Beer, Bratwurst & Bavarian Culture — Toasts Oktoberfest …

September 7, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

While Canadians bid adieu to the long hot summer days and nights,
that’s no reason to give up their enjoyment of a nice cold beer. As
the summer comes to a close and temperatures begin to fall,, the online leader in publishing travel deals,
invites you to raise a pint (or two) and join in the fall season’s
most globally celebrated beer festival — Oktoberfest. While Munich,
Germany, is the home of the original Oktoberfest and still the host
of the biggest event each year, this famous beer festival has spread
around the world, and offers you its picks for the
Top 10 Oktoberfests Outside of Germany. From Ho Chi Minh City to
Dublin to Canada’s very own Kitchener-Waterloo, thousands each year
are raising their glasses in honour of Oktoberfest.

While the Oktoberfest tradition started in Munich more than 200 years
ago to honour the 19th-century matrimony of Crown Prince Ludwig of
Bavaria, the entire world has since joined in on the celebration.
Below are five of’s top Oktoberfests to experience
outside of Germany over the next couple of months.

        --  Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Canada (Oct. 7-16) - Canadians pull out
            all the stops for nine days each fall to create the largest
            Oktoberfest celebration outside of Munich. Based in Ontario's twin
            cities, Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is a celebration the entire
            family can enjoy; the German extravaganza offers more than 40 family
            and cultural events, including the "World's Most Dangerous Bocce Ball
            Tournament". The celebration culminates at the Thanksgiving Day
            Parade, a televised spectacle of floats, entertainers and marching
            bands broadcast across the country. Search and compare cheap flights
            to Kitchener.
        --  Hong Kong (Oct. 21-Nov.12) - The thriving expat community in Hong Kong
            has done a fine job -- for 19 years now -- of importing lederhosen and
            sauerkraut for a waterfront Oktoberfest at the beginning of each
            November, sponsored by the Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel. This year will
            be especially festive, as the Marco Polo German Bierfest celebrates
            its 20th anniversary. Expect three straight weeks of lively debauchery
            (last year, nearly 40,000 guests crammed into the traditional tent for
            live music and pork knuckles). The real question isn't whether or not
            you should go. It's "How many 1-litre beer steins can I fit in my
            suitcase home"? Search and compare cheap flights to Hong Kong.
        --  Blumenau, Brazil (Oct. 6-23) - Though Oktoberfests are celebrated all
            over Brazil each October, it's Blumenau's that provides attendees with
            a quintessential German aesthetic. In 1850, German immigrants founded
            the town, situated in Santa Catarina in southern Brazil. And it's
            obvious: the German Village (Vila Germanica) in the city centre
            features German-style buildings that take visitors out of Brazil and
            drop them smack-dab in the middle of Bavaria. And in October, that
            means Oktoberfest. A reported 700,000 visitors annually flood the town
            to eat, drink and dance -- to an oompah-samba fusion, we assume.
            Search and compare cheap flights to Brazil.
        --  Brisbane, Australia (Oct.7-9  14-16) - The upside of opting for
            Brisbane's Oktoberfest instead of Munich's is the former's spectacular
            spring weather. And, the sheer joy that comes with vacationing in
            Queensland, of course. The Aussies do it up right for two weekends
            each October at Oktoberfest Brisbane, held at the RNA Showgrounds.
            Reserve a Bavarian VIP Table and invite seven friends (the table seats
            eight) for an elevated view of the space, a full spread of specialty
            German dishes, sausages and pretzels, and take-home Oktoberfest beer
            steins. Bottoms up! Search and compare cheap flights to Brisbane.
        --  Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S. (Sept. 17-18) - The United States' largest
            Oktoberfest is situated in none other than -- Ohio? It's true, East
            Coast sceptics: Oktoberfest Zinzinnati is a no-nonsense weekend of
            fantastic beer, food and entertainment. Schnitzel, pretzels and
            strudel are washed down with 1.6 million ounces of beer annually.
            Stock up on complimentary souvenir mugs as you sample Spaten, Erdinger
            and Konig Ludwig beers and stroll along the streets of downtown
            Cincinnati. In your food coma, make sure to catch the "Running of the
            Wieners" and the "World's Largest Chicken Dance" on Sunday at Fountain
            Square. Search and compare cheap flights to Cincinnati.

