Airport update

  • Southwest Airlines will restore nonstop service between Oakland and Nashville, Tenn., and add new flights to three airports it already services starting May 9.

    Southwest already has two daily flights to Albuquerque, N.M., three to Denver and six to Seattle-Tacoma. The airline will add one additional daily flight to each airport.

  • A Vino Volo has opened at Oakland International Airport's Terminal 2 next to gate 25. The store features a wine lounge and restaurant, tasting bar and boutique wine retail area.

    Casting call for Global Scavenger Hunt

    Applications are due Jan. 9 for teams interested in participating in the sixth Global Scavenger Hunt. The "Amazing Race"-like competition takes 25 teams of two people each on an around-the-world adventure.

    Teams selected from the entries will not know which 10 countries they will be traveling to. The event starts April 9 somewhere on the West Coast and concludes May 1 somewhere on the East Coast.

    National Geographic has called the event "like 'Survivor', 'The Amazing Race' and the 'Eco-Challenge' all rolled into one, except with much more cultural interaction." Experiences include things such as swimming with baby elephants, learning to cook from a Michelin-starred chef, partnering on an authentic archeological dig and helping out at a Tibetan refugee camp.


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    To apply or for more details, visit www.GlobalScavengerHunt.com.

    Steves adds travel magazine to resume

    Travel author Rick Steves will team up with Smithsonian magazine to create a special magazine focused on cultural travel. Tentatively titled "Smithsonian Presents: Travels with Rick Steves," the magazine will go on sale May 4. It will include Steves' favorite 20 things to see and do in Europe, as well as his practical tips and advice.

    American Express, British Airways team up

    American Express cardholders can transfer Membership Reward points into British Airways' Executive Club Frequent Flyer program for travel on British Airways and Oneworld partner airlines. The partnership began Dec. 17. Details: www.membershiprewards.com.

    Deals of the Week

  • Aer Lingus Vacation Store is offering a four-night Ireland trip starting at $659 per person (based on double occupancy). The Dublin City Vacation package includes round-trip airfare from San Francisco and four nights of hotel accommodations at the Regency Hotel in Dublin. Discounted rates also are available from other airports, including $399 from New York's JFK.

    Bookings must be made by Dec. 31. Rates vary based on departure dates. The $659 price is good for travel between Jan. 7 and March 10, based on Sunday-Thursday travel. Details: www.aerlingusvacationstore.com.; 800-495-1632.

  • Eagle Crest Resort and Hoodoo Ski Area in Central Oregon have partnered on the Hoodoo Ski Package. Starting at $139, the package includes two full day ski passes and one night's lodging for two at the Inn at Eagle Crest. Two night stays in a vacation rental and four ski passes start at $418.

    The package is available for stays through March 15. Details: www.eagle-crest.com; 888-306-9643.

  • Keystone Resort in Colorado has designed the Keystone Complete all-inclusive package. The deal includes lodging in Keystone's River Run Village, lift tickets, dining and a ski school lesson or 50-minute massage at the resort's spa. The package is available for four- or seven-day stays, with limited blackout dates.

    Three-night, four-day packages start at $834 for adults and $612 for children, while six-night, seven day packages start at $1,455 per adult and $1,096 per child (based on two adults and two children). Details: 888-222-9285.

    — Ann Tatko-Peterson

    Prices do not include taxes, surcharges or other fees unless noted. Deal availability may be limited. Restrictions such as blackout dates and advance-purchase requirements may apply.