and-mortar casinos can require hundreds of millions – if not billions – in capital to build the massive buildings housing the casinos and hotel rooms. Then there’s the ongoing cost of maintenance along with thousands of staff to serve guests. While several brick-and-mortar casinos earned double-digit operating profit margins in the past decade (prior to the pandemic), the huge expenses are no doubt a challenge.

Unencumbered by these elevated expenses, DraftKings’ mobile-gaming service has the potential for a significantly higher operating profit margins when it reaches maturity. And since one doesn’t need to get on a plane or drive for hours to make a wager on DraftKings, the potential customer base and frequency of customer visits could be significantly higher as well. 

For now, the Boston-based company is spending aggressively on marketing to attract customers, and this is generating massive red ink to the bottom line. Operating losses have ballooned from $77 million in 2018 to $1.4 billion in the most recent four quarters.

► Started investing late?  Here are 5 ways to make up for lost time

3. A relatively bargain price 

Understandably, the market has been increasingly focused on these massive losses. The stock price has crashed 50% from a year ago and is trading at a price-to-sales ratio of 9.5, near the lowest in DraftKings’ young history as a publicly traded company.

The current lack of profitability is undoubtedly a risk to shareholders. However, for more aggressive investors, the accelerating revenue growth in an expanding market, the superior gaming business model, and the bargain price could make the risk worthwhile

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Parkev Tatevosian owns DraftKings Inc. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The Motley Fool is a USA TODAY content partner offering financial news, analysis and commentary designed to help people take control of their financial lives. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.

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Why my private island cruise villa was sort of worth it

5 hours for $1,800: Why my private island cruise villa was sort of worth it

Advertiser Disclosure

Many of the credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Please view our advertising policy page for more information.

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Why Boarding a Plane Early Is Worth It, According to Frequent Fliers

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Nevada Resolutions Worth Keeping | Nevada Travel Experiences

If you’re looking to feel “resolved” this year, start with this list of bucket-listable, only-in-Nevada experiences.

New Year’s resolutions, man. Those grand plans to do things like get out and exercise more, eat better, spend less time on social media, treat yourself to some traveling… the list goes on. Every year we make ‘em, but it’s just so easy to break ‘em. 

That’s where the Silver State comes in, with plenty of ways to help you achieve all of those goals and more, in ways you’ll remember forever.

So instead of scouring the internet for short-lived fad diets and discounted gym memberships, check out our top ten only-in-Nevada travel resolutions you’ll be pumped to make, thrilled to experience, and proud you followed through with for the rest of your life—along with a few of our favorite places to turn them into reality.

Set your sights on some resolution-worthy Silver State experiences and where to find ‘em.

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7 extra-charge items on cruise ships that it’s worth paying for (and 7 to skip)

7 extra-charge items on cruise ships that it’s worth paying for (and 7 to skip)

Advertiser Disclosure

Many of the credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Please view our advertising policy page for more information.

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Palghar: Beef worth over Rs 20 lakh seized; two from Tamil Nadu arrested | Mumbai News

PALGHAR: The police in Maharashtra‘s Palghar district have seized beef worth Rs 20.6 lakh and arrested two persons from Tamil Nadu who were allegedly transporting it in a container truck, an official said on Saturday.
Based on a tip-off, the district rural police laid a trap at Ghol village on Mumbai-Ahmedabad Highway in Palghar and intercepted a container truck on Tuesday evening, senior inspector Ajay Vasave said.
On inspection, the police found that beef from Tamil Nadu was being transported to the state, he said.
The transporters had given fake declaration about the consignment and made an attempt to escape but were caught, the official said.
A total of 21,018 kg of beef worth Rs 20 lakh were seized from the vehicle, he said, adding that the illegal consignment was meant to be delivered at Taloja.
A case has been registered against the accused Kolinchinath Rajendra Vaniar (37) and Ranjit Kumar Ganeshan (36), both residents of Ariyalur in Tamil Nadu, the official said.
The police have also booked the owner of the container truck and others associated with the crime under relevant sections of the IPC, Maharashtra Animal Protection Act and Cruelty to Animals Act, he added.

