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Travel Savings Alerts Newsletter, January 2022 Issue

Travel Savings Alerts
P.O. Box 877
Logan OH 43138
ISSN: 1542-801X, Copyright  2022 
All Rights Reserved.
Editor: Nicki Chodnoff

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In This Issue:
Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California

  1. Snowbird Deals in Myrtle Beach
  2. Early Bird Savings to Italy
  3. Off-The-Beaten Track Food Attractions
  4. Riviera River Cruises 2023
  5. Free Fun London
  6. Legoland Book Early & Save
  7. Up to 50% Off at InterContinental Fiji
  8. Destin Winter Escape Offers
  9. Cheapest Ski Towns for Renters
  10. St. Augustine Snowbird Rentals
  11. Silversea New All-Inclusive Fare
  12. Brush Creek Ranch 4th Night Free
  13. Eagle Awareness Weekends
  14. 12 day Thailand’s Best Tour
  15. Holland America Ultimate Upgrade Event
  16. Scenic Antarctica Fly-Cruise Itineraries
  17. Vehicle Safety Systems Struggle in Bad Weather
  18. Flying on This Airline Wasn't a Breeze
  19. Mt. Princeton January Special
  20. Beautiful Santorini Sweepstakes

1. Cyber Month Deals at Myrtle Beach

Spend the winter at Myrtle Beach, SC, with this monthly snowbird deal.

Your stay is valid until Mar. 1, 2022, and you must stay at least 28 days.

Pricing for monthly rentals vary by month and the condo unit you select. On arrival, your condo is cleaned and bed linens and towels are included. Guest must pay for any electric charge over $75 per month. Monthly rentals require a $250 security deposit.

Snowbird rentals in Myrtle Beach.

2. Early Bird Savings to Italy

Save up to 20 percent on summer tours to Italy with Italy on a Budget Tours. The discount is valid on tours departing April to October 2022 when you book by the end of Jan. 31, 2022. To receive the discount enter promo code EARLYBIRD2022 when booking online and the 20 percent discount will be applied to the total price.

Book any trip of your choice by paying a small deposit at the time of the booking. You can change the dates, and/or destinations, as many times as you like for free up to 45 days before departure. The early bird discount will be applied to the final balance due.

Book several trips together and you will get multi-trip discount on top of the early bird discount: 5 percent extra for two tours, 10 percent extra for three and more tours.

Italy on a Budget Tours.

3. Off-The-Beaten Track Food Attractions

Monuments, museums and sights are what many a family road trip is planned around.

Here are a few lesser-known, food-themed roadside attractions that highlight our quirky and wacky national personality.

Corn Palace, 604 North Main St, Mitchell, SD. Corn Palace (3696404871) The Moorish Revival Corn Palace is a multi-purpose facility for concerts, sports, exhibits and other community events. The exterior is decorated with crop art; the murals and designs covering the building are made from corn and other grains, and a new design is constructed each year. The citywide Corn Palace Festival is held around the end of August or beginning of September.

Field of Corn, 4995 Rings Rd, Dublin, OH.  Field of Corn is a publicly funded art installation with 109 concrete ears of corn that stand six feet, three inches tall. They are positioned in rows and stand upright in a grassy field that was once farmed by Sam Frantz, a leader in the use of hybridized corn. Locally called cornhedge, at one end of the field are two rows of Osage-orange trees, one pre-existing and the other planted for the project.

Giant Artichoke, 11261 Merritt St, Castroville, CA. Giant Artichoke Restaurant Castroville 2008 A 20 foot tall cement artichoke tribute to a local crop that stands in the parking lot of a fruit and vegetable stand/Giant Artichoke Restaurant. For a tastier tribute to the artichoke, there’s the two-day Castroville Artichoke Food & Wine Festival. Marilyn Monroe was the first honorary Artichoke Queen in Castroville in 1948.

World's Largest Pistachio,7320 US-54, Alamogordo, NM. World's Largest Pistachio The world’s largest pistachio can be found at McGinn's PistachioLand. It was built in 2008, by Tim McGinn to honor his father, Tom McGinn, the founder of the 90 acre McGinn pistachio orchard and PistachioLand. It’s hard to miss the 30 foot tall nut that was made with five yards of concrete and used 35 gallons of paint.

