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Briefs: Airlines to require birth date to book flights

Associated Press

Associated Press

Don't be surprised if you're asked to provide your date of birth and gender when booking plane tickets later this summer. The Transportation Security Administration has launched a program called "Secure Flight" to improve security and reduce misidentification of passengers who have names similar to individuals on government watch lists. As part of Secure Flight, airlines will ask passengers buying tickets to provide their name exactly as it appears on the government-issued identification they plan to use when traveling. Later this summer, airlines also will begin asking passengers to provide their birth dates and gender. But don't worry if you aren't asked in advance of your next flight; the program is being phased in over the next 18 months. Go to www.tsa.gov or call toll-free 1-866-289-9673 for more information.

Shining light on famed temples

Cambodia is considering opening the famed Angkor Wat temples at night to draw more tourists to the impoverished country. Cambodia already has installed some lights at the network of centuries-old temples, said Bun Narith, who leads the agency responsible for managing the Angkor park. Tourism is a major foreign currency earner for cash-strapped Cambodia, and the Angkor temples are by far the biggest draw. Visitors are now ushered out of Angkor at sunset, but authorities are considering extending visiting hours to as late as 8:30 p.m. local time. "We want tourists to see all views of the temple, even in the dark places where they may have not have seen some of the sculptures and statues," Bun Narith said.

Cruise discounts from Tampa

Holland America is offering discounts on several fall cruises from Tampa. A seven-night cruise aboard the Ryndam starts at $499 per person double for the Nov. 29, Dec. 6 and Dec. 13 departures, and from $549 for the Nov. 8 and Nov. 15 departures. Savings range from $100 to $200 per person; taxes are about $65 extra each. Stops are in Key West; Santo Tomas de Castilla, Guatemala; and Costa Maya, Mexico. For details, call toll-free 1-877-724-5425 or go to hollandamerica.com.

Well-heeled in the rain

You can now brave the rain in London in your Manolos — provided you have Shuellas, light, portable galoshes (the company calls them "shoe umbrellas") that come in black, yellow, hot pink and apple green. Not only are they stylish — as galoshes go — but they work. It's a little weird to walk in heels inside galoshes, but Shuellas keep shoes and toes dry and keep the splatter to a minimum on the bottom of your bare legs or pants. This is a major plus. They come with a cloth to wipe them dry and a purse pouch that easily fits into all but the smallest of purses (a tiny clutch won't hold them). The downside? At $49.95, Shuellas are pricey, especially in this economy.

Compiled from Times wires

Briefs: Airlines to require birth date to book flights 06/04/09 [Last modified: Thursday, June 4, 2009 7:42pm]

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