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Today’s Top Story
Southwest tests new ways of boarding families
Can airlines do a better job of accommodating families? That’s the question Southwest Airlines is asking by experimenting with various ways to board and seat traveling families. (AP)
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What’s New On Tripso
Six jeers for Six Flags
Baseball, hot dogs, beer, beach trips and amusement parks are all staples of summer. This week, a disappointing experience at a local theme park has John Frenaye thinking about the future of summertime fun in a world of Disney-sized expectations. (John Frenaye)
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More travel news
Airport evacuated over … hand-held game?
A suspicious item in checked luggage that prompted the evacuation of a terminal at Long Beach Airport on Thursday turned out to be an electronic game, authorities said. (AP)
Safety regulators mull better airport markings
Safety investigators studying a deadly plane crash in Kentucky considered whether changes are needed in airport markings and cockpit maps but said the accident also points to the dangers of a distracted crew. (AP)
Dog runs loose on airport tarmac
Sky Harbor traffic controllers had a dog-gone mess on their hands Thursday morning when they spotted a dog running around the tarmac. (AZfamily.com)
Unpacking the hotel package
It’s a classic sales technique, and hotel package deals are based on the same idea: those extras that you didn’t even know you needed will persuade you to stay a few nights. These days packages come with increasingly far-out themes, peddling add-ons that range from the sublime (a private tour of the Vatican) to the ridiculous (a fridge “pimped out” with edible body paint and a Barry White CD). (Travel + Leisure)
Online ticketing to decrease waits for the Statue of Liberty
Lengthy, cramped ferry waits — a longtime complaint of statue visitors — could ease when the boats that serve Liberty and Ellis islands switch hands in the coming months. (AP)
Agriculture, art and corn dogs
In serious farm country during August and September, it’s state fair time. (The New York Times) (Registration required.)
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Today’s Travel Blogs
Best brunches in New York: Five Points
Though you’ll probably have to wait an hour or more for a table, the deliciousness makes the thumb twirling worthwhile. Five Points Restaurant, on the quiet Great Jones Street in Manhattan’s NoHo, delivers the quintessential white tablecloth NYC brunch. (Jaunted)
Get lucky in Las Vegas with online specials
If Las Vegas, the city of neon lights, clinking slot machines, jaw-dropping performances, and theme accommodations, is your idea of a dream vacation, then you’re in luck. (Smarter Travel)
Is Europe too expensive this summer? Nyet
You’ve probably read this advice a hundred times this year: Stay away from Europe. It’s too expensive. But it’s not entirely correct, as my colleague Charlie Leocha pointed out in a recent column. And now there’s fresh evidence to support that claim. (Elliott.org)
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