Chicago Sun-Times
With Lori Rackl

January 2009 Archives

This is my idea of a sweet treat...

Forget chocolate and roses. This Valentine's Day, catch Lance Armstrong's first ride in the U.S. as he returns to cycling in the Tour of California prologue in Sacramento.

On Feb. 14, race fans can try their hand at the race route during the Community Ride, then grab a seat to catch the pros in action.

For more information on Tour of California travel deals in Sacramento, click here.

Just arrived in Doha, Qatar, on Qatar Airways and I have to say, it was probably the best long-haul flight of my life.

Being in business class always make things better, but you could tell the entire operation was run well. The cabin crew was fantastic -- friendly, attentive, etc. The food was just as good. And there's no substitute for fully flat beds. Extra bonus: we arrived well over an hour early. If only all flights could be like that.

Extra extra bonus: I happened to be sitting next to the Obama family. Not Barack, of course, but his half-brother Malik from Kenya. He was traveling back from D.C. with his wife and young son and daughter. Super friendly guy. He was talking about how cold D.C. was for the inauguration and how he was too wiped out to go to any of the inaugural balls.

Qantas Launches G'Day USA Fare Sale

To celebrate the launch of the sixth annual G'Day USA Australia Week 2009, Qantas Airways is offering sale air fares starting from $380 (each way, based on round trip purchase) for travel to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane from Los Angeles and San Francisco and from $480 each way from New York.

Celebrated in all three Qantas North American gateways - Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco as of this year - the popular festival highlights Australia's vitality as a place for tourism, investment, trade and business.

Qantas sale fares are available for purchase only for a limited time. Ticketing must be completed within 72 hours of reservation and not later than January 13, 2009. Tickets are valid for travel between February 1 and September 21, 2009. Add on fares are permitted and other travel restrictions apply.

Qantas is the first airline to operate the airline's new flagship aircraft - the A380 - on selected flights from Los Angeles to Melbourne and Sydney and currently offers five A380 flights per week between Los Angeles and Australia. To officially welcome San Francisco as the third U.S. city in the G'Day USA program, Qantas Airways is bringing the new A380 aircraft to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) from Sydney, Australia, on January 14, 2009.

(PS - I got the chance to fly business class on the new A380 from LA to word: fantastic. But if you want to save cash, book one of the seats in premium economy. They looked great, too.)

For reservations or information, contact Qantas Airways at 800.227.4691.

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