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Cheap flights with Avelo Airlines: Are they worth it?


BURBANK, Calif. — The sun wasn’t up when boarding began for Avelo Airlines Flight 117 to Eugene, Oregon.

But I was alert enough to notice a familiar sight on the Boeing 737: rows of royal blue seats.

It felt like stepping onto a Southwest Airlines plane.

It wasn’t a mirage: Avelo bought the plane from Southwest during the pandemic, the flight attendant told me.

Avelo is one of three budget airlines to debut this year despite the continuing toll the pandemic has taken on the travel industry. Avelo, Breeze Airways and Aha, have all taken advantage of cheap prices for planes and zeroed in on nonstop routes they say major airlines have ignored, luring travelers with bargain fares.

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Most people haven’t heard of Avelo, let alone know how to pronounce it (sounds like hello). The airline, founded by the former president of budget airline pioneer Allegiant Air, has just six planes and until early November only flew on the West Coast. It has infrequent flights and mostly serves tiny airports, like Hollywood Burbank Airport near Los Angeles, Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa, California, and Tweed New Haven Airport in Connecticut.

Avelo’s target customers include travelers like Rosalinda Gutierrez, who lives closer to Burbank than Los Angeles International Airport but usually drives 45 minutes to LAX to catch a flight to see family in Pasco, Washington. Her sister-in-law heard about Avelo and snagged a last-minute roundtrip ticket for Gutierrez for $98. The price of Gutierrez’s last flight out of LAX to Pasco was $278, and it required a connection.

“It’s so cheap,” she said.

To give travelers an idea of what to expect, I booked four Avelo flights in and out of California in October and stopped at Tweed New Haven Airport on Avelo’s first day of operations there in November.

The full itinerary: Burbank to Eugene, Oregon, and Eugene to Burbank; Burbank to Santa Rosa, California; and Santa Rosa to Las Vegas. USA TODAY paid for the flights and Avelo wasn’t notified about the trip. 

Avelo Airlines: 7 things travelers should know about booking, flying new carrier

1. Avelo can’t take you to most places and has infrequent flights to the cities on its ever-changing route map. 

If you don’t live in California, Connecticut or Florida, you’re largely out of luck – for now. Avelo’s flights are concentrated on the coasts and it only offers a total of 102 weekly flights in 16 cities. For comparison, Southwest offers more flights in a single day from many cities in its network.

The airline, like Allegiant and Breeze, only operates most routes a few days a week. Want to nab that $39 flight from Burbank to Eugene, Oregon? Your options in January are a single morning flight on Wednesday, Friday or Monday. 

Avelo has daily flights from New Haven to some popular major Florida destinations including Orlando and Fort Lauderdale this winter but it only flies just a few times a week between others, such as Sarasota.

Travelers shouldn’t get wed to Avelo’s routes. The airline is quick to shake up its flight schedule if bookings are weak. The airline started flying in late April and has already abandoned some of its initial destinations, including Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport outside Phoenix; Bozeman, Montana; and Grand Junction, Colorado. Avelo CEO Andrew Levy admits the route map has already changed dramatically.

“We’re a for profit business and we have to have things that work,” he said. “As an early-stage business, our patience is pretty thin because we just can’t take huge risks.”

The airline is growing, with plans to add more than nine planes by the end of 2022.

Story continues below. 

2. Tickets are cheap, even with added fees. But bag fees are rising sharply in 2022.

Three of my four one-way flights, all booked last minute on the airline’s website, were $70 or less, including a $25 fee for a carry-on bag. (That’s the prepaid price; the airline charges $35 at the airport, so pay for bags when you book to save money.) My priciest flight was $104 with a bag because it was a Friday flight to Las Vegas from Santa Rosa, California. 

