If you cannot read HTML, please go to this URL to view this newsletter - http://www.onthegopublishing.com/travelsavingsalerts.html Travel Savings Alerts Newsletter. Issue 1
Travel Savings Alerts Newsletter, December 2002 Issue



On The Go Publishing
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Columbus OH 43209
www.onthegopublishing.com
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FAX: 775/264-7063

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In This Issue:

  • Big Dig Update
  • Southwest Systemwide Sale
  • Watered Down Cargo Security
  • Sweet Spot Online Sweepstakes
  • Holiday Travel Forecast
  • Cathay Pacific Cyber Sweepstakes
  • Star Alliance Brazil Airpass
  • English Errors
  • Get to BWI on the Cheap
  • Avoid Airport Anxiety
  • Reduced Rates in Cozumel
  • Holiday Health Tips

Big Dig Update

The ďBig DigĒ project in Boston, MA enters its final stages in 2003-2005. In 2003 the $100 million Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge, a 10-lane cable-stayed bridge, will open, the widest ever built in the world. Logan International Airport will be directly connected by tunnel to Interstate 90 (MASSPIKE) in December 2002 so you will no longer have to drive through downtown Boston and use the old harbor tunnels. There will be direct access from the southern and northern suburbs to Logan and the option to bypass downtown Boston by tunnel through the airport. The Ted Williams Tunnel will open to the public all the time.

In 2003, the northbound lanes of the new underground Central Artery will begin carrying traffic using the 10-lane cable-stayed bridge. The southbound lanes of the underground expressway will open approximately one year later. The new 30-acre corridor park through downtown Boston will begin construction. Completion is set for 2007 or 2008.

Southwest Systemwide Sale

BOOK BY DEC. 12 -- Start planning that getaway in the New Year as Southwest Airlines offers a systemwide with fares from $39 to $99 each way.

All fares are now on sale through Dec. 12, 2002, for travel from Dec. 3, 2002 through April 4, 2003. The fares require a roundtrip purchase with an overnight stay (any night). Fares are for travel Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. Fares are higher on other days. Tickets must be purchased at least 14 days before departure and within one day of making reservations.

Tickets are non-refundable but (except for tickets purchased through our Group Tickets program) may be applied toward the purchase of future travel on Southwest without a change fee. Seats are limited and may not be available on some flights that operate during peak or holiday travel times such as the December holidays, New Year's, and Spring Break. Blackout dates apply to all Florida markets March 13 through April 4, 2003. Fares are subject to change until ticketed, and any change in itinerary could result in an increase in the fare.

Book online at www.southwest.com or www.swabiz.com and save up to an additional 10 percent off your next fare with the Fare Savers promotions.

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Watered Down Cargo Security

The head of the nation's largest pilotís union blasted a last-minute lobbying maneuver that would exempt cargo airlines from a federal mandate in the Homeland Security bill to arm airline pilots. The word 'passenger' was inserted in the House bill's provision for arming pilots. A similar change is expected in the Senate version. The word change would exempt all cargo carriers from the federal mandate to arm pilots in a bill that was intended to enhance the pilot's ability to protect the airplane said Capt. Duane Woerth, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA).

The Republican leadership is totally ignoring the will of the House and Senate, both of which already have voted overwhelmingly to mandate firearms for all airline pilots, not just those in passenger service. And with votes of 310-113 in the House and 87-6 in the Senate, support was fully bipartisan," Woerth said.

The air cargo industry tries to circumvent safety and security regulations through waivers and exemptions. Cargo airline security was overlooked in the rush to beef up airline anti-terrorist procedures after 9/11. Despite the fact that a hijacked cargo airliner makes just as deadly a guided missile as one full of passengers, not enough has been done to protect this segment of the industry from terrorist attacks," said Capt. David Webb, chairman of ALPA's FedEx unit.

