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Recap: The Week’s Biggest Stories and Best Deals

Following is our regular summary of the latest travel news and best frequent traveler promotions reviewed during the past week.

If it was a good deal—or a notably bad deal—from an airline, hotel, or car rental loyalty program, you can read all about it here, and plan your travel accordingly.

Points or Cash Back for Your Hotel Stays?

Which reward would you choose for your next hotel stay: loyalty points or cash back? And yes, you do have a choice.

Glasses-Wearers, This New Passport Rule Affects You!

Breaking news from the U.S. State Department: Beginning on November 1, eye glasses will no longer be allowed in passport photos.

Warning: The 25 Most-Complained-About Restaurants

Want to avoid lousy food and noisy atmosphere? A new report from Consumer Reports lists the 25 most-complained-about chain restaurants.

These Are the World’s 10 Busiest Airports

Depending on your point of view, busier airports are either a blessing or a curse. For better or worse, here are the 10 busiest.

In Marriott-Starwood Merger, Best of Both Worlds for Customers

While Marriott and Starwood are now one company, their loyalty programs won’t be merged for some time. Which is great for customers of both companies.

The 10 Airports with the Best (and Worst) Cell Service

Fast, reliable cell service at the airport? A new ranking of the connectivity at the nation’s 50 largest airports shows just how hit-and-miss it can be.

New from Carlson: Member-Only Hotel Rates

Beginning this week, Club Carlson members can save “up to 10%” when booking participating hotels directly via Carlson brand websites and mobile apps.

500 Free Virgin America Points. Again

Yet another opportunity to earn a quick and easy 500 bonus points in Virgin America’s Elevate program. What are you waiting for?

Win a 7-Night Caribbean Cruise, Plus 4 Nights at the JW Marriott Miami

Enter this sweepstakes for a chance to win a seven-night Celebrity Cruise for two to the Caribbean, and four nights at the JW Marriott Miami hotel.

Somebody has to win, right? Might as well be you.

More from SmarterTravel:

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

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We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

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