The Tactical Traveler

FOR MARCH 29, 2000


This week: Low fares for spring travel to Canada; surf the Web now for tickets to the Sydney Olympic Summer Games; a consolidated rental-car center opens at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport; the FAA orders inspections of older Boeing 737s; Delta launches New York-Zurich service; Continental wants the first nonstop New York-Cayman Island flights; the AAA issues fuel-conservation guidelines; Jet Skis are banned at some federal parks, recreation areas and seashores; and more.

COST-CUTTERS: North-of-the Border Bargains
You've got until Tuesday, April 4, to cash in on low fares for spring travel to Canada. The new duopoly of Air Canada [] and Canadian Airlines [] launched the "Now On Sale" promotion last week and it knocks as much as 40 percent off the roundtrip price on many routes. Sample fares: $294 between Toronto and Los Angeles; $407 between San Francisco and Halifax; $221 between Chicago and Montreal; and $324 between New York/Newark and Vancouver. Varying advance-purchase restrictions apply and fares are valid for travel between April 5 and June 9.

BEST OF THE WEB: Preparing for the Summer Games
Thinking about heading to Sydney, Australia, for the Summer Olympic Games, scheduled for September 15 to 30? Get a head start by surfing the web for the information you need. Cartan Tours controls the estimated 250,000 seats officially allocated for the U.S. market. Prices start at $8 for preliminary events and reach $1,000 for premium seats to the opening and closing ceremonies. But be warned: the site is difficult to navigate and the ticketing rules seem unnecessarily arbitrary and complicated. Meanwhile, the official site of the Summer Games is, well, official. You'll find only good news, which is fine if your only interest is in the athletic stuff. Should you want blow-by-blow accounts of the inevitable controversies and scandals that surround this edition of the Games, surf to a news page maintained by the Australia-New Zealand version of Yahoo! A page of links about the Sydney Olympics posted by will point you to private accommodations, transportation options and other necessary basics for a trip down under.

ON THE FLY: News You Need to Know
Daylight savings time begins at 2am on Sunday. Adjust your clocks and travel schedules accordingly. … Dallas-Fort Worth Airport [] has opened a consolidated rental-car center. All 11 "on-airport" rental firms serving the airport are required to maintain their facilities at the 200-acre site. A car-rental shuttle bus service connects the terminals and the rental center; individual rental-firm shuttles are not permitted. The new rental center even has its own website []. … The Federal Aviation Administration [] has ordered inspections of more than 2,500 older Boeing 737s. Airlines have until 2004 to complete the inspection--officials are looking for cracks that could cause a loss of cabin pressure--so no immediate flight delays are expected. … Swissôtel [] will get its first hotel in London when it assumes management of The Howard Hotel on May 1.

Shorn of New York-Zurich flights when its code-share with Swissair [] ended, Delta Air Lines [] launched its own service last week. The daily roundtrips from Kennedy Airport uses B-767 configured with coach and business classes. … Bangor, Maine gets a much-needed connection to a second major hub on June 1 when US Airways Express [] launches two roundtrips each business day to Philadelphia. Flights are on 37-seat turboprops. … The American Eagle commuter division of American Airlines [] begins weekend service between New York/LaGuardia and Traverse City, Michigan, on May 26. Flights will depart New York on Friday evenings and return on Sunday afternoons. The seasonal service, using 37-seat regional jets, will operate through Labor Day weekend. … Continental [] wants to start the first nonstop flights between New York and the Cayman Islands. The airline has applied for government permission to launch four weekly 737 flights from Newark beginning December 14.

Concerned by the skyrocketing price of gasoline, the American Automobile Association has issued fuel-conservation guidelines for only the fifth time in the organization's 98-year history. The 12-page booklet, AAA Gas Watcher's Guide, is available directly from club locations or in an abridged format at the AAA website []. … The National Park Service has finally ruled on the controversial use of personal watercraft in the parks. Regulations now prohibit the devices, generically known as Jet Skis, at 66 or 87 federal parks, recreation areas and seashores. Ten areas will continue to permit the crafts, subject to the decision of the local superintendent. Eleven more would allow them during a two-year grace period. Three years in the making, the rules [] already have infuriated both conservationists and the watercraft manufacturers.

This column originally appeared at

Copyright © 1999-2010 by Joe Brancatelli. All rights reserved.