A cargo aircraft carries no cabin attendants and air marshals. At airlines such as FedEx, employees and vendors are routinely boarded without the level of security screening mandated for the passenger terminal. The entire burden for the security of the aircraft rests on the two or three pilots in the cockpit. There is little we can do to defend the aircraft against a terrorist attack. Stripping us of the ability to carry firearms in the post-9/11 environment is an appallingly irresponsible act, Webb said.

Find Your Sweet Spot Online Sweepstakes

ATTENTION GOLFERS. A golf vacation to Hawaii or a chance to play a round of golf with Davis Love III may be just a few mouse clicks away with Starwood Golf Vacations' new "Find Your Sweet Spot)" Sweepstakes.

To enter the sweepstakes, which runs through April, 2003, click here.

A totally interactive sweepstakes, "Find Your Sweet Spot" let's you take a crack at some of the best golf holes in the world from your PC. You can search for your "sweet spot" as you control the electronic golfer's swing on renowned courses around the world including the Copperhead Course at The Westin Innisbrook in Tampa, Florida and the Ailsa Course at The Westin Turnberry in Scotland. All participants are automatically entered into the sweepstakes, which has five top prizes:

All prizes include a five night vacation for two plus a round of golf with a PGA tour player. Vacations are offered at the following locations: Westin Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor Florida, Westin Kierland Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona, Westin La Cantera Resort in San Antonio, Texas, Westin Turnberry Resort in Scotland, and the Kapalua Bay Hotel and Ocean Villas on Maui.

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Holiday Travel Forecast

PricewaterhouseCoopers' Hospitality & Leisure Practice's travel forecasts for the 2002-2003 holiday season predict that average occupancies during the two-week period including the Christmas and New Year holidays will be approximately 1.4 occupancy points above comparable 2001 levels. Occupancies are expected to peak on the Friday and Saturday following Christmas at 56 percent and 58 percent respectively, and on New Year's Eve at 60 percent.

"Airfare discounts and hotel promotions have increased the incentive for Americans to travel this holiday season," observes Bjorn Hanson, Ph.D., global industry leader, PricewaterhouseCoopers Hospitality & Leisure Practice. "That said, even with an improved holiday season, we will not see a return to lodging demand levels that we saw in 2000. Lodging demand in the fourth quarter of 2002 will be comparable to 1999 levels."

The ADR over the two-week period including Christmas and New Year will surpass 2001 levels by 3.3 percent. Nevertheless, ADRs during this holiday period will still be below comparable 2000 rates by 3.6 percent.

Cathay Pacific Cyber Sweepstakes

Cathay Pacific Airways is offers members of its free Internet CyberTraveler program the opportunity to enter their CyberTraveler Sweepstakes. The Grand Prize winner will receive roundtrip Business Class tickets for two to Hong Kong from either Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Toronto or Vancouver B.C., plus three nightsí stay at the Club floor of the Regal Kowloon Hotel in Hong Kong.

If the winner is was referred by another CyberTraveler and noted the referral on their entry form, the referring CyberTraveler gets the Grand Prize, too.

The sweepstakes also include the Weekly Draw. Those who enter the sweepstakes for the Grand Prize are eligible to enter in the Weekly Draw for a Compaq iPAQ Color Pocket PC. One winner will be chosen each week during the sweepstakes promotion period.

Visit the Cathay Pacific website and click on the CyberTraveler sweepstakes banner to register and enter the sweepstakes. Entries will be accepted until Dec. 20, 2002. Complete sweepstakes information, rules and regulations can be found on the web site.

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Star Alliance Brazil Airpass

The new Star Alliance VARIG Brazil Airpass will make traveling around this vast country easier and more affordable than ever before.

Available for sale Jan. 1, 2003, the airpass will provide access to 77 destinations in Brazil that are served by approximately 5,300 flights per week. Foreign nationals and Brazilians residing abroad can purchase this new product, which contains from four to nine coupons with fares ranging from $399 to $899. A nine-coupon itinerary may cover more than 13,000 miles of travel in Brazil and you can choose from flights within a 21 day time-frame.

