Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Lufthansa Plans Regular Flight Operations For Thursday December 1st

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Lufthansa will operate almost all its scheduled flights tomorrow, Thursday, December 1. Only a handful of services (40) need to be cancelled in the wake of the strike action of the preceding days. Lufthansa regrets these further ramifications of the strike and apologizes for the inconvenience to the customers affected.

Lufthansa asks all its customers intending to fly tomorrow (Thursday) to check the latest status of their flight on before leaving for the airport. Travelers who have provided contact details in their customer profile will be actively informed via email or SMS text message of any cancellation affecting them.

A total of 890 Lufthansa flights affecting some 98,000 travelers have been cancelled today as a result of the latest strike action by the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) pilots’ union. All in all, the six days of strike action since last Wednesday have caused the cancellation of 4,461 flights affecting over 525,000 Lufthansa customers.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Travelore Report, Monthly In Print Since 1971: TRAVELORE DESTINATION REPORT: The Difference Is I...

Travelore Report, Monthly In Print Since 1971: TRAVELORE DESTINATION REPORT: The Difference Is I...: Photo of Bahia Akumal beach by Allen Barkus Typical accommodations at resort. Photo by Allen Barkus  The real The difference betw...

Pets Ride Free On Amtrak December 6th-11th In Celebration Of The Secret Life Of Pets On Blu-Ray And DVD On December 6th




Universal City, California, November 29, 2016 – Riding the rails with a beloved four-legged friend will come with an extra special treat during this holiday season, in which “Pets Ride Free.” Universal Pictures Home Entertainment (UPHE) and Amtrak are teaming up for a first of its kind promotion in celebration of the December 6 home entertainment release of Illumination’s blockbuster film, The Secret Life of Pets.  The “Pets Ride Free” offer, available for trips booked December 6 through December 11, 2016 or while supplies last, allows pets to ride at no additional cost on participating Amtrak routes from December 9 through March 31, 2017.
During the first year of Amtrak’s pet program, more than 15, 000 dogs and cats traveled with their owners on select Amtrak trains across the country.  Information on the “Pets Ride Free” offer is available at, at select ticket counters and stations, and on trains, including AmtrakConnect Wi-Fi portals. In addition, a limited number The Secret Life of Pets prizes will be available to customers at select stations. The program will be supported in 40 Amtrak markets nationwide including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Oakland, Dallas, Baltimore, Cleveland, Portland, Seattle, St. Louis, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Orlando, Miami, Jacksonville, Charleston and others.
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment will release The Secret Life of Pets, America’s top-grossing original film of the year, on Digital HD beginning on November 22, 2016. The film will be available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, and DVD with nearly an hour of bonus content, including three mini-movies, on December 6, 2016. The film will be available On Demand on December  6, 2016.
In their fifth fully animated feature-film collaboration, Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures present The Secret Life of Pets, a comedy about the lives our pets lead when we leave for work or school, which has grossed more than $873 million in global ticket sales. Max, voiced by Louis C.K., is a loyal terrier living a perfectly happy existence until his owner, Katie (Ellie Kemper) brings home Duke (Eric Stonestreet) a big, boisterous mutt she finds at the shelter. When Max and his unruly new “roommate” slip away from their dog-walker, they find themselves lost in the urban jungle of New York City.  In an attempt to stay ahead of animal control and a rebel band of abandoned pets led by an unhinged bunny named Snowball (Kevin Hart), they put aside their differences to survive the epic journey back home.
The film features an all-star voice cast including Louis C.K. (TV’s Louie), Eric Stonestreet (TV’s Modern Family), Kevin Hart (Ride Along Series), Jenny Slate (Zootopia), Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Lake Bell (TV’s Children’s Hospital), Dana Carvey (Wayne’s World), Hannibal Buress (Neighbors series), Bobby Moynihan (TV’s “Saturday Night Live), Steve Coogan (Minions) and Albert Brooks (Finding Dory). The film is directed by Chris Renaud (Despicable Me franchise, Dr. Seuss’ the Lorax) and co-directed by Yarrow Cheney (Despicable Me franchise).
To travel with a small dog or cat, tickets must be purchased at least three days prior to travel and are valid for up to March 31, 2017. Only one cat or one small dog are allowed in an enclosed carrier on trips up to seven hours in length. Both pet and carrier must be a combined weight of 20 pounds. To learn more about the Amtrak pet program visit To make a pet inclusive reservation, please call 1-800-USA-RAIL or visit a staffed station.
About Amtrak
Amtrak — America’s Railroad® — is dedicated to safe and reliable mobility as the nation’s intercity passenger rail service provider and its high-speed rail operator. With our state and commuter partners, we move people, the economy and the nation forward, carrying more than 30 million Amtrak passengers for each of the past six years. Formally known as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Amtrak is governed by a 10-member board of directors, nine of whom are appointed by the president of the United States plus the Amtrak CEO. Anthony R. Coscia is board chairman and Jeffrey R. Moreland is vice chairman. Amtrak operates more than 300 trains daily — at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) — connecting more than 500 destinations in 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Learn more at or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and other information. Check us out at, Like us on and Follow us on Twitter @Amtrak.
About Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment ( is a unit of Universal Pictures, a division of Universal Studios. Universal Studios is a part of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks, and a suite of leading internet-based businesses. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

