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November 02, 2008|Jane Engle, Mary Forgione and Jane Engle

United offers luggage option

United Airlines, which will soon increase its checked-bag fees, is giving customers a pricier but convenient alternative: overnight luggage delivery from their home or from a FedEx station to their destination. The service, available only within the 48 contiguous U.S. states, costs $149 per bag each way for flights of less than 1,000 miles and $179 for longer flights. An online check of FedEx and Sports Express, among several such services, indicated that United's prices might in fact be lower. FedEx quoted about $200 and Sports Express more than $250 for standard overnight delivery of a 40-pound bag from the Westside of Los Angeles to New York City. Exact rates vary by weight, date, size and details of the shipment. Even with United's higher fee for a second checked bag, which doubles to $50 for travel starting Nov. 10, its overnight delivery service costs more than just putting your bags on the plane. But at least it saves you from schlepping your luggage.

-- Jane Engle

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In remembrance

Where's the nation's first World War I memorial? If you guessed Washington you would be right -- that is, the state, not the capital. The Stonehenge Memorial near Goldendale, a concrete replica of its English counterpart, was dedicated (though not finished) in 1918 and sits on a bluff above the Columbia River. Why Stonehenge? Businessman Sam Hill mistakenly thought the original was a monument to human sacrifice, according to the Maryhill Museum of Art, which oversees the monument. This was Hill's way of honoring the soldiers of Klickitat County who lost their lives in the Great War. For Veterans' Day, the museum invites those who have served in the armed forces to visit and attend a reception at 3 p.m. Info: (509) 773-3733, www.maryhillmuseum.org

-- Mary Forgione

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End of Delta Queen?

The 82-year-old Delta Queen, America's best-known paddle-wheeler, may have made its final port call last week. The historic riverboat, whose twin, the Delta King, is a floating hotel and restaurant in Sacramento, has hit troubled waters. An exemption from safety laws that allows the Delta Queen to carry passengers on overnight trips was set to expire at midnight Friday, and Congress has declined to extend it. Even if Congress decides to act, "The vessel will not operate in 2009," Joe Ueberroth, president and chief executive of its owner, Ambassadors International Inc. in Newport Beach, said in a conference call with media and others. "It's just too late to put her back in service."

The Delta Queen has plied the Mississippi and other rivers for decades under a series of owners.

-- Jane Engle

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For more Travel news, go to latimes.com/travelblog.

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