Jolly Green Giant at the Jolly Green Giant Museum, 1134 Giant Dr., Blue Earth, MN 56013. Jolly Green Giant Statue Paul Hedberg was a civic leader instrumental in rerouting the freeway closer to Blue Earth. In 1977 Hedberg contacted the president of Green Giant to see if the company would allow a statue of their corporate symbol to be erected in Blue Earth. Local businesses were asked to contribute and within a week $50,000 was raised to build the statue. The four-ton 55-foot statue is mounted on a pedestal and has steps so visitors may take a picture standing directly under it. Blue Earth's Giant Days, are held on the weekend following the Fourth of July. During Giant Days, green footsteps are painted on sidewalks throughout downtown Blue Earth, leading to local businesses.

Presidents Day Weekend Deals Save up to $25◊off our Fees on Flights Use Coupon PRESIDENT25

4. Riviera River Cruises 2023 Cruise Sale

Riviera River Cruises offers a sale on their 2023 European river cruises. To help meet demand, Riviera is making its river cruise program available earlier than ever before, with prices matching 2022 departures.

A total of 14 itineraries with 299 departures, including six cruises exclusively for solo travelers, are available between March and November 2023.

Riviera’s 2023 river cruise program includes itineraries in countries such as France, Germany, Portugal, Hungary and the Netherlands, including:

Burgundy, the River Rhône & Provence: Eight-day cruise including guided tours of Lyon, Arles, Avignon and Vienne, a wine tasting in Beaune, and excursions to the Ardèche Gorges, Popes’ Palace and the Pont du Gard. From $2,429 per person based on double occupancy.

Douro, Porto & Salamanca River Cruise: Eight-day cruise with a tour to Salamanca with a walking tour, lunch and a flamenco show, a guided tour of Porto with a wine tasting, visits to Castelo Rodrigo, Mateus Palace Gardens and Lamego, and dinner at a traditional Portuguese quinta. From $2,359 per person based on double occupancy.

The Blue Danube River Cruise: Eight-day cruise with tours of Vienna, Salzburg or Linz, Dürnstein, Budapest and Bratislava, and visits to the Esztergom Basilica and Melk Abbey. Starts From $2,209 per person based on double occupancy.

Amsterdam, Kinderdijk & the Dutch Bulbfields River Cruise: Five-day cruise with visits to the Keukenhof Gardens, Enkhuizen, Kinderdijk and Rotterdam, and a canal cruise in Amsterdam. From $1,289 per person based on double occupancy.

Guided tours or visits are available in every port. Cruises also include onboard lectures, entertainment and authentic regional menus.

Guests in deluxe and superior suites, and all upper-deck cabins, can take advantage of Riviera Plus, free perks including a smart handset with maps, translator, currency converter, unlimited calls, text messages and internet usage. A bottle of chilled Prosecco is available on arrival, and a platter of fresh fruits and aperitif each evening.

An optional on-board drinks package is available which offers a selection of drinks during lunch and dinner. The package starts at $89 per person for a five-day cruise.

Riviera River Cruises or 888/838-8820.

5. Free Fun London

In recent years, London added new public spaces, many with outdoor dining and entertaining events. You can watch a movie under the stars, admire a garden, browse a photography exhibition, or be entertained in other ways without spending a cent. These public spaces take you away from the bustle of the city, and are all free to visit.

Here are some top suggestions.

Granary Square - On the banks of Regent's Canal is Granary Square, a public square in the heart of King's Cross. Here you’ll find fountains, outdoor eateries, occasional outdoor photography exhibitions, music festivals, and a covered market where you can shop when the weather is iffy. Along the canal watch an outdoor movie in summer and a market along Lower Stables Street.

Nine Elms - Nine Elms is home to the regenerated Battersea Power Station, with riverside dining and bars and pop-up food markets. A wide promenade traces the Thames river embankment where you can watch a movie in a deck chair on a jetty jutting out over the Thames. Or rocked by passing boats while drinking on a floating bar. Most of the riverbank remains public domain, and it’s here where you can find food, drinks, and entertainment with easy access thanks to two new Tube stations.