The VARIG Brazil Airpass is sold only in conjunction with a confirmed international Star Alliance flight to and from Brazil, or it can be purchased in South America under the condition that travel commences in Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo. The airpass is valid for travel on Star Alliance member VARIG Brazilian Airlines and its regional affiliates.

Star Alliance

English Errors

English is such a tough language to master. There are more exceptions to the rules than rules. Itís no wonder there are so many blunders. We hope the creative copy from travel and dining brochures from around the world will put a smile on your face.
  • Italian hotel brochure: This hotel is renowned for its peace and solitude. In fact, crowds from all over the world flock here to enjoy its solitude.
  • Swiss menu: Our wines leave you nothing to hope for.
  • Polish tourist brochure: As for the tripe served you at the Hotel Monopol, you will be singing its praises to your grandchildren as you lie on your deathbed.
  • Spanish hotel ad: The provision of a large French widow in every room adds to visitors' comfort.
  • Athens hotel: A superb and inexpensive restaurant. Fine food expertly served by waitresses in appetizing forms.
  • On the menu: Bowels in sauce. (Tripe!) Chopped up cow with wire through it. (Shish-kebob)
  • Hong Kong Tailor Shop: Ladies may have a fit upstairs.
  • Bangkok Dry Cleaners: Drop your trousers here for best results.
  • Paris Dress Shop: Dresses for street walking.
  • Menu items: Buttered saucepans and fried hormones - Japan
  • Cold shredded children and sea blubber in spicy sauce - China
  • Dreaded veal cutlet with potatoes in cream - China
  • Rainbow Trout, Fillet Streak, Popotoes, Chocolate Mouse - Hong Kong
  • Teppan Yaki, Before Your Cooked Right Eyes - Japan
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Get to BWI on the Cheap

The BWI Business Partnership offers tips for alternate ways of getting to Baltimore-Washington, DC Airport without spending a lot of money. "Infrequent fliers may not be aware of the many options they have to access BWI without driving or being dropped off," according to Neil Shpritz, Executive Director of the Partnership.

With more travelers than ever from the Washington area now using BWI, Shpritz reminds passengers to try the BWI Express Metro bus, which operates from the Greenbelt Metro Station at the Capital Beltway (I-495) near I-95. The fare is two dollars ($1.15 if you connect from the subway). Buses run 25 times each weekday, 21 times on weekends, about every 40 minutes.

One little-known travel bargain is Howard Transit's Red Express, a route which serves the Columbia Mall, Snowden Square, and Arundel Mills, among other stops. The fare is $1 one-way. Seniors ride for 25 cents; students for 75 cents. Buses operate every 45 minutes on weekdays, less frequently late in the evening and on weekends. For specific information, call 410-313-1919.

There is a similar bus service from Spa Road in Annapolis, operating every two hours during the weekdays for a one-way fare of $3. The Sky Blue route runs less frequently on Sundays. 410-263-7964.

From the Baltimore region, consider using MTA's light rail service. It operates from Baltimore's Penn Station with connecting service from Hunt Valley, Warren Road, and Timonium through downtown Baltimore, right to the lower level of BWI's passenger terminal. The one-way fare is $1.35. Trains run about every 17 minutes.

Convenient alternatives also include the Airport Shuttle and Super Shuttle, which offer door-to-door van service. Amtrak and MARC commuter trains from Washington and Baltimore provide frequent service to the nearby BWI Rail Station, with free shuttle bus service to the Airport terminal building. For information on these options, call 800-GO-TO-BWI or click here.

Avoid Airport Anxiety

Your head is throbbing, your stomach is churning, your legs are cramping. You are emotionally and physically exhausted and you haven't set foot on the plane.

Stricter airport screening regulations, the long waits, security checks, and random searches can add up to a nerve-fraying experience capable of ruining a long-awaited trip before it even gets off the ground.

