Bermuda takes over New York’s Grand Central today

If you pass through Grand Central in New York today, you might catch a little piece of Bermuda during what’s being called “Experience Bermuda” day. The Bermuda Department of Tourism will be offering commuters samples of Bermudian cuisine and tropical beverages, chances to win giveaways, and live performances–including Bermudian musicians and the H&H Gombeys Cultural Dance Troupe.

Stop by to win one of 50 round-trip airline tickets to Bermuda in a dance contest that will place participants “virtually” on the island, or get a picture next to one of the pink Vespa scooters that can be seen on the island. The day will end in a Bermuda shorts runway contest on a pink runway, where one lucky winner will walk away with a trip for two to the island.

It’s all taking place in Grand Central’s Vanderbilt Hall (just off the main concourse) from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. If you can’t make it to the terminal, WCBS-FM will be broadcasting the event live from 6 to 10 a.m. on the “Dan Taylor Morning Show,” and will be giving away vacations for two to Bermuda from February 13 through February 17.

Photo of H&H Gombeys Cultural Dance Troupe by GoToBermuda / Flickr.

Valentine’s Day Travel: World Wide Bus offers free bus tickets from NYC-Boston

free bus ticketsIf you’re tight on cash this Valentine’s Day, it may still be possible to plan a last-minute getaway to New York City or the Boston area. World Wide Bus, which launched last fall, is offering free round-trip bus tickets from Manhattan to Cambridge, or vice versa.

Too good to be true? Well, if you can take time off work, the free tickets are valid for travel on Feb. 14 (Valentine’s Day), Feb. 15, Feb. 16, or Feb. 17. I just checked and found that there are still seats left on the 9 a.m. departure from Manhattan, which would put you in Cambridge by 2 p.m. — that leaves you plenty of time to explore before sitting down to a romantic V-Day dinner.

The company initially set aside 1,000 one-way tickets for this Valentine’s Day promotion, but is now aiming to add buses to accommodate any increased demand. Even so, it’s best to lock in these free tickets now. There are three daily departures from each city. The nearly five-hour bus ride is made a bit more tolerable with Wi-Fi and power outlets at each seat.

The Deal: The round-trip tickets are worth $30 ($15 one-way).

The Details: Limit two round-trip tickets per customer. You must register in advance of the day you’re traveling, and enter each passenger’s name on the ticket. Other free routes between Feb. 14-17 include Manhattan to Newton, Mass., or vice versa.

More Info: www.worldwidebus.com

Galley Gossip: Enter to win two business class tickets to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific!

Until May 31, 2010 Cathay Pacific is giving away two free tickets in business class from any city to Hong Kong, as well as three nights’ accommodation at The Upper House, a portrait session with campaign photographer Andrew J. Loiterton, and eight times the Asia Miles you earn flying on Cathay Pacific from now until the end of May. Now that I have your attention, keep reading. Contest details can be found at the bottom of this post.

Whenever I’m just hanging out in the galley between services chatting with frequent fliers, I’ll ask them to name their favorite airline. On most occasions their eyes glaze over and this look of contentment washes across their face. I’ve seen the look dozens of times. I know what they’re going to say before they even say it. Cathay. The word is always followed by a long deep sigh. Sometimes I’ll even sigh along with them. What follows next is usually an awkward silence. That’s when I’ll ask about their favorite airport restaurant, just to get the conversation flowing again.

Last year when my husband’s original Cathay Pacific flight from Los Angeles to Hong Kong canceled, I was thrilled. Because the airline generously bumped him from business class to first class free of charge on a flight departing the following morning. He was upset about losing 24 hours in Hong Kong, but I knew it would be more than worth the inconvenience. The husband had his doubts. As soon as his flight touched ground, he sent the following email.

This flight was better than anyone could put in words. I have my own little cabin with a desk internet and movies. I was given a Shanghai Tzen pajama set and amenity kit and a huge down pillow and comforter. My seat reclines to a full bed and I have a privacy shield. I even used all the cool lotions in the two bathrooms shared by fourteen people. The toilet was spotless the entire trip. The food and presentation was better than a restaurant. I have to list all that I ate before I forget…

Smoked salmon shashimi with Caviar. Cream of mushroom soup. Salad greens with scallops and shrimp. AND THAT WAS ONLY THE APPETIZER! Lunch consisted of lobster stir fry with soup bok choy and a cold tofu salad. After two more movies I had a hot panini with prosciutto grilled veggie and cheese. Another movie and noodle soup with duck breast. NO FAT. Pure breast. Dinner wasn’t as good. Large fruit plate followed by grilled rack of lamb and potatoes. That’s okay because the coffee is great.