Merchant Square - Steps from Paddington Station, Merchant Square wraps around one end of the Regent’s Canal. You can get on the water by strolling on a floating park, taking a paddleboard trip to nearby Little Venice, or hiring an electric boat to cruise past London Zoo on your way to Camden Market. In fall, a floating cinema entertains visitors. There’s a bridge that splits into four as it rises and lowers, or another which unfurls to allow people to cross. You can find a variety of food trucks, and seating outside of a range of restaurants and bars.

Crossrail Place Roof Garden - This roof garden features immense glass walls and some glass roof sections. Open daily until 9 pm, Crossrail Place, in Canary Wharf, sits almost exactly on the Meridian line and the planting is arranged by hemisphere - so Asian plants such as bamboos are to the east. Relax on a bench, enjoy a show in the amphitheatre or find restaurants.

Brown Hart Gardens - On a much smaller scale than the other public spaces, Mayfair’s Brown Hart Gardens is steps from the throngs on Oxford Street but, with peace and space, you’d think you were many miles away. The Victorian buildings surrounding this space once housed London’s poor, but you’ll now find a luxury hotel looming over one end. Explore one of the temporary art installations, people watch, or grab some food and sit among the planters and water feature.

Camley Street Natural Park, - During the 1970s a disused coal yard north of St Pancras station evolved into a haven for wildlife. In 1986 it became the first artificially created park to gain designation as a local nature reserve. Between Camley Street and the Regent’s Canal in King’s Cross, the park’s two elongated acres feature a pond fed by the canal and surrounded by reedbeds and marshland. There’s a small wildflower meadow and trees screening the park from the road. The park’s most visible inhabitants are amphibians and aquatic birds. Plant life includes meadow flowers and marshland herbs, and tubs of fruit trees. Visit Wednesday to Sunday, between 10 am and 4 pm.

6. Legoland Book Early & Save

Stay two nights at the Legoland Florida Resort Hotel in Winter Haven, FL, and get the third night free when you book at least 90 days in advance. Additionally, you will receive three-day multi-park admission tickets for the price of a two-day ticket to save on your next family vacation.

Enjoy your third night free at one of the LEGOLAND Florida Resort hotels, from $74.33 plus tax per person.

    This package offer includes:
  • Third night free hotel stay when you book two nights at any LEGOLAND® Florida Resort hotel at least three months in advance.
  • Third days admission tickets for the price of two LEGOLAND® Florida Theme Park + Water Park for stays from Feb. 24, 2022.
  • Your choice of LEGO® theme in a standard room at one of the three on-site LEGOLAND® Florida Resort hotels
  • Free breakfast at hotel daily
  • Free self-parking at hotel
  • Separate sleeping area with bunkbeds and a trundle bed for kids
  • Daily in-room treasure hunt with free LEGO® souvenir
  • Kid-friendly amenities such as entertainment center and handheld showerhead
  • Access to the resort-style pool at hotel
  • Build your own souvenir with free Master Builder Workshop.

Legoland Book Early & Save

Get Transfer

7. Up to 50% Off at InterContinental Fiji

The InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa, on the Fijian mainland, offers a package from $1,499 per adult, based on twin share with a maximum of two adults and two children under 12 years per room.

Book by Jan. 10, 2022, for travel through Nov. 30, 2022, using Promo Code: INTERCONBBUS.

    The package includes:
  • Six nights from $1,499 per adult
  • Return non-stop flights on Fiji Airways
  • Six nights in a garden view room
  • All meals - breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Kids stay, eat, play free (Flights per child under 12 years from $525)
  • Meet and greet at Nadi Airport
  • Return airport transfers
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Includes taxes and surcharges.

You can upgrade to a pool view room for $145 per person and/or stay an additional night for $120 per person. A beverage packages that includes local beers, spirits and soft drinks is $100 Fijian (about $47 US per person, per day).

The InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa is on the South Pacific Ocean and Natadola Bay.

