LTU Offers Low Fare

LTU, the "other" German Airline, has announced a round trip fare from San Francisco to Düsseldorf of $488 for departures between May 3 and June 28. The roundtrip from Tampa for May 4-June 22 departures is $439. The San Francisco flight operates on Wednesdays, the Tampa flight operates Thursdays. West Coast travelers will not find a lower fare this summer. Book through a travel agent or phone 800-521-6722.

Germany Packages

DER Tours, a German travel company, also operates in the U.S. Gemütlichkeit has regularly reported on the company's product line because so much of it is of interest to the traveler to Germany and Europe. For example, DER has just announced, via a brochure entitled Germany for All Seasons and subtitled Programs for the Independent Traveler, a joint offering with Lufthansa of competitively priced air-inclusive German vacation packages.

The Munich package, for instance, is priced at $798 per person, double occupancy, from the East Coast and includes roundtrip air on Lufthansa, six nights hotel in Munich, a city sight-seeing tour, a Munich welcome card good for free public transportation and local discounts, a convertible flight bag/backpack and an inflatable neck pillow. For departure from Lufthansa's other gateways the add-on airfare is $90 from Atlanta; $117 from Chicago; $169 from Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston and Miami and $240 from Los Angeles and San Francisco. The $798 price is for low-season travel and accommodations at the Brunnenhof, a "tourist class" hotel just outside the Ring near Sendlinger Tor. There are four hotels from which to choose and other price variations dependent upon when one travels. The package price can increase to as much as $1,218 per person from the East Coast for those who wish to travel in the high season and stay at the "deluxe" Hotel Sheraton. In addition, the single rate will be higher.

The Berlin package ranges from $838 to $1,528 and there is a three-night Frankfurt offer for from $688 to $1,088.

DER also offers an Oktoberfest package that includes airfare, six nights in the "first-class" Eden Hotel Wolff, two dinners, city tour, excursions to the Royal Castles and Oberammergau, excursions to Salzburg for a guided city tour and to Berchtesgaden, the flight bag/backpack and the inflatable neck pillow for $1678 per person double occupancy. The add-on airfares from other gateways are the same as previously mentioned.

The DER Christmas Market program headquarters in Munich. The elements of this package are similar to the Oktoberfest deal except that there are also excursions to the Christmas Markets of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Nürnberg and Salzburg. Prices range from $658 to $1,298 per person double occupancy.

The brochure contains dozens of other offerings from river cruises to tours of eastern Germany. Call 800-521-6722 for a free copy.

Balair/CTA Charters

Called the "leisure line of Swissair" Balair/CTA will again operate charter flights to Zürich from several U.S. and Canada gateways in 1995.

From May 3 to October 27, Wednesday and Friday there will be flights between Miami and Zürich; Friday only flights between Orlando and Zürich are scheduled for May 5 through October 27; San Francisco-Zürich flights will operate Mondays and Wednesdays from May 1 to October 27; Anchorage-Zürich flights are on Wednesdays only from May 31 to September 6; Calgary-Zürich flights will be Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from May 1 to October 30 and a Saturday only flight between Vancouver B.C. and Zürich will operate May 20 to October 21.

One of the best airfare bargains to Europe is Balair/CTA's Relax Class (Business Class amenities). This year roundtrip Relax Class prices are $1,346 from Florida, $1526 from San Francisco and $1,630 from Anchorage.

Nonchangeable, nonrefundable, high-season (June/July/August) L-Class roundtrip fares are $538 from Florida, $618 from San Francisco and $764 from Anchorage. May/September/October fares are slightly lower. Book by calling 800-322-5247.

Vienna Card a Good Deal

Beginning in February 1995, for 180 AS ($18), visitors to Vienna can purchase a new product called the Vienna Card. It is sold at hotels and Vienna tourist information offices. With it you get:

* Unlimited travel for 72 hours on all forms of public transit in the city - subways, streetcars, buses and commuter trains.
* Discounts or reduced price admissions for a period of four days to leading museums, city tours and sights such as the Schönbrunn Palace and the Hofburg.
* Discounted tickets to events at the Konzerthaus and, during the summer, to concerts at the City Hall and Schönbrunn.
* Discounts at certain stores, a free glass of wine at participating Heurigen and restaurants, and a complimentary slice of cake at participating pastry shops and coffeehouses.

Worth the money if only for the unlimited travel.

Austria Changes VAT Refund

Because Austria is now a member of the European Union (EU), the procedure for obtaining VAT refunds has changed. The required export certification must be done only at the last point of departure within the EU. For example, if one returns to the U. S. via Germany and England, British customs would have to certify export. Austrian customs will stamp refund forms only when non-EU residents leave Austria for non-EU destinations.

The refund is 13% for most goods and about 6.5% for art objects, collector's items and books. The minimum purchase requirement is 1,000 AS ($100) per store, including tax.

(U.S. Dollar prices quoted in this issue of Gemütlichkeit may be inaccurate for these reasons:

* Prices in local currency have not been updated since the date of publication of this newsletter, and...
* The dollar prices shown were obtained by using exchange rates in effect at the time of publication.)

February 1995