'Jurassic World' Comes Alive At Philadelphia Exhibit At Franklin Institute

This Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016 photo, shows a pair of pachyrhinosaurus that move around as part of... Read more
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Dinosaurs in museums tend to be of the fossilized variety, but a new exhibit in Philadelphia is bringing the creatures and their world to life.
"Jurassic World: The Exhibition" opens at the Franklin Institute on Friday. Based on the blockbuster dinosaur movie franchise, the experience mixes the vibe of a theme park with the backstory of science, but the big — like, really big — attraction is the animatronic dinosaurs, some measuring over 24 feet tall.
The traveling show made its world premiere in Melbourne, Australia, earlier this year, but Philadelphia's U.S. debut offers some new features.
Here's what visitors can expect at the exhibit, which runs through April 23:
Guests can meet a towering Brachiosaurus, come face-to-face with a Velociraptor and get up close and personal with a Tyrannosaurus rex. The lifelike, life-size dinosaurs were designed by The Creature Technology Co., which created the enormous creatures for the "Walking with Dinosaurs" arena shows. A family-friendly "Gentle Giants Petting Zoo" also promises interactions with a baby Pachyrhinosaurus and its 29-foot-long mother. Visitors can even "pet" a small dinosaur.
The U.S. debut of the exhibit offers a look inside a raptor training paddock, like the one used by Chris Pratt's character in 2015's "Jurassic World." It also includes an interactive raptor.
Tom Zaller, president of Imagine Exhibitions, said that the U.S. show also adds additional science-related content and interactive elements.
The exhibit is nearly double the size of the Australian version.
Exhibit organizers worked closely with paleontologist Jack Horner, one of the best-known dinosaur researchers in the world, to help get the science right. Horner discovered the world's first dinosaur embryos and found that dinosaurs had nests and cared for their young.
In his book "Jurassic Park," Michael Crichton based the character Alan Grant on Horner. Steven Spielberg brought Horner on as a technical adviser on all of the "Jurassic Park" movies — and Horner did it without a college degree and with dyslexia.
The museum hopes to appeal to fans of science in addition to fans of the movie. An educator guide offers ways to look at the exhibit through scientific eyes on topics including: ethics in science; climate change; DNA and genetics; and extinction.
It also offers interactive exhibits. Brave visitors can even stick an arm into a pile of dinosaur dung to feel its squishy, warm interior as a way to learn about identifying animals by studying their leavings

Luxurious Modena, Italy: Home To Ferrari

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A short distance from Bologna is the distinctive small town of Modena. Located on the south side of the Po Valley, in the Province of Modena, in the Emilia Romagna region of northern Italy, the city proudly offers visitors the Ferrari Museum and some of the most unique shops to be found in the entire country. The city has a history and culture that is frequently overlooked because of the larger, higher profile city of Bologna. Do not be misled by publicity hype! Modena deserves your attention!

