MTV taking spring break to Vegas, making it 21-up (AP)

February 23, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel News

LAS VEGAS – The cable network known for its strong teen following is taking the college tradition of spring break and making it an adults-only affair in Sin City.

MTV is bringing its raucous annual special Spring Break to Las Vegas, with five days of parties and concerts featuring up-and-coming music acts and personalities from the network’s reality shows. It’s the first time the network has filmed the special in Las Vegas, changing the dynamic from the usual beaches of Florida or Mexico to the pool of the Palms Casino Resort near the Las Vegas Strip.

For the network, the move changes up the vibe of a yearly celebration that started in 1986. For the Palms, the show brings midweek customers during a time that Las Vegas is welcoming any visitors willing to spend money partying and gambling.

But given gambling and tight state regulations, college students can expect their underage friends to have a tough time getting into the party — should they choose to try.

“Everyone’s going to be 21 that will be at the pool,” said George Maloof, owner of the Palms. “We’ll make sure of that, have plenty of security.”

“It’ll be just like what we’ve always done, which is having respect for obviously our license,” he said.

College kids have long sought destinations with relaxed laws for spring break because they often don’t turn 21 until their junior or senior year in school. Mexico, for example, has a drinking age of 18, making places like Cancun and Rosarito Beach popular when schools take their mid-term breaks.

Even though casinos market only to those 21 and older, MTV’s Spring Break still fits with the Palms, Maloof said.

“With our brand, it’s a natural fit. We’ve always attracted the younger crowd and we’ve always been on the cutting edge of culture,” he said.

Maloof and the Palms played host to MTV’s “The Real World” in 2002, putting up seven residents — all over 21 — in a suite at the resort that’s still rentable today.

Eric Conte, senior vice president of programming at MTV, said he doesn’t think that restricting the festivities to only drinking-age adults will hurt the party or make students not want to come.

“We’re also doing parties around some of our biggest franchises on MTV at some of the suites there at the Palms,” he said. “We think just the overall excitement in the town is really beneficial and is helping us out so far.”

MGM Resorts International, the casino operator that runs 10 properties on the Las Vegas Strip, is expecting as much as a 20 percent increase in spring break travelers, including college students and families with children taking a break from school, Chief Marketing Officer Bill Hornbuckle said.

“It fills, particularly midweek, some pretty good voids that might not otherwise be filled for us, and they’ll have a great time,” he said.

Hornbuckle said MGM Resorts is planning to cross-promote six properties on the Strip during spring break, letting guests staying at any of the properties access amenities and events at all of them. The party includes a March 12 concert with Cee Lo Green and The Ting Tings, on MGM Resorts land on the Strip across from the Luxor.

Hornbuckle said Las Vegas has become famous in the last decade for its pool party and nightclub scene, but also famous for its strict no-minors policy.

“Where they’ve tried to get into nightclubs historically, gamble at tables, we take that extremely seriously and that extends itself into spring break,” Hornbuckle said. “As things are happening all over the world … Las Vegas has become more and more attractive, particularly to this crowd. And so we’ve seen a benefit to that and I think this year will be, hopefully, an all-time high.”

Maloof said the MTV event will bring a double-dip of benefits to the Palms, attracting students for the trip itself and giving the Palms airtime after the taping when the show airs in early March.

“I don’t think we’ll have an issue with selling out,” he said.

Conte said musical acts scheduled to appear include Pitbull, Lupe Fiasco, Wiz Khalifa and Jason Derulo.

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Report: Aircraft near-misses increasing over Colo. (AP)

February 23, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel News

DENVER – A NASA database shows more aircraft are having close calls with other planes in the skies over Colorado, which are some of the busiest in the nation.

The Denver Post said Wednesday that the database shows air traffic controllers in Colorado reported more near-collisions over the past few months than over the past five years combined.

The NASA database, called the Aviation Safety Reporting System, cited 58 occurrences of near-collisions in Colorado since 2000. That’s almost three times higher than the number reported by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The disclosure comes as the FAA is recruiting and training replacements for a slew of controllers retiring next year. The agency has come under fire from congressional committees and government investigators concerned that not enough replacements are being trained.


Information from: The Denver Post,

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Commercial aircraft deaths worldwide up 15 percent (AP)

February 23, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel News

DALLAS – Deaths on commercial aircraft worldwide rose 15 percent last year while the overall accident rate involving Western-built jets fell to an all-time low.

Those figures were released Wednesday by the International Air Transport Association, a trade group for the world’s airlines.