Resort rooms provide Wi-Fi access, flat-screens, mini fridges, and tea and coffee making facilities and free standing Cleopatra bath tubs. Upgraded rooms offer plunge pools, butler service, high tea, sunset cocktails and canapés and access to a private Club Lounge. Room service is available.

Valet parking is free. Dining options consist of three restaurants and a cocktail lounge. Other amenities include an 18-hole golf course, three outdoor pools, day spa and direct access to the beach.

InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa.

8. Destin Winter Escape Offers

Soak up the sun this winter with the Destin, FL winter escape offers at the Resorts of Pelican Beach. Enter the Promo Code for each specific discount when booking online.
    Family-friendly winter season offers are available through Feb. 28, 2022.
  • Stay three nights and receive 10 percent off regular rates with Promo code: WS3.
  • Stay three nights and get the fourth night free. This rate is based on the regular three night rate. Use Promo code: P3G1NF.
  • Stay five or six nights and receive 20 percent off regular rates with Promo code: WS526.
  • Pay for five nights and get the sixth and seventh nights free. This rate is based on the regular four to six night rates. Use Promo code: P5G2NF.

Pelican Beach long-term lease vacation condos rates are valid to Mar. 15, 2022.

    Sample rates include:
  • One bedroom “Dolphin” Condominium: $1900 per month or $1800 per month when staying two months or more
  • Two bedroom “Dolphin” Condominium: $2200 per month or $2100 per month when staying two months or more
  • Two bedroom “Pelican” Condominium: $2000 per month or $1900 per month when staying two months or more
  • Three bedroom/three bath “Terrace” Condominium: $2110 per month or $2010 per month when staying two months or more.

Pelican Beach winter escape rates or 888/735-4226.

9. Cheapest Ski Towns for Renters

As mountains across America are experiencing snow, skiers are dusting off their gear. With a few months to enjoy the season, die-hard skiers want to spend as much time as possible skiing.

If you're an avid skier who spends as much time as possible out on the slopes, you need to live in a ski town. Mountain states such as Colorado and Vermont are known for their ski culture. Aspen, CO, and Stowe, VT, offer world-class skiing steps from the city center, where apres-ski activities like dining and shopping abound.

For skiers on a budget, there are tons of slopes across America — in places you might not realize — that offer great skiing.

If you're a renter looking for a good deal near the slopes, here are some cheap ski towns in America. For the full list click on the link below.

Middletown, CT - The closest ski resort to Middletown is Ski Mount Southington.

Portage, WI - Across the river from Portage sits the Cascade Mountain ski area with 48 trails and 11 lifts.

Painesville, OH - Alpine Valley Ski area half an hour south.

Casper, WY - Casper sits against the backdrop of the Laramie mountain range, home to the Hogadon Basin Ski Area.

Cheapest Ski Towns for Renters.

Cheap Flights Airfare Deals! Get Up To $15 Off* with Coupon Code

10. St. Augustine Snowbird Rentals

For snowbird travelers, plan an extended vacation, with extended savings, to St Augustine, FL.

Stay in one of Coastal Realty Vacation’s professionally managed snowbird rental units between January and March 2022 for a beach getaway during the coldest months of the year in the north.

Coastal Realty Vacation’s snowbird rentals are offered for a minimum of 28 days.

St. Augustine Snowbird Rentals or 800/587-2287.

11. Silversea New All-Inclusive Fare

Silversea Cruises expands its all-inclusive offerings providing additional savings and a limited-time reduced deposit of 15 percent.

Here's a snapshot of the all-inclusive fare options:

Door-to-Door All-Inclusive Fare - The Door-to-Door All-Inclusive fares feature a 15 percent refundable reduced deposit (normally 25 percent) on all worldwide voyages sailing through March 31, 2023, if booked by Feb. 28, 2022. The 15 percent reduced deposit complements all-inclusive benefits including: roundtrip economy airfare, reduced business class air, or air credit; all airport/hotel/ship transfers, including new private executive transfers from home; pre- and post-cruise hotel night/s or hotel day-rooms; and luggage handling. These are in addition to Silversea's inclusive shore excursions and onboard amenities and services.

