Ford’s Theatre opens center to study Lincoln in DC (AP)

February 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel News

WASHINGTON – The theater where President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated is preparing to open a new museum and education center in downtown Washington to explore the 16th president’s life and lasting legacy.

The Ford’s Theatre Center for Education and Leadership has been constructed in a building across from the famous theater and next door to the row house where Lincoln died. The new museum is part of a $60 million project to create a destination for learning about Lincoln.

Exhibits will address the aftermath of Lincoln’s death and the evolution of his legacy. There is also workshop space for teachers and students, and a distance-learning lab.

The center opens to the public on Lincoln’s birthday, Feb. 12. It hosts another free open house on President’s Day before beginning normal tours Feb. 21.

Article source:*

28 more airports will test lower-hassle screening (AP)

February 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel News

WASHINGTON – A new passenger screening program to make check-in more convenient for certain travelers is being expanded to 28 more major U.S. airports, the government said Wednesday. There will be no cost to eligible passengers, who would no longer have to remove their shoes and belts before they board flights.

The airports include the three used by hijackers to launch the terror attacks in September 2001: Washington Dulles International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey and Boston’s Logan International Airport.

The Transportation Security Administration’s program, already in a test phase in seven other airports, is the Obama administration’s first attempt at a passenger screening program responsive to frequent complaints that the government is not using common sense when it screens all passengers at airports in the same way. Under the new program, eligible travelers have the option to volunteer more personal information about themselves so that the government can vet them for security purposes before they arrive at airport checkpoints.

“Good, thoughtful, sensible security by its very nature facilitates lawful travel and legitimate commerce,” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said.

The program works this way: Participating travelers will walk through a dedicated lane at airport security checkpoints. They will provide the TSA officer with a specially marked boarding pass. A machine will read the barcode, and travelers deemed “low-risk,” will likely be allowed to keep on belts, shoes and jackets and leave laptops and liquids in bags when being screened.

Not everyone is eligible to participate in the program, which is already being tested at airports in Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Miami, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Minneapolis-St. Paul. Eligible travelers are some of those who participate in American and Delta airlines’ frequent flier programs, as well as travelers in three other trusted traveler programs, which do charge fees to participate. About 336,000 passengers have been screened through the program since the testing began last year, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

By the end of 2012, the government expects select passengers in frequent flier programs for US Airways, United and Alaska Airlines to be eligible to participate. The program is expected to be operating in Reagan National Airport near Washington, Salt Lake City International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport by the end of March.

“We are pleased to expand this important effort, in collaboration with our airline and airport partners, as we move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to a more intelligence-driven, risk-based transportation security system,” said TSA chief John Pistole.

Pistole has said he hopes to eventually test the program at all airports and with all airlines around the country, but that might take years.

The program is expected to be operating in these airports by the end of 2012: Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, Denver International Airport, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Honolulu International Airport, New York’s LaGuardia Airport, Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, Puerto Rico’s Luis Munoz Marin International Airport, Orlando International Airport, Philadelphia International Airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Pittsburgh International Airport, Oregon’s Portland International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Florida’s Tampa International Airport and Alaska’s Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.


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Terminal shut down temporarily, grenade found (AP)

February 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel News

HEBRON, Ky. – A hand grenade in a passenger’s carry-on bag has caused a temporary evacuation at the northern Kentucky airport.

The Delta Air Lines terminal at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International was cleared for about 10 minutes Tuesday night after the device was found at about 7:30 during routine baggage screening.

Airport spokeswomen Barb Schempf said Transportation Security Administration officials found no detonator and determined the grenade was no longer an explosive, according to The Kentucky Enquirer (

The passenger who carried it was denied boarding and the grenade was confiscated. No flights were canceled or delayed.

The passenger was released, but is now under investigation by the TSA.

Article source:*

Hat trick of airfare bargains

February 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

For the AJC

A hat trick of spectacular airfare bargains will put you on the finest ski slopes in the nation or to the sunny Atlantic beaches of Florida.

Travel one-way to Denver, Colo. at a rate of $110.80. This AirTran exclusive (no ticket-by date) is valid seven days a week, based on sale seat availability. Give at least a one-week advance notice of travel. The final permitted day of travel is Sept. 28.

Another AirTran exclusive set to expire tonight at midnight is a one-way rate to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. of $61.80. Go as soon as this week as an advance purchase notice is not required. This low rate is valid only Mondays-Thursdays in each direction. All travel at this rate must be completed on or before March 22. This should be an easy deal to land as AirTran operates seven daily nonstop flights between Atlanta and Fort Lauderdale.

