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New York, NY: Offering Lower Hotel Room Prices PDF Print E-mail

The posh Manhattan hotels, with their big rooms and bigger prices, won’t be offering any bargains this coming season. The average per-night room rate will continue to be $300 a night. However, some new boutique and teeny-room hotels there are coming up with more competitive prices.

The Manhattan branches of some of the national budget chains are offering prices to appeal the economy-conscious traveler. For example, the Best Western Plus President at Times Square lists prices starting at $120. The Holiday Inn Express on 36th Street has listed prices starting at $199. Nearby is a brand new Hyatt Place, with prices beginning at $195.

For those travelers who want the Manhattan aura without the traffic, pollution and mean streets, there’s the New York New York Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Room prices start at $55, and include two free buffet dinners.

Southwest Airlines: Pay Extra $40 To Board First PDF Print E-mail

Remember all those TV commercials by Southwest that bragged about “bags fly free”? Now, the bargain flyer has joined other airlines in tacking on bothersome extras. Bags still fly free, one or two each, but if you want to board your flight ahead of all the in-line peasant passengers, you’ll need to pay an extra $40.

Used to be that if you checked in at the desk early enough, you were assigned to the A line and got in to grab choice seats and find room for your carry-on in the overheads. Or if you were a member of the SW loyalty program, you could proudly march past all the waiting lines.

Now, for non-member Southwesterners, it’s put up $40 or go to the back of the line.

TSA: No More Must Flyers Bear Being Bare PDF Print E-mail

Shy people going through airport screening can now breathe a collective sigh of relief. The Transportation Security Administration is giving up on the airport body scanners that expose virtually naked images.

TSA currently uses two types of airport scanners. The ones that show shadow images will continue to be in place, but the more intrusive x-ray versions are being phased out over the next several months.

Hopefully, it all means that travelers can maintain at least some remnants of modesty while being groped, prodded  and screened on the way to their flights.

In-Air Entertainment Enhancements PDF Print E-mail

Remember just a few years ago, when all that was available in flight was a tiny movie screen way up forward on a bulkhead? You could get the sound with earphones and severe eyestrain trying to make out the movie.

You could also choose to listen to music by plugging in earphones to an armrest. Of course, you had no control of what the airline decided to broadcast. Today, everything has improved, and keeps on evolving.

Some airlines, including United and British Airways, now offer a large library of movies, videos, games and audio music that play constantly on the back of the seat screen in front of you. Of course, you can opt to take along your own iPod, iBook, DVD player, laptop and other portable electronic digital devices and choose from their virtually endless entertainment and other  menus.

Speaking of menus, many airlines plan to lend out pre-programmed individual iPads to passengers as they board. In addition to offering choices for entertainment and reading, there will be digital menus listed. All they’ll require is for the passenger to tap in orders for food, drink, information and other services from flight attendants. If it weren't for the groping security check-in, flying could once again actually be a pleasant journey.

Las Vegas NV: Neon Museum Recalls Yesteryears PDF Print E-mail

If you’ll be visiting Las Vegas soon, you may want to spend a few hours remembering the long-ago fun times when you and Sin City were much younger.

For those who’d enjoy recalling the old Vegas of the 1960s and earlier, a trip to the Neon Museum may be a nostalgic way to spend a few pleasant hours away from the casinos and buffets. The museum was recently opened in the lobby of the former La Concha Motel, 770 Las Vegas Blvd. N. It’s the final resting place for 150 old signs and artifacts from yesterday’s glittering glory days and nights of downtown Las Vegas and the Strip.

They include displays from the Golden Nugget, Desert Inn, Frontier, Moulin Rouge, Silver Slipper, Stardust and other long-gone Sin City relics. The museum is open daily except Sunday. Admission is $18 for adults and $12 for seniors/students/veterans.

Tickets must be pre-purchased  online at neonmuseum.org.


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