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Southwest Airlines: Flying Pets Soon To Pay More


With holiday season now in full operation, you may decide to take your pet along to join in on Christmas celebrations far from home. If you do it on SW, it will cost an extra $75 each way. Consider it a bargain, because as of January 2014, the same pet travel service will be $95.

The requirements are that the pet has certified vaccination proof, and rides in a carrier that fits under your airline seat. Additionally, because of the busy December travel season, reservations must be made early. On SW, only six pet carriers are allowed on each flight.

Actually, even the higher SW charge will be cheaper than you’ll pay on some other airlines. They require as much as $125, which could make a pet-toting human passenger on a $99 special ticket feel a bit unsettled.

For more information, go to www.sw.com

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Despite what the hotel bartender tells you, tipping is not mandatory. He may also say your room maid (actually his girlfriend) is a grossly underpaid single mother with eight children, and cares for her wheelchair-bound senile parents.

A tip ... the cliché original meaning is To Insure Promptness ... should be based on good service. Is the room clean and neat? Do you have adequate towels? If you're staying more than one night, is the room made up promptly in the morning? If you have kids with you, has the maid taken extra steps to make them comfy?

We suggest you leave $5 for each night. If a maid has been particularly efficient, such as extra towels, a bunch of flowers and/or candy on the pillows in the evening, add several more dollars a night.

 
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Reader’s Report: Since retiring more than 20 years ago, I’ve taken dozens of cruises, including sailing on Princess, Royal Caribbean and Holland-America. At meals and other times, I had frequent talks with single senior passengers, and learned the basics. Here are some hints.

The worst mistake a single senior can make is to blindly book a typical cruise, and find out too late that most passengers are still-active young couples, students or families with very active little kids. If you fall into that trap, and it happens too often, you'll be a very unhappy single sailor.

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Scam Alert: I'll Take Your Picture .... And Your SmartPhone PDF Print E-mail


It recently happened to a savvy senior traveler. She went ashore from the cruise ship to a busy marketplace. A friendly young man volunteered to shoot a photo of her with the colorful background.

She gave him her SmartPhone, walked over, stood in front of a large flower display and smiled. She then watched the friendly guy disappear into the crowd with her SmartPhone. Do we really need to offer a warning here?

 
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