Travel briefs

Published: Sunday, January 19, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 18, 2003 at 11:20 p.m.

Astronaut Hall of Fame reopens

Visitors can use training simulators to land a space shuttle and take a virtual moon walk at the Astronaut Hall of Fame, the newest attraction at the Kennedy Space Center. The Hall of Fame, in Titusville, six miles west of the center's visitor complex, reopened in December after the space center acquired it.

The hall, previously run by the U.S. Space Camp Foundation, displays memorabilia and tributes to participants of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs. The exhibit hall has a collection of spacecraft, including a Mercury Sigma 7 capsule, a Gemini training capsule and the Apollo 14 command module.

A formal grand opening is expected in May, and educational programs are planned for the spring.

The Astronaut Hall of Fame is open daily 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission, separate from the rest of the visitor complex, costs $13.95, $9.95 for ages 3 to 11.

A new two-day ticket includes entrance to both the Hall of Fame and the Visitor Complex (usually $28 and $18) for $33 and $23. Information: (321) 449-4444 or on the Web at www.kennedyspace

Airlines experiment with selling food

Two airlines have begun trial programs to gauge whether passengers are interested in buying meals on flights.

America West, which offers limited food service, recently began a three-week test selling meals. According to Janice Monahan, a spokeswoman, the airline had received requests from customers to have more meals available, so it worked with the catering service Sky Chef to test selling food on about 12 daily flights.

These include snacks like cheese and crackers ($3), a hot sandwich with chips and a candy bar ($5), and chicken Kiev with salad, baked potato, vegetable and dessert ($10). ``It's not designed to make money for the airline,'' Monahan said, but rather to experiment with covering the cost of a service by charging only the customers who use it. Payment is by cash.

Northwest, which offers free meals on flights from its three hub cities to the West Coast, began a 30-day test on Jan. 13, selling food on some flights that do not have meal service, according to Kurt Ebenhoch, a Northwest spokesman. He would not comment on the offerings or the cost.

As U.S. airlines have cut back on food service to save money, passengers have often been left to provide their own food. In Europe, some low-fare airlines like easyJet and Ryanair charge passengers for drinks and snacks.

-- The New York Times

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