Port-to-Port All Inclusive Lower Fares. Appealing to travelers who prefer to make their pre- and post-cruise travel arrangements independently, the Port-to-Port All-Inclusive lower fares are available on select itineraries and departure dates and offer on average about 25 percent savings compared to Door-to-Door fares. These lower fares include shore excursions and Silversea’s onboard amenities and services.

Silversea’s Refund and Cancellation Policy for COVID-19 applies to both rates and benefits new bookings made on sailings through Apr. 30, 2022. Under this policy, guests may cancel their booking and receive a 100 percent future cruise credit or a 100 percent refund for the total cruise fare paid to Silversea. The policy applies if the guest is prohibited from traveling to the vessel due to a governmental travel restriction, or should the guest or a member of their travelling party test positive for COVID-19 within 30 days of embarkation.

Shore excursions are included with all expedition voyages and select ocean voyages departing on or after Mar. 31, 2022, and all voyages from June 2022 onwards. Ocean voyages include one excursion per port, per day.

Silversea's all-inclusive fares or 888/978-407.

12. Brush Creek Ranch 4th Night Free

For a one-of-a-kind adventure, Brush Creek Luxury Ranch Collection is home to Green Mountain, a private mountain available only to ranch guests. With their Wyoming winter adventure, you get the fourth night free.

On Green Mountain there is a maximum of 16 guests on the mountain, plus equipment and guides available for all skill levels. Ascend the mountain on a heated snowcat plus there is snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.

The Wyoming winter adventure is available through Apr. 10, 2022. The fourth night free offer is based on availability and cannot be combined with any other offer or discount.

Brush Creek Ranch or 307/327-5284.


SodaStream USA, inc

13. Eagle Awareness Weekends

America’s national symbol, the bald eagle, will be celebrated in January and February when Lake Guntersville State Park in Alabama, hosts the annual Eagle Awareness Weekends. The weekend event attracts people of all ages from all over the United States and provides a chance to learn more about the magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. In 2022, Eagle Awareness will be held every weekend Jan. 21 through Feb. 13.

Eagle Awareness Weekends at Lake Guntersville State Park was started as a way to watch eagles and other birds in their natural habitat and educate the public about protecting the area’s wildlife. The weekend events feature live bird demonstrations, educational programs by noted speakers, guided field trips for viewing eagles in their natural habitat and photography opportunities. The 2022 dates are Jan. 21 to 23, Jan. 28 to 30, Feb. 4 to 6 and Feb. 11 to 13. Activities start 6 p.m. Friday, continue all day on Saturday and wraps up Sunday following the 11:30 a.m. program.

The Eagle Awareness events are free to the public. The sessions typically fill up quickly and participants are encouraged to reserve a weekend by calling 256/505-6621.

Lodging packages start at $299 and include lodging for two nights, wine tasting, breakfast buffet both mornings, dinner buffet on Saturday evening, guided eagle safari, and indoor educational programs.

List of scheduled events, speakers and lodging packages.

14. 12 day Thailand’s Best Tour

Tour operator Local Adventures offers a 12-day Thailand’s Best tour from $1,498.75 per person, based on double occupancy. The tour is land-based only and does not include airfare.

The trip starts in Bangkok, Thailand and goes on to Koh Phangan, Khao Sok, and ends in the Phi Phi Islands. Highlights include a visit to Khao Sok National Park

    The trip includes:
  • Eleven nights’ lodging
  • Two breakfasts, four lunches and four dinners
  • Airport pickup/dropoff, and transfers during the trip
  • English speaking guide during the experience
  • Activities including kayaking, snorkeling, cooking class, temple visits, a Thai massage, choice of Muay Thai boxing or private Yoga class.

All trips include booking with an open date where you can make changes without extra costs, interest-free financing, and a satisfaction warranty or your money back.

This trip is rated as small group travel for people 18 to 55 years of age that can physically manage activities that last from two to six hours in easy terrains, low altitude flats, or water experiences.

Local Adventures Thailand’s Best Tour.

