Lyft offering discount on rides for election day in Palm Beach County

Ride-sharing app Lyft is offering an election day discount to help people get to the polls.

Lyft users can get 45 percent off one ride with a maximum discount of $10 between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Nov. 8. The offer is open to customers in 20 markets, including the Miami market, which spans from south of Homestead to Palm Beach County’s northern border.

Why 45 percent? Voters on Tuesday are poised to elect the country’s 45th president.

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

To get the promotion, existing Lyft users should go to the “Deal of the Week” email sent from Lyft on Sunday night.

Lyft also has a deal for new users: Enter the code NOVEMBER8TH to get $5 off your first 10 rides.

Here are the other locations where Lyft users can get 45 percent off a ride on Nov. 8:

Atlanta, Ga.
Baltimore, Md.
Boston, Mass.
Charlotte and Raleigh, N.C.
Chicago, Ill.
Dallas, Texas
Denver, Colo.
Detroit, Mich.
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.
Nashville, Tenn.
New Orleans, La.
New York City and New Jersey
Orange County and San Diego, Calif.
Philadelphia, Pa.
Phoenix, Ariz.
Portland, Oregon
Washington, D.C.

The cars with the pink mustaches aren’t the only ones helping voters get to the polls: Zipcar is offering free rides between 6 and 10 p.m. on election night, and Uber is offering new users $20 off their first ride using the code VOTETODAY.

Read more about the Zipcar offer.

 

 

Cruise passengers can now ditch long customs lines using an app at this South Florida port

A mobile app designed to speed travelers’ entry into the U.S. can now be used at Port Everglades — making the Fort Lauderdale seaport the first in the nation to offer the service.

The app, Mobile Passport Control, is available for iPhone and Android devices, and is in use at airports throughout the U.S., including Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Miami International Airport. Cruise passengers at Port Everglades can use it beginning today, the port said in a news release.

Busy Port Everglades has a new way to help travelers sail through customs lines. (Provided)
Busy Port Everglades has a new way to help travelers sail through customs lines. (Provided)

The app’s availability for travelers comes on the eve of the world’s largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas, taking up residence at Port Everglades.

Here’s how the app works, according to its website:

• Travelers download the app and complete a profile for themselves. They also can add profiles for family members. That information is encrypted and shared only with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

• Before leaving the cruise ship, the user enters the information they would have written on a customs form into the app by answering a few questions.

• The app generates a barcode, which the user can take to a specific Mobile Passport Control office after leaving the ship. A customs officer will scan the barcode, and the traveler will be able to head on their way.

In addition to the app, Port Everglades also recently finished testing Automated Passport Control kiosks in its cruise terminals. Similar to the way the app works, travelers can use the kiosks to fill out their biographical information and customs declarations before heading to a customs line.

“Through our partnership with Port Everglades, we have worked together to bring new technology and procedures to the cruise ship processing environment,” Jorge Roig, Customs port director at Port Everglades, said in a news release. “The addition of the Mobile Passport App and Automated Passport Control Kiosk to the cruise ship environment will bring added benefits to all those that utilize the program and will assist CBP in the completion of its mission of keeping maritime travel safe.”

 

 

 

 

 

Want to fly to Havana? U.S. announces airlines that can take you there

The hotel Nacional is seen in Havana, Cuba.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
The hotel Nacional is seen in Havana, Cuba. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

On the same day JetBlue made history with the first regularly scheduled commercial airline flight to Cuba in more than 50 years, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced the eight airlines given final approval to fly to the island nation’s capital.

Until Wednesday, several airlines had received approval to fly to Cuban cities not including Havana. The JetBlue flight that took off from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Wednesday morning was heading to Santa Clara, about three hours from Havana.

Now JetBlue, along with seven other carriers, have the final OK from the U.S. government to seek approval from Cuba to finalize flight schedules and destinations.

Here is the full list of airlines, along with their proposed routes and frequency:

• Alaska Airlines — Los Angeles, once daily

• American Airlines — Miami, four times a day; Charlotte, once daily

• Delta Air Lines — New York (JFK), once daily; Atlanta, once daily; Miami, once daily

• Frontier Airlines — Miami, once daily

• JetBlue Airways — Fort Lauderdale, twice daily (except once on Saturdays); New York (JFK), once daily; Orlando, once daily

• Southwest Airlines — Fort Lauderdale, twice daily; Tampa, once daily

• Spirit Airlines — Fort Lauderdale, twice daily

• United Airlines — Newark, once daily; Houston, once weekly (Saturdays)

The decision by the Department of Transportation places Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport as one of the top airports serving Cuba, with about 40 flights daily just to Havana.

