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Editor's Note
Deals and News
We've dug into and sorted through scads of sales currently being offered and picked out the best including discounts for couples celebrating tenth anniversaries, $99 add-on airfare for China cruises and a looong list of marked-down itineraries from several online consolidators
Your patience has been rewarded: summer deals to Europe are finally starting to appear. Naturally, they're not as cheap as the terrific spring package prices we've been seeing. But if you absolutely, positively have to travel in that peak period starting in June, you may want to take a look at these packages from Swiss Made Tours and Go-Today.
Australia's winter means cool prices for U.S. visitors, whether it's $749 airfares from the West Coast or $1,099 air-and-hotel packages. Couples departing from a wide range of West Coast gateways can get 5-night holidays in Sydney or Melbourne for $1,099 per person, flying on United or Hawaiian Airlines. Eight-night holidays from United, Qantas and Pleasant Holidays start at $1,299 per person.
Subsidized by the Bajan government in an effort to keep those tourists coming in the off-season, the deals are made through several tour operators and offer a slew of savings like extra nights in hotels, discounted airfare and reduced car rental rates.
We're not jerking you around. Now's an excellent time to snap up some spring savings for three-day to weeklong vacation packages to Jamaica.
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Reader's Voice
From Bonnie McNamara: "E-mail is becoming increasingly important as a communication tool for vacationers as well as business travelers. Different technologies and services have become available at various levels of sophistication. What do you use?"
From Hok Gouw: "We are in Ireland on vacation and enjoying it very much because the Irish are wonderful and warm. I always take my MBNA card with me because they give me the lowest conversion rate when I charge something in a foreign currency abroad. But in this last few days I found that when I charged something in euros, the local currency, the receipt shows the amount in euro and also the amount in US$ they will charge me. The conversion rate they use is $1.2801 per Euro. I heard today on the radio that the conversion rate is 1.21. That is a 6 % surcharge. I don't think it is MBNA, I think it is the Irish bank. Any comments?"
From J.C. Austin: "Having booked a ticket on China Airlines two days before the Frommer's article of 4/20 questioning their safety standards and Delta's ethics in initiating a code-share with them, I am a bit concerned. I was not aware of the fatality history when I made the booking, and in fact didn't think to question it because I made the naive assumption that a Delta code-share arrangement implied adequate safety standards. So, not wanting to overreact (given that I am comfortable with the risk of taking local buses within Southeast Asia once I get there), does anyone have any personal experiences or insights on the quality standards for China Airlines?"
From Martin Leprohon: "I read a lot of posts and I am getting a bit fed up by people whining about having to pay for drinks, food quality (if there is food), or upgades, but no one mention the fact that airfares have gone down or stayed about the same in the past 5-10 years. What if I say that in the future, airfares are lower but once in flight you can swipe your credit card to do phone calls, go on the internet or have access to satellite tv or radio, or pay for food from well-known brands instead of getting free 'budget' meals. What would you think about that? And I can't wait for those upgrades to be a thing from the past. I'm always laughing when I see a wannabe business guy arguing with agents that he is entitled to an upgrade because he's super platinium or whatever member. If you don't pay for it, just don't expect it.
From Si F: "I recently went on a 2 week holiday with my partner and thought I would write a brief report on here, hopefully I can give a few useful tips after all the invaluable advice I've received from this message board."

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