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Home Travel Western Travel Buzz Latest News, Deals & Savings for Oct. 19

Latest News, Deals & Savings for Oct. 19

Scheduled air service to return to four Arkansas cities, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park to offer sea music band concert by the Johnson Girls, and Virgin America airlines named “Best Domestic Airline” among U.S. carriers in Conde Nast Traveler’s 2009 Readers’ Choice Awards.

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Scheduled Air Service Returns to Four Arkansas Cities

Oregon-based SeaPort Airlines said it will serve four Arkansas locations from a private terminal at Memphis International Airport, beginning Oct. 26, 2009.

The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded SeaPort Airlines the Essential Air Service (EAS) contract to operate flights to Hot Springs, El Dorado, Harrison and Jonesboro-all cities which have not received scheduled air service in over a year.

"SeaPort was proud to have been chosen by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to serve these communities," said Kent Craford, CEO of SeaPort. "We have received a very warm welcome and look forward to rebuilding the air service that has been lost in these four communities."

The EAS program has a goal of guaranteeing that small communities served by scheduled commercial air service before deregulation maintain such service. SeaPort will fly out of Memphis International Airport to each of these Arkansas communities three times a day every day except for Saturday.

Each community SeaPort will serve has expressed support for the airline. "SeaPort's service will undoubtedly provide Jonesboro with a much-needed service that will attract business, retain existing industries and enhance our community," said Mayor Harold Perrin of Jonesboro.

SeaPort will be offering an introductory offer of $49 each way to Harrison, Hot Springs and El Dorado and $29 each way to Jonesboro with three-week advance purchase.

SeaPort launched in June of 2008 operating daily scheduled flights between Portland, Ore. and Seattle, Wash. out of its private terminal at Portland International Airport and Seattle's Boeing Field. Since then, SeaPort has expanded its routes to three other Oregon destinations: Pendleton, Newport and Astoria. SeaPort allows customers to arrive just 15 minutes before their flight, park on-site for free and avoid the hassles of TSA.

SeaPort Airlines operates Swiss-built Pilatus PC-12s, a pressurized, fast and comfortable turbo-prop aircraft. SeaPort Airlines is a dba of Alaska Juneau Aeronautics, an FAA Part 135 Certified scheduled air carrier founded in 1983. SeaPort's sister airline, Wings of Alaska, operates daily scheduled service between Juneau, Alaska and six outlying communities. Information can be found at

For reservations or more details about SeaPort Airlines, visit
www.SeaPortAir.com or call (888) 573-2767.

San Francisco Maritime Park to Offer Sea Music Concert

The Johnson Girls, a sea music band from New York, will perform a concert aboard the historic sailing ship Balclutha, berthed at Hyde Street Pier on San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf on Saturday, Nov. 14, at 8 p.m.

The concert is presented by San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. Tickets: $14 general, $12 members. Tickets and information: (415) 561-6662, ext. 33.

The Johnson Girls - Deirdre Murtha, Alison Kelley, Joy Bennett, and Bonnie Milner - captivated by traditional seafaring songs at different times in their lives, came together in 1997 following the Mystic Seaport Museum Sea Music Festival to burst through the barrier of this previously male dominated genre.

Since then, they have taken the sea music world by storm with their powerhouse renditions of chanteys, and their tender performances of seafaring ballads. They have performed at festivals and concert halls across the United States, in Canada, England, Wales, the Netherlands, and Portugal.

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is located at the west end of Fisherman's Wharf, in San Francisco. The park includes a magnificent fleet of historic ships, visitor center, Aquatic Park Historic District, and library. For more information about the park, or its public programs, call (415) 447-5000 or visit the park's website at
www.nps.gov/safr .

Virgin America Wins Best Domestic Airline Award

The California-based airline Virgin America took top honors as "Best Domestic Airline" among U.S. carriers in the prestigious Conde Nast Traveler's 2009 Readers' Choice Awards.

Launched in August 2007, the new airline has captured the award for its second consecutive year. The results of this year's Readers' Choice Awards will be reported in the November issue of Conde Nast Traveler. The survey, unique for both its size and unfiltered results, reflects the recommendations of over 25,000 of the magazine's readers.

"We're honored to be named the best domestic airline by Conde Nast Traveler readers," said Virgin America President and CEO David Cush. "As a new and growing company, this kind of direct feedback for the second consecutive year is a testament to our unique service and the extraordinary work of our teammates. Our goal from launch has been to reinvent the domestic category with low fares, stylish design, innovative amenities and outstanding guest service. We couldn't be more pleased to hear that we're continuing to hit the mark with savvy travelers who expect more from a domestic airline."

With industry-leading guest service, beautiful design and a host of high-tech amenities, Virgin America has captured a list of travel industry best-in-class awards since its launch.

In May of 2009, Virgin America became the first airline to offer guests in-flight Internet on every flight. The carrier also offers touch-screen seatback entertainment with on-demand films, live TV and videogames, power outlets near every seat, mood-lighting and custom-designed leather seating with a deeper, more comfortable pitch.

Virgin America flies to San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., Seattle, Las Vegas, San Diego, Boston, Orange County and as of Nov. 18, 2009 - Fort Lauderdale.

The airline currently offers daily flights from: SFO to LAX, SFO to JFK, SFO to SAN, SFO to IAD, SFO to LAS, LAX to JFK, LAX to IAD, SFO to SEA, SEA to LAX, JFK to LAS, BOS to LAX, BOS to SFO, SFO to SNA and as of Nov. 18, 2009 - LAX to FLL and SFO to FLL.