Big on Education and History
The University of Modena started in 1175, was expanded by Francesco Il d’Este in 1686 and is the second oldest athenaeum in Italy. The Italian military officers are trained at the Military Academy of Modena and utilizes space in the Baroque Ducal Palace. In addition, the Torre della Ghirlandina and Piazza Grande were declared UNESCO World Heritage sites in 1997. Culture seekers will find Modena significant as it is the home of operatic tenor Luciano Pavarotti and soprano Mirella Freni.
Luxury. Enzo Ferrari Museum
Modena is an ancient town that is known for its automotive industry and it includes factories for the manufacturing of famous Italian sports car makers Ferrari, De Tomaso, Lamborghini, Pagani and Maserati. One of the Ferrari cars, the 360 Modena, was named after the town.
The Museum shares the story of Ferrari past and present. Czech architect and Future Systems founder Jan Kaplický designed the museum which includes two buildings: One is the early 19th century former home and workshop of Ferrari’s father that was renovated to maintain a 40-metre gallery, the second space is a glass fronted structure that curves around the original building. The new non-linear structure has a streamlined yellow aluminum roof that matches the color of the Ferrari logo and features sliced incisions intended to resemble the air intake vents on the hood of a car.
Extraordinary Shop
• Handmade Leather Bags/Belts. La Vacchetta Grassa. Corso Canalchiaro 42/44
If you think you have found leather nirvana with a Gucci or Prada, it is time to review your decision. The home of handcrafted leather products is based in Modena, and shopping in this unique old-world traditional workplace is worth the trip. The retailer/shop is located in a beautiful historic building steps away from Piazza Grande. The owners have been producing handmade belts, bags and wallets for over 35 years by using 100 percent natural skins that are processed using an ancient vegetable tanning method that dates back to the Middle Ages. The products are of the highest quality, available in cowhide, crocodile, eel, Galuchat (untanned leather with a granular surface – often dyed green), or python and available for purchase in the shop located on the workshop’s ground floor.
• Original Balsamic Vinegar. Villa San Donnino, Strada Medicina n. 25
If you thought the stuff purchased in the local grocery store or offered at restaurants was Balsamic Vinegar, you may be incorrect. The REAL Balsamic Vinegar, made in Modena, is aged for a minimum of 12 years. For the gourmet palate experience, plan on spending $100 – $400 for a very small bottle.
The traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is produced from cooked grape must ripened by slow acidification due to natural fermentation and progressive concentration through a long ageing process in a series of various wooden casks with no aromatic substances added. The must comes from crushed Trebbiano, Lambrusco and other Modena grapes.
The grapes are pressed and the separate uncooked grape juice or “must” is poured into open cooking vats. It is then boiled over an open fire where it is reduced and slowly concentrated. Boiling evaporates a variable quantity of water and devitalizes the microbe load present at the start of the must causing it to lose its natural tendency to transform into wine.
The cooked must is dark, distinctly tasty and perfumed with an elevated sugary content. After boiling, it is cooled, decanted and placed in a series of casks of decreasing volume and different wood (oak, chestnut, mulberry, cherry, juniper, etc.). Each series of individual casks is called a “battery,” and left in the lofts of houses where it is subjected to seasonal temperature variations. The product is protected by The Consortium of Producers of the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. Each individual bottle is numbered.
Balsamic Vinegar has been used for centuries in the cuisine of Modena with meat and boiled vegetables and eggs. Tradizionale di Modena is also used on raw and cooked fish, meat roasts and casseroles.
• Jewish Synagogue
Jewish residency in Modena dates back to 1025. Loan officers and bankers from Perugia, Rimini and Fermo developed Modena in 1393 where they enjoyed the protection of the House of Este, rulers of Modena, in tandem with Ferrara. When the Jews were removed from Bologna (1569), and the loss of standing of Ferrara (1598), Modena became the capital city of the Duchy of Estense, and Jews moved to this locale.
The Jewish population expanded in the 17th and 18th centuries. The dukes considered favoring Jewish settlement and development as beneficial to the state for economic reasons. However, there was a ghetto formed (1638-1859) and Inquisitional controls were implemented.
The current Synagogue (viewed by appointment) was built by the Jewish Community of Modena in Lombardesque style and inaugurated in 1873. It was designed by architect Ludovico Maglietta and has a double façade in Via Coltellini and Piazza Mazzine. The interior was decorated by Ferdinando Manzini.
Located next to the Palazzo Comunale, the synagogue is located inside the area that comprised the city’s ancient Jewish ghetto.  This city has been a principal center for Italian Jewry and a seat for Kabbalistic study.
Getting to Modena
Modena is approximately 30 minutes by car from Bologna and an easy commute by rail. From the train station, a short walk brings visitors to the historic center of the city and the Enzo Ferrari Museum
For additional information: Modena Italy office of Tourism.

