State-of-the-art pet carrier

Delta Air Lines is offering a new deluxe animal crate that can be tracked like luggage and is designed to reduce stress and prevent escape. CarePod is launching its product on Delta flights at eight airports including Minneapolis-St. Paul. The companies herald the pink-and-white crates as “state-of-the-art,” with built-in water bowls that automatically refill, angled ventilation slates that minimize jarring lighting transitions and thicker walls that the airline claims no animal can chew through. The CarePod transport will cost $800 plus taxes. The news came the same day the U.S. Department of Transportation proposed a new rule that would allow airlines to ban untrained comfort animals from the cabin. Delta’s fancy kennel is meant to reduce animal injuries and deaths, and to encourage travelers to check their pets rather than carry them aboard.

Kristen Leigh Painter

Cocktails in Concourse A

If you’ve never been to Concourse A at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, you’re not alone. But now you have reason to make the trek. The Cocktail Room at 18th & Central, near gate A10, opens Friday.The relaxed yet opulent bar — there’s a crystal chandelier — is inspired by Tattersall’s northeast Minneapolis cocktail room with a drink menu that reflects the popular distillery’s home base ( Thanks to its faraway location, airport officials are pitching it as a speakeasy for people in the know. To get there, you have to take a tram to the end of a different concourse (C), then ride three people-movers through A. Many of the drinks on offer are the same that Tattersall makes at its distillery, including its beloved Old Fashioned. There are also a few airport-only additions, namely the Bloody Mary and Screwdriver, those favorites of frequent flyers. The menu also lists several shareable plates.

Sharyn Jackson

The ‘firefall’ of Yosemite

A thin ephemeral waterfall in Yosemite National Park becomes the star attraction in February. Horsetail Fall over the eastern edge of El Capitan can glow golden or orange at sunset from mid- to late-February when skies are clear. Illumination from the sunset causes the phenomenon, what’s become known as the firefall. “Horsetail Fall is an amazing natural phenomenon if you see it under the right circumstances: when there’s enough water, when the light’s right,” photographer Michael Frye said in an episode of “Yosemite Nature Notes.” Officials warned that “even some haze or minor cloudiness can greatly diminish or eliminate the effect.” Fingers crossed for favorable conditions!

Fresno Bee

A Superior cruise ship

Last week Viking Cruise Line rolled out details about its upcoming “expedition” voyages to the Great Lakes. The new ship Viking Octantis is scheduled to make its maiden voyage in January 2022. Octantis is being built with soaring windows to maximize views. A retractable glass dome covers an area with three different temperature pools. The 665-foot-long ship has multiple dining venues, a spa and a fitness center. Modern, Scandinavian-style staterooms range from a snug 222 square feet to the sprawling 1,223-square-foot suite with a large, private garden. All of the cabins have king-size beds, heated bathroom floors and a so-called Nordic balcony. There’s an enclosed marina dubbed the Hangar, where guests can board smaller, high-speed excursion boats. The ship will be equipped with two submarines that can seat six guests for underwater exploration.

Chicago Tribune