Airfare climbs 15% for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving 2006 is shaping up as an expensive, crowded holiday for air travelers. The average advance round-trip fare for Thanksgiving weekend travel has soared to $434, up 15% from a year ago, an analysis by consulting firm Sabre Airline Solutions for USA TODAY shows.

Bumped in the Baltic

When Rosemary and Ken Spencer booked their seven-day Baltic cruise with MSC Cruises, they considered it their “cruise of a lifetime.” But two months before the cruise, their travel agent called with some shocking news: The Spencers had been bumped off the ship to make room for a charter group.

Boeing stretches new 747

Boeing is lengthening the passenger version of its new 747 widebody jet so airlines can squeeze in about 17 extra seats, a move that will bring the new plane a tad closer to the seating capacity of rival Airbus’ massive A380.

God bless the 20-hour road trip

What to do when the blahs set in, with no relief in sight till the holidays? Do you take to your bed and moan? Heavens, no, man! Get a grip! The cure for the blahs is a road trip. Twenty hours is all it takes to restore body and soul, and no one will even know you were gone.

Demand for gasoline surges

Americans are celebrating plunging gasoline prices by hitting the roads. After barely rising during the summer months, gasoline demand rose swiftly in September, the American Petroleum Institute said Wednesday.

That’s not my wreck

His rental car is in immaculate shape when Don Jancauskas returns it to the Denver airport. But almost three months later, Dollar Rent A Car claims he badly damaged it, and demands $1,061. The evidence that Jancauskas did it is flimsy. So why isn’t Dollar backing down?

TSA Plan: X-ray for liquid bombs

The Transportation Security Administration, in a potential strategy shift, may screen carry-on bags with new three-dimensional X-ray machines that are better at spotting liquid explosives, guns and other weapons.

How clean is your hotel room?

When you check into a hotel room, you expect the place to be spick-and-span, and you expect to have the room to yourself. Sadly, this is not always the case. The tub may be dirty and you may be sharing your bed with some unwelcome guests. Our new hotel correspondent, Amy Bradley-Hole, sets the record straight on hotel cleanliness.

Tourists still arriving in Hawaii

For the tourists and residents in Hawaii, life quickly returned to normal Monday as authorities restored electricity, cleared highways and found little major damage from the recent earthquake. Tourists continued to arrive by the planeload, and most who were momentarily shaken by the quake saw no need to cut short vacations.

10 costumes that won’t fly

Halloween brings out the best and worst in people, and the best and worst from the costume closet. What will it be this year? Princess? Ghost? Ax Murderer? When your costume gets worn to the airport, you best be careful not to scare up some trouble.