Tired Of Travel Fees? Here's A Charge You May Be Unaware Of


In this Wednesday, May 4, 2016, photo, a taxi dispatcher hands a piece of paper to a driver as... Read more
NEW YORK (AP) — NEW YORK — Ever feel like the taxi ride from the airport costs more than the trip there?
It's not your imagination.
Airports across the country add surcharges of up to $5 a ride — typically passed directly on to travelers — for trips originating at their curbs. There are similar charges for limousine, Uber and Lyft drivers as well as shuttle buses for hotels, car rental companies and off-airport parking lots.
Those fees quickly add up, costing travelers more than $183 million last year at the 50 largest airports in the U.S., according to Associated Press calculations based on data obtained through dozens of public records requests.
"What are we doing that causes the airport to spend more money?" said Kimberly Grubb of Fort Worth, Texas, who was recently awaiting a Lyft pickup at San Francisco International Airport.
"It wouldn't be any different than if we knew people here who could come pick us up," Grubb adds. "It leaves a bad taste in your mouth."
San Francisco has one of the highest pickup fees in the nation: $5 for taxi rides that originate there and $3.85 for rides provided by transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft. Asked why the airport needs to charge such fees, spokesman Doug Yakel replied that state and federal regulations allow them.
Airports across the country say the ground transportation fees are necessary so they can pay to maintain the many miles of roads on their properties. The fees also go, in some cases, to hire staff to direct traffic and to dispatch taxis. With the growth of app-based ride services like Uber and Lyft, airports have also constructed new waiting areas and parking lots.
Officials at most airports were reluctant to further explain why they charged the fees except that doing so helps keep airport costs down, which in turn makes it cheaper for airlines to serve the community.
At Washington's Reagan National Airport, taxis have to pay $3 to access the pickup line, while other services like Uber have to pay $4. Spokesman Rob Yingling says the airport has very limited space and needs to create waiting areas for the cars as well as pay dispatchers and do road maintenance.
However, San Francisco, Washington and most other airports don't charge private cars to use their roads to pick up family and friends. (There are exceptions — Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport charges at least $2 just to enter the airport grounds.)
And it's not just taxi rides that cost money.
You may decide to park your own car at a private parking lot a few blocks away from Los Angeles International Airport. There is a still a charge — passed on through the lot operator — for the shuttle ride to the airport. In L.A., that ranges from $2.57 to $3.85 for each loop around the airport, depending on the size of the shuttle bus. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport charges off-airport parking lots $10 per parking space, per year, to operate their shuttles.
Those renting cars aren't immune from the fees either.
For instance, Las Vegas's McCarran International Airport charges rental car companies a shuttle fee of $1 for every car rented.
Overall, the highest combined fees per originating passenger were in Las Vegas, the two Washington D.C. airports and Dallas-Fort Worth. (The AP analysis excludes connecting passengers because they don't have a need for ground transportation.)
Las Vegas's airport collected $17.4 million last year in such fees, which came out to 84 cents per originating passenger, the highest of the 50 largest U.S. airports. That pales compared with the $11.60 per enplaned passenger the airport collected in landing fees. But the $2 per taxi pickup fee does add up when the ride from the airport to most hotels is just 10 to 15 minutes.
Washington Dulles International was the next most expensive at 80 cents followed by National at 79 cents and Dallas at 67 cents.
The operator of the three main New York City-area airports is the only large airport system not to charge a pickup fee for taxis, Ubers or limos. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey does charge a fee for off-airport parking lot shuttles and an advertising charge for hotel shuttles, making its average ground transportation fee 9 cents a passenger, one of the lowest in the nation.
Chicago's two airports are the lowest of the 50 largest in the U.S., both averaging about 2 cents per originating passenger.
Karen Pride, director of media relations for the Chicago Department of Aviation, refuses to answer questions about the city's fees. But one possible reason for the lower fees is that many fliers avoid taxis. Both of Chicago's airports are directly connected to the city's subway system. According to data from the Chicago Transit Authority, more than 18,000 people a day use the train to catch their flight. That's nearly one out of every five passengers, according to AP calculations, although the data also captures any airport employees who use the train.
In the age of $25 bag fees and additional charges to sit together with your loved ones, these extra few dollars might not seem like much. But many fliers are just sick of being charged for every little service, including getting a taxi home.
"For them to just tack on a charge like that is kind of adding insult to injury," says Lee Joseph, a flier from Portland, Oregon. "It's like kicking people while they're down."
Brandon Bailey in San Francisco contributed to this report.
Follow Scott Mayerowitz at His work can be found at