One-way rates of $138.60 to Salt Lake City, Utah require a two-week or more advance notice of travel. Trips are allowed any day of the week, based on sale seat availability. This United Airlines exclusive is valid on trips completed on or before Jan. 4, 2013. A nice plus: no blackout dates.  The catch?  This deal is expected to expire before the end of the day (no ticket-by date).  United serves Salt Lake City via its Denver hub.

Sale airfares are always subject to change. Every seat on every flight is not offered at the lowest rate. Since only a limited supply of seats is available, act quickly to make your purchase.

I recommend starting the search for available seats at vs. calling an airline directly. You can also search for the sale at travel Web sites such as Expedia or Travelocity, etc.

Airlines can discontinue or pull a sale price without notice when the offer does not have a “ticket-by” date or when the offer is deemed “sold out.”

Clara Bosonetto is a retired travel consultant.

Article source: Offers Tips on Flying While Pregnant

February 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

Air travel can be stressful. So imagine the anxiety for
mothers-to-be who need to fly., the online leader in
finding and publishing travel deals, is here to offer our
stress-reducing tips and informational guidelines on Flying While
Pregnant. This useful guide covers everything from when to fly to how
to stay healthy in the air and once you’ve arrived. It also details
the policies of the major airlines serving Canada and is accompanied
by practical advice from third party experts on managing air travel
and pregnancy as well as some suggestions for products to help smooth
the travel process.

Air travel is generally safe for pregnant women. However, travelling
pregnant does come with some warnings. Here is a brief sample of top
tips to help ensure safe and comfortable air travel when pregnant
from the team at Cheapflights:

Quick tips for healthy air travel while pregnant

        --  Stay hydrated. Dehydration on airplanes can be worse when you're
            pregnant, so drink plenty of caffeine-free, non-alcoholic fluids
            before, during, and after the flight.
        --  Wear your seatbelt continuously to minimize risk of injury from
            unpredictable turbulence.
        --  Wear support hose and shoes with adjustable straps in case your feet
        --  As always with flying, get up and walk around the cabin every two
            hours or so.

When is the best time to fly?

        --  According to the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of
            Canada, air travel is safest for pregnant women before your 20th week
            of pregnancy. If you are considering a flight during your pregnancy,
            check with both your doctor and the airline before you book. General
            consensus in the medical community suggests it is best not to travel
            pregnant before 12 weeks due to morning sickness and the potentially
            increased risk of miscarriage. Though many pregnant women have no
            trouble flying in their first trimester, it is always better to err on
            the safe side and consult with your physician.
        --  A frequent concern among pregnant flyers is the exposure to naturally
            occurring cosmic radiation during a flight. However, the risks to both
            the passenger and her fetus are considered negligible, as the
            radiation exposure of even the longest flight is around 15 per cent of
            the recommended exposure limit of one millisievert per year.
        --  It's also recommended that you maintain up-to-date immunizations, in
            case the need to travel coincides with pregnancy. For travel to
            destinations requiring vaccinations, it's advised that you consult
            your physician.

Each airline has its own rules for flying while pregnant
If you’re
booking your flights with an agent, let them know that you’re
pregnant when you book your flight and check that you are permitted
to fly. If booking your flights online, be sure to check the
airline’s website. It is worth calling ahead to alert the airline
about your pregnancy — this should also ensure that you get special
service to keep you comfortable. It’s also recommended that you avoid
smaller planes that fly below 7,000 feet, and choose larger planes
with pressurized cabins. Check out’s online chart
covering Airlines and their Pregnancy Travel Policies.

Make yourself comfortable
Especially during pregnancy, reserving the
right seat on the airplane can make a difference. You will need to be
able to get up and move around the plane. Try and reserve a spacious
seat when you make your booking. Many airlines’ websites have
information about the varying legroom on each of their seats. If you
plan to travel pregnant, it’s worth spending a few extra bucks to get
a bit more room. Be aware, though, that traditional “extra legroom”
seats, such as those on the exit aisles, are often not permitted to
those who are pregnant.

Flight insurance considerations
Pregnant women can be seen as
relatively high-risk, and many insurers will not provide air travel
coverage if you have less than eight weeks to go before your due
date. You could still claim losses unrelated to your pregnancy, but
you might not be covered if you have to cancel your trip due to your
pregnancy. To ensure peace of mind on flights while pregnant, look
into air travel insurance.

