Ask our travel experts about travel and get answers to reader questions
Q: How Do I Get Fair Prices At Asian Souvenir Shops? PDF Print E-mail

Just retired, we’re taking our first trip to the Far East, with stops in Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai. We plan to buy presents to take home to our grandkids. And we’d like some advice on how to get best prices. RRO’L, Champagne IL

A: If you buy large presents in department stores, you’ll probably get best quality and convenient shipping, but not lowest prices. If you buy smaller gifts you can carry home with you, try the street markets. There you may be able to bargain down prices from original quotes.

Q: Why Does Airplane Shake When Landing In Las Vegas? PDF Print E-mail

Is it my imagination, but every time we fly into the Nevada city, I can feel my seat jump around. Does the pilot do it intentionally? FLN, Burbank CA

A: Maybe it’s a heavenly warning to be careful of how you bet at the casinos and enjoy the Sin City night life. Seriously, especially in summer, the shaking is because of heavy thermal heating of air surrounding the airport. The nearby mountains and hot wind currents often shake the aircraft as it approaches the field for the landing.

What To Do About A Stinky Seatmate In Flight? PDF Print E-mail

Q: On my last trip from NYC to London, the man next to me really reeked, obviously a heavy smoker and infrequent bather. His hair, skin, clothing and breath were putrid. I asked the flight attendant to move me, but she said all seats were filled. Is there anything I can do about it next time it happens? PLMcR, Jersey City NJ

A: Not much if all passenger compartments are full. However, if you’re in a cheap seat when the stink happens, ask if all seats in all compartments are occupied. If not, demand politely but firmly to be moved to a higher-priced seat for free.

Q: Do Airlines Still Offer Discount Fares For Funerals? PDF Print E-mail

Recently we had a death in the family and I needed to get a cross-country flight. Because it was a last-minute booking, the cost was twice as much as it should have been for a regular booked flight. Could I have avoided the sky-high fee? MMR, Newark NJ

A: Not all airlines offer lower-rate, quick-book bereavement fares. When you first know about the funeral schedule, immediately check online, by phone and/or with a local travel agency to find a cooperating airline. When booking, you must give details, including name of the deceased relative, funeral schedule and locations.

Quickie Tour Instead Of Dreary Hours In The Airport? PDF Print E-mail

Q: On our trip to Tokyo next month, our schedule includes a six-hour layover at Los Angeles. Are there short tours, such as to Hollywood and the beaches, available from and return to the airport? RLMcL, Newark NJ

A: Check the internet for companies that specialize in quick and layover tours to and from Los Angeles International Airport. Costs start at about $100 for a three-hour tour. Example: www.viator.com/tours/Los-Angeles/LAX-Layover-Tours-Hollywood-Beverly-Hills-Santa-Monica-and-more


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