EUROPE TRAVEL DIGEST

  • Swissair has "Air + Land Best Buy" programs starting at $999. The packages include roundtrip economy class air on Swissair to Zürich and Geneva from New York or Newark (supplements from other Swissair U.S. gateways apply); six nights in a choice of 108 hotels throughout Switzerland; daily buffet breakfast; a one-week car rental with unlimited mileage or, with a supplement, an eight-day Swiss Rail Pass second class; and local taxes and service charges (airport taxes not included). The packages are effective April 1, 1997 - Oct. 31, 1997. Contact: Swisspak at 800-688-7947.
  • LTU International Airways says it is the first German airline to equip all its planes with electronic collision warning system TCAS (Traffic Collision Avoidance System).
  • Swissair says it will be the first airline in the world to offer video-on-demand. Choosing from a list of up to 20 movies which will be shown on individual screens, passengers will be able to start and stop their own movies - not the crew. In addition, the new entertainment service will offer computer games and audio-on-demand, including 60 hours of music.

Also available will be video games run by the Swiss lottery in which passengers can win up to $3500. Swissair is currently testing customer response on selected aircraft and expects to have its entire long-haul fleet equipped by January 1998.

  • Lufthansa now offers nonstop service between Newark, New Jersey, and Munich. For passengers who purchase Newark-Munich tickets through April 30, the roundtrip economy fare is $411 and is good for travel through May 31, 1997. Lufthansa also has daily nonstop service between Newark and Frankfurt plus three flights daily from JFK to Germany.
  • Geneva's Red Cross Museum offers remarkable film footage. Some visitors weep when they view jerky World War I footage of former enemies, Germans and Englishmen, hugging and dancing as the armistice goes into effect, ending a war that killed 60,000,000 people. One especially poignant film, taken during the Spanish-American War, shows Red Cross nurses running out into gunfire to tend wounded soldiers.

Notable among several moving exhibits is the entire card index of the International Prisoners of War Agency, containing 7,000,000 cards.

Another exhibit is a 9' x 12' concrete block cell from an unnamed country in which 17 prisoners were held, some for as long as 90 days. The cell was dismantled and brought to Geneva. Seventeen pairs of footprints painted on the floor graphically show how crowded these prisoners were.

The building is intentionally stark. Human figures in exhibits are faceless.

The museum, which opened in 1988, was funded by government and private donations and has never taken funds from the International Red Cross.

Red Cross Museum, 17 Avenue de la Paix, Geneva, tel 022/733 2660. Admission is 10 Sfr. ($7).

  • Minotel Europe includes over 200 small hotels and inns in Austria, Germany and Switzerland and 23 more in Eastern Europe.

Operated on a prepaid voucher system, the cost is about $125 for a double room including private bath, breakfast and local tax. One child under 12 years is free with two adults in a double room and the seventh night is free for travelers staying six consecutive nights at the same property. Ask your travel agent to contact: 800-670-4857.