MARKING a formal end to hot meals in coach on domestic flights, American Airlines in September plans to start removing rear galleys from its MD-80 jets, which fly most of its domestic routes.
Front galleys, where food is prepared for first-class passengers, will remain.
"We've pretty much concluded that hot food in the coach section is not something we'll be able to afford," said Art Pappas, American's managing director in Los Angeles.
Like many airlines, American has stopped serving free hot meals in coach on domestic flights, instead providing pretzels or, on longer flights, selling snack boxes or sandwich wraps.
A coach galley is "underutilized space in today's environment," said American spokesman Tim Smith.
Removing the galleys will make room for four more seats in each of the 327 MD-80s, potentially adding $34 million in annual revenue, he said.
New test-track attraction is set for Las Vegas
IT sounds like a Zen riddle: How does one do off-road driving in Las Vegas?
Answer: By signing up for a session at the Drive, an attraction expected to open by early April at Sahara Avenue and Paradise Road, behind the Sahara Hotel & Casino.
The 11-acre site, billed as "autotainment," will contain a curvy, half-mile paved route and an off-road dirt course with logs, rocks and moguls where you can test drive Hummer H2s and H3s, SUVs and other General Motors vehicles, said Christie Conti, a GM spokeswoman in Thousand Oaks.
With no salespeople on site, the Drive will be "a no-pressure experience," she said, although model brochures will be available if you want to follow up.
To get the car keys, you must be 18 or older, have a driver's license and pass a breathalyzer test for alcohol. Professional drivers will ride along to give guidance.
The cost is expected to be $10 or less per person per drive. Hours were tentatively set for 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, and the site was expected to stay open at least six months.
Other details as of the Travel section's deadline Tuesday were still being worked out; website and phone were not yet available.
Disney's Pirates ride to close for renovations
STARTING next month, Pirates of the Caribbean, the boat ride at Disneyland in Anaheim and Walt Disney World in Florida, will close for several months while characters are added from the namesake movies.
The popular attraction will be shut March 1 until July 7 in Florida and March 6 until June 24 in Anaheim, Disney representatives said. The reopenings are timed to the release of "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest."
In other Disney news, Walt Disney World this month began boarding visitors on Expedition Everest, a roller coaster that hurtles riders up to 50 mph through a mythical Himalayan adventure.
Name your own price -- or not
THE romance with "name your own price" seems to be fading.
Priceline.com, the Internet site best known for letting travelers bid on airline seats, has seen bookings made that way slip "30% to 40% year over year over the last couple of years," Chief Executive Jeffery Boyd told the Reuters Hotels and Casinos Summit last week in Los Angeles.
Nearly a year ago, Priceline began adding published fares to its website.
Boyd said the increase in low-cost carriers and the adoption of simplified fares by traditional airlines had reduced the appeal of bidding.
Queen Mary 2: The vessel will cancel two sailings while repairs are made to a propulsion motor damaged last month when the world's biggest cruise ship hit the side of a Florida shipping channel.
The affected itineraries are a Mediterranean cruise on May 5 from Southampton, England, and a Nov. 18 Caribbean cruise. A Nov. 11 transatlantic crossing will be delayed a week. Cunard Line was offering credits, partial refunds and fare protection for re-bookings to passengers on those cruises.
Donald J. Trump: The entrepreneur, TV host and more has added another title: online travel salesman. His new Internet site, www.gotrump.com, claims to offer low prices for flights, hotel rooms and travel packages.
-- Compiled by Jane Engle