Hooters Air Halts Pittsburgh Service

In the past, Hooters has reduced its flights during Myrtle Beach's slower tourist season, but this year high fuel costs made it necessary to suspend all service.

Hooters Air has announced it is canceling flights between Pittsburgh and Myrtle Beach, S.C., for the next two months.

The airline says it is also stopping its Myrtle Beach flights for two months from Baltimore; Columbus, Ohio; Gary, Ind.; Nassau; and Las Vegas to Myrtle Beach and permanently ending its service to Rockford, Ill.

In the past, Hooters has reduced its flights during Myrtle Beach's slower tourist season, but this year high fuel costs made it necessary to suspend all service. The airline said ticket-holders will be mailed refunds, but it can't do anything beyond that to aid passengers with last-minute travel plans.

New Year's resolutions

Do you want to lose weight in 2006? Maybe you want to get in touch with your spiritual side, or stop drinking. There are plenty of ways to vacation while working on a resolution. Sober Vacations International (1-800-762-3738; www.sobervacations.com), for example, arranges no-alcohol vacations for recovering alcoholics or for those looking to travel in a nondrinking environment. Spas and clinics that specialize in weight loss, such as Green Mountain at Fox Run, in Ludlow, Vt. (1-800-448-8106; www.fitwoman.com), are numerous, as are those that focus on spiritual renewal, such as the Chopra Center (1-888-424-6772;www.chopra.com), with locations in New York; Westminster, Colo.; San Diego; and Punta Mita, Mexico. For a choice of spas that may meet your needs, go to www.spafinder.com.

Air bankruptcy protection extended

President Bush recently signed a bill into law that extends bankruptcy protection for air travelers through Nov. 30.

The protection allows passengers to fly standby on the same route on an alternate carrier for $50 each way if their ticketed airline ceases operations. For international flights, departure fees may be charged in addition to the $50 fee. Passengers must make alternate travel arrangements within 60 days of the date of cessation, or on or before the date of travel listed on the original ticket, whichever comes first. Travelers scheduled to fly within the first three days after cessation will have a week to make alternate travel arrangements. This protection does not apply to foreign airlines or charter flights.

IPod City Guides

Wcities, a leader in providing travel information, has released its newest product: Pod CityGuides. Users can download a guide to more than 300 cities worldwide as easily as they download their favorite music. It's a free source for clubs, hotels, restaurants, top attractions and events. Users even can get tickets on the Web site. Visit www.wcities.com.

Diarrhea vaccine

An experimental vaccine has been shown to provide some protection against that scourge of tourism, traveler's diarrhea, when put to a rigorous test among U.S. students in Mexico and Guatemala, according to scientists at John's Hopkins University who studied the Swedish-developed vaccine.

A host of exotic ailments notwithstanding, traveler's diarrhea remains the leading cause of illness among visitors to developing countries, striking an estimated 20 million international travelers a year. While there are numerous sources, the chief culprit is bacteria called enterotoxigenic E. coli, or ETEC, which is spread through contaminated food and water. While rarely life-threatening to the otherwise healthy people, traveler's diarrhea can cause up to a week of misery.

The research provides important evidence that a vaccine is possible against the hard-to-avoid germs, instead of merely urging travelers to wash their hands and be on guard against consuming risky food and water.

Bernhardt exhibition

The first major exhibition in the United States devoted to Sarah Bernhardt is on display at the Jewish Museum in New York through April 2.

"Sarah Bernhardt: The Art of High Drama" showcases the life and art of this French actress through more than 250 rarely seen objects in many media: painting, sculpture, photography, costumes, jewelry, stage designs, theater posters, personal effects, a recording and selected films.

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