DOT proposes protections
Through Aug. 21, consumers can comment on government proposals for passenger protections at Regulations.gov (search for DOT-OST-2014-0056). They would would require airlines to show certain basic fees upfront; add new reporting requirements for smaller airlines, and require online travel agencies to adopt consumer protection policies. Passenger advocates hope that after a 90-day comment period, the proposed regulation will bring positive changes to the way Americans fly. But a lot can happen between now and Aug. 21, when comments are due.
A plethora of replica weapons
A section of Los Angeles International Airport was evacuated last week when a Stanford University professor was arrested on charges of bringing a World War II-era grenade through a security checkpoint in a carry-on bag. Last year, TSA screeners uncovered 136 inert, replica or novelty hand grenades at U.S. airports along with 1,813 fake firearms, a 16.5 percent increase from 2012. An official said most passengers either say that say it was an innocent mistake or that they didn't realize inert or replica weapons were prohibited.
los angeles times
deal of the week
Savings, relatively speaking, on Maui
The Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa is offering a family package on the Hawaiian island with savings of nearly $1,000. The Ultimate Maui Family Vacation starts at $3,127 for a family of four and includes seven nights in a double or king room with a private lanai; daily Hertz rental SUV; daily breakfast buffet for two adults and two children; two-for-one tickets for the Drums of the Pacific Luau and the Tour of the Stars program; free child's ticket with paying adult at Submarine Adventure, Lanai Snorkel or Dolphin Watch Excursion; and taxes and fees. The offer is valid through Dec. 20. By comparison, the room alone, without tax, is more than $2,300. Info: 808-923-1234, waikiki.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html.
on the web
Gogobot gets a makeover
A major overhaul of the popular Gogobot app gives users more trip-planning features and a mobile-friendly design. It's free and available on Android, iOS and online. The app sources where to eat, stay and play based on 675,000 recommendations and 60,000 city guides around the world. New features include the ability to share a travel itinerary among multiple users. Gogobot users also will enjoy being able to organize their itineraries day by day and sync them with multiple devices. And you don't need to set up an account in order to use the app to book a hotel, find restaurants or discover travel inspiration.
LOS ANGELES TIMES
A trendy venue in … Fargo?
By many accounts, Fargo is a hot tourist destination. The Washington Post rcently ran an account praising the city's "sleek prairie art and design," particularly at the Hotel Donaldson. Located at 101 N. Broadway, "The HoDo, as locals call it, set the tone for our stay. To our surprise and soon-to-follow delight, it primed us for a weekend of sophisticated design and art in this city of 100,000." OK, then. The boutique hotel has free baked goods delivered for breakfast and a daily wine-and-cheese hour from 5 to 6 p.m. Rooms start at $199. 1-701-478-1000, www.hoteldonaldson.com.