England Goes Dark For Several Hours, But OK Now

It could happen again on your next visit to Blighty, so be prepared. Trains suddenly stopped, homes went dark and auto traffic was dangerous with no stop and go lights.

Much of London and southern England lost power for several hours during the usual busy Friday. Later, UK Power Networks reported that the mess was "due to an issue on the national transmission.” So, senior tourist, take note in case it happens when you’re in London and any other world big city.

During your wanderings, always have a flashlight or smartphone with brightly lighted face. A small bottle of fresh water and snacks could help if the delays extend into several hours. And, especially when you’re in subways, buses, trains, stations and other crowded areas, be continuously alert to protect your belongings. The possibility of pickpockets and other crimes could happen.

Airbnb Quote Was Very Nice, But What’s The Actual Price? PDF Print E-mail

The discount private rentals vs hotels offer lower-priced overnight stays. However, with success and corporate greed taking over, senior travelers should be aware of unadvertised extra Airbnb costs.

Hotels, resorts, cruises and other travel businesses have long been infamous for advertising low rates. Then at check-out time they tack on another 20 to 50% for so-called resort fees, local taxes and other rip-offs. Now the Airbnb homeowners are getting into the add-on routine.

For example, to the advertised fee of $100 a night there will be added charges for cleaning, service fees, local taxes and other extras. It could make what comes out of your pocket $150 a night or more. So, when you’re making that great Airbnb deal, always ask and hope for an honest answer: Tell me the actual total of what I’ll have to pay.

Albuquerque NM: Get Lofty At International Balloon Fiesta PDF Print E-mail

It’s a world-popular nine-day event from Sunday, October 6 to Monday, October 14. This year it includes more than 500 hot air balloons that fill the city skies and the New Mexico deserts beyond.

There will also be rides, food, music,  games and other attractions. During the celebration, expect as much hot air in the sky as in Washington DC government buildings. For schedule, fees and more info: balloonfiesta.com

Los Angeles CA: Delta Cameras Now Scan Flyer Faces PDF Print E-mail

Soon to spread to other airports, the airline now uses electronic recognition tech at Los Angeles International. Cameras help in ID procedures on passengers, so far, at one boarding gate.

The sneaky system by Delta has been criticized by Greenpeace, MoveOn and the Electronic Privacy Information Center. There's talk of seeking a federal ban of the use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement agencies. They insist the faces recorded by the cameras can be stored and used to violate privacy. So, next time you board at LAX, offer a sunny smile or petty pout.

Smithsonian Sponsors Free Passes For National Museum Day PDF Print E-mail

Your travel4seniors.com editor is a proud grad of the Philadelphia Museum College Of Art (BFA ’51), now University Of The Arts. This year’s celebration on Saturday, September 21, can be a bargain for museum visitors at many U.S. locations.

When you go with a companion, the savings can add up significantly. To qualify for two free tickets on that day at your city’s museum of choice, register online at www.smithsonianmag.com/museumday/museum-day-2019

Sparkling Sundown Over Beautiful San Francisco PDF Print E-mail

Your travel4seniors.com editor caught this fantastic scene shot from an upper floor balcony of the InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel. It brought back long-ago memories of the Top Of The Mark. In war years of the 1940s and 1950s, Navy crews had a last visit and drink at the rooftop bar before shipping out to combat in the Pacific.

Then, after coming back to San Francisco from wartime sea duty, they’d gather again at The Top Of The Mark to celebrate their good fortune. Then with nostalgic toasts, remember those shipmates who would never return.


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