Travel briefs

 

Airlines

JetBlue to allow point pooling

JetBlue says it will let family members and other customers pool their frequent-flier points.

The airline says it will be the only U.S. carrier to allow point-sharing.

British Airways offers accounts for up to seven family members if they all live at the same address. JetBlue says its program will have fewer restrictions. It will be open to domestic partners and people who aren’t relatives.

JetBlue marketing executive Dave Canty says the change is being made to appeal to families whose members might not fly often enough to earn free trips on their own.

Each pooling account needs at least one adult and can include up to seven people; five can be under 21. The airline says they can be family members or friends.

Theme parks

First look at plans for Pandora

Disney World has unveiled its first sketches of the new Avatar “land” at Animal Kingdom, showing a ride on a flying banshee and a bioluminescent jungle with plants that are alive with light and sound. The new land will open in 2017.

Disney announced two years ago that it would build attractions based on James Cameron’s 2009 movie, as well as sequels due starting in 2016. This is the first time since then that any details were released.

At the same time, Tom Staggs, CEO of Disney parks, also said Animal Kingdom will get new entertainment experiences, “including a new nighttime spectacular where live music, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery all combine to bring a show to Discovery River that will delight our guests.” In addition, the park — which has the resort’s earliest closing times, typically 5 or 6 p.m. — will get nighttime entertainment, including live performers on Discovery Island and a nighttime version of Kilimanjaro safaris.

Travel tech

NY fighting tourist rental sites

New York City tourists these days are increasingly opting to rent space in strangers’ homes to avoid staying in pricey hotels.

Thousands of city residents are using websites such as Airbnb.com to list apartments or rooms for as little as $35 a night. Officials say the practice is often illegal, undercuts the hotel industry, avoids taxes and threatens apartment building safety.

New York’s top prosecutor is demanding that Airbnb turn over data on city dwellers who have listed on the site. He’s investigating whether residents are breaking a state law barring sublets for fewer than 30 days if occupants aren’t present.

Many residents in the nation’s most expensive city say they’re providing a service that benefits them and their guests.

TripAdvisor buys

Oyster.com

TripAdvisor has purchased hotel review website Oyster.com for an undisclosed amount. The travel website operator said Tuesday that Oyster.com, which has reviews and photos for about 150 cities, will be folded into its Smarter Travel Media segment.

Miami Herald

wire services

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