Marking the departure of JetBlue’s first commercial flight to Cuba on Wednesday, Fort Lauderdale airport CEO and Director Mark Gale said the number of flights to Cuba out of the airport is a “testament to the reputation of Fort Lauderdale.”

Stacy Ritter, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, called Wednesday’s flight to Cuba “a milestone.”

“To be the first in something so historic is truly astounding,” she said.

Read more about travel to Cuba — including what you need to do if you want to go.

How JetBlue made history this morning with flight to Cuba

Seth Miller, New York, is the first passenger to board a commercial flight to Cuba in over 55 years at Fort Lauderdale International Airport on August 31, 2016. JetBlue has started service to Santa Clara, Cuba. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)
Seth Miller, New York, is the first passenger to board a commercial flight to Cuba in over 55 years at Fort Lauderdale International Airport on August 31, 2016. JetBlue has started service to Santa Clara, Cuba. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

There were cheers and balloons as JetBlue sent off its first regularly scheduled flight from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to Santa Clara, Cuba — the first such flight between the U.S. and the island nation in more than 50 years.

Among the guests on the flight: U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

Although about half of the 150 seats on the plane were occupied by journalists, many travelers said they were making a pilgrimage-type journey to visit family, or explore their birthplace.

That was the case for Domingo Santana of Miami, who came to the United States in 1968.

Planning the trip was made even more special, he said, because he bought the first ticket for the flight.

Domingo Santana of Miami was the first passenger to buy a ticket on JetBlue's flight to Cuba Aug. 31, 2016. (Kristina Webb/ The Palm Beach Post)
Domingo Santana of Miami was the first passenger to buy a ticket on JetBlue’s flight to Cuba Aug. 31, 2016. (Kristina Webb/ The Palm Beach Post)

“It’s historic not only that it’s the first flight … but I also get to discover the country where I was born,” he said. “This is my first time going back home.”

Santana’s tip for those hoping to go to Cuba: If you have a Cuban passport, be sure to use that name when booking your flight.

Mark Gale, CEO and president of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, said he’s proud of his team and JetBlue.

The airline accounts for about a fifth of all flights at the airport.

“To have that very, very first flight come out of our airport is a great honor,” he said.

Fort Lauderdale’s airport is host to more weekly trips to Cuba than Miami — something Gale said is “a testament to the reputation of Fort Lauderdale.”

Read more here.

In continuing battle with Amazon, Walmart buys Jet.com for $3.3 billion

Wal-Mart shopping carts sit outside of a store on February 20, 2014 in San Lorenzo, California. The mega-retailer announced Monday it is buying Jet.com. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Wal-Mart shopping carts sit outside of a store on February 20, 2014 in San Lorenzo, California. The mega-retailer announced Monday it is buying Jet.com. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

In it’s continuing battle with Amazon for a larger share of online shoppers, Walmart announced Monday it is buying Jet.com for $3.3 billion.

Jet entered the online-retail market just over a year ago, offering lower prices than Amazon on about 81 percent of items in a survey and poising itself as a serious competitor for sites including Overstock.com and Walmart.com.

In a news release, Walmart said it and Jet will remain separate brands. Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon said in the statement that the company’s purchase of Jet will allow it to grow Walmart.com “faster, the seamless shopping experience we’re pursuing will happen quicker and we’ll enable the Jet brand to be even more successful in a shorter period of time. Our customers will win. It’s another jolt of entrepreneurial spirit being injected into Walmart.”

Jet, according to Walmart’s news release, adds 400,000 shoppers a month, processes an average of 25,000 orders a day, and features “a select group of more than 2,400 retailer and brand partners tailored to create an attractive and distinctive assortment for consumers.”

 

 

 

Flights to Havana could be offered from four Florida cities

If a proposal released Thursday takes effect, you may not have to travel far to catch a flight to Havana, Cuba.

Four Florida cities are among 10 chosen as possible locations for flights to and from the Cuban capital beginning this fall.

