Although Hurricane Ivan most directly affected Florida's panhandle, a number of destinations there are reporting that they are open and operating normally. Panama City Beach officials, for example, say that their hotels, attractions, airport and beaches are open after sustaining only minimal damage from the storm. The city had recently completed a $25 million beach nourishment project that officials say protected the beach from major erosion during the storm. For more information, call 800-PCBEACH or visit Another top panhandle destination, Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, is also open after incurring no structural damage from Ivan. Visit Florida reports that Franklin County destinations, including Apalachicola, St. George Island and Carrabelle, say they received little damage and are open and operating. However, several destinations at the center of the storm, including Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton counties, still have curfews in effect. Assessments and cleanup efforts are ongoing in those areas, which sustained heavy damage from Ivan. Sep 22, 2004

Most Airlines Raise Fares to Offset Fuel. Most U.S. airlines, trying to offset record high jet fuel prices, have boosted air fares in North America by as much as $10 on round-trip flights. Sep 24, 2004

Aer Lingus has introduced a simpler, more consistent fare structure" for travel to and from the United States. No roundtrip purchase is required, the typical Saturday night stayover rule and the maximum six-month stay requirement have been eliminated, and any weekend surcharges are gone. In addition, itinerary changes are permitted for $30 a segment, and even name changes are allowed for $60. Effectively immediately, Aer Lingus has also reduced economy fares by 20-30 percent, and closed the gap between its highest and lowest fares. The highest walk-up one-way economy fare is now $503, compared with $838 previously. In addition, Aer Lingus is now offering business class travel at rates more akin to economy levels. For example, the one-way business fare from New York or Boston to Shannon and Dublin via Shannon is now $1,104, a 50 percent reduction, while the one-way business fare for nonstop New York to Dubin routing is now $1,304, a 43 percent reduction in that fare. Other one- way business fares to Ireland from Chicago and Los Angeles are now $1,504, 50-60 percent savings over the previous one-way business fares in those markets. Aer Lingus also says flyers traveling on those one-way business fares can also continue to use all in-flight and airport lounge services as normal. Sep 30, 2004

Air Canada reported a system load factor of 83.2 for the month of August 2004, representing an all-time record month for the carrier. The airline flew 9.8 perent more revenue passenger miles (RPMs) than in August 2003. Overall, capacity increased 6.5 percent, resulting in the record load factor, which was 2.6 percentage points higher than the load factor reported in August 2003. "Our new business model and product strategy continues to produce solid results," said Executive Vice President- Commercial Montie Brewer. Sep 9, 2004

Air France chose the elegantly splendid residence of the French Ambassador to unveil last week for the British travel trade and serious customers their new and most impressive first and club class products. Called L'Espace Premiere (first class) and L'Espace Affaires (J class), they have been introduced on the CDG's Tokyo route and will be subsequently rolled out over the whole system during the next six months. Designed by UK safety seat specialist Britax both recline to 180 degrees. With first class the footstool doubles as a seat and storage area. You can dine at a table with a companion who also has a seat belt in case of turbulence. The very attractive business class seat allows the passenger to stretch out into the base of the seat in front and AF says that even the full recline will not affect other passengers. Three star chef Guy Martin has created the menus which are complimented by a wine list from one of the world's top sommeliers, Philippe Faure-Brac. AF now has to prove in the air how good it is. Flying at the Front Ende is happy to oblige. Sep 27, 2004

AirTran Airways has canceled all flights to and from Grand Bahama Island for Friday, Sept. 3 2004. The storm's path is not yet known; however, it is possible that it could hit Florida by this weekend, and some Florida operations could be impaced on Saturday, the airline said. Passengers scheduled to fly into or out of Grand Bahama, as well as a number of Florida destinations, are being offered the opportunity ot offer their itineraries without change or cancellation fees. Sep 1, 2004

AirTran Airways will resume service to all Florida destinations by midday on Sept. 27 2004. At the current time AirTran Airways has canceled 172 flights due to Hurricane Jeanne. Sep 27, 2004

The airports in Pensacola, Fla., and Grand Bahama Island are closed due to damages sustained by the recent hurricanes. AirTran Airways said that it has canceled flights for the weekend to those airports, and expects to resume flights to Pensacola on Monday, Sept. 20. Operations to Grand Bahama Island are indefinite. Airlines that fly to those airports are allowing travelers to rebook without paying a fee. They also may be able to cancel the flights altogether and receive a credit for a future flight. Sep 17, 2004

AirTran Airways launched a sale for flights to all of the airline's destinations with fares starting as low as $39 each way. Travelers may purchase these sale fares at, through travel agents or via AirTran Airways' reservations system at 1-800-AIR-TRAN. For Spanish, call 1-877-581-9842. These special fares are available for purchase September 28, through October 1, 2004, are good for travel through February 2, 2005, and are not valid for travel on Sundays. Like all AirTran Airways fares, prices included in this sale are one-way tickets and do not require a roundtrip purchase or a Saturday night stay. Sep 28, 2004

Alaska Airlines will save up to $35 million a year by cutting 900 of its 11,000 employees and using more outside contractors for heavy maintenance and fleet service functions. In Spokane, all customer service work will be taken over by regional partner Horizon Air, and in Portland, Alaska will assume all of Horizon's ticket counter duties. It also is closing three city ticket offices in Juneau, Anchorage and Bellevue, Alaska. Since Sept. 11, 2001, Alaska has found $150 million in annual savings by improving its processes, growing in new markets and using technology. It has not until now needed to impact employees to find savings. Sep 10, 2004

Alaska Airlines is offering its popular Kids Fly Free promotion to Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida for travel now through December 15, 2004. The offer is valid for children ages two to eleven accompanied by an adult with the purchase of an Alaska Airlines Vacations package by September 30, 2004. Sep 14, 2004

America West Airlines announced on Sept. 9 2004 a new payment option at Bill Me Later is a credit-based payment alternative for customers who choose the security, flexibility and the convenience of buying without a credit card online and being billed later for purchases. America West is the only airline offering this new option. To introduce it, the airline is also providing the benefit of deferring payment for 90 days, which means customers can buy their tickets for travel now, take the trip and not worry about paying for it until 2005. Sep 9, 2004

America West Airlines and Autolog, a nationwide auto transporter, announced an agreement that will give seasonal commuters the opportunity to enjoy America West's low fares and great service while benefiting from discounted rates for transporting their cars. Autolog now transports vehicles in its Car-Rail, a fully enclosed rail car operation, on routes between the Minneapolis/St. Paul and Chicago metro areas and Arizona, and between the New York and Chicago metro areas and Arizona and California, as well as on its fleet of over-the-road automobile transporters, which operate...

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