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Travel Watch, May 2005

MORE THAN A WEB SITE Expedia began testing staffed "activity desks" at hotels in Hawaii two years ago. Now the online agency sells vacation outings, such as helicopter tours, snorkeling, and museum excursions, at 37 hotels in Hawaii and has launched similar desks in Mexico, New York City, and Orlando. At press time, Travelocity had opened 30 ticket booths at hotels, casinos, and malls in Las Vegas.

TAMING THE WILD By next month, 85 of California's 278 state parks will feature Wi-Fi Internet access. The service will cost campers $7.95 for 24 hours of use. (Accessing state-operated Web sites will be free.) Wi-Fi is already up and running at San Diego's San Elijo State Beach. For a complete listing, check www.sbc.com/freelink.

PUFF THE MAGIC...PORTAL Trace portal machines, also called "puff portals," have made an appearance at three more airports: Jacksonville International, Baltimore/Washington International, and Las Vegas's McCarran International. The phone booth–sized contraptions, which detect whether travelers are carrying or have been in contact with explosives, have now been installed in nine U.S. airports, with five more to come by the end of May.

BERLIN, STRAIGHT UP The German capital is clearly becoming a popular destination with Americans—two airlines are introducing nonstop service from the United States. This month, Delta launches flights from JFK, and in July, Continental inaugurates flights from Newark.

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