Cubans dance the Tango in the middle of the famous Prado boulevard in Habana Vieja January 25, 2015 in Havana, Cuba. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Cubans dance the Tango in the middle of the famous Prado boulevard in Habana Vieja January 25, 2015 in Havana, Cuba. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The list of cities was released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Transportation and includes Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando and Tampa, along with Atlanta, Charlotte, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark and New York City.

“Today we take another important step toward delivering on President Obama’s promise to reengage Cuba,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a news release. “Restoring regular air service holds tremendous potential to reunite Cuban American families and foster education and opportunities for American businesses of all sizes.”

Foxx also said eight airlines tentatively have been chosen as carriers for Havana flights: Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines and United Airlines.

In making the decision on which U.S. cities to include in the proposal, the DOT said it looked for areas with large Cuban-American populations, along with areas that are aviation hubs.

The DOT said 12 U.S. airlines applied to offer service to Havana. The department did not release the names of the four airlines that did not make the cut.

The release of the proposed cities and carriers follows an agreement signed in February between the U.S. and Cuba to open air service between the two countries after more than 50 years. The arragement allows for each country to operate up to 20 roundtrip flights each day between Havana and the U.S.

Those traveling to Cuba must fall under one of 12 categories set by the U.S. government: family visits; official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments and certain intergovernmental organizations; journalistic activity; professional research and professional meetings; educational activities; religious activities; public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions; support for the Cuban people; humanitarian projects; activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes; exportation, importation or transmission of information or information materials; and certain authorized export transactions. Read more here about what you need to travel to Cuba.

The DOT said it will release its final decision later this summer.

Happy National Iced Tea Day! Where to find deals and freebies

It’s National Iced Tea Day — a time to sit back, take a sip and celebrate that beloved summer beverage.

You can picture it right now, can’t you? The condensation on the glass. The ice cubes clinking together. A wedge of fresh lemon on the rim.

Ah yes. Time to celebrate iced tea. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution file photo)
Ah yes. Time to celebrate iced tea. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution file photo)

» RELATED: Which restaurant has the best barbecue in Palm Beach County?

If we’ve just made you very thirsty, here’s where to find deals and freebies today, according to Offers.com:

Au Bon Pain: Get 99 cent refills this summer when you buy a 16-ounce cold cup, or get a 99 cent medium iced drink when you buy soup, salad or a sandwich.

Beef O’Brady’s: Receive a free iced tea with purchase.

Starbucks: Buy one Teavana Shaken Iced Tea, get one free.

Teavana: Stores are holding free tasting of the company’s iced tea blends. Find a store here.

Wendy’s: Get a free 12-ounce Fruitea Chiller in either blueberry pineapple or orange mango from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

More from Offers.com

U.S. lawmakers, like airline passengers, are fed up with fees

Keep your peanuts.

That’s what several U.S. senators are virtually telling the nation’s airlines, the New York Times is reporting.

United Airlines planes sit on the tarmac at San Francisco International Airport. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
United Airlines planes sit on the tarmac at San Francisco International Airport. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The Times reported this week that U.S. Sen. E Markey, D-Mass., and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., filed legislation to limit airline fees on checked luggage, ticket changes and cancellations.

The legislation isn’t expected to get very far, but it reflects growing anger at the fees, which the lawmakers and consumer groups say gouge Americans.

Fees aren’t the only source of airline passenger consternation, however.

Last month, the U.S. Department of Transportation revealed that complaints about airlines jumped 30 percent in 2015.

Complaints covered everything from flight problems to baggage, reservation and ticketing, refunds, consumer service, disability and discrimination, the U.S. Department of Transportation said.

Read the full New York Times report.

» RELATED:

United Airlines again offering free snacks

Airline aarghs: Complaints climbed 30 percent in 2015, DOT says

1 billion served: Uber celebrates landmark ride

(Palm Beach Post staff file photo)
(Palm Beach Post staff file photo)

Uber has served its billionth customer, the company announced this week.

The lucky rider was Marvin, whose driver, Ara, took him on a £5 uberX ride through London on Christmas Eve, the company said.

The car: a blue Honda Insight Hybrid.

» RELATED: Read about Uber in Palm Beach County

 

“This holiday season, we’re feeling grateful and festive crossing this milestone as we close out the year,” the company said in a news release.

For being the billionth rider, Uber will give Marvin a year’s worth of free Uber rides, while Ara gets a vacation anywhere Uber serves.

Uber also said it will make a donation to the Hackney Pirates, a literacy nonprofit that serves the area of London where the billionth trip began.