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Pittsburgh International Airport Brings More Culture To The Terminals

Have you ever dreamed of flying? Make your dream a virtual reality at the Pittsburgh International Airport with Birdly!

Christina Jeter

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The Pittsburgh International Airport Authority is sponsoring the National Aviary’s new exhibit called Birdly, a full-body virtual reality experience that gives the sensation of flying.


How does Birdly work? Riders lie on the simulator chest down and flap their arms using hinged wings, controlling direction and speed of their travel. A fan simulates headwinds and flying speed. Motors tilt and dip the flyer’s body in response. A headset provides visuals and head-tracking, taking flyers over a virtual New York City.

At the National Aviary, the experience will be offered daily in timed increments. The cost for the general public is $8 per flight, however, there will be no cost for Birdly while he is at Pittsburgh International and Allegheny County airports.

Birdly will live at the Aviary, but will travel to Pittsburgh International Airport for the first time on May 22-25 and will travel again to both Pittsburgh International and Allegheny County airports several more times throughout the year. There are only two Birdlys in North America, the other is at The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose.

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Travel

WOW Air is Offering Flights From US to Europe For Only $69

WOW Air is currently offering flights from the US to Europe for only $69. However, there is a slight catch.

TUT Staff

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If going to Europe is one of the items on your Bucket List, right about now you might want to start doing your Happy Dance. WOW Airlines wants to help you get there. The airline announced on Monday that they would be placing tickets online from a number of US states to a number of European countries for the extremely low price of $69. The unbelievably priced tickets go on sale Monday for travel between September and November of this year.


The sale includes flights from Boston, Washington D.C., Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Miami to Paris, Brussels, Stockholm, Dublin, Berlin, London, Copenhagen, and Edinburgh.

But you’d better act fast because there will only be about 1,800 tickets available!

However, this unbelievable fare will only get you there. It’s a one-way ticket for your flight from the US to Europe. And here’s the thing: to even gain access to the fare, passengers are required to book a round trip ticket with WOW.

So if you think you can get the cheap fare on WOW Air to Europe and then browse for some discounted fare on another airline for the return flight…think again.

Even with a full-fare ticket for the flight from Europe, WOW Air’s overall low-cost model means that the total cost will remain a relative bargain, provided you have a flexible schedule, travel light, and bring your own in-flight dining, and entertainment.

WOW Air has been around since 2011, and currently operates a fleet of new Airbus A320-family and A330 jets to 32 destinations around the world. To get your $69 ticket to Europe, visit WOW Airlines here.

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Fly Free With Jet Blue

JetBlue is offering passengers a chance to fly for free by completing surveys to help them better their business.

Christina Jeter

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It’s been a trying time in the airline industry.  And that would be an understatement.


Every other day it seems that some airline is receiving bad press from something as simple as them needing to not overbook flights, or at least compensate well for kicking passengers off planes, to people literally fighting on planes.

Because of this, airlines are trying to find some innovative ways to bring goodwill back on their side.

JetBlue has launched a survey site, where they are giving passengers a chance to fly for free.  Sign up for a free TrueBlue account with Jetblue and once you log into your new account you will see an advertisement on the bottom left-hand side called Points for Surveys.

Don’t worry the website is also by Jetblue, it is not a scam. I personally have an account and got 400 points for completing my profile, then 10 to 400 points for other surveys I completed.

The perfect thing about the system is that the rewards you earn from taking surveys are automatically applied to your TrueBlue account. I check to see how many points it would take for me to get a free round-trip ticket to Haiti in July, and it stated I needed about 30,000 points but it varies on the date I chose to take the vacation. Plus I would also need to pay out of pocket for the taxes and fees, which would be around $20.

Surveys can range from 1 to 35 mins, so I plan to take one survey a day to benefit from this reward program this year.

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Time of Your Life: Travel Abroad Tips

Sometimes the experience is not doing something different, but doing it somewhere you never imagined… so make it worthwhile!

Nicole A Schmidt

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As I was teaching my students, I had an epiphany, “the key to enjoying travel abroad, is knowing yourself…” I was reading a character’s “online comment” about Canada when it hit me. The comment said that Canada was too mountainous, too cold, and had too many bears. Since my students travel abroad often, I felt the need to share that this comment only reflects parts of Canada. I explained that I enjoyed my time there since my goal was to see Niagara Falls and spend time with my mom. I told them that the experience you have is greatly impacted by your expectations.


To maximize your travel abroad experience, consider the following:

Tip 1: What’s in your wallet? On my last trip, I didn’t set my budget until I went to the ATM for cash. Though I didn’t exceed my budget until just before returning home, and though it was not by much, I didn’t maximize it because I didn’t keep a few things in mind:

  • Does my bank exist where I’m going? Sometimes, it is cheaper to wait for cash withdrawal until you reach your destination. If your bank is a partner with a bank in the other country, the only cost may be the actual conversion. It doesn’t hurt to do a little digging.
  • Does the hotel exchange money? Hotels that have frequent international guests usually exchange money at the front desk. They’re rates are usually similar to those of a bank, while their fee is less than the fee your bank may charge.
  • What’s in my budget? On my last trip, I set aside another payment for my hotel, so the budget I determined at the ATM was strictly for spending. Spending on what, exactly? Food (of course), maybe slight excursions, possibly clothes…though not a very strict budget, I knew that I was not going to spend more than what I took from the ATM. Even my casino money was factored in. Knowing that your funds are still secure when you return allows you enjoy your trip stress and guilt-free.

Tip 2: The company you keep… Who you travel with can make or break your experience; being best friends does not make you best travel buddies. Before you leave, make sure you are travel compatible by considering the following:

  • sleeping patterns – if you’re a night owl and your companion is an early riser you are headed for disaster
  • eating habits/preferences – there’s nothing worse than a hungry travel buddy so synchronize your tummies
  • exploration tendencies – nomadic travelers wish to go with the flow, while focused voyagers have places to go and people to see already mapped out, another battle waiting to happen. If you’re “exploration tendencies” differ, agree on some destinations you both want to visit and leave other days as freebies
  • cultural sensitivity – opposing views about the region you are exploring can make for an uncomfortable experience. Even if you are exploring an unknown culture, be sure that your companions will respond to cultural differences in a way that does not upset you.

*If you can’t find a compatible road-dog, you can always travel solo-dolo. If that idea is too scary, then be sure to reach compromises with your partner-in-a-good-time prior to the actual trip. You want to return from the trip still speaking to one another.

Tip 3 – Do What You Want to Do Everyone always says “try new things” when you travel; this is true, but within reason. It’s one thing to explore cultural past-times, visit regional gems, and try local/famous cuisine. But to go camping in Europe when you absolutely hate the outdoors is a ridiculous waste of money. Instead of a walking tour, you may be more inclined to take a wine tour, or an art tour. You may be more interested in shopping or nightlife. The things that make you happy are the things you should do. Sometimes the experience is not doing something different, but doing it somewhere you never imagined.

Tip 4 – You Are a Person of Color  As a person of color, it’s important to know how you will be received in your country of choice. If you are sticking to touristy spots, you should have virtually no problems; after all you’re making them money. But to ensure the best experience, do a little light research on the countries feelings toward people of color.

I expected to be an oddity in China, but I have had to put on my “big-girl-draws” on quite a few occasions, setting aside my initial reactions and accepting the fact that Chinese culture views diversity very differently than American culture.

Keep in mind that your research will not provide absolute answers, but at least you’ll be better prepared.

Most travel abroad to relax, make memories, and experience things outside of our daily routines. To maximize your experience tailor your coin, your people, and your activities. It may be a once in a lifetime experience so make it worthwhile!

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