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Paris ..............from $59    London ..........from $79   New York .................from $69  La$ Vega$ ......................from $39


WEBSITE OF THE WEEK   is dedicated to the culture, history, preservation and promotion of Drive-in theatres. As multiplexes multiply, and as screen sizes continue to shrink, Drive-in theatres offer a nostalgic alternative and also a greater value for your dollar.  When you are searching for a Drive-in near you, you can locate one by searching the directories indexed below.  Sadly, four of the fifty states no longer have a single operating Drive-in.  All surviving and functional Drive-in theatres in the other 46 United States have been indexed here.  We are also compiling directories for:   Australia, Canada, and Europe.



  • Labor Day weekend fare sale from $138 R/T
  • Visit Mexico this fall from $198 R/T
  • Orlando hotels as low as $50/night
  • C'est magnifique: Autumn in Paris from $484 for three nights
  • Visit Puerto Rico and receive free airfare between Sep. 1 and Nov. 1.  A repeat of a successful offer last year, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company is spending millions to lure visitors by making bulk purchases of airline tickets.  Here's the deal: Book a minimum of five nights in a hotel through a participating hotel operator and receive two free round-trip airline tickets for every double room you book.  (A single booking gets you one ticket.)  The deal is good for flights out of the New York City area, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Miami, Chicago, Dallas-Ft. Worth or Boston.  And, no, the hotel room rates have NOT been raised to make up for the free airfare.  You must book your travel between this Sunday, Aug. 18, and the following Sunday, Aug. 25.  Call 800-866-7827 or look for details beginning Sunday morning here . From Rudy Maxa
  • Fare cut: Northwest has cut select individual and companion fares for travel through Dec. 18. Tickets must be purchased by Aug. 23.
  • Special rates: Budget Rent a Car is offering reduced rates for rentals through Sept. 15. Economy or compact-sized vehicle rates are $27.99 a day or $129.99 a week. Rentals must be booked at least a day ahead and require a one-day minimum. 
  • AmEx on Alitalia for $99 Biz-Class Companion Ticket:  Use your American Express card to purchase an Alitalia full-fare business-class ticket and get a companion business-class ticket for $99. Tickets must be purchased by Sept. 25 for travel through Dec. 31. Valid on travel from Alitalia’s U.S. gateway cities to destination cities in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and India. Call 800-223-5730.
  • Cheaper by rail: Amtrak has cut online ticket prices by 20%. Buy tickets at from Aug. 14 through Sept. 2, travel Aug. 17 through Nov. 15. Use discount code H231. Sample round-trip coach fares: Chicago to St. Louis, $46; New York to Chicago, $144; and Seattle to San Francisco, $162.
  • Amtrak Offers 20% Off And Double Points For Travel Through Nov. 15

Didn't have a chance to read last week's newsletter? Click here!
I received so many questions this week from readers who worried about their United Airline's miles that I decided to link a great story
so all of you can sleep well. It's from SmarterLiving: What happens to miles if United goes bankrupt?

Last week I left you all from Chicago.  Amber Airplane was working the flight back to L.A. and she really wanted me to accompany her.  I wanted to wait because her flight was full and I had a coveted upgrade on a later flight.  (Which of course would ensure me of getting some good work done on my laptop and not to mention a nice meal in a phat seat.)  Well.... like a good, I mean great, boyfriend that I am I changed my ticket and got the very last seat on the plane. Well, there won't be any pictures this time from this flight.  Not because I got the worst seat in the house, but because I couldn't reach my camera and Amber Airplane was too embarrassed to take a picture of me.  I scored a middle seat in the very last row of the plane.  CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?  I really wanted her to take the picture because I was in between two huge guys and I literally felt, (I am sure I looked too), like a prisoner being transported.  It was so tight back there that I couldn't even bring out my laptop, so I just sat there with my arms to my sides and my head shaking side to side in disbelief while I watched Spiderman.  I can't remember the last time I was in the very last row of a plane, but I have to tell you take-off felt like an amusement park ride. 

