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November 13, 1999

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A Pair of...$99 Deals

Every once in a while, you find an airline deal tucked away in the strangest place. Like your underwear drawer. Yup, if you buy any five Joe Boxer products between now and the end of the year, you get a coupon that allows you to fly a friend round-trip with you to London for only $99 on Virgin Atlantic. This is called cross marketing. It's also called a great deal. That $99 companion fare is good from Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.

For more details, check out the Joe Boxer Web site.

And you've got less than two weeks to grab a similar deal on U.S. Airways. This one has nothing to do with underwear. All you have to do is book a round-trip ticket aboard U.S. Airways through Expedia.com by November 22nd, you get a $99 certificate so someone else can join you on your next US Airways flight in the U.S. Expedia is a travel Web site and also happens to be one of the corporate underwriters of this radio show.

A pair of $99 deals not to be missed -- that's my Deal of the Week!

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More on Egypt Air
Still more questions than answers in last week's Egypt Air 767 crash. Now Boeing's found another problem with some of its jets. Apparently there are loose bolts on some 767 tail fins. Boeing says this was not a factor in the Egypt Air crash, though the F.A.A. is sending inspectors out to Boeing H.Q. They're checking into the scope of the problem, but so far, no federal action.

Airport Safety Funding Fizzles
Meanwhile, back at F.A.A. home base, a debate in Congress has gone from discussion to...what else? Finger pointing. A plan for over $50 billion in airport safety and construction funds has fizzled out, with Democrats and Republicans doing what they do best: blaming each other.

You know, that money was supposed to go to modernize airports, build new runways, things like that. What this all means is that predictions of more airplanes, air traffic and longer and longer flight delays could come true before we know it.

Pets on Planes Act
And there's another part of that stalled bill that has activists up in arms. It's the Pets on Planes Act. About 500,000 pets fly every year...and some say the airlines don't do enough to take care of them.

See, animals are treated more or less like baggage when they fly. The Pets on Planes Act would make airlines install special compartments for all creatures and make the industry put out stats to the public about lost pets, pet injuries and, would you believe, deaths?

Caitlin Hills, with the Humane Society, told me that's a big problem. She hears lots of horror stories.

Hills: "There was the Caulk family and they went to pick up their golden retriever, Jed. When they arrived at the baggage claim area, they were told Jed was not ready yet. Twenty minutes later, they went to get Jed again and he was covered in urine, feces and vomit. And he died on the way to the emergency vet."

The airline industry says we don't need the bill ... they say thousands of animals travel safely every day. And, just like that airport money, the Pets on Planes Act is also in limbo.

Direct Flights from NY to Cuba
You know, it's been a long time since anyone could catch a quick flight to Cuba. Most direct flights from the U.S. are banned. But President Clinton hinted earlier this year, that might change. Now it has. Starting December 3, Marazul Charters will fly once a week from New York, direct to Havana. Bob Guild books the flights.

Guild: "Tickets are going fast. The first flight is filled. The second and third flights look very good and we're just beginning to sell the January flights now. I already have 65 groups scheduled to go to Cuba in January."

Comrade's Club?
And throw this in the "back to the future" file. If you make it to Cuba, why not take advantage of a new air alliance? Russian Aeroflot has announced they're going to share duties with Cuba's national carrier. No word yet on the Comrade's Club in the airports.

Travel Advisory
with Cheryl Glaser

New Strains of Chinese flu
Winter's coming on strong and doctors in China are warning about another heavy flu season. Last year, over a million people caught the bug there ... Now, the World Health Organization is recommending a shot with two new strains of Chinese flu for anyone planning trips there.

British Rail Delays
And it might be pretty, but English train conductors hate the fall foliage. Experts across Britain are watching the trees there and predicting a monster leaf-fall over the next few days. Leaves on the tracks can tie up train traffic bad. Expect heaviest delays in the southeast.


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