Friday, November 25, 2016

TRAVELORE DESTINATION REPORT: Niagara And Buffalo, New York #NiagaraFallsUSA, #DelawareNorth

Niagara Falls photo by Allen Barkus, #NiagaraFallsUSA
A recent visit to the Niagara and Buffalo region of New York demonstrated a revitalization that is attracting visitors from around the world to view the breathtaking Niagara Falls, experience the dining options, learn about the important history of the gateway to the U.S., experience the exceptional museums, and important architectural sites.

The Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest state park in the United States, established in 1885, and provides the best opportunity to view the Falls from many perspectives. Be prepared to get wet for the best way to experience the Falls, our favorite is the Cave of the Winds tour. The Cave of the Winds allows  visitors to walk up to the base of the Bridal Veil Falls on a series of redwood decks, water crashing on them. For safety a very nice secure pair of sandals are provided that you are welcome to take home with you as a souvenir of your visit, something you'll actually want to use when you return home. The Maid of the Mist boat rides are also highly recommended, sailing continually since 1846.

Where to stay while in Niagara Falls...We stayed at the Giacomo Boutique Hotel, with very large comfortable rooms and a rooftop lounge for viewing the Falls. A hot breakfast is included with your stay and it is recommended you visit  the Patisserie at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute for fresh baked pastries. For more details please visit:

Lobster Bread Pudding
For dinner we recommend Savor at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute for creative cuisine with an artful mix of flavors and presentation. One of the more unique presentations was the starter of Lobster Bread Pudding with wild mushrooms, truffled cream and sweet soy. Also recommended are the wines by their culinary program; we enjoyed the Riesling. For dessert we enjoyed their Pumpkin cheesecake with a gingersnap crust, candied spaghetti squash, butternut squash ribbons, acorn squash crisp, and creme fraiche.  For more details please visit:

Another recommended site to visit is Old Fort Niagara,within Niagara State Park, on the edge of Lake Ontario. There you will take part in an interactive experience to learn about its French, British, and Native American influences and its use starting in the 1700's through the 1960's. For more details please visit:

Moving on to nearby Buffalo, now going through its long awaited revival. The centerpiece of the Buffalo revival is the new Westin Buffalo at 250 Delaware Avenue, also the home of Delaware North. Delaware North is one of the largest employers in Buffalo and the management company of the new hotel and also manages the concessions of the Niagara State Park. The Westin Buffalo has 116 oversized guestrooms and suites featuring industry standards including the signature Heavenly Bed and invigorating Heavenly Bath, 24 hour room service and an exceptional health club. Patina 250, the Westin's restaurant is establishing itself as one of the premiere dining destinations in the city.

