Leaf-peeping and wine go together at Biltmore this fall

The Biltmore Estates is one of the best places to watch the leaves turn color. Leaf-watching is only one of the things you can do there.

“Taste the Estate” in September
Biltmore kicks off the season with “Taste the Estate” to celebrate North Carolina Wine Month and the estate’s history of winemaking. Experiences include free tastings, luxurious wine-focused meals and specialty tours.

Average airfares soar past $500! 5 tips to save on flights

Airfares aren’t going to go down any time soon. Here are some tips that can land you the lowest airfare.

Shop beyond the usual “low-cost” carriers. In the past, the formula to find a cheap flight was often as simple as doing a quick search at Southwest Airlines’ website. If the low-fare pioneer had service on the route, it probably had a decent fare, if not the absolute lowest available. But as Southwest grew into “America’s largest domestic airline,” prices crept higher, to the point that its identity is not about cheap flights anymore. Studies have shown that Southwest often doesn’t have the best prices on flights. JetBlue doesn’t necessarily have the lowest fares either.

Airlines want a return to bait-and-switch tactic


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Airlines jammed a bill through the House last week. The repercussions are still reverberating through DC and, hopefully, across the country. This bill is a blatant effort to enshrine into law bait and switch advertising, long guarded against by the FTC and DOT.

House sponsors had the gall to name the bill the “Transparent Airfares Act,” a title as deceptive as the practice it hopes to reinstate. Led by U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, a Democrat from Oregon, the act purports to enlighten the public by separating the base costs from the costs imposed by the government. But there is nothing under the existing rules to stop the airlines from listing the taxes and fees during the booking process, letting consumers know how much of a bite the government is taking.

Allowing a base price to be advertised up front frustrates consumers by hiding the actual cost until they’ve been lured onto the computer and invested the time in comparison shopping and checking flight schedules.

(Photo: L Silver/Flickr Creative Commons)