The guy sitting beside me said I would never be able to fly in business class again now that this has happened. He might be right. If I can’t swindle an upgrade home I think I may pay the difference. If I had to turn around now and fly right back to LA I would be very happy. We’re about to land so I think I’m going to go to the bathroom and shave or something. Maybe a facial? Don’t be jealous. I love you!

Don’t be jealous? How!

What’s not to love about an airline that provides that kind of service? And is it just a coincidence that the airline also takes pride in the very people providing the amazing service? Have you seen the latest marketing campaign, Meet The Team, featuring the men and women of Cathay Pacific? Read their stories and get to know the flight attendants, pilots, and other staff as both members of the Cathay family and as individuals. Find out what makes them who they are and how they see their role at Cathay. Then you’ll be ready to play to win!

Each week until May 31, 2010 Cathay will post a question on the Meet the Team mini-site. Answers can be found in the staff stories. People who answer correctly will automatically be entered into the contest. Thirteen questions will be presented. This means there are thirteen chances to win! Also, don’t forget to connect with Cathay on Facebook and Twitter where staff will be sharing their favorite places to visit during their travels. Good luck!

Photos courtesy of Bernard SD and Steven W. Belcher

Megabus to offer 100,000 free tickets

Budget bus travel might not always be the most comfortable or efficient way to travel, but it is often the cheapest. Thanks to low-cost bus service providers like Megabus, which offers routes in the Midwest and on the East Coast, you can often score tickets for just a few bucks. And with amenities like wi-fi and electric outlets, you may actually survive the bus journey with your sanity.

The service offered by Megabus will get even cheaper this winter. How much cheaper? From January 6 to March 20, 2009, over 100,000 seats will be available completely free of charge (well, except for that 50-cent per booking fee).

A limited number of seats will be available on each route per day, so act fast for your best chance at getting a free seat. To book the deal, just use the promotional code GETAWAY.

Happy Birthday Gadling! Enter to win FREE TICKETS to anywhere Virgin America flies!

Part of our role as travel bloggers is covering all of the new, hip happenings in the travel industry, and as a result, we’ve worked closely with Virgin America over the last few years. We have similar histories in a way, both of us in our infancy, both working hard as hell to earn respect and clout in our industries. And its been a wild ride.

We were right there to witness the madness of the Entourage JFK-LAS inaugural, the mad dash from a Champagne soaked hangar in New York to the peak of the Tropicana casino in Vegas. Armed with cameras in hand during the Victoria’s Secret in-air fashion show from New York to Los Angeles. Taking shots at the bar at the Los Angeles – Seattle launch party. And maybe, just maybe, already wearing board shorts anticipating the Ft. Lauderdale launch. What can we say? It’s been great growing up together.

And now it’s time to extend our fortunes to you. In honor of our 5th birthday this month, Virgin America and Gadling are teaming up to give away two pair of round trip tickets anywhere that the airline flies. Want to take advantage of the award-winning RED system to flirt with the hottie from row 6? Now’s your chance. Finally want to see what it’s like to fly inside of a purple mood-lit plane? You could do it for free. We’ll even throw in free GoGo wireless credit so you can brag to your friends while you’re in the sky.

It’s a small way of saying “thanks” to all of the readers that have stuck around with us for these past five years, watching us grow, evolve and mature. Gadling wouldn’t be what we are today without you guys, and we can’t thank you enough for your support. Bookmark us, come back often and enter below.

  • To enter for your chance to win a pair of round trip tickets on Virgin America, leave a comment below. It can say anything, but we would prefer nice things for our birthday.
  • You may only enter this specific giveaway once. If you enter this specific giveaway more than once you’ll be automatically disqualified, etc. (Yes, we have robots that thoroughly check to ensure fairness.)
  • If you enter more than once, only activate one comment. This is pretty self explanatory. Just be careful and you’ll be fine.
  • Contest is open to anyone in the 50 States, 18 or older. Passes are not eligible for upgrades or premium seats. Flights must be booked no later than twenty one (21) days prior to travel. Please remember that the seats being offered through these passes are limited; thus, you should try to book as far out as possible so we can accommodate your flight request. Blackout dates: (2009: 11/25-11/30, 12/18-12/27/ 2010: 1/2-1/3, 2/12, 2/15, 5/28, 5/31, 7/2, 7/5, 9/3, 9/6, 11/24, 11/27 – 11/29, 12/17, 12/18, 12/23 – 12/26)
  • Winner will be chosen randomly. Two winners will get two round trip tickets to anywhere Virgin America flies. Tickets are valid through January 1, 2011. Approximate value is $599 per pair. You can only win once.
  • Entries can be submitted until Friday Saturday, October 17th, 5PM ET. Good luck!
  • Full rules can be found here.