The group said 786 people died in 23 separate accidents last year, up from 685 deaths in 18 fatal crashes in 2009. The figures include all kinds of jets and turboprops operated on commercial flights but don’t include private or military aircraft.

There were no fatalities involving U.S. airlines last year. The most recent fatal accident involving a U.S. airline was the February 2009 crash of a Continental Connection flight near Buffalo, N.Y., in which 50 people died.

The most common cause of accidents remained planes leaving the runway during takeoff or landing. Many incidents involved wet runways, or too much speed.

IATA said there was one serious accident last year for every 1.6 million flights operated with Western-built jets compared with one for every 1.4 million flights in 2009. It said 2.4 billion people flew safely on 36.8 million jet and turboprop flights last year.

The 2010 accident rate was about 6 percent lower than the previous best, in 2006, and 42 percent lower than reported a decade ago. The rate of serious accidents — those in which the plane was destroyed or heavily damaged — was lower among the roughly 230 airlines, including the big ones most familiar to travelers, that belong to IATA.

Accident rates were lowest in the former Soviet republics and North America, followed by North Asia and Europe. Rates were higher than the world average in the Asia-Pacific region, Middle East-North Africa and Latin America-Caribbean.

The highest rate was in Africa. IATA said African airlines accounted for 2 percent of worldwide passenger traffic but 23 percent of serious accidents.

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Travel deals! Dreaming of a warm weather vacation – (KNXV

February 23, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

PHOENIX – Temperatures have dropped back down a bit in Arizona, but that doesn’t mean we can’t dream about flip flops, shorts, and sipping a cold drink by the pool.

Every Wednesday, features travel deals for Arizonans.

This week, we’re gearing up for warmer temperatures as we get ready to book our spring and summer escapes early with AAA Arizona!

Miami Beach, Florida from $99* per night:

Hello, Miami! Book a getaway along the Atlantic Ocean with accommodations at Newport Beachside Resort in Miami Beach.

This AAA three-diamond property is located about 15 miles from Miami and Ft. Lauderdale international airports.

From relaxing on the beach to partying up at night, it’s sure to never disappoint. Hotel amenities include full range of water sports, fitness center, beauty salon, beach playground, and children’s activity center.

St. Thomas, Caribbean from $187* per night:

Want to get even more exotic? Hit the Caribbean and stay at Wyndam Sugar Bay Resort and Spa.

When you’re at this AAA three-diamond property, you’ll be treated like VIP at all times.

With a little extra cash, an all-exclusive package would include meals, beverages, non-motorized water sports, fitness center access, recreation and entertainment. Taxes and gratuities included!

Snap away for memorable photos because you’re not going to want to forget this one!

Venice, California from $206* per night:

Surfs up on this California vacation. Book your stay at Hotel Erwin Venice Beach overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

This AAA three-diamond property is right in the heart of Venice Beach. This is the ultimate launching pad to see all of the Los Angeles and Hollywood areas.

It’s just five miles from Los Angeles International Airport, which makes it that much better. Venice Beach is known for some of the best people-watching and is close to all the action, no matter what time of day.

Cancun, Mexico from $293* per night:

If you want to head south, let’s party in Cancun!

An all-inclusive stay at the Riu Cancun will be a real treat as it only sits 13 miles away from the airport.

Tropical gardens, three pools, a swim-up bar, tennis court, nightclub, and direct access to the beach make up this three-diamond resort.

Not too shabby! The all-inclusive plan covers all meals and beverages, snacks, non-motorized water sports, and use of hotel facilities.

For more information or to book, visit the AAA Arizona website .

*Hotel prices per room, per night, based on double occupancy for select arrival dates and do not include tax, gratuity, or resort fees. Additional conditions and restrictions apply including minimum stay requirements for best rate.

Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Last minute Oscar travel deals

February 23, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

Natalie Portman is shown in a scene from the movie “Black Swan.”

CheapOair is offering a vacation deal to the Bentley Hotel, starting at $148* per night. Sample round trip airfare is also available at CheapOair starting at $270.**

*Sample hotel rate listed for travel from March 8, 2011 through March 15, 2011 and is based on availability; additional dates and locations available. Taxes and service fees not included. For reservations, visit cheapoair.

**All fares are subject to change based on availability. Sample airfare listed is from Los Angeles to New York. Additional city airfare available spanning the U.S. Taxes and service fees not included.