Topping up’s list of best Oktoberfests outside of
Germany are Stockholm’s Beer Whisky Festival, Sweden (Sept.
29-Oct.1 Oct.6-8); Oktoberfest Dublin, Ireland (Sept.22-Oct.9);
Oktoberfest Denver, Colorado (Sept. 16-18 23-25); Oktoberfest
Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City (Oct.7-8 11-15) and Oktoberfest Namibia
in Windhoek (Oct. 28-29). To read more about these and the complete
list, visit .

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Chef Michel Richard comes to Vegas? 24/7, baby

September 7, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

Everything’s bigger in Las Vegas, including the new Central Michel Richard restaurant that will be whipping up lobster burgers and fried chicken 24 hours a day at Caesars Palace. The celebrity chef’s newest addition to his culinary raves Citronelle and Central in Washington, D.C., opens at noon Wednesday.

The restaurant will seat 220 inside and 155 more guests at tables outside and at the bar. It occupies the space off the hotel’s lobby that once housed the Augustus Cafe.

So what exactly is on the menu? It’s not yet available at the restaurant’s website, but snippets have been posted on Facebook about Richard’s talent for producing American fare with a French flair. Goat cheese Caesar salad, fried chicken, crab cake with leek tartare, lobster burger along with the hamburger with “tuile” (crunchy potato) and mac and cheese are some of the featured entrees.

Desserts run to lava cake a la mode, chocolate mousse and “celebration cake” (decked out with a sparkler to celebrate, well, anything). Richard also promises new desserts and dessert cocktails for the Vegas site. Prices aren’t posted yet, though you can bet it’s nowhere near the cost of D.C. dining. OpenTable shows meal prices ranging from $31 to $50, but a dessert in the wee hours shouldn’t set you back that much.

Contact: Central Michel Richard at Caesars Palace, (702) 650-5921

Article source:,1,6197118.story

Spirit Airlines starts offering vacation packages

September 7, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

Spirit Airlines Inc. started offering vacation packages on its website Wednesday, a move aimed at bringing the discount airline more revenue from sources other than airfare.

    1. Image: Taxi driver Cliff Adler in New York

      NYC taxi drivers recall 9/11

      In the hours, weeks and months following the 9/11 terror attacks, Cliff Adler was just one of New York City’s taxi drivers who lined up to transport emergency workers and volunteers.

    2. Bill Lindauer: ‘It was a time for seriousness’

    3. Jose Bataller: ‘It was like a bad dream’

    4. Mohammed Jamil Hussain: ‘I have to at least help people’

    5. Airport security: You ain’t seen nothing yet

Spirit, based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., already makes about a third of its revenue from fees. Spirit charges extra for checked baggage, luggage placed in the overhead bin, assigned seats and even water on its flights.

The decision to sell travel packages including hotel rooms and car rentals as part of online bookings was announced by Barry Biffle, Spirit’s chief marketing officer, at an investors’ conference in New York.

The move mirrors the business strategy adopted by another discount airline, Allegiant Travel Co., which derives about 30 percent of its revenue from selling hotel packages in destinations such as its home city Las Vegas.

To promote the hotel offerings, Spirit is including some lower-end hotels for free with tickets purchased through Thursday for some travel dates in October.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Iridium launches Wi-Fi hotspot for extreme roaming (AP)

September 7, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel News

NEW YORK – Want to get email on your iPhone or BlackBerry in the middle of the ocean, or in the Arctic? Now you can — but it’ll cost you.

Satellite phone company Iridium Communications Inc. said Wednesday that it is launching a cigarette-pack-sized box that connects to an Iridium phone.

The box produces a Wi-Fi hotspot that smartphones and tablet computers can connect to. The phone relays that connection to satellites overhead, which then shunt the signal to a ground station connected to the Internet.

The data speeds will be slower than dial-up, but they should be good enough for meaningful use of email, Iridium CEO Matt Desch said.

Iridium, which is based in McLean, Va., said the AxcessPoint will cost less than $200, but it needs to be paired with a phone that costs about $1,000. The data connection will cost about $1 per minute.

Iridium phones can already connect laptops to the Internet, through the use of a cable.

