Biometric screening at MSP
With the swipe of a finger or a blink of an eye — and $179 a year — travelers at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport can go directly to metal-detecting machines and bag-scanning lanes, bypassing lines. Clear, a private service that uses biometrics to verify identity, debuted Wednesday at Terminal 1. Clear signed a two-year contract to operate at MSP and go head-to-head with TSA PreCheck, the government’s traveler program that costs $85 for five years. During enrollment, Clear validates an applicant’s ID, collects 10 fingerprints, performs an iris scan and takes a high-resolution facial photo. Users then step to a pod at which they check in by swiping their finger or blinking their eye to prove their identity. The service is cheaper for Delta SkyMiles members, who pay $79 or $99 a year. Additional family members can be added for $50 and children 17 and under can register free. More info is at clearme.com.
Mexico, Caribbean airfares are down
Airfare to popular destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean is down this winter, according to data from Airlines Reporting Corp. The average ticket price to Cancun, Mexico — the top spot for winter travel in the region — is down $15 from last winter, coming in at $485.51. The average ticket price to Guadalajara, Mexico, the region’s eighth-most booked destination, has dropped significantly, falling from $507.45 in 2016 to $435.58 this year. Average prices are also down for Mexico City ($529.52), San Juan, Puerto Rico ($438.58), Los Cabos ($539.79), Montego Bay, Jamaica ($556.46), Puerto Vallarta ($510.73), Nassau, Bahamas ($491.75) and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic ($529.27).
NYC Off-Broadway Week is offering two-for-one tickets to more than 45 shows between Feb. 27 and March 12. Prices vary. For example, a ticket to “Evening at the Talk House,” starring Matthew Broderick, starts at $37.50, down from $75. Add an $8 service charge. A seat at “Avenue Q,” the long-running musical with puppets, starts at $45.75. Use promo code OBWW2017 (nycgo.com).
In 1817, Karl von Drais patented the first bicycle. Now in the bike’s bicentennial year, travel operators are, ahem, peddling new routes. Ride & Seek is offering a 15 percent discount on its May 21 departure in Provence, France. The discounted eight-day trip costs about $3,140. Wilderness Scotland has organized a 12-day, 500-mile bike tour through Britain and Ireland (about $3,340). And TDA Global Cycling will run a 5,500-mile Trans-Canada cycling trip June 3 to Sept. 8. The entire trip costs $12,900 but travelers can join shorter sections starting at $1,975 for 12 days.
New YOrk TImes
Global radio on the web
Click on Radio.Garden to hear live radio stations around the globe. The website’s interactive map of Earth lets you tap into radio stations around the world in real time. Take an auditory journey to India, Cuba, Australia, Uganda or across the United States. Click on the “Live” button and tap on the “green dot” radio stations that are transmitting. The right side of the screen will show your radio station choices within one destination.
Los Angeles Times