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Free airfare. Sandals, one of the leading all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean, is offering free airfare from select cities on several packages through Dec. 21.

Sandals has 10 couples-only resorts in the Caribbean, including six in Jamaica, two in St. Lucia, one in Antigua and one in the Bahamas. The free airfare offer also includes Beaches, Sandals' all-inclusive family resorts in Jamaica and the Turks and Caicos.

Sandals pioneered the Caribbean all-inclusive concept, which gives travelers almost everything they could want in a vacation. Prices at Sandals include accommodations, meals, drinks, entertainment, golf, water sports and more all for one price. The only things that cost more at Sandals are souvenirs, personal items, and spa and salon services.

For more information about the Sandals free airfare offer, contact your travel agent. Some restrictions apply.

Airport survival. If you have traveled by air at all this summer, you know that almost every flight is full, and that's likely to continue through the fall. Here are a few tips to help make air travel plans go smoothly:

?Avoid e-tickets if you can. While there are some advantages to having electronic tickets, they can be a hassle if your flight is canceled or delayed.

With a conventional paper ticket, you can transfer to another flight or another carrier easily. With an e-ticket, you must go to the airline that issued it, get a paper ticket, then transfer to another flight or carrier.

?Use curbside check-in. When it's available, check your bags curbside, have your tickets and boarding pass handy, and walk right onto the plane. (Be sure to smile at everyone waiting in line.) On flights that are overbooked, you may be asked to check in again at the gate. Listen for announcements.

?Get to the airport early. Major airports have come a long way in recent years. Most airports are like shopping malls, with many things to do and a wide variety of restaurants.

Many even provide fully appointed business centers with computer hookups, fax machines, copiers and more. Get to the airport early, check in and enjoy a nice meal or get some work done. The improvements at airports are one of the biggest benefits to travelers in recent years. Take advantage of them.

Got Pez? Seattle's Hotel Monaco, which was the first to offer guests their own in-room goldfish, has started another trend: free Pez.

At check-in, guests will receive their choice of Pez dispenser (Fred Flintstone, Bugs Bunny and Snoopy are the most popular) and their choice of flavors. Guests may also request complimentary use of a goldfish for the length of their stay.

The tart candies and the goldfish are just two of the amenities of the Hotel Monaco's new "Seen Seattle" package, which also includes two nights' accommodations, two Starbucks coupons, two Gray Line Downtown Trolley tickets and two tickets to the Space Needle observation deck.

Prices for the package begin at $225 per room through Oct. 11. The Hotel Monaco's toll-free phone number is 800-945-2240.

Frequent flyer bonus. Delta and United passengers, beginning Sept. 1, can accrue miles for one airline while flying on the other.

As the first step of their planned alliance, the carriers are combining Delta's SkyMiles frequent flyer program with United's Mileage Plus plan on domestic routes and flights to Puerto Rico.

Passengers can choose either SkyMiles or Mileage Plus credit.

Future plans may include international flights, as well as flights on the airlines' regional and codesharing partners.

The "real" Love Boat. Are you experiencing a sudden urge to sail the high seas? If this desire strikes you on Monday nights after you've watched UPN network's "Love Boat: The Next Wave," there's an easy way to get on board.

The new television series, which was the No. 1-rated show in its time period, is being filmed aboard the $300-million, 77,000-ton Sun Princess, one of Princess Cruises' newest ships.

Launched in November 1995, the 1,950-passenger superliner rises 14 stories and measures 856 feet in length nearly the length of three football fields.

Despite the enormity of the Sun Princess, it features numerous intimately designed spaces and provides passengers many choices in dining, entertainment and recreation.

Unique features include a 24-hour cafe, an ocean-view fitness center, a sports deck, a $2.5-million art collection and private balconies on 410 (70 percent) of the 603 outside staterooms.

Viewers nostalgic for the original "Love Boat" can choose to cruise just about anywhere in the world aboard the 20,000-ton Pacific Princess, the original "star" of the ABC series, which aired from 1977 to 1986.

Recently refurbished, the 640-passenger ship is one of the grand dames of the line's fleet and features classic appointments, two swimming pools, a jogging track and gym with ocean views.

Pacific Princess and its twin, Island Princess, also offer 24-hour room service, show lounges, a library, and butler service in all suites and mini-suites.

(Marvin McDaniel, CTC, is president of Carlson Wagonlit Travel/Carlson Travel Network.)


Cruisers now have two Love Boats to choose from the original series' Pacific Princess and the new series' Sun Princess.[[In-content Ad]]


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