Article source:,0,1757235.photogallery

Delta Vacations Features Mexico Vacation Deals

February 23, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

Travelers can take advantage of new money-saving offers, including
reduced hotel rates, resort credits, and more on Mexico vacations

EDINA, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Travelers looking for spring travel deals on Mexico vacations will find
that now is the time to book their trip to get great last minute travel
deals. Delta Vacations has just announced new deals for spring getaways
to Mexico, including vacations for over the Easter travel period. The Mexico
vacation deals
span across more than 40 Mexico resorts and include
reduced rates with special hotel offers such as free nights, free meals,
and more at all inclusive Mexico resorts.

Travelers will receive reduced airfares from select cities such as
Seattle, Portland, San Diego, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Detroit, and now,
even lower airfares from Los Angeles, Nashville, Raleigh/Durham, and

Only through Delta Vacations—the vacation brand of Delta Air Lines®—do
travelers get some amazing perks, including: lowest available airfares
to Mexico on Delta Air Lines, earn up to 2,000 bonus miles in addition
to credited flight miles through the SkyMiles® program,
one-stop-shopping, easy ways to plan and pay, and specialty vacations
such as groups, destination weddings or honeymoons, and luxury vacations.

For more information on Mexico vacations, visit the Delta Vacations blog
and for Delta Vacations deals or to book a vacation, contact a travel
agent, visit,
or call 1-800-800-1504.

About Delta Vacations

Delta Vacations is the official vacation brand of Delta Air Lines and
offers customizable vacations via Delta Air Lines and its worldwide
partners. Delta Vacations provides the convenience of booking flight and
hotel together with the lowest available airfares on Delta and its
partner airlines, offering discounted hotel rates, bonus miles for
travelers through the Delta SkyMiles frequent flyer program and special
offers to over 250 of the world’s most appealing leisure destinations,
with a best price guarantee. They also have specialty vacations such as
luxury vacations, destination weddings and honeymoons, escorted tours
and river cruises, ski vacations, and group travel, plus add-ons such as
car rentals, sightseeing excursions and other activities. Delta
Vacations is managed, operated and marketed by MLT Vacations, one of the
largest providers of vacations in the United States. Travelers will find
more information by consulting a travel agent or visiting

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:

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Southwest Airlines offers free inflight access to iTunes — and some free …

February 23, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

Southwest Airlines has created one of those funny-sounding amenities that you can use in the air or on the ground: InAirtainment. Basically, it gives you free inflight  access to iTunes and promotes the airline’s Wi-Fi service, which is available on 65 of its planes — and counting. And initially, you get some free songs that you can  download from anywhere.

So an airline that lacks even seat-back TV screens for watching a movie or playing games invites you to bring your own entertainment.

To get things started, you can download a playlist of 20 pre-selected songs free by going to the InAirtainment website “for a limited time” (no, they won’t say how long). The songs are by “artists about to fly,” Southwest says. Translation: You’ve likely never heard of them. But still, free music is free music, and the list is savvy. (Though I haven’t yet made it through the entire list, I do like “Keep Spinning Around” by Dynamite Walls.)

Here’s how it works: Go to the InAirtainment website, click on the free downloads and a code is sent to your e-mail address. Then, let the downloading begin — on any device that supports Wi-Fi, such as an iPod, iPad, iPhone or laptop.

Of course you can also buy other songs, games and movies through the InAirtainment site, but those aren’t free. If you do buy, Southwest profits. A spokeswoman for the airline said Southwest “gets a percentage of the revenue from purchases made via the site.”






Article source:,1,4635915.story

Hawaii deal: 5 nights on Big Island + airfare from LA starts at $775

February 23, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

Here’s a sweet Hawaii bargain for spring that combines a five-night stay with round-trip airfare.

The deal: I found this offer while trawling through the “Hot Deals” section of the Funjet Vacations website. (You can find the entire list by going to the Hot Deals Web page and entering “Los Angeles” as the departure city.) The deal, which starts at $775 plus tax per person, based on double occupancy, includes five nights at the Royal Kona Resort on the Big Island and round-trip airfare from Los Angeles.

When: Flights for this deal leave Wednesdays and Thursdays only, on selected dates March 2 through May 26.

Tested: I went to the Funjet Vacations website and found availability for the five-night deal leaving March 3 or April 27. Total cost per person with tax: $937.

Contact: Funjet Vacations; (888) 558-6654.

Article source:,1,528961.story

Online travel sites’ deals often aren’t a good value

February 23, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

More and more people are booking their own travel deals online, where trip revenue grew to $92.5 billion last year – largely because travelers paid more than they should have, says the January issue of Consumer Reports MoneyAdviser.