Avelo’s bag fees are about to spike, though. Beginning Jan. 12, carry on bag fees will jump $10, to $35 when paid in advance and $45 at the airport. The first checked bag fee is also rising, to $30 from $20. And that’s just for West Coast flights. Bag fees on Avelo flights to and from New Haven already have those higher prices.

On Feb. 10, bag fees for all flights will increase. Carry-on bags will start at $40, the first checked bag fee, $35, both when paid in advance.. 

Seat assignment fees are prevalent at Avelo, too – as is the case at most airlines – and the carrier touts the option when booking and during online check-in. Prices started at $6 on my flights but that price was generally for middle seats in the back of the plane. I declined to pay for a seat on each flight and had no trouble getting an aisle or window seat. One on flight I got a window seat that the airline was peddling for $14 during online check in just hours earlier. Note that most of my flights were far from full and rolling the dice might be a risky move for families traveling together or those traveling during holidays and other peak travel times.

 Pro tip: Don’t book a ticket on Avelo without searching for promo codes. The airline posts frequent offers on its website, Facebook and Twitter accounts and in marketing emails to travelers. The discount might only be $15 but that’s a significant percentage if you snag a cheap fare.

3. The airline doesn’t offer TSA Precheck and it doesn’t take American Express.

I was stunned to learn Avelo doesn’t accept American Express, a ubiquitous charge card.

CEO Levy, who got rid of American Express as a cost-saving move when he was at Allegiant, said it isn’t about money. (Allegiant brought Amex back after he left.) He said the airline had limited options for a credit card processor due to the pandemic, and the one it went with did not have the technology for American Express.

“The banks all ran away from travel. They were scared to death,” he said.

Avelo hopes to add American Express in the first quarter of 2022. The airline would also like to add options including Apple Pay and Google Pay, Levy added.

A bigger sore point for travelers: Avelo doesn’t offer TSA PreCheck, the popular fast pass through security.

The early morning security lines in Burbank were longer than I’m used to with PreCheck, but not a deal breaker given the size of the airport. (That wouldn’t be the case if you were to fly Avelo from Las Vegas or a major Florida airport like Orlando and Fort Lauderdale).

The most annoying part? Having to take off my shoes and jacket, and take out my laptop from my bag.

Levy can relate. In New Haven, he forgot to take his iPad out of his bag and his AirPods went flying when he tried to gathering his belongings after going through security.

He had hoped to have PreCheck in place by the end of November but Avelo is now targeting mid-December, spokesman Jim Olson said.

4. The “throwback” airports it serves are easy to navigate, the roomy planes are a surprise to many passengers. 

Hollywood Burbank Airport, known as Bob Hope Airport until 2017, is the kind of airport you can be dropped off at the curb an hour before your flight and have time to spare before your flight (unless the TSA checkpoint is clogged.) Don’t try that at LAX.

Flights board and deplane outside and one of the baggage claim areas is outside, too. There are just 14 gates between two connected terminals.

At Tweed New Haven Airport, you practically park your car next to the plane. Avelo is the only airline serving the airport (American stopped service earlier this year) and its ticket counter is in a temporary trailer-like structure outside the airport’s small terminal. Avelo is spending millions to expand and modernize the airport.

Small airports don’t mean small planes, though. Many Avelo passengers on my flights were surprised to be on a Boeing 737 that seat 150 or more passengers.

“I was impressed that the planes are new. And there’s lots of legroom,” said Samantha Piehoff, who flew Avelo from Santa Rosa to Las Vegas to catch a Las Vegas Raiders game with her fiance. “Normally when you fly small airlines out of smaller airports you don’t quite get those things.”

5. Inflight service is pleasant but sparse.

Avelo’s flight attendants have that new airline eagerness, with a couple of them waving to passengers when introduced during the preflight safety announcements on one of my flights, and another wishing a group of Los Angeles Rams fans well on their road trip from Eugene to Seattle.  

