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Truth in Airfare Prices: Debating the Transparent Airfares Act

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A new bill called the Transparent Airfares Act of 2014 was recently introduced in the House, stirring much debate among airlines and consumer advocacy groups. Put simply, the law would allow airlines to list pretax prices rather than the total price including taxes and fees—making fares appear much lower than they really are (and completely undoing the 2012 law that forced airlines to be more upfront).

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SC Johnson’s Frank Lloyd Wright-Designed Headquarters Open For Tours

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For the first time in company history, SC Johnson—maker of Ziploc, Windex, and Raid, to name a few—is opening up its Frank Lloyd Wright-designed headquarters in Racine, Wisconsin, to the public.

Free tours will be offered on Fridays and Saturdays through Sept. 27. On the Landmarks Tour, visitors will see the 15-story cantilevered Research Tower and the Administration Building—known for its lily pad-shaped columns—as well as the Foster + Partners-designed Fortaleza Hall.

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The Latest Way to Camp Near Rocky Mountain National Park? On a Cliff.

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Attention all adrenaline junkies: Thanks to a new program from Kent Mountain Adventure Center, you now have the chance to camp out on a sheer rock face near Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park in Roosevelt National Forest

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New Tour and Exhibit Debut at Philip Johnson’s Glass House

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Philip Johnson’s Glass House, in New Canaan, Connecticut—which opens for the season today, May 1—is offering self-guided tours ($75) for the first time.

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Three American Express Cards Do Away With Foreign Transaction Fees

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Starting May 1, three American Express cards are doing away with foreign transaction fees, joining the ranks of cards like the Orbitz Rewards Visa, which we introduced last week. The current rate of 2.7 percent will no longer apply to the Consumer and Business Delta SkyMiles Platinum, Gold, and Reserve cards. According to Melanie Backs, Director of Public Affairs at American Express, “We know that these Card Members travel internationally, and we are always looking for ways to add more value to our cards.”

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Frontier is Latest Airline to Charge for Carry-Ons

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Denver-based Frontier Airlines is the latest carrier to charge extra for carry-on bags that require overhead storage—joining other add-on fees for non-alcoholic drinks ($1.99) and seat assignments (up to $8). In exchange, the airline is lowering its ticket prices by 12%.

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National Park Week Launches Tomorrow With Free Entrance All Weekend

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Tomorrow marks the start of National Park Week (April 19-27), and to celebrate, the country’s 400-plus parks are waiving entrance fees all weekend long. It’s a big year for the National Park Service, with milestone anniversaries (Yosemite turns 150 this year; Rocky Mountain National Park is 100) and important developments (including major renovations to Yellowstone’s oldest hotel).

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Delayed or Cancelled Flight? AirHelp Fights For Your Money.

Thanks to the recent U.S. launch of AirHelp, Americans have an easy way of filing claims if a flight from or within the European Union is delayed, cancelled, or overbooked. (Flights from the U.S. to the EU are covered only if operated by an EU-based carrier.) Under EU regulations, compensation can be as high as $800, but according to AirHelp founders Henrik Zillmer and Nicolas Michaelsen, only 2% of eligible flyers make claims—and only .06% actually receives what’s due.

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Celebrities' Favorite Airport Snacks

Airport Snack: Chocolate Chip Cookie

Soledad O’Brien, Journalist: “I grab a bag of Swedish Fish when I’m running to a flight—pure sugar, delicious, and chewy.”

Simon Doonan, Creative Ambassador, Barneys NY: “I am a health nut, so I am all about Starbucks oatmeal and a bag of almonds. If push comes to shove I will go for a California Pizza Kitchen blowout.”

Sam Shank, CEO, Hotel Tonight: “A double americano and a chocolate-chip cookie.”

Dylan Lauren, Founder, Dylan’s Candy Bar: “A box of Jujubes. If I can, McDonald’s for a diet Coke. Fountain sodas taste better.”

Mario Batali, Chef/Restaurateur: “I do not eat at airports ever, except for Rick Bayless’s place in Chicago’s O’Hare.”

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Napa Valley Celebrates the Arts All Month Long

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This month the country’s famed wine region hosts Napa Valley Arts in April, complete with pop-up exhibits, special tastings, and exclusive events at area wineries—many of which have permanent world-class art collections.  A few highlights: A free tour of Silverado Vineyards’ collection of Belle Epoche posters and plein air paintings (April 10, 17); the Yountville Art, Sip, & Stroll, with works from 50 regional artists (April 12); and “Celebrating Woodstock,” a special exhibit of photos celebrating the 45th anniversary of the iconic music event, on view at Markham Vineyards (opens April 19). Click here for a complete line-up.

Brooke Porter
Brooke Porter Katz is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1.

Photo courtesy of Visit Napa Valley

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