Chicago Sun-Times
With Lori Rackl

December 2009 Archives

Did the attempted bombing of a Northwest plane on Christmas Day convince anyone that they've had enough of flying?

Did you cancel air travel plans -- or not make them -- because you don't think air travel is safe anymore?

Or maybe because you just don't want the headache of extra wait times and security procedures at airports in the wake of the terrorism attempt?

I'm curious to know how, if at all, this will affect the flying public. Let me know what you think...

I'm headed to Toronto in a couple weeks. Better pack light:

The Associated Press is reporting that Canadian officials have banned most carry-on luggage for U.S.-bound passengers following a failed Christmas Day plot to blow up a plane flying from Amsterdam to Detroit.

Transport Canada said Monday that passengers may only carry medical devices, small purses, cameras, laptop computers, canes, walkers, diaper bags, musical instruments and bags containing "life-sustaining items."

Travelers headed for the United States have been allowed to carry on only one bag since Saturday, following 23-year-old Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's alleged attempted to bring down a Northwest Airlines flight as it prepared to land in Detroit on Friday.

Transport Canada said it is trying to alleviate backlogs at security checkpoints, after passengers complained of chaos and long lines at Pearson International Airport in Toronto over the weekend and Monday morning.

Police are now helping with security at four of Canada's biggest airports after Transport Canada requested assistance. Police are performing a secondary search of passengers after they pass the main security check point at airports in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta. About 40 Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers are doing searches at Pearson.

Transport Canada spokesman Patrick Charette said the measures are expected to remain in place for at least several days.

Today's Travel story is about a suburban Chicago couple who were shaken down last month for a bribe by a crooked traffic cop -- or someone impersonating a traffic cop -- in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

This kind of thing happened to me many moons ago in what is now the Czech Republic.

Have you ever been shaken down by unscrupulous authorities in a foreign country? What happened? Any advice to give others?

This just in.... offers 100,000 free seats to stimulate travel in 2010

CHICAGO (Dec. 8, 2009) -, the first city-to-city, express bus service offering fares as low as $1, today announced it is offering 100,000 free seats for travel Jan. 6 to March 20, 2010. Customers can begin booking today.

The free seats will be available on during the Jan. 6 to March 20 travel period. Travelers will need to use the promo code GETAWAY to book their free seats (subject to availability). amenities include new double-decker buses with free Wi-Fi, reclining seats, on-board restrooms and more.

Visit for additional information on routes, schedules, amenities and fares.

Apparently the Jersey Shore CVB isn't smitten with the way their turf comes off in MTV's new series "Jersey Shore," which invited you to meet the "hottest, tannest, craziest Guidos around" or something like that.

I personally have never visited Jersey Shore. Wondering if the folks who have would care to weigh in on MTV's portrayal?

Here's what the CVB had to say:

Watching last week's two-hour premiere of MTV's controversial Jersey Shore reality series prompted the following response from Daniel Cappello, executive director of the Jersey Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau:
"We're flattered that MTV thinks we're an interesting enough destination to warrant an entire reality series," said Cappello. "But the national TV audience is hardly getting the full story."
"MTV is providing a one-dimensional, dramatized version of a very small group of visitors' summer experiences in one Jersey Shore town. We have many spectacular ocean and bay beaches in Monmouth and Ocean Counties, from the Atlantic Highlands down to Long Beach Island, and countless choices for people of all ages and walks of life to enjoy year round.
"The Jersey Shore's world-renowned legacy speaks for itself. There's a reason why millions of people have made us their primary vacation destination for two centuries. People who escape to other destinations once in their lives return to the Jersey Shore for a wholesome family experience year after year, from generation to generation. We welcome visitors to come here, even during the holiday season, to enjoy a cultural diversity that in no way reflects what is seen on MTV."

Travel mag bites the dust

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National Geographic Adventure magazine closes

NEW YORK (AP) -- National Geographic Adventure magazine has ceased publication of its print edition.
The magazine's December-January issue will be its last, though the brand's Web site will continue.
"Given the current advertising environment and the opportunities we see in emerging digital platforms, we think the time is right to transition the Adventure brand," John Griffin, president of National Geographic's magazine group, said in a statement.
The magazine's ad pages plummeted 44 percent in the first nine months of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008, according to data from the Publishers Information Bureau.
The National Geographic Society, based in Washington, also publishes its flagship magazine, National Geographic, as well as National Geographic Kids and National Geographic Traveler.
National Geographic Adventure, launched in 1999, was an outdoor lifestyle magazine with a mix of profiles, travel destination features and stories about trends and gear. The magazine was published eight times a year and said it had a rate base of 625,000 subscribers. Its cover always had National Geographic's trademark yellow border.
In addition to a Web site, future plans for the Adventure brand include books, mobile applications and even occasional newsstand editions.
The end of the magazine follows the demise of a number of other consumer and lifestyle publications, including magazines like Gourmet, Metropolitan Home, Modern Bride and Cookie.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from December 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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