Avelo is currently serving a complimentary bottle of Dasani water and a package of Lorna Doone shortbread cookies on flights. Plans are to eventually add more items for sale.

With food options limited at its smaller airports, passengers should pack snacks, though most of Avelo’s flights are under 2.5 hours. 

6. Bring your own inflight power and entertainment, as long as it doesn’t require Wi-Fi.

Avelo isn’t going to wow anyone with seatback screens or in-seat power ports and there are no plans to offer internet service.

I actually liked the mini digital detox on my flights, the longest of which was about 2 hours.

 7. In a summer of airline meltdowns, Avelo has canceled 11 flights.

One of the risks of booking tickets on an airline with a small number of planes and less-than-daily service on most routes is getting stuck when flight problems arise.

The good news for Avelo passengers, at least so far, is that the airline has had only a handful of cancellations. (My four flights, an admittedly small sample, were all on time.)

Levy said the airline has canceled just 11 out of more than 2,300 flights since it began flying. He said one of the reasons is its modest flight schedule and a big focus on operations. “We are also very focused on having a schedule that we can operate.”

He doesn’t promise there won’t be bumps ahead.

“They’ll be days when there’s bad weather or airplanes break, of course, but it’s how you deal with that that really sets you apart.”

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New Santa Barbara Restaurants, Hotels & More Worth Visiting

With a new crop of hotels, restaurants, and outdoor adventures, this sunshiny, food-loving city—nicknamed the American Riviera—has grown even headier.

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The last time I visited Santa Barbara was in those halcyonic Before Times. The oceanside city—a little less than two hours north of L.A. and five hours south of my home in the Bay Area—has always been a haven for folks who crave a mix of adventure and culture with a side of Spanish Colonial style architecture, beach time, (and now, Meghan and Harry). But its mix of moderate climate (the temperature rarely dips below 50°F) and outdoor living meant that Santa Barbara was, let’s say, uniquely suited to offer the things we’ve all sought during the pandemic: nature and the ability to gather in the fresh air.  

In fact, in May 2021, the city—after years of discussion—transformed 10 blocks of its main drag, State Street, into a pedestrian promenade that could rival Europe’s best. Beginning four blocks from the waterfront, travelers and locals alike can stroll or cycle block after block, now packed with parklets and outdoor patios. 

I spent a weekend exploring all that’s new and pleasurable—here’s how you can, too.

New hotels to check into

Palihouse felt like a home away from home—well, the posh, impeccably decorated home of my dreams. Opened in March 2021, the 24-room boutique hotel is located on a quiet stretch of Garden Street, three blocks from State Street. Rooms are spacious and outfitted with colorful vintage and new furniture, quirky art, Smeg fridges, and an awfully tempting selection of mini-bar snacks. There’s a pool for day-time lounging, an intimate pink-chandeliered bar for nighttime boozing, and a plant-filled courtyard where you can order breakfast and lunch. Bonus: You’re right around the corner from the head-spinningly beautiful Alessia Patisserie, opened in July 2021 by pastry chef, and Santa Barabra native, Alessia Guehr. (You can’t go wrong, but my partner and I gobbled up a rum-accented monkey bread and a flaky ham-filled croissant—and vowed to return for the chocolate bombé, filled with liquid chocolate.)

For those looking for an ocean view, book a room at Mar Monte. The 90-year-old hotel, a local icon, is fresh off a remodel that maintained the Spanish revival bones (check out the painted beams in the lobby) but modernized all 200 of its rooms with poppy new furniture and diving-inspired art, as well the main gathering spaces. Don’t miss a meal at the new on-site restaurant Costa Kitchen & Bar, where you can linger over cocktails at the patio bar while watching the sun sink beyond the Pacific. Then enjoy Mediterranean-inflected dishes (branzino with olive salsa verde, lamb with charred feta) on the restaurant’s patio, also overlooking the beach. 

