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NEWS
September 18, 2012 | By Chris Erskine
Carriers are offering more deals to passengers who book flights directly on their websites, the Associated Press reports. It's an effort to steer people away from online travel agencies such as Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity, which charge the carriers commissions of roughly $10 to $25 a ticket. Frontier Airlines, FlyFrontier.com , is the latest carrier to jump into the fight, announcing last week that it will penalize passengers who don't book directly with the airline. Those fliers won't be able to get seat assignments until check-in.
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NEWS
September 7, 2012 | By Chris Erskine, Los Angeles Times
In response to the recent outbreak, Yosemite is distributing hantavirus information to every visitor. Since HPS was first identified in 1993, there have been approximately 60 cases in California and 602 cases nationally, the park says. Nationwide, approximately 20% of mice carry hantavirus.. . . . Bermuda is on a tropical storm watch as Hurricane Leslie hovers to the south-southeast. Little motion or change in strength is expected until sometime Friday . . . . A hoax tip called in to airport police was being blamed Thursday when a Dallas-bound flight out of Philadelphia was recalled by authorities and a passenger removed.
NEWS
September 4, 2012 | By Chris Erskine, Los Angeles Times staff writer
Early signs of autumn have been appearing for two weeks in California, says John Poimiroo of CaliforniaFallColor.com, a leaf-peeping website. He says the first spectacular color will happen at the highest elevations of the Eastern Sierra near Sabrina, South and North Lakes, up the Bishop Creek Canyon in Inyo County.  For weekly reports, look here and at Poimiroo's website starting in mid-September . . . . Thirty of California's best winemakers will take part in Vintners' Holidays , in Yosemite's famed Ahwahnee  over eight sessions from Nov. 4 to Dec. 6. This year marks the 31st anniversary of the wine fest . . . . Sample wine directly from the barrel at Callaway Vineyards' ”Taste of Autumn Seminar” on Oct. 20 in Temecula.
NEWS
August 28, 2012 | By Chris Erskine, Los Angeles Times staff writer
Forecasters are warning vacationers as far west as Houston to keep track of Hurricane Issac. The storm is expected to make landfall late Tuesday . . . . Flight cancellations due to the storm were well into the thousands by late Monday. Some airlines are giving passengers nearly a year to rebook while others are requiring passengers to be on planes as quickly as Friday. George Hobica of AirfareWatchdog.com  says the process should be standardized. “It's not the passengers' fault that a hurricane happened, ” he told the Associated Press . . . . The Lake Tahoe Autumn Food and Wine Festival starts Saturday and runs through through Labor Day. Go to www.TahoeFoodandWine.com . . . . Three days of fly-fishing classes,  beginners to advanced, will be offered at a fly-fishing fair at Mammoth Lakes , Sept.
NEWS
August 24, 2012 | By Chris Erskine
An L.A.-bound JetBlue flight from New York was forced to make an emergency landing in Denver this week when a Chicago man allegedly groped a pregnant woman, then refused to follow crew instructions. Authorities say the 32-year-old was intoxicated and groped the woman as he waited for the bathroom while on the flight . . . . The number of people taking trips of 50 miles or more over Labor Day weekend will increase to 33 million from 32.1 million last year, AAA says in its annual forecast.
NEWS
August 14, 2012 | By Chris Erskine, Los Angeles Times staff writer
Pitch of the week (and it's only Tuesday): “The team at Trippy , the social travel site and app, created a 'Fifty Shades of Grey' travel board and I thought you might be interested in checking it out.” The board features locations included in the popular book “as well as some ideas for where a real-life Christian and Ana might visit. “ Click here for details   . . . . The next Olympics will be in Sochi, on the Black Sea in eastern Russia,  in 2014. For ticket information, click here  . . . . Bad news for late-summer car trips: The national average for a gallon of gas at the pump has climbed to $3.67, a rise of 34 cents since July 1. An increase in crude oil prices and problems with refineries and pipelines in the West Coast and Midwest, including a fire in California, are mostly to blame . . . . The Nevada Wild Fest, with over 35 large format carnival rides and the  world's largest sling-shot,  heads to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas Oct. 25-28 . . . . LAX has announced nature-themed exhibitions by Southern California artists in Terminal 1 , near baggage claim and near Gate 1 . . . . The Port of Hueneme holds its inaugural Banana Festival Sept 29, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 105 E. Port Hueneme Road.
NEWS
August 8, 2012 | By Chris Erskine, Los Angeles Times staff writer
An enthusiastic response to the revamp of Disneyland's California Adventure theme park was touted as one of the factors behind the Walt Disney Co.'s better-than-expected third-quarter profit. CEO Bob Iger said attendance at Disney California Adventure accounted for about half of the visits to its Anaheim parks, up from just a quarter previously . . . .  Alpaca ranches have existed in the U.S. only since 1984. To broaden awareness, they are opening to the public on Sept.  29 and 30, with special activities and educational opportunities. There are 10 participating farms and ranches in California.
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