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Food and travel captivate Janet Podolak, who chronicles both for The News-Herald. Get the back story of her three decades of stories here. Guest bloggers and fellow News-Herald staffers also periodically share details of their trips.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Airport smoking & punta cana bound

Last weekend, while in the Tampa area to deal with a family issue, I took this photo in the Tampa Airport of this outdoor cage designated for smokers. It was attached outside the waiting area at my gate-- a pretty clever accommodation in this state where smoking indoors is prohibited everywhere.

This weekend I'm flying again, headed to the Dominican Republic to check out a resort that's among the Apple vacations options in Punta Cana. That country shares the island of Hispanola with Haiti, and this will be my first visit.
On a snowy day at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, the sandals were the giveway . They're worn by many of the early morning passengers headed for Gate A11, where USA 3000 flights to Cancun and Punta Cana depart at 6 a.m. The charter carrier serves passengers who have booked Apple Vacations escapes to balmy breezes and palmy beaches in Mexico and the Dominican Republic . Its Fort Myers flights also are a popular option for many Northeast Ohioans who head to Florida's Gulf coast. Because they don't require a roundtrip purchase, they're ideal for folks who drive to Florida to deliver a car, a relative or both. In spring those folks reverse the process.
Although USA3000 don't go every day and the schedule is prone to changes, it is also unusual in other ways that make planning around its schedule worthwhile.
Some of those things, which are becoming rarer and rarer on flights:
Changes to flights booked as part of an Apple Vacation are inexpensive and it's no problem to even change the name of the traveler.
There's no charge to check the first bag.
Headsets and on-board films are free..
There is a $7 charge for snacks but soft drinks and coffee are free. I had crackers and cheese, salami slices,dried apricots a cookie and potato chips.
I signed up to receive the airline's email promotions, making me eligible for a monthly drawing to choose the winner of a free Apple vacation.
Here's hoping!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

We love our smoking cage in Tampa - though it does make one feel a bit giddy looking down through the grating. Thanks for the good article about Punta Cana.

January 16, 2009 at 11:08 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish more airports accomodated smokers like that! Especially when one has a lay over. Providing a place where one can have a quick smoke, without offending the non smokers is something greatly appreciated by all smokers!

January 21, 2009 at 8:35 AM 
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January 23, 2009 at 12:05 AM 

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