ATT Inc. sells an alternative solution for those who need Internet access where there are zero bars of regular coverage: a “Genus” smartphone that connects directly to a satellite. However, that satellite covers only North America, while the Iridium network of 66 satellites spans the entire world.

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Grand Rapids to Fort Lauderdale is Back!

September 7, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

        Sep 7, 2011 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) --
                             Time to Plan Winter Vacations!

         Allegiant Announces Return of Nonstop, Low-Cost Travel Service Between
              Grand Rapids and Fort Lauderdale With Fares as Low As $76.98*

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Sept. 7, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Allegiant

/quotes/zigman/101442/quotes/nls/algt ALGT

announces nonstop jet service between Grand Rapids, Mich., and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., will resume on Nov. 18. The company, known for its exceptional travel deals, will reintroduce the route in time for the holidays after a seasonal hiatus that began on May 4.

“We’re pleased to bring back the Fort Lauderdale route to our customers in Grand Rapids,” Andrew C. Levy, Allegiant Travel Company President, said. “We are confident the Grand Rapids community will continue to support the route and take advantage of the great deals we offer on hotels and car rentals.”

The flights will operate twice weekly between Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR) and Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport (FLL), with service Monday and Friday. Flights will depart Grand Rapids at 5:40 p.m. arriving in Fort Lauderdale at 8:35 p.m. Flights leaving Fort Lauderdale will depart at 2:00 p.m. arriving in Grand Rapids at 5:00 p.m. (all flight times are local). The carrier will utilize a full-size, 150-seat MD-80 jet aircraft on the route.

Fort Lauderdale offers the ultimate escape to sunny South Florida, with miles of blue waterways, soft golden sand and gentle ocean breezes. Located in the center of South Florida’s Gold Coast, 40 miles from Palm Beach and 25 miles from Miami, Fort Lauderdale stretches from Deerfield Beach and Pompano Beach in the north to Hollywood and Hallandale Beach in the south. The area offers 300 miles of navigable inland waterways and 44,000 resident yachts, making it recognized as the “Yachting Capital of the World” and the “Venice of America.” From the blue wave beaches, to the yacht-filled waterways, to the exotic Everglades, every visit is a fresh taste of Paradise.

Reservations can be made on the airline’s website at or by calling the company’s travel experts at 702-505-8888. Allegiant guarantees the lowest price on air and hotel vacation packages through the company’s Low-Price Pledge. If the customer finds an air and hotel package for less, Allegiant will credit the difference for use on a future booking. Allegiant is also rewarding customers who book an air and hotel package through the company with an instant $20 savings on roundtrip airfare, making it even more affordable to book an air and hotel package.

Allegiant’s $76.98* one-way promotional fare is limited, must be purchased by Sept. 27, 2011, and is valid for travel between Nov. 29, 2011, and Feb. 14, 2012. Promotional fares are not available on all flights.

Reservations can be made on the airline’s website at or by calling the company’s travel experts at 702-505-8888. Allegiant guarantees the lowest price on air and hotel vacation packages through the company’s Low-Price Pledge. If the customer finds an air and hotel package for less, Allegiant will credit the difference for use on a future booking. Allegiant is also rewarding customers who book an air and hotel package through the company with an instant $20 savings on roundtrip airfare, making it even more affordable to book an air and hotel package.

About the $76.98* one-way fare:

Seats are limited. Fares are one-way and not available on all flights. Must be purchased by Sept. 27, 2011, for travel by Feb. 14, 2012. Offer not available Dec. 24, 2011–Jan. 4, 2012. Prices do not include PFC, segment tax or Sept. 11th security fee of up to $10.70 per segment. A segment is one take-off and one landing. A fee of $14.99 per segment, will apply when purchased through Allegiant call centers. For ticket counter hours of operation, please visit . When purchased at the time of booking, a checked bag fee of up to $19.99 per bag will apply per person, per segment. If purchased at flight check-in, a fee of $35 per checked bag, per person, per segment will apply for the first two bags checked. Additional higher fees will apply for three or more checked bags. Fare rules, routes and schedules are subject to change without notice. Restrictions apply. $20 savings based on a two-night, air+hotel purchase; valid at select Allegiant hotels.

Allegiant, travel is our deal.