Restaurants to plan a trip around

Run, don’t walk, to Bibi Ji for butter chicken and perfectly charred naan.

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There’s a clutch of new—or newsy—places to eat well in this food-loving city, starting with the three latest additions to the California Michelin guide: Loquita (a Spanish restaurant with stellar tapas, which got a Bib Gourmand designation), Caruso’s (California-style dining at the Rosewood in Montecito, just north of the city), and Bibi Ji. At the outdoor patio at Bibi Ji, I had the best Indian food—paired with glasses of natural wine—I’ve had in years, including a butter chicken I still think about, fiery fried cauliflower, and a dreamy, paneer-stuffed kulcha, a type of flatbread. Don’t skip the sauce section of the menu—the okra raita was out of this world (and I never like okra). 

Beyond the Michelin guide, there’s plenty to eat. La Paloma, which opened in November 2020, honors the restaurant of the same name that ran in the same place for 37 years. At the spacious outdoor patio, spoon up homey pozole verde and a Santa Maria Wagyu tri-tip that’s criminally good: sliced thin with a mouth-watering char on the outside and paired with a ranchero salsa.  

For lunch—or dinner—you can’t go wrong with Secret Bao, a casual restaurant that opened in March 2021 and traffics in seriously good bao buns: spicy Korean Fried Chicken, tender octopus, or even PB&J folded, taco-style, into pillowy bao. (Cap things off with the donut bao, a fried concoction topped with vanilla ice cream.) Korean fried chicken is also on the menu at Bossie’s Kitchen—named for the sculpted cow that once sat atop the Art Deco building, formerly a dairy—this time sandwiched between a bun and topped with sesame slaw and gochujang sauce. The hearty dishes, homemade brioche donuts, and quiet outdoor patio draw people from all corners of the city. 

Round out your day 

When the program is complete, BCycle will have 250 electric bikes—and 500 docking stations—throughout the city.

You’ve got to find some way to pass the hours between meals, right? In January 2021, Trek Bikes—whose CEO, John Burke, lives locally part of the year—rolled out BCycle, an e-bike sharing program in downtown Santa Barbara. Just download the app and off you go. The 4.5-mile beachfront trail is a given, but I liked pedaling up into the hills, toward the Old Mission—and with the e-bike, you won’t even break a sweat. 

Or you can stroll up the State Street Promenade and pop into the newly renovated Santa Barbara Museum of Art. The six-year, $50 million remodel—completed in August 2021—added a contemporary art gallery and one devoted to photography, among many other changes. Sundays are free to the public. In 2022, watch for the exhibit “Through Vincent’s Eyes: Van Gogh and His Sources,” which will feature 20 works from the artist and Van Gogh–inspired partnerships with the opera, symphony, and other institutions. 

Drink up, morning, noon, and night

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Greet the day at Dart Coffee in the Funk Zone, a food-and-art filled district near the waterfront. Yes, there may be a line but that’s OK because a) you’ll be outside where you can admire the hot pink market lights and two expansive seating areas (one a plant-filled garden space across the street) and b) expertly made coffees and quite possibly the city’s best empanadas await. I’m a fan of the sweet corn-and-onion with a churro latte on the side. Too impatient? Try Golden Line Coffee on Anacapa Street. We stumbled on this pop-up one morning while wandering around, post-farmers’ market. It occupies the Villa Wine Bar on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, serving specialty teas and coffees, like flavored cacao chai lattes and single-origin pour-overs.

You can’t throw a cork without hitting a tasting room or wine bar in Santa Barbara, including newcomers Sevtap and Venus in Furs, which has a vegan pop-up. But right off the main drag there’s a little light-strung place called La Arcada Plaza, where you’ll find spots to eat, shop, and wine-taste, including at Barbieri & Kempe Wines. The European-feeling tasting room (check out the cheese case!), opened in late 2020, shares wines under two labels from husband-and-wife duo Paolo Barbieri and Erin Kempe. We couldn’t help but bring home a bottle of a Rhône-style grenache from the Barbieri label and the full-bodied Kempe Bianco, a viognier blend. 

