Summer travelers cope with the ‘gas gorilla’ — Summer vacationers heading near and far have a 600-pound traveling companion to tote this year: The gas price gorilla. It’ll take considerably more bananas to go the distance for summer R&R. Will $2.30-a-gallon slow us? Yes. No. Depends on who you talk to. (Post-Standard)

Who else wants a piece of US Airways? — Airline experts said Monday they doubt that competing bids will materialize for bankrupt US Airways that would delay its proposed merger with America West Holdings Corp. In a filing with the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, US Airways on Friday proposed procedures for suitors to submit alternative proposals to bring it out of bankruptcy. In the filing, it said that offers to acquire its assets are “not preferred” but may be entertained under the right conditions. (Tribune-Review)

Business hit by higher hotel prices — Midweek hotel bargains are becoming harder to find, thanks mostly to a business-travel comeback that’s flourished since last year. Business travel has “really come back faster and stronger than any of us anticipated,” says Paul Whetsell, chairman of MeriStar Hospitality, one of the nation’s largest hotel real estate investment trusts. (USA Today)

Travel agent vs. Internet — who wins? — Travel is a $522 billion business, and more and more people are turning to the Internet these days when planning a vacation. In fact, with the convenience of just the click of a mouse, nearly 64 million people used the Internet in 2004 to get travel information. But is it the only way to a deal? (NewsNet 5)

Commentary from Christopher Elliott – I don’t think this is an “either/or” proposition. For some trips, you use an agent; for others, you don’t. On a complex itinerary, you’re better off dealing with an experienced travel counselor. But for a simple airline reservation, you’re usually better off flying solo.

Northwest braces for mechanics strike — Northwest Airlines is preparing to hire replacement workers in case its mechanics strike. The mechanics union said many members, including laid-off Northwest mechanics, have reported on the airline’s efforts to “hire scabs in the event of a work stoppage.” “The company … confirmed your reports,” the union said in a posting on its Web site. (Pioneer Press)

Got time on the fly? Go work out — When Harvey “Chip” Reed has a few hours to kill between flights at O’Hare Airport, he doesn’t wander aimlessly or fill up on fast food. He works out. Reed is among airline passengers who squeeze in a little exercise during layovers or flight delays. (Sun-Times)

City of light is the city of flight — The city of light is also the city of flight, says a new study listing Paris as the most vital connecting point for international air travel. Anchorage places a surprising second on the list, followed by London, Singapore and New York. (Anchorage Daily News)

Go with a Go! Card — If you’re traveling to Boston, Chicago, Orlando, San Francisco, San Diego, or Seattle this summer, don’t go without the Go Card. Think of it as the Whitman Sampler of attraction passes. One price lets you taste dozens of major sights in each city, from the most popular to the most obscure. The card is available for 1, 2, 3, 5, or 7 days. (Fodors)

Commentary from John Frenaye — Finally, this is a fantastic idea that has been around in Europe for years. Are we becoming tourism friendly?

Subterranean visitor center taking shape — Fifty feet below ground and steps from the U.S. Capitol, construction workers haul bricks and cement, lay marble and tiles and put other finishing touches on a subterranean project almost as large as the building itself. When completed, the three-level catacomb will be a place to welcome Capitol visitors and make lawmakers safer in doing their business. To some, it also will serve as a tribute to Congress, telling its stories as an institution as well as the place where laws are made. (CNN)

Contributing: Leslie Friedman, Mary Staley.