The Companies We Keep
The deals I've negotiated for members are unique. They have no strings or small-type restrictions. And I have no vested interest: I receive no fees, commissions or payments of any kind if you do business with these companies. To claim any discounts, consult your membership packet or drop me an E-mail
Now part of IAG, parent company of British Airways and Iberia, Aer Lingus has created a spacious and sophisticated transatlantic business class service to Dublin and Shannon from many North American gateways. It also built an extensive European network from its Dublin hub and hometown.
The Aer Lingus offer:
Unique, members-only and time-sensitive discounts.
CIRCATERRA TRAVEL OUTFITTERS
CircaTerra Travel Outfitters traces its company heritage to Magellan's, the legendary travel-supplies company. CircaTerra offers a wide, high-quality array of travel bags, totes, travel clothing, packing products and gear designed to make your travel easier and more comfortable
The CircaTerra offer:
Receive 15 percent off the price of all products, including sale prices.
COOK TRAVEL (AKA PLANET AMEX TRAVEL)
Owned by a journalist and operating for nearly 40 years, Cook Travel specializes in discount international business and first class fares and supplies premium seats at big savings. Cook offers upgrades from full-fare coach on many international airlines. It also offers savings on last-minute travel.
The Cook Travel Offer:
10 percent off most fares on SkyTeam international business/first class tickets. Five percent off published fares on Star Alliance international business/first class tickets. Complimentary upgrades on most airlines when available to business class from full-fare international economy. Booking fees for international tickets waived.
THE DREAM OF ITALY NEWSLETTER
I visit Italy regularly, which is why I'm mad about the Dream of Italy
newsletter. It covers Italian travel, culture, food and life with great passion and gusto. Edited and published by Kathy McCabe of PBS fame, the newsletter offers in-depth destination stories, terrific features about day-to-day Italian life and lots of news, tips, recipes and suggestions for your next trip.
The Dream of Italy Offer:
Receive two years for the price of a one-year subscription.
ECBC LUGGAGE AND BAGS
Business travelers obsess over luggage and a bag that works best for one flyer will not work at all for another. But if you are a "systems" packer--someone who wants a compartment and a dedicated space for everything--you'll find your bliss at ECBC. Their backpacks, wheeled luggage and messenger bags are exquisitely made with high-quality Ballistic Nylon and YKK self-repairing zippers. They strike a great balance between strength, weight, capacity and durability. They are fashionable and priced right, too.
The ECBC Offer:
30 percent off purchases and free shipping except clearance items.
ELIFANT ARCHAEO-CULTURAL TOURS
Elifant Archaeo-Culinary Tours are unique, small-group trips for the sophisticated traveler who delights in discovering the ancient world while indulging in the culinary present. They have been created by two experts I know well, Elizabeth Bartman and Maureen Fant, and have toured with in the past. They have married luxurious lodging and top-notch dining to their archeological touring. Elifant packages include everything but the airfare, leaving you free to use miles to claim award tickets or make find your own deal.
The Elifant Tours Offer:
10-15 percent off package prices.
THE ENTREE NEWSLETTER
Luxury is a personal thing and that is the guiding focus of the Entree
newsletter. Editor and publisher William Tomicki travels the world searching for the very best airline, hotel, resort, cruise and dining experiences. He's quite demanding and uncompromising in his opinions and each issue of the Entree
newsletter is a personal look at the state of luxury travel.
The Entree Offer:
50 percent off the price of a one-year subscription.
GLASER DESIGNS LUGGAGE AND BRIEFCASES
Kari and Myron Glaser have been handcrafting fine luggage, briefcases, totes and personal leather goods for business travelers for more than 40 years. Glaser bags are practical, stylish and of the highest quality. They are made from the finest leathers, fabrics and fasteners. I should know: I own two Glaser garment bags, two Glaser briefcases and a Glaser carry-on. Glaser bags aren't cheap, but they are a wonderful investment. And they're actually less expensive than buying an endless string of cheap bags every year.
The Glaser Offer:
Receive a one-time discount of 10 purchases on a purchase.
GROUNDLINK BLACK CAR SERVICE
GroundLink is a best-in-class, global black car service. It uses customer-centric technology and 24/7 service to deliver safe, reliable and professional rides at affordable prices. I use the Groundlink app because it blends the traditional comfort of black car service with the benefits and convenience of app-based ride-hail operations.
