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Tag Archive | "travel"

Have turkey will travel

Are you going to be one of the 1.33 million residents traveling 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday this week? That’s how many people AAA Michigan estimates will be on the road Wednesday, November 23 to Sunday, November 27. That’s nine percent more people traveling in Michigan this year than last year. Nationally, the number is up four percent, to 42.5 million.
“This is the first significant increase in any holiday travel this year,” noted AAA Michigan President Steve Wagner.  “Despite the uncertain economy, our projected increase shows more travelers are choosing visiting family and friends over frugality this holiday.”
Vehicle travel remains the most popular form of Thanksgiving transportation.    Ninety percent of Michigan travelers will go by vehicle, down from last year’s ninety-four percent.  Nationally, 90 percent of holiday travelers will also go by vehicle, a four percent increase.
Gasoline prices have fallen 15-20 cents over the last week, depending on where you live. In Cedar Springs, they were $3.26 at press time, and still about 50 cents higher than a year ago.
“Gasoline prices have continued their slow decline in the last week across a solid majority of the United States, with the national average sagging to its lowest level since this past February,” according to GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. “Many motorists may be giving thanks for the lower gasoline prices until they realize that average prices will still easily exceed prior Thanksgiving Day records,” he added.

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At home:
•    To save heat close off unneeded rooms, cover windows at night and stuff towels or rags in cracks under doors.
•    Maintain adequate food and water intake. Food provides the body with energy for producing its own heat.
If travel is necessary:
•    Use caution when driving in winter conditions.  The highest rate of traffic crashes due to winter weather is in the month of November when the snow first starts to fall over Michigan.
•    Inform someone of your destination and travel time.  Bring a cell phone in case you must call for help.
If traveling and the power goes out:
•    Use extreme caution when driving.  If traffic signals are out, treat each signal as a stop sign—come to a complete stop at every intersection and look for oncoming traffic before proceeding.
•    Do not call 9-1-1 to ask about the power outage.  Listen to news radio stations for updates and contact your electrical company.
If stranded in a vehicle:
•    Do not leave your vehicle.
•    Do not park under an overpass or bridge as this can trap deadly carbon monoxide fumes.
•    Attach a bright cloth to your antenna to attract attention.
•    Run the motor about 10 minutes each hour for heat. Open the window slightly for fresh air and make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked.
•    Attract attention by turning on the dome light and emergency flashers when running the engine.
•    To keep blood circulating and to stay warm, exercise by moving arms, legs, fingers and toes.
If stranded outside:
•    Try to stay dry and cover all exposed parts of the body.
•    Prepare a windbreak or snow cave for protection from the wind.  Build a fire for heat and to attract attention.
Do not eat snow because it will lower your body temperature.  Melt it first.

Posted in SeasonalComments Off on DURING A WINTER STORM

Travel to Louisiana through pictures and music

Do you like music? Are you looking for a night of entertainment at a low cost?

Come and hear two musicians from Louisiana, Monty and Marsha Brown, (whose music was featured in the movie “Steel Magnolias”), on Monday, April 11, at 7 p.m. at the Cedar Springs High School Auditorium.  The duo will give a musical and multimedia presentation about the connection of music and culture in their state as part of the Cedar Springs Area Parks and Rec’s Virtual Travel Adventure series.

This adventure will take you on a journey through the bayou, through the northern parishes of the state and listen to bluegrass, then take you into the sections of the state’s French heritage where the waltz will be played and danced to, before coming to rest in New Orleans and listening to the famous sounds of blues and jazz.

In recent years they have seen turbulent times due to Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf Oil Spill. They will be answering questions regarding these matters and how that is affecting the state and its relationship with the music community.

There is an intermission during the travel adventure that will include snacks and beverages. The event is held at the Cedar Springs High School Auditorium with the doors opening at 6 p.m. and the adventure beginning at 7 p.m. The adventure fee is $8.
Information on this and other programs are online at www.csaparksandrec.com or you can follow us on Facebook for up to date information. Please feel free to call us at 696-7320.

Posted in Arts & EntertainmentComments Off on Travel to Louisiana through pictures and music

New rules to protect air travelers

Complaints to the Better Business Bureau about airlines have increased by more than 170 percent in the last five years. Good news is on the horizon, as the BBB explains, new rules and regulations went into effect last month to provide better consumer protection for air travelers.

According to the Department of Transportation (DOT), most complaints against airlines are about flight problems – including delays and cancellations – and lost baggage.  Some more famous angry customers took their complaints online in the last year by performing songs like “United Breaks Guitars” for YouTube or posting videos of being stuck for hours on the tarmac with other angry passengers.

“Harried air travelers have grown increasingly angry and vocal both online and offline about how they feel they are being treated and the Federal Government is taking notice,” said Ken Vander Meeden, BBB of Western Michigan CEO. “These new regulations will hopefully result in happier fliers and fewer complaints to the BBB.”

The following are the new regulations that go into effect April 29 by the DOT to improve customer protections when flying in the US:

Customer Complaints – Airlines are now required to acknowledge customer complaints within 30 days and address the issue within 60 days.

Tardy Takeoffs – DOT is now allowed to penalize airlines for any domestic flight that is more than 30 minutes late on at least half its trips each month for four months in a row.

Tarmac Tribulations – Airlines are required to provide adequate food and potable drinking water for passengers within two hours of the aircraft being delayed – lavatories must also remain available and operable. If the plane is delayed more than three hours on the tarmac, it must return to the gate and deplane the passengers – barring any safety or airport disruption concerns.

Web Site Wait Times – Airlines are required to display on their Web site flight delay information for each domestic flight they operate. The Wall Street Journal reports, however, that the airline industry is asking for an extension on the deadline for compliance on this specific issue because of technology constraints.

Relaying Your Rights – Airlines must include on their Web site a customer service plan which, as recommended by DOT, would outline the company policies in regard to overbooking, baggage handling, handling customer complaints and many other customer service issues.

More information on these new rules can be found online at regulations.gov. Upset airplane passengers are encouraged to file a complaint with both the DOT and the BBB online.

For more advice you can trust to become a smart traveler, visit http://www.bbb.org/us/consumer-tips-travel/.

Posted in BusinessComments Off on New rules to protect air travelers