Delta debuts facial recognition at MSP
Checking a bag at the airport? Just bring your face and your passport. Delta Air Lines last week debuted self-service kiosks aimed at speeding up lines. One of its four new machines is equipped with facial-recognition technology. The technology verifies passengers by matching their faces with their passport photos. Delta says it’s a first for U.S. carriers. Travelers first print check-in tags for their bags at a kiosk, then approach the bag-drop area. Travelers with passports can use the facial recognition scanning machine. If successfully verified — which takes 30 seconds, Delta said — they load their bags onto the belt. If rejected, the traveler can try again or head to an agent for an in-person bag check.
Paul Walsh and Janet Moore
Allegiant Air to fly from St. Cloud to Fort Myers area
No-frills Allegiant Air is starting service connecting St. Cloud, Minn., and the Punta Gorda Airport near Fort Myers, a popular Florida destination for Minnesotans seeking to flee winter weather and maybe take in a Twins spring training game or two. Allegiant’s seasonal nonstop connection starts Nov. 15, and the Las Vegas-based airline said fares could be had for as little as $69 each way. Allegiant also offers flights between St. Cloud and the Phoenix-Mesa airport. The St. Cloud Airport is located a few miles east of downtown, making it a convenient option for travelers who live north and west of the Twin Cities. It offers free parking for travelers.
Midwestern beach vacation
If you and your family are yearning for a seaside holiday but can’t make it to the coasts, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore may fit the bill. Geocaching is a favorite activity at this 15,000-acre shore along Lake Michigan. Be on the lookout for the rare Karner blue butterfly. Climb over dunes, along rivers and through wetlands as you choose from 50 miles of meandering trails. Take the Succession trail to the top of a dune for a view of the Chicago skyline. Kayak via the Lake Michigan Water Trail or claim your spot along the 15-mile stretch of sandy beach (nps.gov/indu).
Dallas Morning News
Let’s do nothing
The No. 1 thing Americans want to do on vacation is … nothing. Almost three-fourths say resting and relaxing are very or extremely important to them when they go on vacation, according to the survey from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Most Americans say staying home and doing nothing isn’t ideal. Instead, they want a change of scenery. Of those who plan a summer vacation, 92 percent are going away and only 8 percent are making it a staycation. More than half of those polled said relaxing at home doesn’t count as a real vacation. How about unplugging? Only 22 percent “completely disconnect” while on vacation. A third don’t even try to get away from the internet and social media. Americans under 30 are the most plugged in: Just 13 percent say they’re likely to completely disconnect. But most Americans do avoid working. Sixty percent of workers say they don’t check in with work at all when they’re on vacation, while 32 percent say they work or check in with work a little. Eight percent may fall into the workaholic category: They work or check in with the office “a lot.”