The bad news for air travelers is that domestic fares have risen about 4.5 percent in 2012, bringing the average airline ticket to about $375. The good news is that the increase has been modest compared with 2011, when fares jumped 8.3 percent. Even better news, industry analysts predict air fares will rise even less in 2013. But before you pop the cork on the champagne, know that industry experts warn that fares could still soar in the last two months of this year. In fact, Southwest Airlines raised domestic prices last week $4 to $10 per round trip, depending on the route -- a hike matched by all the major U.S.-based carriers.


Bigger Maritime Park opens in San Francisco

San Francisco's Hyde Street Pier, built in 1922 for ferries, has been reborn as part of a vastly expanded San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. The pier is loaded with artifacts and seafaring vessels, including an 1886 square-rigged ship from Scotland and a three-masted 1895 schooner. For more about the park and its exhibits, go to


D.C. exhibit highlights Cuban Missile Crisis

"To the Brink: JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis,'' which opened last week at the National Archives in Washington, includes secret White House recordings from the 1962 crisis, including tense discussions between President Kennedy and the executive committee of the National Security Council, whose members can be heard debating the cost of nuclear war. The exhibit runs until Feb. 3;


American lets some fliers reserve meals

American Airlines announced last week that first- and business-class passengers can now reserve their in-flight meal via the airline's website. You get to choose from among two or three entrees -- the same choices you get when you board the plane.