5 reasons to visit Europe in spring

Spring is in the air. If you have a yen for traveling, this is one of the best times to go — especially if you are headed to Europe. The continent is ablaze with the flowers of the season, museums are uncrowded, and off-season prices will save you some money. Best of all, the Europeans are home.

Jet passengers may not get to chat on cell phones after all

The once-highflying idea of letting passengers use their wireless phones on airplanes is about to be grounded. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin is recommending the FCC drop its tentative plan to lift its ban on in-flight cellphone use, three agency officials say. They asked to remain anonymous because the proposal is still being considered.

A filthy room at the inn

When Stacie Heflin checks in at a Hampton Inn in Mississippi, she finds that her room isn’t clean. Among the items Heflin discovers lying around: a hairpin, a rubber band, a clothespin and a pill. Afraid that her toddler will help himself to some of the items, she ends up cleaning the room herself. Is she entitled to her money back under the hotel’s money-back guarantee? She thinks so, but the hotel isn’t responding to her queries.

Report: Air-traffic shifts understaffed

Air-traffic control towers at small and medium airports have been routinely understaffed with only one person on a shift, a violation of federal aviation rules, a government investigator said Tuesday.

My favorite hotels

Mechanics know which cars are well built, librarians know which books are good reads, chefs know where to find the freshest produce — and hoteliers know where to stay! I’ll share some secrets with you, and let you know about my favorite hotels around the world.

Superjumbo Airbus jets arrive in JFK, LA

The latest jetliner to claim the title of world’s biggest passenger aircraft completed its maiden voyage to the United States on Monday, flying on football field-length wings and a prayer that the American airline industry will want to buy the double-decker jumbo jet.

Phone home

What’s the worst thing about traveling? I mean, besides the cost, the long lines, the pint-sized seats and the jet-lag? For me, it’s the time spent away from home. I am now a new daddy and I can’t stand to be away from home for more than a few days. I keep worrying that my boy won’t recognize me when I come home. Well, I have a solution to long-distance communication. It’s called Skype, and it’s easy — and free.

Airline passengers stranded for third day

Thousands of weary travelers faced a third day waiting to reach their destinations Sunday as US Airways struggled to recover from the ice and snow storm that paralyzed airports in the Northeast. The airline was still trying to find seats for 100,000 passengers systemwide whose flights were grounded by Friday’s storm, spokesman Andrew Christie said. Many of the passengers were diverted to US Airways’ hub in Charlotte, on Friday.

Europe draws the cruise crowd

The big news out of last week’s Seatrade convention is that Europe is fast becoming the hot cruise destination, attracting both new ships and new money. What does it mean for American cruisers?

Spring break? Road trip!

Spring breaks and road trips were just made for each other, and thousands of campus-weary kids are climbing into their getaway cars at this very moment. They all think their road trip will be wonderful and cheap. Wonderful? Probably. Cheap? Not necessarily. A cheap road trip takes a little planning.