Preparing, mentally and physically for the added stress, can help you stay calm and collected during the extended check-in process. The Pennsylvania Medical Society offers several tips for avoiding "airport anxiety."

Know what to expect. Get information about the new airport rules from your travel agent, the airline, or online travel sites. "If we know in advance what the new procedures are, we feel more in control and less frustrated by the difficulties we encounter," says Lawrence L. Altaker, M.D., a Wormleysburg psychiatrist.

Don't prime the anxiety pump. Why work yourself into a frazzle before you even reach the airport? Give yourself plenty of time to get there, allowing for traffic jams and road closings and restricted airport access - so you arrive well before takeoff. "If you're not all flustered from racing to the airport, you'll be better able to handle the inconveniences during the check-in process," says Alan A. Axelson, M.D., a Pittsburgh child psychiatrist.

Accentuate the positive. Instead of resenting the delays and bother, consider the upside. "Remind yourself that these precautions are in effect to safeguard you and your family," says Stephen L. Schwartz, M.D., clinical professor of psychiatry at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and president of the Philadelphia County Medical Society. "By taking the situation personally, in a positive way, you'll be reassured rather than apprehensive."

Come equipped to wait it out. If you or a traveling companion has trouble standing for long periods, lighten the load with a walker or foldout canvass seat, or arrange with the airport to provide a wheelchair. Pack snacks in a carry- on bag to appease the munchies, which can stoke irritability. If you need special dietary snacks because of low blood sugar, diabetes, or other medical conditions, be sure to have these on hand. You may not be allowed to scurry easily from the check-in line to the food court.

Carry your prescription medications with you in your carry-on bag or luggage. If you get delayed or your luggage is lost, you can be sure to have your medication with you.

Kid-proof your planning. Post-9/11 air travel can be even more disquieting for youngsters than adults, so prepare them for the realities. If they pack their own bags, make sure they don't bring along items such as a water gun or Scout knife that might alert security. Explain the new airport procedures involve, so they won't be frightened by the inspections.

Avoid negative comments they might overhear. "Traveling is normally an adventure for kids, and they're going to be enthusiastic unless they pick up on their parents' fears or frustrations," says Dr. Axelson.

Take along snacks and activities for the kids to prevent boredom and keep them occupied. Remember the spare AA batteries for games and CD players.

Get physical. Instead of sitting the whole time before reporting to the check-in line, get up and walk around. You'll feel more relaxed and less confined. Once in line, tighten various muscle groups and periodically stretch to keep the blood flowing and relieve fatigue.

Replace stewing with chewing the fat. Use the wait time to talk with fellow passengers about your occupations, avocations, and destinations. "Humor can defuse anger, so it's healthy to stay on the lighter side when waiting or standing in line," says Dr. Schwartz. Just don't joke about threats or dangers. That can get you in trouble.

Use appropriate prescription drugs if necessary. If you can't cope with anxiety any other way, talk to your doctor. For some people, medication may be appropriate. For those who may benefit from medication, try the medication at home, prior to the trip, to prepare for reactions such as grogginess and impaired coordination. Be sure to ask your physician about interactions between prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications, such as those taken for airsickness. Seek professional help to learn relaxation exercises and other techniques that reduce tension and worry.

Channel your energy. You may feel better knowing that you have some control over your situation at the airport, so be alert. Keep an eye on your bags and, more importantly, your children. If you spot any unusually suspicious activity, feel free to report it to airport authorities.

Check fear with a reality check. The visible signs of stepped-up airport security emphasize the threat, unnerving some travelers. Focusing on the immediate facts can turn that thinking around, says Dr. Schwartz. "We're far safer now with the baggage checks and other new security measures. Anxiety is stirred up by unrealistic fears. If we place ourselves in the current reality rather than scaring ourselves with bogeymen, we can overcome anxiety and prevent air travel from turning into air travail."