15. Holland America Ultimate Upgrade Event

Holland America provides cruise travel values for the coming year with its "Ultimate Upgrade Event."

Through Feb. 28, 2022, book a select summer 2022 through spring 2023 cruise and receive a free stateroom upgrade, $75 fares for kids on Alaska cruises and 50 percent reduced deposits, plus shore excursions, beverages, specialty dining and Wi-Fi with the "Have It All" premium package.

As a bonus, book by Jan. 20, 2022, and also receive up to $200 per stateroom onboard credit, depending on the length of the cruise.

Ultimate Upgrade Event Benefits include:

Free Stateroom Upgrades: Book an ocean-view stateroom for the price of an interior, and a verandah for the price of an ocean-view. Upgrade provided to next highest category when booking select categories.

$75 Alaska Fares: kids ages 17 and under traveling as the third and fourth guests in a stateroom can sail on select Alaska cruises for $75.

Onboard Credit: Depending on cruise duration, receive up to $200 onboard credit per stateroom that can be used for amenities, including specialty dining, spa services, shore excursions, gift shop purchases.

Shore Excursions (part of Have it All fares): Based on the length of the cruise, receive up to three tours valued at $100 each.

Signature Beverage Package (part of Have it All fares): Enjoy a selection of wine, beer, spirits, cocktails, soda, water, and coffee. Up to 15 drinks per day are allowed and bar service charges are included.

Specialty Dining (part of Have it All fares): Depending on the ship and duration of the cruise, eat at Holland America Line's specialty dining up to three nights.

Wi-Fi Surf Package (part of Have it All fares): Stay connected while away from home. With Wi-Fi package for email, news, and sports.

The Ultimate Upgrade Event fares start at $799 per person, double occupancy, for Caribbean cruises and $849 for Alaska departures. Taxes, fees and port expenses are additional.

The Ultimate Upgrade Event is not valid on Grand Voyages or cruises of five days or less. Kids traveling as the third or fourth guest in a stateroom do not need to book with Have It All to receive $75 fares for Alaska cruises. Upgrade based on stateroom availability.

Holland America Line or 877/724-5425.

16. Scenic Antarctica Fly-Cruise Itineraries

As expedition cruising to Antarctica gains momentum, Scenic introduces new itineraries that allow you to avoid the two-day Drake Passage cruise journey, flying from Punta Arenas, Chile, to meet the Scenic Eclipse. The two-hour flight at Antarctica’s King George Island, the largest of the South Shetland Islands, allows guests on the new nine- and 10-day cruises to enjoy a fully-focused Antarctica adventure.

Book any of the newly launched 2023/24 Antarctica itineraries and save up to 20 percent: 10 percent for early booking and 10 percent for paying in full 12 months before departure. Prices below include the early booking discount.

Nine-day Antarctica Insights: Fly and cruise voyage over the Drake Passage one way by air, flying from Punta Arenas, Chile to King George Island. Return by yacht to Ushuaia, Argentina for a flight to Buenos Aires and then home. Fares start at $17,417 per person, double. The reverse 10-day itinerary is priced from $17,617.

Nine-day Wild Antarctica: Fly the Drake itinerary, with flights both ways between Punta Arenas and King George Island. Spend one night at each end of the cruise in Punta Arenas and the rest of the time exploring the White Continent. There are three departures and fares begin at $15,722.

16-day Beyond the Antarctic Circle voyage: Explores in greater depth more remote locales. Heading south of latitude 66° 33’ south offers a chance to make more landings and spend more time in Antarctica’s wildlife-filled landscapes. Prices for the 16-day itinerary on Feb. 9, 2024 start at $20,032.

Visiting Antarctica on board Scenic Eclipse allows for cruising on Zodiacs or kayak and paddleboard around ice formations, step onto islands inhabited by vast penguin rookeries and seal colonies. When conditions permit, visit a working scientific base and meet the staff. Aboard Scenic Neptune, explore beneath the ocean on the ship’s six-guest submarine, or explore above the horizon on one of the ships two helicopters with a bird's eye view of the landscape.

