New airport, higher prices
Travelers to Denver are paying $20 to $40 or more for their round-trip tickets, an increase levied by some major carriers there to offset the higher costs of operating at the new Denver International Airport. Many ticket prices have gone up 3 to 6 percent, although the increase on some discount tickets might be as high as 8 percent. Fares for passengers on connecting flights through the airport have not been affected.
Opening of the $4.2 billion airport had been delayed four times before beginning service Feb. 28. Continuing problems with a high-tech baggage handling system delayed the opening even though the rest of the airport was completed more than a year ago. Carriers such as United, American, USAir and Continental said they have to pay higher rents, landing fees and other costs than they did at the city's old airport, Stapleton International. USAir, for example, said that it has to pay three times as much to operate out of the new airport.
The Audubon Center of the North Woods in Sandstone, Minn., offers spring birding and ecology tours. One tour runs April 22-29, peak spring-migration bird-watching time in Big Bend country. The tour departs from Midland, Texas, includes hiking in the Davis and Chisos Mountains, exploring in the Santa Elena Canyon and rafting on the Rio Grande. Another tour is scheduled for May 6-13 and features the grasslands and canyons of southeast Arizona.
Both trips are $1,050 per person, double occupancy, and include lodging, local transportation and some meals. Call the Audubon Center of the North Woods at (612) 245-2648.
Unearthing history in Israel
An opportunity for students and all people interested in Judeo-Christian history to dig with renowned archaeologists will be offered this summer by the Israel Archaeological Society.
Planned excavations include the City of David outside the gates of Jerusalem, under the direction of Dr. Ronny Reich of the Israel Antiquities Authority. Another dig will take place in Jaffa, under the direction of Dr. Ze'ev Herzog of Tel Aviv University.
The packages are designed to give travelers hands-on digging experience at the world's holiest sites while giving them the opportunity to experience the cultures of major cities in Israel, Egypt and Jordan.
The expeditions will last from two to four weeks with costs starting at $1,195. The society's featured expedition runs July 1-23 and includes two weeks of digging and touring in Israel plus another week exploring Jordan and Egypt. College students may enroll for credit. Seniors and families with older children are also eligible for the society's programs. Call (800) 477-2358. Do center-court seats at the French Open and a week's stay on the Left Bank of Paris sound like a good match? Grand Slam Tennis Tours thinks so. The company is offering three spring. Fans can choose from the seven-night Early Rounds, May 26-June 3, starting at $2,565 per person, double occupancy; the seven-night Middle Rounds, May 31-June 8, $2,665, and the eight-night Final Rounds, June 4-13, $3,165.
Besides French Open seats, the package includes round-trip airfare from Washington-Dulles, lodging at Latitudes St. Germain or Lutetia Concorde on the Left Bank, a city tour and a seven-day metro pass. The stadium where the championships will be played is about a 20-minute metro ride away. Tours to the Australian Open, Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and the Lipton and Davis Cup also available. Call Grand Slam Tennis Tours at (800) 289-3333.