As Hurricane Ivan targets the southern U.S., the third major storm in recent weeks, Iowans may be understandably hesitant to make plans to take a cruise. Travel agent Steve Glenn says a cruise ship is the safest place to be in a hurricane. Cruise ships can travel fast enough that they can reposition themselves to avoid big storms, but if you’re land-based and stuck on an island, you’d better seek shelter because you have no where to go. Glenn says cruise ships also have big stabilizers so they could ride out a hurricane “without spilling a passenger’s cup of coffee.” Glenn encourages Iowans to book their year-end vacations soon. He says prices are very low right now when the travel industry has slowed down, be it within the U.S., to Europe or the Carribean. Glenn says Florida is bound to launch a huge campaign to lure visitors back to the state and the bait is bound to be great deals. U.S. Airways filed for bankruptcy Sunday for the second time in two years and several other major carriers are struggling. Glenn says he’s warning his clients who’ve flown U.S. Airways to take action. He says customers with U.S. Air frequent flier miles should use them up right away or transfer them to another carrier as six or 12 months from now, “the airline may not be around.” Glenn says airlines are biting the hands that feed them by imposing new fees to push customers toward using their websites. American and T-W-A are now charging fees for booking over the phone or in person at airports, a hidden charge that will likely not go away. He says other airlines are starting to put it into their systems, because it seems to be working.
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