Philly Liberty Bell area to get new hotel

The Kimpton hotel chain plans to revitalize an old building just a short walk away from the famed American icon. Guest rooms will have a clear view of the famed Liberty Bell and Independence Hall in downtown Philadelphia.

The 11-story Lafayette Building on the Fifth Street side of Independence Mall will be fully refurbished at a cost estimated to be $70 million to become a 270-room boutique hotel.

The closest major chain hotel in the very busy tourist area is the Omni at 5th and Chestnut Streets. No actual construction has started on the new hotel, and no opening date has been announced yet.

United Airlines Hike Checked Baggage Charges By $5 PDF Print E-mail

The first checked bag is now $35 each way, the second, $45. You can skip the increase by prepaying in advance. The fees are $30 and $40 if paid at any time before online check-in.The increase takes effect for travel beginning March 6.

The increase covers the U.S. on short flights to the Caribbean and Latin America. No-frills airlines including Spirit, Frontier and Allegiant already charge varying prices for checked (and carry-on) bags, depending when you purchase them and when you fly. Solution: Fly without the big bulky bags. Get all your gear into a carry-on plus wear a jacket with many large pockets.

Airport Critters Help Ease Passenger Travel Trauma PDF Print E-mail

With the coronavirus and the other stressful happenings around the world, senior travelers can use some friendly help. So, if you’re lucky while waiting for your flight, you may find a furry friend to help you pass the stressful minutes or more.

Some 70 U.S. airports now offer programs featuring certified therapy animals and their owners who regularly help de-stress travelers. The performers are usually dogs, but there are others. For example, Denver International Airport’s CATS program (Canine Airport Therapy Squad) includes 100 dogs and a cat named Xeli. Also, LiLou the pig is an official member of San Francisco’s International Airport’s Wag Brigade. And miniature therapy horses from Seven Oaks Farm are occasional visitors at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG).

Gripe: Why Do Coach Airline Seats Keep Getting Smaller? PDF Print E-mail

Q: For business, I fly often and necessarily as cheap as possible. At six feet three inches tall, I’m getting more uncomfortable each time I travel by air. It’s because of greedy airline jam us into ever smaller spaces. How can I avoid it? PLJ, Memphis TN

A: Of course, it’s inconvenient painful and potentially dangerous for big passengers. If there must be a quick evacuation, there’s the danger of being unable to get out of your seat in a hurry. The best advice to find more reasonable fares to fly in larger spaces is to keep checking for special prices, such as midweek and red eye flights. Also, choose to cut back on other travel expenses and pay for the pricier seats when you fly.

Philly PA: Eat Where Hamilton, Franklin & Adams Dined PDF Print E-mail

More than six million people annually visit Philadelphia’s Independence National Historical Park in the downtown area. When eating there in two-centuries old City Tavern, they can "be in the room where it happened” as sung in the musical, "Hamilton."

Just a short walk from Independence Hall, where America’s Founding Fathers created a new nation, is the popular restaurant. Opened in 1773, it was where members of the First Continental Congress gathered to dine and drink. Few things have changed, except dinner in 1776 was $1. Today it’s $50. www.10best.com/interests/food-travel/dine-like-its-1776-historic-city-tavern-philadelphia

Q: How Can I Get A Quick Test For Corona Virus? PDF Print E-mail

I feel OK, but just returned from a flight from Singapore, and worried about being exposed to the disease. To ease my mind and protect my family from the possibility I’m infected, how can I get a test? FRL, Long Beach CA

A: One quick way is to to call NHS 111 as soon as possible. A medical consultant will determine if you need a test, and if so, advise where you can quickly go for one. The NHS now offers home testing and at local medical facilities for coronavirus in many cities.


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