April 2006

Many of the gas vouchers and discount cards that inns and tourist-dependent towns have been offering every summer are available again now. But there are precious few new incentives to be found.

What’s the plan?

by Charlie Leocha on April 28, 2006

In the old days of travel, you could go far on money, charm and a sense of adventure. No longer. These days, travel is crowded, and hotel rooms and museum passes are scarce. Sure, planning takes some of the spontaneity out of travel, but the payoff is clean sheets, good food and a place at the front of the line.

The Transportation Security Administration issued 4,459 fines against passengers in 2005, a 54% decrease from 2004. The vast majority of fines are doled out to people trying to bring weapons and other dangerous items on planes.

Her flight to New York has been canceled, but no one bothers to tell Caty Harris about it. Now she has to buy another expensive ticket — and pay for the rescheduled flight she didn’t take. What’s going on? And will Harris ever get her money back?

Concerned about bird flu, federal health officials want airlines to collect personal information about domestic and international passengers to help track a potential epidemic. Financially strapped airlines say creating such a database would impose staggering new costs.

Police arrested three people Tuesday in the triple bomb attack that ripped apart a Sinai beach resort promenade at the height of Egypt’s tourist season, killing at least 24 people and injuring more than 60, many of them foreigners.

The air at 35,000 feet

by James Wysong on April 25, 2006

How bad is the air at 35,000 feet? Can you get sick from it? Do pilots really dial down the oxygen just to save fuel? Are the air filters ever cleaned? Lots of people worry about the “air” part of air travel, and the myths are many and alarming. Some actual facts might be in order.

Delta Air Lines Inc. said on Saturday union leaders had finalized an agreement for its 6,500 pilots to avert a strike that would have further crippled the bankrupt airline.

Your bags are packed, and your tickets and passports are ready to go. You’re all set to sail on your dream cruise — or are you? What would happen if you got the measles, or slipped on a banana peel, or missed the connecting flight to your port city? Do you need cruise insurance? You betcha.

California on Thursday became the first state in the continental USA to see average gasoline prices go above $3 a gallon in 2006, while the price at the pump in Los Angeles hit an all-time high.