Typical of what you can expect at Patina 250 is their house speciality of roasted duck with spaetzle, mushrooms, and huckleberry compote.

For more details about the Westin Buffalo please visit:

There are a few 'must visit' places to visit while in Buffalo, one is Frank Lloyd Wright's Martin House Complex. The ventilation system of the main house demonstrates his unique attention to details in every part of the complex. Wright once called the Martin Complex "the most perfect thing of its kind in the world-a domestic symphony". For more details please visit:

Albright-Knox Art Gallery is also a must visit for art lovers visiting Buffalo, founded in 1862,
and one of the country's oldest art institutions focusing on contemporary and modern art. For more details please visit:

For more details about planning your trip to Niagara and Buffalo please visit:
Www.VisitBuffaloNiagara.Com, and Www.NiagaraFallsStatePark.Com

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Lufthansa Strike: Special Flight Schedule In Effect For Friday November 25th

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Yesterday evening, the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) pilots’ union announced another extension of the strike that has been ongoing since Wednesday.
Tomorrow, Friday, 25 November, all Lufthansa flights within Germany and Europe will be affected. A special flight schedule is in effect for tomorrow.
On Friday, 2,170 of the Lufthansa Group’s approximately 3,000 scheduled flights will be operating as planned. Tomorrow, on the third consecutive day of strikes, over 100,000 passengers will be affected due to the cancellations of 830 short- and medium-haul flights. Long-haul flights will be operating almost as scheduled, although there may be occasional cancellations of these flights resulting from the strikes on the previous days. In total, over 315,000 passengers have been affected by the cancellation of 2,618 flights.
Lufthansa is calling on the pilots’ union once more to develop a joint solution for the dispute through arbitration. Harry Hohmeister, Chief Officer Hub Management of Deutsche Lufthansa AG: “The status quo is that we pay our pilots significantly more than our competitors do. As members of the executive board, we are responsible for more than 120,000 employees and want to keep Lufthansa viable for the future. That will not be possible with a demand for a 20 percent increase in pay.”
The Group airlines Eurowings, Germanwings, SWISS, Austrian Airlines, Air Dolomiti and Brussels Airlines are not affected by the strike. The pilots of Lufthansa Cargo have also not been called on to strike. Flights to and from Germany that are operated by Group airlines are proceeding as scheduled. Austrian Airlines and SWISS have also increased their capacity on flights to Germany by using larger aircraft for the time being.
Customers whose flights have been cancelled due to the strike have the one-time option to transfer or cancel their booking free of charge. In addition to this, all passengers with tickets for flights travelling to, from or through Germany by tomorrow have the one-time option to transfer their booking at no cost. For routes within Germany, there is also the option to exchange the flight ticket for a Deutsche Bahn voucher. On, passengers can find additional information under “Aktuelle Fluginformationen” (current travel information).
Lufthansa is doing everything in its power to minimize the impact of the strike on its guests. Thousands of hotel rooms have been booked in the Rhine-Main and Munich areas. For passengers who cannot enter Germany due to visa restrictions, Lufthansa has set up folding cots in cooperation with Fraport. Employees are providing passengers in the terminals who have been affected by the strike with beverages, snacks and telecommunication options. Lufthansa is notifying all passengers that have provided contact information in their customer profiles of any cancellations by e-mail or SMS.
Lufthansa is asking all its customers to take precaution by checking the status of their flight on before travelling to the airport. Customers in Germany can also call our free hotline at 0800 850 60 70 for information (free from German landlines).