Las Vegas-based Allegiant Travel Company

/quotes/zigman/101442/quotes/nls/algt ALGT

is focused on linking travelers in small cities to world-class leisure destinations such as Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix-Mesa, Orlando, Fla., and Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla. Through its subsidiary, Allegiant Air, the company operates a low-cost, high-efficiency, all-jet passenger airline offering air travel both on a stand-alone basis and bundled with hotel rooms, rental cars and other travel-related services. In 2010, Allegiant was ranked number one for low-cost carriers in Aviation Week’s Top Performing Airline study and ranked 25 on FORTUNE magazine’s Fastest-Growing Companies list. Receive breaking news from Allegiant by visiting Allegiant’s Facebook Fan Page at or follow Allegiant on Twitter at

The Allegiant Travel Company logo is available at

This news release was distributed by GlobeNewswire,

SOURCE: Allegiant Travel Company

        CONTACT: Allegiant Media Contact:
        Kristine Shattuck-Cooper
        Phone: 702-853-4625

(C) Copyright 2010 GlobeNewswire, Inc. All rights reserved.


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Wednesday Travel Ticker: Phineas and nerve

September 7, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

  •                                Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | About Our Ads | Los Angeles Times, 202 West 1st Street, Los Angeles, California, 90012 | Copyright 2011

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    Five things that could get you kicked off a plane

    September 7, 2011 by  
    Filed under Travel Deals

    You with the saggy pants, off the plane. That’s been a mantra of sorts this summer at more than one airline. Most recent case in point: Green Day vocalist Billie Joe Armstrong.

    “Just got kicked off a southwest flight because my pants sagged too low! What the [expletive]? No joke!” Armstrong (@BJA official) tweeted last Thursday of the Oakland-Burbank flight. Southwest (@SouthwestAir) tweeted back “Very sorry for your experience tonight, someone from our Customer Relations Team will reach out to you to get more details.” And with that, Armstrong was put on the next available flight.

    Things didn’t go so smoothly for college football player Deshon Marman in June. He was booted from a U.S. Airways flight in San Francisco supposedly for refusing to hitch up his pants after a crew member asked him to do so. He was arrested at the time but no charges were filed, according to

    So what really gets you kicked off a flight? FareCompare recently chronicled what caused some folks to be dragged out of their seats.

    –Dressing provocatively: Airlines sort of explain what crosses the line in their contracts of carriage. JetBlue and Southwest, for example, cite clothing that’s “lewd, obscene, or patently offensive.”

    “The airlines leave the judgment of what’s lewd, obscene, offensive or inappropriate to their individual employees with no apparent specific guidelines as to what is, or is not permitted,” Ned Levi writes at Consumer Traveler. “In my opinion, their rules are overly broad and poorly defined. That’s a recipe for unequal and inappropriate application of them, which is precisely what’s been happening.”

    –Using profanity.

    –Refusing to stop texting — or using your phone — when instructed to do so. On Monday, a man on a Southwest flight pulling into El Paso refused to turn off his cellphone. He was arrested, according to the Associated Press.

    –Being intoxicated.

    –Being too big for the seat. Two words: Kevin Smith.

    Article source:,1,1856873.story

    Man subdued after rushing jet exit door in Seattle (AP)

    September 7, 2011 by  
    Filed under Travel News

    SEATTLE – A 39-year-old man is in custody after he tried to rush the exit door of an Alaska Airlines jet as it was taxiing to a gate at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

    Airport spokesman Perry Cooper says passengers and the crew had to subdue the man Monday, who was apparently anxious to get off the plane. One crew member was bitten in the arm during the scuffle and was taken to Highline Medical Center in Burien, Wash., for treatment of minor injuries.

    The man was taken to Highline for a mental health evaluation, before being transferred to King County Jail. He was expected to be booked on investigation of felony assault.

    Flight 108 from Anchorage, Alaska, landed in Seattle at about 4:30 a.m. Monday. Cooper says no other airport operations were affected.

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    DHS chief: Better passenger screening in future (AP)

    September 7, 2011 by  
    Filed under Travel News

    WASHINGTON – Homeland Security Department Secretary Janet Napolitano predicted Tuesday that airline passengers in the future will no longer be instructed to remove their shoes at airport security checkpoints, but she said the technology to scan shoe-wearing passengers for bombs does not yet exist and may not be available soon.

