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September 11, 1999

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Fall in Yellowstone

How do five days in Yellowstone National Park in early fall sound to you? Say, between September 15th and the middle of October? The leaves will have turned, the nights will be cool enough for a fire; the days won't be too hot or too cold, and the crowds of summer will have thinned.

Here's the deal: For only $837 per person, based on two people traveling, you can fly between most major American cities to Jackson, Wyoming. And you'll get four nights lodging plus a rental car. It's a great price, and reservations are going fast. When I called this week, I learned late September is almost booked, but there are some openings, and October is still available. You'll stay in rustic comfort at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge or maybe the Lake Yellowstone Hotel. You can upgrade accommodations and get details by calling Jackson Hole/Rocky Mountain Reservations at 800-322-5766.

Welcome fall in Yellowstone at a nice price -- that's my Deal of the Week.

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Rumblings in Greece
This week's earthquake in Greece was much smaller than last month's Turkish quake. Damage, for the most part, was limited to the northwest suburbs of Athens. But with some scientists now saying the region is "a plate of glass in slow motion shatter," the question is, how safe is the Adriatic? Waverely Person, a seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, says the warnings should be taken with at least a few grains of salt.

Person: "Many people say the same thing about California here in the United States they say the same thing about Alaska and other areas in the United States. But people don't stop traveling because of that. The thing is to be prepared and know what to do in case you are in an earthquake."

That means take cover under a table, or in a doorway if you're indoors, or move to an open space away from buildings if you're outside. Here are some resources about earthquake preparedness:

The Stats Speak for Themselves
Well, the numbers are in, and for American Airlines, they're not good. American led the pack in "most passenger complaints" in July, this according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. American had over 50 percent more complaints than United, the nation's largest carrier. Dallas-based Southwest Airlines had the fewest complaints and the best on-time record. Arizona's America West was the worst at sticking to its schedule.

You already know it costs too much to fly into London's Heathrow airport. Well, now one British carrier has put a price tag on it. The small, London-based British Midland airline is saying business travelers paid over $4 billion dollars too much to fly between the Heathrow and the U.S. All this is because a U.S.-British treaty lets only four airlines fly the North Atlantic routes. British Midland wants in on the action and they're trying to get travelers to intervene on their behalf. See, talks started earlier this year to let more airlines fly between Heathrow and the U.S., but negotiations deadlocked. All of which leaves carriers like British Midlands out in the cold and airfares, according to many, unfairly high.

Harrods Goes Online
But the bigger question is, will anyone even be going to London after November? That's when the high-class (and high-priced) Harrods department store launches its own Internet shopping site. With Harrods.com, there's really no reason to jump the Concorde for those much-needed diamond-encrusted watches or to buy any of over 150 teas on sale. But British tourism officials say they're actually not all that worried. They claim there's still plenty of reasons to visit London.

Travel Advisory
by Cheryl Glaser

NYC Battles Bugs & Bacteria
New York is under attack...by bacteria and bugs. First came the state's largest E. Coli outbreak after tainted water at a state fair killed one person and forced almost 500 to seek medical attention. Then, New York City this week began airborne spraying of the controversial pesticide malathion. This to exterminate mosquitoes carrying a potentially deadly strain of encephalitis, which has already killed three in Queens. When in New York, you can call 888-663-6692 for the very latest about pesticide spraying and the encephalitis outbreak. You can also visit this Web site for more info.

Y2K Update
And we've told you before about the Y2K computer glitch. U.S. air travel systems received high marks in Congress this week, but international progress is unclear. The government has yet to hear from 41 countries regarding their Year 2000 efforts, and the FAA expects just two-thirds of international airlines to be ready for the change by the end of September. Expect warnings soon about who and where to avoid when traveling on New Year's Eve.


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