On board, the 20-strong Specialist Polar Discovery team host an educational series of lectures about Antarctic history, geography and its ecosystem. The mix of expertise in the landscape, flora and fauna of the Antarctic allow them to design expeditions that make the most of the 18 to 20 hours of daylight.

All Scenic Eclipse voyages are all-inclusive, including itinerary-required flights, transfers, up to 10 fine dining experiences, premium branded beverages, excursions, butlers, and use of the spa (services are extra).

New bookings are covered by Scenic’s Flexible Booking Policy, enabling you to defer your cruise to another travel date or itinerary up to 60 days prior to departure and come with Scenic’s Deposit Protection Plan.

Scenic Cruises or 844/788-7985.

17. Vehicle Safety Systems Struggle in Bad Weather

During closed course testing, AAA simulated rainfall and found that: test vehicles equipped with automatic emergency braking traveling at 35 mph collided with a stopped vehicle one third (33 percent) of the time. Lane keeping assistance didn’t fare any better with test vehicles departing their lane 69 percent of the time.

Vehicle safety systems, also known as advanced driver assistance systems or ADAS, are typically evaluated in ideal operating conditions. However, AAA believes testing standards must incorporate real-world conditions that drivers normally encounter.

“Vehicle safety systems rely on sensors and cameras to see road markings, other cars, pedestrians and roadway obstacles. So, naturally they are more vulnerable to environmental factors like rain,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of automotive engineering and industry relations. “The reality is people aren’t always driving around in perfect, sunny weather so we must expand testing and take into consideration things people actually contend with in their day-to-day driving.”

AAA, in collaboration with the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center (ARC), simulated rain and other environmental conditions (bugs and dirt) to measure impact on the performance of ADAS like automatic emergency braking and lane keeping assistance. Generally, both systems struggled with simulated moderate to heavy rain, with results showing:

    Automatic emergency braking engaged while approaching a stopped vehicle in the lane ahead
  • In aggregate, at 25 mph resulted in a collision for 17 percent of test runs
  • In aggregate, at 35 mph resulted in a collision for 33 percent of test runs.

Lane keeping assistance engaged to maintain the vehicle’s lane position: In aggregate, veered outside of the lane markers 69 percent of the time.

During testing with a simulated dirty windshield (stamped with a concentration of bugs, dirt and water), minor differences were noted, however, performance was not negatively impacted.

While AAA’s testing found that overall system performance was not affected, ADAS cameras can still be influenced by a dirty windshield. It is important drivers keep their windshields clean for their own visibility and to ensure their ADAS system camera is not obstructed.

Also, some systems may provide an alert or deactivate in extreme situations, however the conditions AAA tested under provided no such alert or warning.

To simulate rainfall, AAA engineers designed a system using a reservoir to hold water, a high-pressure pump for a consistent flow of water and a precision injector nozzle to spray the windshield. This system was secured in the cargo area of the test vehicle and was connected to a nozzle positioned above the windshield so that the spray pattern covered the entire windshield. It should be noted that water sprayed by this system did not reach the pavement or interact with the test vehicle’s tires.

    Previous AAA testing of vehicle safety systems in both closed-course and real-world settings show that performance is greatly impacted by driving scenarios, road conditions and vehicle design, finding issues like the following:
  • Struggling to stay within in a marked lane in moderate traffic, on curved roadways and on streets with busy intersections
  • Failing to stop for pedestrians in common scenarios like crossing in front of a vehicle, a child darting out between two parked vehicles, or walking at night
  • Colliding with a simulated disabled vehicle and instances of coming too close to other vehicles or guardrails.


Cheap Flight Tickets. Book Now & Save. Apply Promo Code FLIGHT50 and Get Up To $50* Off.

18. Flying on this airline wasn't a breeze

Problem Solved By Christopher Elliott

Joe Herman decides to try a new airline called Breeze Airways to fly from Hartford to Charleston, S.C. But on his return, the carrier leaves him behind. Is he owed anything?