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Reduced Rates in Cozumel through Christmas

Pleasant Holidays and Paradisus Cozumel and Sol Cabanas del Caribe, have partnered for an affordable Christmas-time holiday in Cozumel. People who travel through Dec. 25, 2002, and stay in all-inclusive garden accommodations at the Paradisus Cozumel, or run of house accommodations at the Sol Cabanas del Caribe, will receive special reduced rates.

Five-night, land-only holidays at the Paradisus Cozumel start at $435 per person, double occupancy, reflecting a savings of $110 per room. Five-night, land-only holidays at the Sol Cabanas del Caribe start at $200 per person, double occupancy, reflecting a savings of $20 per room. All packages include roundtrip airport transfers, accommodations, all hotel taxes and surcharges, and on-site assistance from Pleasantís customer service representatives. Additional nights, nationwide airfares, and special pricing on Pleasantís non-stop scheduled jet service from Los Angeles are also available.

Pleasant Holidays, 800/448-3333.

Holiday Health Tips

Emergency assistance provider MedAire, Inc., which manages in-flight medical emergencies, has developed flying recommendations for healthful travel this holiday season. The company, which is on track to receive more than 12,000 in-flight medical emergency calls this year, called upon the expertise of its board-certified emergency physicians for the following health tips:

Always carry your prescription medications onboard the aircraft and avoid checking them in with luggage. Bring additional quantities for unexpected delays or re-routing. If you are a diabetic, bring your insulin and glucometer. You must have a pharmacy label on your insulin that includes your name, or you will not be allowed to bring a syringe or needle on board. If you have asthma, bring your inhaler and keep well hydrated during the flight (one glass of water per hour of flight, avoid alcohol).

If you have a chronic heart or lung disease that requires you to be on oxygen, either constant or intermittent, be sure to check with the airline about the oxygen service they have available. Oxygen is booked at the time of reservation and requires your physician to authorize the amount be used during flight. Do not rely on the availability of the airlines' emergency oxygen bottles, as they are in limited supply and reserved for aviation-related and/or inflight medical emergencies. If you show up at the gate without pre-arranging necessary oxygen, you may be denied boarding. Remember, most commercial aircraft cabins are pressurized to 8,000 feet during cruise.

If you are traveling with significant health problems, notify the airline reservations staff so they can assist in planning your trip. Many airlines have a medical desk that can provide support and specific recommendations to accommodate travelers, such as wheelchair assistance for plane transfers.

Drinking excessive alcohol the night before flying or during the flight can contribute to dehydration in the body. The effects of alcohol are greatly enhanced by the cabin altitude. In addition, if your travel encompasses multiple time zones, you may also experience greater fatigue and sleep interruption with excess alcohol intake.

Drink plenty of fluids (one glass of water per hour of flight) to counteract the low humidity within the aircraft cabin. The longer the flight, the drier the air.

If you become ill prior to departure with any of the following symptoms, contact the airline and consider postponing your flight: fever with or without rash; active vomiting; fever with or without diarrhea; and flu symptoms with productive cough.

If you have recently had surgery (i.e. abdominal, chest, cranial or fractures requiring casts) or a serious illness, check with your doctor to make sure it is in your best interest to fly.

Due to aircraft cabin altitudes of approximately 8,000 feet, a light-headed feeling may occur as a warning that your blood pressure is too low. If you feel light-headed, place your head on your knees until the feeling passes. If it does not subside, inform the cabin crew.

Many fainting episodes during a flight occur when someone is going to, or leaving the lavatory. If you have been sitting a long time, consider standing by your seat for several minutes prior to walking up the aisle. This will allow you to quickly sit down if you become light-headed.

Try to minimize the stress associated with travel (see article above). Be flexible and allow plenty of time for added security and check-in. By being prepared and building extra time in your schedule, you can enjoy a more relaxing trip.



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Information & Credits

The Travel Savings Alerts Newsletter, edited by Nicki Chodnoff, is published monthly by On The Go Publishing, P.O. Box 91033, Columbus OH 43209.

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