The Accident in Paradise at Pearl Social, a mix of tequila, pineapple, cilantro, and cucumber that you can convince yourself counts as a health tonic.

After a day of eating well and playing in the sun, there’s nothing like settling down with a well-mixed drink. Located in the Funk Zone and run by the same group that owns the neighboring Lucky Penny, Lark, and Helena Avenue Bakery (all delicious), Pearl Social has a swanky interior and a small patio—and cocktails so good we returned the next night. Ask Chris to mix you a Martin & Gina, a concoction made with gin and amaro. Just blocks from the beach, at  Santo Mezcal, you’ll find the city’s most extensive list of tequila and the restaurant’s namesake spirit. Order an Oaxacan Daiquiri (a world away from its overly sweet, resort-drink cousin) and savor the sounds of people living the good life. 

Watch before you come 

Julia, the just-released HBO documentary about the life of Julia Child, who retired to Montecito in 2002. While Santa Barbara isn’t the focus of the doc, it’s still fun to watch and then take a Julia-inspired whirl around the city, stopping at favorites like the Saturday farmers’ market, the Sicilian Olio e Limone, and of course, La Super-Rica Taqueria for bistec tacos. 

Coming in 2022

Take the kiddos down under: In January 2022, the Santa Barbara Zoo will unveil the Australian Walkabout, an immersive exhibit that will allow explorers to wander among resident wallabies, emus, and more. In spring 2022, watch for the new Drift Santa Barbara, a tech-focused hotel on State Street, and the renovated Waterman, a Moxy hotel in the Funk Zone. 

COVID changes

As of November 2021, Santa Barbara has no travel advisories in effect. Travelers age 2 and older are still required to wear masks in indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status. Roughly 72 percent of eligible Santa Barbara residents are vaccinated. For more information, see this dashboard.

>>Next: The Santa Barbara Travel Guide

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As American Airlines Pilots Turn Down Holiday Bonus Pay, Some Travel Experts Warn of Possible Holiday Impacts – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

This year, with more people planning to spend the holidays with family than the year before, holiday travel is expected to reach near pre-pandemic levels.

AAA estimated 4.2 million Americans will fly this Thanksgiving.

And despite a year filled with travel disruptions as demand picks back up and airlines battle staffing shortages, Scott’s Cheap Flights Product Operation Specialist Willis Orlando said analysts were expecting a smooth holiday season.

“We thought that the Halloween meltdown specifically served as a jolt to airlines to get their ducks in a row ahead of the busy holiday season,” said Orlando.

That was before the American Airlines Pilots’ union rejected increased holiday pay.

“This recent dispute with the pilots’ union represents a potential roadblock for the holidays. If there are not enough pilots on reserve and we see a weather-related delay, which is very common around the holidays, we may see ourselves in a situation where they have to do large-scale cancellations again,” said Orlando.

The airline offered them packages similar to those accepted by flight attendants and other employee groups to incentivize work throughout the busy holiday season.

Instead, Allied Pilots Association said it’s waiting on a more permanent fix for tight scheduling that leaves pilots fatigued, with too many flight hours or unable to pivot when severe weather strikes.

“You’ve got a hole in the roof. You can’t just stuff dollar bills in it. You’ve got to fix the roof. We’ve said for months there’s a problem with scheduling practices, and it’s shown. Every time the weather comes through on American, whether that’s in Dallas or other places, it takes them days and days to recover. They’re failing to connect the pilots with the airplane,” said Allied Pilots Association spokesperson Dennis Tajer.

CNBC airline reporter Leslie Josephs said it’s too soon to know how the lack of a deal could impact holiday flights.

“We haven’t seen that there is going to be an impact yet. What is clear is that American does not in any way want a repeat of what happened over Halloween,” said Josephs.

Still, Orlando said American’s competitors are hoping to capitalize, pricing competitively out of DFW.