Q: My wife and I flew our first flight with Breeze Airways from Hartford to Charleston, SC, recently. When we arrived at the Charleston airport for our return flight, the airport monitors and the Breeze app on my phone showed the flight delayed, with the gate to be announced. We went to Terminal B to get something to eat and I tried to contact the airline. I received an automatic reply saying Breeze was "experiencing high volumes." About half an hour later, I received a reply saying the flight had already departed and in fact left on time.

Our only options were to book the next Breeze flight back to Hartford three days later, fly to another city, or get back to Hartford at our own expense. We picked the least of those unattractive options and chose to fly Breeze to Providence and then rented a car to drive to Hartford.

    I see several points of failure causing our issue.
  • First, the Breeze app and Charleston TV monitors failed miserably by not displaying current information.
  • Second, the gentleman who checked our bag failed to inform the gate agent that we were on-site and could have been located fairly easily in the small confines of the Charleston airport.
  • Third, we learned later that the announcement to find us only went in Terminal A and not to Terminal B, a short walk away, where we had innocently sat down to eat during our waiting time. In a smallish airport like Charleston, I see no reason for the announcement not being made in both terminals.

I spent several years managing customer experience for a Fortune 20 company and genuinely hope Breeze will look into these human and systematic glitches to prevent future customers from having our frustrations. I believe Breeze should reimburse us for the $175 rental car. Breeze offered us $100 of Breeze points but its agent didn't seem empowered to offer more or address the underlying issues. Can you help? -- Joe Herman, Boston

A: Breeze should have found you in the terminal -- or at least texted you before your departure -- and gotten you on your flight. And while it isn't legally obligated to help you, it shouldn't have blown you off.

Your case is a reminder that airline notification systems are imperfect. Flight schedules can change, and then change back, at a moment's notice -- and sometimes without any notice. If you're waiting for a flight, stay close to your gate.

Breeze is a new airline that prides itself on fast and efficient customer service, and above all, on "niceness." But being a new airline, it is also bound to experience some turbulence on its way to customer service excellence.

In reviewing your correspondence with Breeze, I felt confident that the airline would listen to you, a former customer service manager. But the back-and-forth with the lower-level managers at Breeze looked frustrating. You're right, they were not empowered to do more, and they should have been.

Breeze reviewed your case and apologized for your experience. Not just any apology, but you received an email from the chief operating officer saying he was "extremely sorry." The airline agreed to refund your rental car, as you requested.

Christopher Elliott is the chief advocacy officer for Elliott Advocacy.

19. Mt. Princeton January Special

Mt. Princeton Hot springs Resort in Hothrup, CO, offers a January special where you stay one night and get 50 percent off the second night.

The special is valid Sunday through Thursday through Jan. 31, 2022 and excludes a stay on Jan. 16, 2022. Your stay must be a consecutive night stay and the special is not valid for existing reservations, nor is it valid for Creekside rooms. When booking online use promo code: BOGO

    Your overnight stay includes:
  • 10 percent off spa treatments
  • Two days access to the hot springs
  • Two days daily fitness classes
  • Two days free mountain bike or fat bike rental
  • Two days free cross country skis or snowshoes rental.

Mt. Princeton January Special or 719/395-2447.

20. Beautiful Santorini Sweepstakes

Santorini is known for its stunning sunsets and panoramic views. Enter the Acanela - Trip to Beautiful Santorini Sweepstakes, and you may be the one to visit this lovely destination.

You can enter as many times as you wish until the deadline entry date of Jan. 19, 2022. To enter the sweepstakes you must be 18 years old (19 in Alabama and Nebraska; 21 in Mississippi).

    The grand prize winner will receive the following:
  • $500 airfare voucher
  • Four night stay at a boutique hotel with breakfast included
  • Lifetime subscription to Dollar Flight Club
  • Two Classic Adventure dresses ($168 value)
  • $250 gift card to Tiny Rituals.

One grand prize winner will be selected in a random drawing and will be notified via email.

When you enter the sweepstakes you will receive a newsletter and special offers from all participating sponsors.

Beautiful Santorini Sweepstakes.


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The Travel Savings Alerts Newsletter, Box 877, Logan OH 43138, edited by Nicki Chodnoff, is published monthly.

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