I was in L.A. for a whopping 3 whole days, but in those three days I got a lot accomplished.  In back to back days, I had lunch at two of the top sporting events in Manhattan Beach.  Amber and I went out and watched Lindsay Davenport play at the LA Open and the following day, I rode my bike down to the AVP tournament to watch the world's number one team crush their opponent.  You have to love living in Southern California because there's always something going on.
For dinner, (I don't know why food revolves around everything that I do, but it seems like it does.  Okay, I admit it, I'm a foodaholic.  I LOVE FOOD!  all right, now let's move on :-) we invited some of our closest friends over and Amber Airplane made a great meal. 

Speaking of dinner....  I caught up with some old friends from my recruiting days at the hip restaurant Typhoon .  It's located at the Santa Monica airport,  right next to the runway so you can see the private planes take-off and land.  In fact, helicopters are also coming and going and would you believe we watched some rich dude,  (or his help), land a helicopter near the  restaurantand run in to pick up their take-out order?  Now that's my kind of lifestyle :-).  In case you're interested, Typhoon, (3221 Donald Douglas Loop, 310-390-6565), has a "Pan-Asian" menu with lots of choices from the very tame to the quite adventurous.  You can get Chinese, Thai, or water bugs.  Wait....Did I just say water bugs?  Yes, I did!  Check out part of their menu and you will see some of the crazy dishes they serve.   Mmm, Mmm don't the Water Bugs Stuffed With Chicken look appetizing?  Or how about the Scorpions With Shrimp Toast?  No?  Do White Sea Worms water your palate?  I'm not making this stuff up!  For a second there, I had to shake my head and think am I in China or the U.S.   Can you believe people actually order that?  We had to try something just to say we did, so we ordered the crickets since they seemed to be the tamest.  The waitress assured us that we wouldn't get sick because these weren't wild crickets , these were farm raised in Louisiana and only fed apples.  Like that makes a big difference!  

When I got home, I called my Dad to tell him about the crickets and he told me he was going to be in Connecticut alone for the week.  Since Amber Airplane had to go away on business, I thought I would spend some quality time with my Pops.  I packed my bag and was off ten hours later.  When I checked in at my gate on Saturday morning the agent said, "Are you traveling with family members?"  I said, "No, why?"  She said there are two other people traveling under your same name. I looked around the terminal and didn't see anyone I knew, so I asked the agent to introduce me.  It turned out they were long lost Italian relatives who were around my age and had moved to L.A. a few years ago.  You could tell we were related because when we walked off the plane to baggage claim our father's were waiting for us, just like they did in the old days.  It's cool to have Italian Dads.

I might as well end this newsletter with this week's unplanned theme:  Take a look at my business class snack , (You can check this airline meal out and others at ), that United served on the flight to JFK.  Would you believe this is the second meal they served?  The first was some crazy breakfast dish and then they brought this snack out about an hour before we landed.  It seems silly to me that they serve two meals for a 4hour 30minute flight.  But hey, I'm not complaining as long as they don't go bankrupt and I lose my miles.


  • Aloha & hello Johnny- Just wanted to tell you how fantastic your website is. I have it marked in my favorites. Kindest regards,  Patrick
  • Thank you so much for your terrific newsletter.  I read them every time they pop into my e-mail box and they have been of great interest and assistance to me both as a traveler and a travel portal editor.  I wanted to send my recent article along to share with such great travel experts.  Primarily, I just feel the need to share my experience with Vanguard Airlines and Delta during the bankruptcy fiasco.  Feel free to pass it along or post it anywhere.  I'm hoping to get the information out to people who might have had a similar experience that they do have options! Here's the article .
  • Johnny-  I trust you had a good flight to New York at the sharp end of the plane? While the rest of us slummed it in the back! I took your advice on the way back, I said to the agent "I would like to be upgraded" and wouldn't you know 8F was available for a few vouchers, so thanks for the tip.   I took a look at the web site today and things have changed for the better, nice job.  I am sure I will see you on another NY flight or maybe one of the others I will be taking between now and the end of the year, best regards and keep up the good work.  Colin