    No technology meets government standards to screen shoes for explosives at airports while passengers wear them. Officials have not been able to say for certain that this technology will exist in the future, though they are working to develop it.

    Removing shoes during screening has been a common complaint among airline travelers since security was increased after a member of al-Qaida tried to detonate a bomb built into his shoe aboard an American Airlines flight in December 2001.

    Napolitano said restrictions on carrying liquids on planes — imposed after another terrorist plot to detonate disguised bombs on board planes in August 2006 — probably will remain in effect.

    “We’d love to have a kind of a screening portal that you just step in and, boom, it’s got everything and you go through and it’s painless and very, very quick,” Napolitano said at a breakfast meeting organized by Politico, a Washington news organization, according to a transcript of her remarks. “The technology isn’t quite there yet and it won’t be for a while, but I think one of the first things you will see over time is the ability to keep your shoes on, and one of the last things you will probably see is a reduction or removing the limitation on liquids.”

    In July, the government announced that TSA will begin testing a program this fall with a small number of travelers who volunteer personal information. If cleared, these travelers could go through security faster — in some cases, because they won’t be asked to take their shoes off. But participants still might be asked to remove their shoes, TSA Administrator John Pistole told The Associated Press.

    “It makes sense to try to identify those who are willing to share information about themselves, and if we can make some judgments about them as part of this risk-based screening initiative, then perhaps one of the benefits is they can in all likelihood keep their shoes on,” Pistole said.

    Pistole said that TSA will always perform random and unpredictable screening, so that passengers who aren’t asked to remove their shoes might be asked to remove their shoes on the next trip.

    “Just to keep her guessing,” he said. “The last thing we want to do is allow terrorists to game the system.”

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    USS Iowa to be moved to LA to be battleship museum (AP)

    September 7, 2011 by  
    Filed under Travel News

    LOS ANGELES – The USS Iowa — the last surviving World War II battleship without a home — will head to the Port of Los Angeles to stand as a permanent museum and memorial to battleships, the Navy said Tuesday.

    The nonprofit Pacific Battleship Center, which has been working to bring the ship to Los Angeles, beat out the San Francisco Bay area city of Vallejo. The Navy’s decision also comes six years after the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted against making a public display of the ship in that city, citing local opposition to the Iraq war and the military’s stance on gays, among other things.

    The nearly 900-foot battleship must be rehabilitated in San Francisco Bay before it can be towed down the California coast, Pacific Battleship Center president Robert Kent said. That should happen in late October, when unusually high tides are expected in the bay, he said.

    The Iowa’s new home will offer 4 1/2 acres of parking space in North America’s busiest seaport, adjacent to the World Cruise Center, where cruise ships dock and flocks of tourists could tour the Iowa.

    “Our focus for our museum will be on the history of the battleships, not only the Iowa being the ultimate in design, but we’ll be focusing from the very beginnings” of the massive vessels, Kent said.

    President Franklin Roosevelt traveled home aboard the USS Iowa after the 1943 Tehran conference of allied leaders, where he met with Soviet leader Joseph Stalin and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to plan war strategies against Nazi Germany.

    The 45,000-ton ship, which towers 15 stories above the water line, engaged in battles in the Pacific theater during World War II and entered Tokyo Bay with the occupation forces in 1945 where it served as Admiral William F. Halsey’s flagship for the surrender ceremony. The battleship later served off Korea’s eastern shores during that conflict.

    In 1989, the USS Iowa suffered one of the nation’s deadliest military accidents after 47 sailors were killed in an explosion during a training exercise. Before being decommissioned in 1990, it served as an escort for oil tankers in the Persian Gulf.

    The Iowa was towed to San Francisco from Rhode Island in 2001, after Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., helped secure $3 million to bring it to San Francisco in hopes of making it a tourist attraction at Fisherman’s Wharf. Four years later, Feinstein, a former San Francisco mayor, called the city’s supervisors’ 8-3 vote against the idea a “very petty decision.”

    The Iowa’s sister boats are already serving as museums: The USS Missouri is docked at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, the USS Wisconsin is docked in Norfolk, Va., and the USS New Jersey is docked in the state it is named for.

    The Iowa and the Wisconsin will be maintained to avoid rust and other mechanical problems in the unlikely event the ships are ever needed in war, Kent said.

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