For those already booked to head out of town for the holidays, he offered this advice.

“Be proactive. Be vigilant. Be prepared. That means check your status frequently ahead of time. Make sure that you’re on top of things. You’d much rather discover that your flight is changed, delayed or canceled, you know, two or three days ahead from the comfort of home rather than being one of those folks who turn up at the airport to a nasty surprise,” said Orlando.

He also reminded that anytime a flight is significantly delayed or canceled, airlines are obligated to refund their passengers.

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Travel Scams on the Rise Ahead of Holidays – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Are you planning to travel for the holidays or even a big trip for 2022?

Experts warn that travel scams are on the rise.

According to TripAdvisor, more than half (55%) of Americans report that they are planning to travel this winter. This is up from 50% who traveled in this season in 2020, but still lags behind the 63% who hit the road in 2019.

Because of the pandemic, it might be close to two years since some people have planned a trip. Many are getting on a plane for the first time in a long time.

That means some travelers are probably rusty when it comes to trip planning and those looking to take advantage of that are on the move this holiday travel season.

“Unfortunately, during times when we’re more stressed out, especially during the pandemic, there are people that are going to jump right in and take advantage every time,” said Amy Rasor, BBB Fort Worth regional director.

So far in 2021, the Better Business Bureau says more than $720,000 has been reported lost to travel scams across the country, with nearly half (49%) of losses occurring during the busiest travel time of the year, the summer season from May-August.

So here are the red flags to look out for in the top five most reported scams, according to the BBB:

Vacation rental con: These con artists use reputable home or apartment rental sites to lure in vacationers with the promise of low fees and great amenities. The “owner” creates a false sense of urgency – such as telling potential clients that another vacationer is interested in the rental – to get payment up before doing sufficient research or questioning the legitimacy of the ad. Oftentimes, the rental doesn’t exist.

“Free” vacation scams: When a cruise or travel company advertises a vacation as “free,” it does not necessarily mean the trip is without cost or restrictions. Watch out for add-on fees for air transportation, port charges, taxes, tips and other undisclosed fees.

Third-party booking site scams: If you book your airfare, hotel or other travel through a third-party website, be sure to use caution. BBB Scam Tracker continues to receive reports of scammers pretending to be online airline ticket brokers. In the most common version of the scam, travelers pay with a credit card and, shortly after making the payment, receive a call from the company asking to verify name, address, banking information or other personal details – something a legitimate company would never do.

Timeshare reselling cons: A timeshare owner looking to sell gets a call from someone claiming to be a real estate broker or agent. These scammers claim to specialize in timeshare resales and promise they have buyers ready to purchase. To secure this service, the scammer pressures the target into paying an upfront fee. The timeshare owner pays up, but the reselling agent never delivers.

Hotel phone call scams: When staying in a hotel, beware of scammers who use various techniques to obtain credit card information, including fake front desk calls, “free” wi-fi connections and fake food delivery.

“This actually happened to my dad and thankfully, he knew exactly what to do,” said Rasor. “So you get checked in, get into your room, and then the room phone rings. They tell you that they’re the ‘front desk’ and need to verify your credit card information that they have on ‘file. Thankfully when this happened to my dad, he was like, ‘I’ll come down to the front desk.’”

Her father was told by the front desk of his hotel that the call was fake. It goes to show that anyone can be a target.

As you’re booking a trip, make sure it’s from a site with a weblink that has “https” in the address bar. The “s” stands for secure. It will also have a lock symbol displayed in your Internet browser to confirm that any information you type in will be secure.

It goes without saying, pay for everything with a credit card so you can easily dispute it if anything happens. Before making a final payment, get all the details of the trip in writing. Details should include the total cost, restrictions, cancellation penalties, and names of the airlines and hotels.

Also, review and keep a copy of the airline’s and hotel’s cancellation and refund policies and the travel agency or booking site’s cancellation policies.

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