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"Guest Writers:
Elinor Garely: This is the perfect weekend to visit with us at Turf Valley




 Business Travel Today
  • Bag fees: Delta is the latest carrier to begin charging for a third checked bag. Effective immediately, Delta will charge $40 for each checked bag over two. Previously, customers could check three bags free, if they didn't have a carry-on. Northwest and Continental began charging passengers $80 for a third checked bag in May. United charges $75 for a third bag, and Alaska Airlines charges $50
  • Passport check: Passport fees increased on Monday. The cost for a first-time adult passport increased to $85 from $60, and adult renewal fees rose to $55 from $40. The cost of expedited service increased to $60 from $35. Details at


  • Thanks for Nothing:  Now that US Airways is bankrupt and United Airlines is following its vapor trail into the abyss of insolvency, here's a question worth asking: What happened to all that money we gave the ailing airline industry after Sept. 11? Congress allocated $15 billion to save the carriers after the terrorist attacks, of which $5 billion were outright grants. Of that, US Airways pocketed $287 million and United took $724 million. Are these airlines going down and taking our tax dollars with them? >> Read more .
  • Northwest Airlines has expanded from 19 to 30 airports the availability of security checkpoint express lines. They're open to Northwest's first and business class passengers and to WorldPerks Platinum Elite and Gold Elite members. They're now available at ALB, ATL, BWI, BOS, ORD, CLE, CMH, DEN, DTW, FLL, RSW, IAH, LAX, MEM, MIA, MSP, EWR, JFK, LGA, MCO, PHX, PIT, PDX, PVD, SAN, SFO, SEA, YYZ, YVR and IAD.
  • BART for the Better:  GETTING IN AND OUT OF SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT SHOULD BE a bit easier next year when construction on a long-awaited link to the city’s mass transit system is completed. Airport officials and representatives from the Bay Area Rapid Transit system expect the airport station to be up and running by early January. For updates, check the BART website .
  • Flooding threatens Dresden treasures
  • Prices for tourists soar in Greece  





I have mileage just sitting the the mileage plus.   Should I just choose a destination on one of the partner carriers and have a tkt issued or should I wait it out.   I don't want to loose my mileage after working so hard to get it.   If I have my ticket issued could I change dates and destinations. please advise which way to turn.    Thanks Lois E.

Since I have over 500,000 miles in my United Account I had the same worries. So I contacted our good friend at Tim Winship who is the mileage guru gave us some great advice:   Over the past couple of months, I've seen this question many times. There is a
lot of anxiety There is no easy answer.

First, if you use your miles for an award ticket on a Mileage Plus partner airline, you should understand that partners will only honor the ticket as long
as United remains in business.  So in the worse case scenario, if United liquidates, shuts down completely, that partner ticket would almost certainly be

As to whether you can change dates and destinations... in most cases, yes, assuming of course there are award seats available for the new itinerary.  And
there will be a fee to make the change.

More generally, the only sure way to protect the full value of your miles is to use them now, while United is still flying.

Depending on how many miles you have, you might want to insure them. AwardGuard ( ) will insure the value of your miles -- up to
$7,500 worth of award tickets -- in major programs, including United's.  The cost: $119 for one year's coverage, or $214 for two.

Another option: convert your United miles into points in the Hilton HHonors program.  Using the HHonors Reward Exchange function, 20,000 Mileage Plus miles
can be exchanged for 40,000 HHonors points.  The process can be reversed as well, allowing you to convert 40,000 HHonors points into 7,000 United miles.  As
you can see, there's a price for the transfers.

Having said all that, don't forget the "do nothing" option.  United faces challenges, to be sure.  But for every naysayer, there's someone who thinks
their prospects are good, and that Mileage Plus miles won't disappear anytime soon.

What you do depends on your assessment of United's chances for long-term survival.  Six months ago, I would have said their chances were good.  Today, I
don't feel comfortable predicting one way or the other.

Tim Winship
Editor & Publisher
"May Your Miles Never Expire"

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