Price Reductions On Swissair
For those planning summer trips the question is whether to wait to purchase air tickets in the hope fares will fall. Further reductions are possible but our advice is to act now.
Gemütlichkeit subscribers, especially, should take a long look at what Swissair is currently offering. In the envelope that enclosed this issue is a flyer outlining Swissair's special price reduction for active subscribers. With it you can purchase the airline's current sale fares for $50 less than the published price. That applies to each ticket purchased as long as additional passengers travel at least one leg of the journey with the subscriber. Business Class travelers can save $300 per ticket and First Class passengers save $500. The reduction is $100 on regular economy fares.
To take advantage of the Swissair offer make your reservations directly with Swissair using their main reservation number, 800-221-4750. Then, to purchase tickets at the reduced Gemütlichkeit rates, call 800-238-0399 and ask for Shirley. Swissair will verify with our office that at least one ticket holder in each party is an active subscriber.
Here were Swissair's current sale fares at press time. They are good through March 5 but it is quite possible the purchase date will be extended:
MW WK MW WK
East Coast $618 $668 $718 $768
South $668 $718 $768 $818
Midwest $718 $768 $818 $868
West Coast $818 $868 $918 $968
MW = midweek WK = weekend
Gemütlichkeit subscribers can subtract $50 from the above numbers. These fares are good from most major cities in the U.S. and to several major destinations in Europe. Shoulder season is April 1 to May 31 and September 1 to October 31. Peak season is June 1 to August 31. In 1993 it might not get any better than this.
RT L.A. - Vienna for $498
Lufthansa and Austria's Lauda-air have combined on a marvelous offer from Los Angeles to Vienna. Passengers fly Lufthansa non-stop to Munich and then change to Lauda-air for the Vienna leg. This introductory roundtrip fare is $498. The offer is good from March 28 to May 31. Phone Lufthansa at 800-645-3880.
Expert Travel Planning
Karen Pasold is a long-time subscriber and travel consultant. Through letters and phone conversations over the years we have come to realize the depth of her knowledge and experience. Ms. Pasold is not a travel agent; she custom designs independent travel itineraries in Europe for individuals and small groups. She has personally visited each of the mostly small hotels she sends clients to, and at many of them she has a personal relationship with management. Years of research trips, and an energetic, fearless curiosity about hotels, restaurants and shopping bargains have created one of the most knowledgeable travel advisers I know.
In addition to the consultation, which typically includes reservations and an itinerary as complete as each client wishes, she provides customers with a most informative 20 page printout of travel advice tailored to each specific trip. From her notes for a tour of France, Switzerland and Italy, for example, I found these tips to her client:
• Be sure all drivers take their state driver's license. Forget about getting an International Driver's License.
• Drink enormous amounts of water on the flight over. It will help offset the severe dehydration encountered on long flights—a major cause of fatigue and prolonged jet-lag.
• No doubt you will feel jet-lagged on arrival but it is very important that you fight off your sleepiness. If you must take a nap when you arrive at your relative's flat, limit it to 60 to 90 minutes. Sleeping too long will only prolong the difficulty of adapting to the 8-hour time difference.
• Always ask to see your hotel room before accepting it. Every hotel and gasthaus seems to have a least one room which is much less desirable than the others—too hot, too cold, too noisy, lack of view or whatever. Advise the desk clerk that you wish to see the room before you check in. If it is not to your liking, ask to see others in the same price range.
• At hotels, tip the baggage porter—unless he is the owner or proprietor—the equivalent of about $1 to $1.50 per bag. In Italy, tip the bellhops about 1,500 lire per bag.
• Unlike American hotels, European hotels strongly frown on guests keeping their room keys during the day. It's a way for the hotel staff to know who is in and who is out. It's o.k. to keep your key as long as you are in the hotel, and you will need to show it to your waiter at breakfast, but do not leave the hotel unless you deposit it at the desk, even if you plan to be gone for only a few minutes.
• To order one of anything in the German-speaking countries, hold up your thumb and say, for example, "ein bier bitte." When ordering two, hold up your thumb and index finger.
The prices for Ms. Pasold's trip consultations begin at about $250.
Contact her at Classic Europe, 1 Glenmoor TX 75034, phone 214/625-6050, fax 214/370-2700.