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Long and hot summer days are a perfect time for adventures, and your car is definitely in want of a cool drive. You’ve bought new summer tyres, planned your itinerary in details, and packed your belonging…but you still aren’t ready enough to hit the road. Travelling by car in a trying heat requires much more More »

The Best Outdoor Adventures in California

Although states like Hawaii, Alaska, Oregon, Montana and Florida are hailed for their wide array of outdoor adventures, the massive state of California also has plenty to offer nature lovers.   From pristine mountain lakes and flourishing redwood forests to sunny beaches and sandy desert dunes, these are the best spots for outdoor exploration in More »

The Beauty of Okinawa Japan

I must admit, I don’t know a lot about Japan. It’s on my bucket list to be sure, but beyond Geishas, snow monkeys, and the bright lights of Tokyo, I’m not that fully versed in the country and what else it has to offer. Blame it on action films and nature documentaries, but the Western More »

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Some airlines fear jet fuel shortage in New York

5 hrs.

NEW YORK — Fears of a jet fuel shortage at New York’s airports have led some airlines to take the unusual — and costly — step of putting extra fuel on inbound planes.

The worries follow Superstorm Sandy, which has disrupted Northeast fuel supplies and power.

US Airways, Southwest Airlines, and Republic Airlines are among the carriers loading up with extra fuel to allow their planes to fly out again.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airports, says despite the airlines’ actions, there is “an adequate supply.” It refused to elaborate.

Other airlines, including American Airlines and Spirit Airlines, have chosen not to add extra fuel to inbound flights.

New York’s three major airports were closed for several days following Sandy. All had re-opened by Thursday morning. 

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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After delays, American offers fliers double miles

26 min.

DALLAS — American Airlines is offering double-mile promotions as a way of apologizing for recent delays and cancellations.

The airline announced the offer under its AAdvantage program on Friday. One will run through Dec. 31, the other around Thanksgiving.

“Our recent operating performance was not up to our standards … and for that, we are deeply sorry,” Suzanne L. Rubin, president of the airline’s AAdvantage frequent-flier program, said in a message to customers.

In September, American canceled nearly 1,400 flights, and only 59 percent of its flights arrived on time compared with at least 85 percent at rivals Delta, Southwest and US Airways, according to tracking service FlightStats.com. The airline, which imposed pay and benefit cuts for pilots in early September, accused some pilots of conducting an illegal work slowdown.

American announced two offers:

  • Elite-level customers, who start at 25,000 miles in a year, will get double miles through Dec. 31.
  • Other passengers will get double miles from Nov. 16 through Nov. 26.
  • Both groups can get double credit toward elite status on flights through the end of the year.

The offers cover flights on American and regional affiliates American Eagle and American Connection but not flights operated by so-called code-sharing partner airlines.

American and parent AMR Corp. filed for bankruptcy protection in November 2011. 

22 days

American Airlines to continue reducing flights in November

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Ark. airport closed briefly over suspicious bag

1 hr.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Little Rock airport was closed for about an hour and a half Thursday as authorities investigated a suspicious suitcase.

A bomb-sniffing dog alerted on the bag, which turned out not to contain any explosive material, but the investigation led officials to halt departing flights briefly at the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport, spokesman Shane Carter said.

Four flights were canceled and an evacuation forced hundreds of people from the airport as passengers waiting for departing flights were escorted out, Carter said. Passengers on arriving flights were also escorted away from the terminal while authorities investigated the bag, Carter said.

The bag had apparently been at the airport since Wednesday night, Little Rock Fire Department Capt. Jason Weaver said.

A bomb-sniffing dog alerted on it during a sweep Thursday afternoon, prompting authorities to X-ray the bag, which was in a luggage-holding area, Weaver said. It contained personal items, but Weaver said investigators planned to swab it to figure out what the dog was reacting to.

“It may have been exposed to something in the past,” Weaver said, adding that no one was in danger Thursday. 

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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IATA: International air traffic rises; recovery mixed

1 hr.

GENEVA — International passenger traffic rose 4.9 percent in September on a year ago, led by robust growth for carriers in China, Latin America and the Middle East, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Friday.

A two-speed recovery is emerging in the industry, as European airlines experience “profitless growth” and North American airlines operate in a “slow to no-growth environment”, it said.

International air freight traffic was up by 0.5 percent versus the same month in 2011, the Geneva-based body said.

Copyright 2012 Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions.

4 days

World’s airlines collecting $36 billion in a la carte fees this year, report shows

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Statue of Liberty closed for ‘foreseeable future’

2 hrs.

Allison Joyce / Getty Images

A sailboat sails past the Statue of Liberty on October 31 in New York City. Lady Liberty appears to have made it through Superstorm Sandy unharmed. “An initial assessment has indicated that the statue itself … is fine,” a National Park Service spokesperson said.

As New York recovers from Superstorm Sandy, two of the city’s most iconic landmarks are closed until further notice, the victims of the hurricane’s powerful storm surge.

Liberty Island — home to the Statue of Liberty — and Ellis Island — where millions of immigrants once arrived in their quest to find a better life in America — have sustained water damage and there is no power on either island, said Mindi Rambo, a spokeswoman for the National Parks of New York Harbor.

Related: Staten Island reels from devastation

The good news: Lady Liberty appears to have made it through the storm unharmed.

“An initial assessment has indicated that the statue itself, from the base to the torch, is fine,” Rambo said.

The grounds were apparently flooded, however. A national team is scheduled to arrive in New York on Friday to perform a full assessment, so officials won’t know the full extent of the damage until that process is completed.

Video: Aid on the way for ‘forgotten borough’

“Currently, the islands are closed for the foreseeable future. Until the assessment is done, we cannot determine when both islands will reopen,” Rambo said.

Maintenance crews have a huge challenge in pumping water and clearing debris from the islands, according to information posted on the Statue of Liberty National Monument’s Facebook page earlier this week.

The docks and grounds are in “bad shape,” a source told NBC New York.

Liberty Island and Ellis Island have occasionally been closed in the past because of severe weather, but the National Park Service doesn’t have data on how often that happens, so it’s hard to gauge how rare such closures are, Rambo said.

“Right now, we need to take this one step at a time and our first step is to make sure that all the parks employees are safe and are OK going forward,” she added.

It’s a distressing turn of events for the National Park Service, which reopened the Statue of Liberty crown just Sunday after a year of renovations. Visitors eager to see magnificent views of the Big Apple and get a glimpse of the famous monument’s inner workings have been snapping up tickets for the attraction.

They’re out of luck – at least for now. The monument had to be closed the next day as Hurricane Sandy arrived, and it never reopened.

People who have reserved tickets to visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island can contact State Cruises, the official ferry transportation provider, for rescheduling and refund information. Call 1-877-LADYTIX or e-mail info@statuecruises.com.

8 days

On Sunday, the Statue of Liberty will once again open to visitors.

Statue of Liberty crown reopens to visitors this weekend

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