The magazine tells how travel sites get us to pay more while looking for cheap travel.

Buried bargains: The large sites try to prevent our seeing lowest-priced car rentals by configuring their sorting tools to show us the higher-priced bargains of their “preferred vendors” first and the cheaper deals of other companies last – or not at all.

For example, when searching Expedia for car rental prices, the initial sorting tool won’t allow us to see all the lowest priced rentals first. It makes us decide whether we want quotes just from the site’s preferred vendors or from other companies as well. Only on its second page do we have the option to sort by “car price review” to see all offers.

ConsumerSearch, at, surveys 200 travel booking and service provider websites to collect best reviews, analyzes their picks and recommends what to buy.

Don’t book until you can reset the search preferences to see all

available deals – including those of the truly cheapest. For cars, go to the sites of known cheapest vendors: Alamo, Avis and National, Consumer Reports says.

Dunk the cookies: Every time you visit a website, it gives you a cookie. Not because you’re good and deserve a reward but because “cookies” are little spyware programs that record and report back to the home website on your every click. This allows them to keep track of how much you were willing to pay for trips and other services – meaning how much you will be willing to pay for their services and charge you more than other sites.

Erase all traces of past searches by resetting your “browser preferences” to block them. The choices are “accept cookies” and “do not accept cookies.” Just say no to cookies.

Plan B: Many times you click on great deals on major travel sites only to learn those rates are no longer available or have jumped higher. Keep the lowest priced sites open as Plan B, and when it turns out to really be the lowest, book it.

Bundles of hooey: When booking flights online, you’re asked if you want to add a hotel room or rental car for a package discount, but hold on there. Those deals usually aren’t “good deals.” Price each component through – which does the math and lists good and bad bundled deals. Last Friday, DealBase said it posted 472 deals in the past seven days for a total savings of $17.4 million, the average being $310.

Tulsa World consumer writer Phil Mulkins wants to know which topics interest you most. Call 699-8888, e-mail your interest to, or mail it to Tulsa World Consumer, PO Box 1770, Tulsa, OK 74102-1770.

Original Print Headline: Online deals often aren’t

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Allegiant Announces Seasonal Travel Service Between Shreveport And Orlando

February 23, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

Allegiant (Nasdaq:ALGT) today announces it is resuming nonstop seasonal travel service between
Shreveport, La., and
Orlando, Fla., via
Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB). The seasonal service will begin
May 19. The company, known for its exceptional travel deals, is offering fares as low as
$49.99* one-way between both cities. Guaranteeing the lowest prices on its hotel packages, customers will also save an additional $20* off their air when they book with an Allegiant preferred hotel.

“We’re pleased to again offer an affordable and convenient way for our customers to get away this summer,” Andrew C. Levy, Allegiant Travel Company President, said. “We are confident the Shreveport-Bossier area will appreciate the value of flying nonstop to Orlando and the great deals we offer on hotels and car rentals.”

“Orlando is one of the top destinations for Shreveport-Bossier and Ark-La-Tex residents. Having nonstop service and low fares is extremely important,” said Shreveport Mayor Cedric B. Glover. “We are truly excited to have Allegiant build on their success in our community and restart Orlando service.”

Shreveport Airport Authority Chairman Keith Gamble said having Allegiant renew their commitment to Orlando service is great news for Shreveport Regional Airport.

“Allegiant’s low fares and great service attract customers from throughout the Ark-La-Tex Region in order to use Shreveport Regional Airport,” said Mr. Gamble. “Having Allegiant restart Orlando service will help the airport this summer with increased traffic and by adding another nonstop and extremely affordable destination.”

The new flights will operate twice weekly between the
Shreveport Regional Airport (SHV) and
Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) with service
Thursday and
Sunday. Flights will depart Shreveport at
4:25 p.m. arriving in Orlando-Sanford at
7:30 p.m. Flights leaving Orlando-Sanford will depart at
2:25 p.m. arriving in Shreveport at
3:45 p.m. (all flight times are local). The company began nonstop service to Las Vegas Jan. 18, 2006. 

With plenty of shopping, dining, outdoor activities and entertainment, Orlando offers vacationers the perfect getaway. Located in the heart of Central Florida, Orlando is home to the world’s most exciting theme parks including Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and SeaWorld. Orlando’s famous International Drive is more than 10 miles long and features more than 100 hotels, 450 stores, several attractions and two major outlet malls. Orlando is also home to more than 175 golf courses, many of which were designed by pro golfers such as Greg Norman, Tom Watson, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. 

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