Tips for your vacation
Once the flight’s over, it’s time to enjoy
the holiday. Here are just a few more things to consider:

        --  Skin is more sensitive during pregnancy, so wear stronger sunscreen
            than usual.
        --  Keep a list of names and numbers to be contacted in case of emergency.
        --  Keep a list of local hospitals from the embassy or tourist board.
        --  Ask your doctor before embarking on any "dangerous" sports, such as
            diving or water sports.

Expert tips for flying while pregnant
Cheapflights has sourced
advice directly from the experts to offer additional tips covering
the following categories: Should you fly?; Choosing a flight;
Choosing a seat; Keep moving onboard; Drink plenty of water; Eating
on board; Make yourself comfortable. Experts from the Canadian
Association of Midwives to the Public Health Agency of Canada to weigh in.

Great products for pregnant travellers
Flying while pregnant doesn’t
have to be an exhausting or stress-inducing event. Packing the right
products to keep yourself entertained and the right apparel to stay
comfortable will go a long way in alleviating the stress of
travelling pregnant.

For more in depth details and advice for each of the sections
outlined above, please visit’s guide on Flying While
Pregnant at .

About Cheapflights Media
Cheapflights Media is an international
media network helping over 11 million visitors a month find top
travel deals. Our Cheapflights brand was launched in 1996 and
pioneered the online comparison of flight deals for users. Today,
users compare a wide range of deals from hundreds of partners
including online travel agents, consolidators and airlines to find
the very best flight deals. With a mission to be the starting point
for travel, Cheapflights works to deliver the industry’s best airfare
bargains, expert tips and inspiration. There are currently
Cheapflights sites in the U.K., U.S., Canada, Germany, Australia
New Zealand, France, Italy and Spain. For more information, visit . Our newest brand, Momondo, is a leading travel
search engine for finding comprehensive worldwide pricing and
availability on airfares. Winner of several awards, the site is ideal
for users on specific travel schedules. For more information, visit .

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        Contact Information:
        Dalia Blumenthal
        Tel: +1 416-926-1967
        Mobile: +1 416-788-4573
        E-mail: Email Contact            

SOURCE: Cheapflights Canada

Copyright 2012 Marketwire, Inc., All rights reserved.

Article source:

Wednesday Travel Ticker: Indianapolis scores at Super Bowl

February 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

The final score, at least as far as Indianapolis is concerned: the Super Bowl Village welcomed 1.1-million visitors, and the NFL Experience exhibit/fest drew 265,039 to the Indiana Convention Center. And are ziplines now the must-have attraction for big events? Indy’s drew 10,429 riders.  The economic impact to the city has not yet been released but reviews of Indy’s Super Bowl performance have been glowing . . . . Among the interesting golf packages now being offered at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach is a 50-minute “Golfer’s Massage,” which uses golf balls to apply specific friction, kneading and pressure maneuvers that relax  a golfer’s muscles. $210 Mondays through Thursdays, or $260 Fridays through Sundays, not including tax or gratuity. The packages begin in April, but golf academy classes start this month. Info: . . . The 16th annual San Diego Bird Festival takes wing March 1-4, on Mission Bay. For info or to register, visit . . . . Ford is partnering with the Petersen Automotive Museum to celebrate the birth of the 1932 Ford, one of the first vehicles to make ownership affordable to the masses. This four-day event begins Feb. 29. For more info, go to . . . . Hide/Seek, the first major museum exhibition to spotlight gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender identity, is making its last stop and only West Coast appearance at Tacoma Art Museum in Washington beginning March 17 . . . . Travel Quote of the Day: “The traveler was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience.  The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him.  He goes ‘sightseeing.’ “  (Daniel J. Boorstin)

Article source:,1,3546277.story

Disney to open new area inspired by ‘Cars’ in June (AP)

February 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel News

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Disney officials say a new area called Cars Land will open in June at Disney’s California Adventure in Anaheim.

The Orange County Register reports ( the 12-acre area will conclude the park’s $1 billion makeover project.

Walt Disney Co. President and CEO Bob Iger announced the opening during a conference call with investors Tuesday.

Cars Land will have three rides, a man-made mountain range, restaurant and stores, all designed to resemble Radiator Springs, the fictional town in the “Cars” movies.

Article source:*

Qantas grounds A380 after finding cracks in wings (AP)

February 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel News

SYDNEY – Australia’s Qantas Airways said Wednesday it was temporarily grounding one of its A380 superjumbos after discovering dozens of hairline cracks in its wings during a maintenance inspection.