The Groundlink Offer:
Receive 20 percent off rides when you book using the GroundLink app.
HAWAII'S LOCAL BUZZ
If you've been to Hawaii--or even if you haven't--you know that the Islands are now home to great coffee; insanely good macadamia nuts and many products made with them; and terrific local honey. The best of the coffee and the finest nuts and sweets come from small farms such as the Big Island's Paradise Meadows. Its Hawaii's Local Buzz brand turns out an impressive array of coffees, candies, cookies and honeys. How good? I have to hide the shortbread to avoid gorging on it. And the mac nut-studded chocolates often disappear in an eating frenzy.
The Hawaii Local Buzz Offer:
20 percent discount on its entire online shop.
Luggage Forward is the nation's premier luggage and sports-equipment delivery service. And with airlines slashing or eliminating free checked-luggage allowances, hiking "excess" and "oversize" baggage fees and losing our checked bags at alarming rates, shipping with Luggage Forward makes more sense than ever before. Luggage Forward offers four speeds of domestic shipping and two speeds of international shipping. Is luggage shipping inexpensive? No. It is a great value? Absolutely when you consider the door-to-door service and the ability to not depend on airlines.
The Luggage Forward Offer:
Receive 5-10 percent discounts on any international shipments. Receive 10-15 percent discounts on next-day domestic deliveries.
MEDJETASSIST GLOBAL EVACUATION
Know those all-too-true horror stories about travelers who suffer illnesses or injuries on the road and then get stuck with gigantic bills just for the medical evacuation? I know of only one way to avoid becoming such an expensive statistic: MedjetAssist. If you are hospitalized virtually anywhere in the world, MedJetAssist will fly you to the hospital of your choice, at no charge. MedjetAssist is the only
company I know that offers this no-questions-asked service. My MedJet Assist card is the one I
never leave home without.
The MedjetAssist Offer:
$35 off individual or $50 off family annual memberships.
The best investment a traveler can make in his or her own comfort and productivity on the road is membership in at least one airport-club network. Priority Pass, with more than 1,000 airport clubs worldwide, is absolutely invaluable. It offers access to many Air Canada and Alaska Airlines clubs as well as airport-sponsored VIP lounges and pay-per-visit clubs in cities across the globe.
The Priority Pass Offer:
Receive 20 percent off the price of any of the three annual membership plans.
RUDY MAXA'S WORLD
Rudy Maxa has had a notable career as a mainstream journalist before turning to travel. Now he is the host of some of the most innovative travel shows on public radio and television. Many of his recent television shows are collected on DVDs that are great in anyone's collection.
Rudy Maxa World's Offer:
Receive 20 percent off DVDs of Rudy's shows for public television.
SHEFFIELD SPICE & TEA COMPANY
Sheffield has a shop in Las Vegas, where it has won raves for its unique products, offerings, recipes and service. But they have a gorgeous Web site and are winning customers from around the world. There are literally hundreds of products on offer: a dazzling range of carefully chosen teas, oils and vinegars, familiar and exotic spices, custom blends and rubs, chilis, sugars and accessories. In other words, everything a business traveler with taste needs to eat and drink better.
The Sheffield Spice & Tea Offer:
Receive 15 percent off all purchases.
TAP AIR PORTUGAL
Revived by David Neeleman, the creator of JetBlue Airways, TAP has created a spacious, elegant transatlantic business class service to Lisbon or Porto from a growing number of North American gateways. It also has an extensive European and African network from its Lisbon hub.
The TAP Air Portugal offer:
Time-sensitive, member-only discounts.
WHITE ELEPHANT HOUSE
Ted Carter is best-known in the travel world for a series of fabulous travelogues for British Airways and for The Point, a five-star resort he crafted by hand in New York's Adirondack Mountains. Ted lives in Thailand now and he's the brains behind White Elephant House, a glorious private villa in Kantharalak. He's accepting guests and offering a bundle of accommodations, three meals a day and all the Ted trimmings.
The White Elephant House offer:
Free roundtrip ground transfer service from Ubon Ratchathani, the nearest airport. That's a US$64 value.