April 2006

How to pack the trunk

by Mark Sedenquist on April 21, 2006

It’s tempting, when you’re getting ready to hit the road, to just throw your gear into the back of your vehicle and roar off toward the horizon. Tempting, that is, until a tire blows and you can’t find the lug wrench. For a real feeling of freedom, a little planning can go a long way. Herewith, some road-tested trunk tips.

Proponents of an idea to speed trusted travelers through security are pushing to sign up airports and overcome skepticism of some airport officials who fear the program won’t shorten lines.

When she has to cancel her trip to the Amazon, Linda Enis gets a surprise: her roommate — a woman she does not even know — will now have to pay a single supplement. But Enis has cancellation insurance from TripMate. Shouldn’t the insurance cover the supplement?

Only one of the USA’s busiest airports has signed up for a much-vaunted program to speed travelers through checkpoints, while at least a half-dozen others are balking at an idea that they say won’t work.

After returning home from a cruise in French Polynesia, I found a startling message on my answering machine: “This is Bank of America inquiring about charges made in Huahine on July 17.” Had someone stolen my card number and gone on a shopping spree? No, the credit card company was monitoring my spending.

An overcrowded bus speeding home from a religious festival veered off a highway emergency ramp and crashed through a metal barrier Monday, plunging more than 650 feet into a ravine. Fifty-seven people were killed, including a 13-year-old boy.

Spring break mistake

by James Wysong on April 18, 2006

It was a romantic idea: fly off with the wife to a tropical locale, take the chill out of winter — maybe start a family. So we packed our bags and headed to Cancun hoping for some adult relaxation and a little good luck. But on the plane, we were surrounded by a bunch of teenagers lobbing pretzels. What was going on?

Delta Air Lines fliers and workers breathed a collective sigh of relief Friday on word that negotiators reached a tentative deal on a new pilot contract. But the agreement must gain important approvals before the shadow of a potentially devastating strike is completely lifted.

Amtrak announced that repairs to a North Carolina bridge are complete and that it will add capacity today for extra passengers. More than 5,000 were stranded or inconvenienced on the eve of the busy Easter travel weekend.

Rail or road? 10 tips

by Charlie Leocha on April 14, 2006

Not everyone agreed with my recent appraisal of train and car travel in Europe. Yes, rental cars can be a better bargain than rail passes, but there are still plenty of reasons to take the train, I was told. Quite right. So, in the interests of evenhandedness, I give you five reasons to ride and five reasons to drive.