The Australian flagship carrier said the 36 small fissures posed no threat to safety, and that the cracks were different from the cracks that manufacturer Airbus found in metal brackets inside the wings of two jets last month. That discovery prompted Europe’s air safety authority to order the inspection of nearly a third of the world’s A380s.

Qantas workers found the cracks, measuring less than 0.8 inches (2 centimeters) long, in the “wing rib feet” — the metal brackets that connect the wing’s ribs to its skin — after the aircraft hit severe turbulence on a flight from London to Singapore last month. The cracks were not related to the turbulence and were linked to an Airbus manufacturing issue, the airline said in a statement.

Qantas conducted routine checks after the turbulence incident, then conducted “additional precautionary inspections” on the wings at Airbus’ request, the airline said. The cracking was discovered in the precautionary inspections, Qantas said.

Qantas is working to repair the cracks and said it expects the plane to be back in the air within a week.

Qantas spokesman Tom Woodward said the cracks are the same type the airline recently found in the wing ribs of an A380 that is being repaired in Singapore following the disintegration of an engine in midflight in 2010. The 2010 engine failure was the most significant safety issue an A380 has faced since it began passenger flights in 2007, and prompted airlines to temporarily ground 20 of the planes.

When asked whether the recent discovery would prompt Qantas inspections of all 12 of its A380s, Woodward suggested they would not.

“The current European regulatory directive requires airlines to inspect A380s once they exceed 1,300 flight cycles,” Woodward said in an email. “Currently, no Qantas A380 has completed more than 1,300 flight cycles.”

Article source:*

DC wax museum adds Harriet Tubman to collection (AP)

February 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel News

WASHINGTON – Descendants of famed abolitionist Harriet Tubman have unveiled a wax statue of the woman who led hundreds of slaves to freedom at The President’s Gallery by Madame Tussauds in Washington.

Tubman’s great-great-great-grand-nephew Charles E.T. Ross and Tubman’s great-great-grand-niece Valery Ross Manokey visited the wax museum Tuesday with eight others as the statue joins a collection of presidents and historical figures. At 76, Manokey of Cambridge, Md., is Tubman’s oldest living descendant on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Students from Washington’s Harriet Tubman Elementary also attended.

Tubman was born into slavery on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. After escaping in 1849, she led countless slaves out of the South to freedom through the Underground Railroad.

Artists from Madame Tussauds spend months creating each new lifelike figure, relying on photographs, historical accounts and paintings.

Article source:*

Southern California theme park fans will find savings in CityPass

February 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

Winter always gets me thinking about going to theme parks in Southern California, even if I don’t have visitors underfoot. The prospect of cooler temperatures and lighter crowds in February and March sends me looking for discounts on the high cost of tickets. I found that the Southern California CityPass — with a flat rate for admission to Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, Universal Studios Hollywood and SeaWorld San Diego — offers good savings, even when compared with incentives for SoCal residents.

The deal: The Southern California CityPass costs $279 for adults and $239 for children 3-9, including tax and fees. It’s good for 14 days so visitors or locals have plenty of time to hit the parks. The CityPass gets you a three-day Disneyland Resort Park Hopper Pass Bonus Ticket (three consecutive days to bounce between Disneyland and Disney California Adventure) and single-day admissions to SeaWorld and Universal Studios.

When: The Southern California CityPass is available at this price through the end of the year.

Tested: The savings stack up differently for visitors or locals. Here’s what I found when I penciled out the comparative costs.

–For out-of-towners, the cost of all admissions without the CityPass would be $399 for adults and $325 for children 3-9 based on online amusement park ticket prices as of Tuesday. That’s a significant discount for anyone on a budget who’s planning to spend some serious time at these attractions.

–For Southern Californians, I used a slightly different formula to tote up savings. Disneyland offers a SoCal Resident 3-Day Park Hopper Ticket for $144 — same price for children and adults — until June 1. There are restrictions — you have to live in certain ZIP Codes and use it on or before June 7 — and there are blackout dates too.

Universal Studios has a special offer on its website: Visit once for $77 a person (children and adults) and return within 30 days for free. SeaWorld charges $73 for adults and $65 for children, but it’s good for seven days.

Even with these locals discounts and specials, the grand total for admissions comes to $294 for adults and $286 for children — still more than CityPass.

There are always promotions for combo admissions to local theme parks so it pays to be on the lookout. But for those who want a consistent low price and plan to go to all four parks (counting Disney as two), CityPass is easier on the budget. Check your dates and do the math to make sure the savings add up for you.

Info: Southern California CityPass

Article source:,0,3736778.story

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