Warning! Soon, airline loyalty will cost you

How can a loyalty program make passengers feel unappreciated? Delta is the first legacy airline to tie the value of its frequent-flier program to the amount of money you spend, as opposed to the number of miles you fly. Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, the airline’s frequent fliers will earn “elite” status, which gives them access to upgrades and other perks, through a combination of miles or segments flown and annual spending on Delta flights.

Is “expedition cruising” for you?

Are you a candidate for expedition cruising? Ned Levi looks at the difference between typical cruising and expedition cruising, examines what kind of travelers might like and not like expedition cruises, and discusses some of the characteristics of expedition cruising.

Sunday musings: Italy no-nos, Two-ticket savings, Private MD-WV bridge

Today our first article to ponder is fun. It is a look at what not to do in Italy, a land of legendary excesses. We then look at how to save money by combining airline tickets on your own (or together with a travel agent) and some of the pitfalls of these money-saving maneuvers. Finally, the history of a remote privately-owned bridge connecting West Virginia and Maryland gives us pause — the crush of bureaucracy even in the remote hollows and rivers is amazing.