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Tickets to see Trade Center site



Published: Sun, February 24, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Tickets to seeTrade Center site

Visitors to New York who want to see ground zero from the newly constructed viewing platform at Broadway and Fulton Street need to first obtain free tickets from a kiosk at Pier 16, South Street Seaport.

The first-come, first-served tickets are time-stamped for half-hour periods; 250 are given out for each half hour. Visitors cannot request a specific time period.

The kiosk opens at 11 a.m. daily, and in its early days had by midafternoon given out all tickets for that day and begun giving out tickets for the next morning.

The platform is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. For those who do not have tickets, partial views of the 16-acre site, now largely cleared, can be had from other side streets in the vicinity.

Information: South Street Seaport, phone (212) 732-7678.

Airlines showolder movies

Sylvia Arndt of London-based Inflight Productions, which provides movies to 15 airlines, said several carriers have found another way to cut costs: Show older movies.

Before Sept. 11, airlines generally booked films about three months after they hit the theaters, spending $150 million to $200 million a year. Now, Arndt said, more carriers are ordering movies released a year or two ago. "They're more economical," Arndt said.

Continental is one such airline. This month, Continental is showing "Shakespeare in Love" and "Hope Floats," both released in 1998. Continental spokesman Rashaan Johnson said the airline is showing the movies not because they're cheaper but because they're considered "contemporary classics" and because Continental is showing love-themed movies in February. Also included in Continental's February romance-film fest are "Planet of the Apes," "The Kid" and the Mariah Carey flop "Glitter."

France is No. 1tourist destination

The French, a notoriously independent people, are not known to kowtow to tourists (or anybody). Nevertheless, France continues to be the world's No. 1 tourist destination, topping all others in 2001, according to the World Tourist Organization. It may be because France has one tourist attraction that's hard to beat: Paris.

Spain came in second, while the United States dropped from second to third. The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks contributed to a 12.6 percent falloff in the nation's overseas visitors.

While France managed a slight gain to 76.5 million tourists, the tragic events shook the world's tourist industry. World tourism, which started off strongly in 2001, fell by 1.3 percent by the end of the year, the U.N. agency noted.

Caribbean vacationcan pay off big

In a new twist in vacation hype, IslandQuest Vacations offers participants the unusual opportunity of returning home from the Caribbean richer than when they started out. The IslandQuest vacation is a series of games or "quests" in which vacationers are assigned to teams of up to eight players each. Players take part in two quests a day with the goal of amassing the most points. The grand prize winner at the end of the weeklong competition can win as much as $7,000.

Amber Brkich, a contestant from CBS's "Survivor 2," is company spokeswoman and a game host. The games are played either on the island of St. Croix or aboard Royal Caribbean's "Adventure of the Seas" and in the ship's ports of call.

Visit the company's Web site (www.iqvacations.com) or call (800) 301-7976.

Airlines beef upflight schedules

Starting April 7, United Airlines is adding 127 flights to help restore service it cut after the Sept. 11 attacks. Chicago's O'Hare International Airport will add 17 flights, and Denver International Airport will add 26 flights; both are hubs for United. From Los Angeles International Airport, there will be 20 1/2 daily flights ("one-half" is a return flight) to San Francisco instead of 17, six daily to New York's John F. Kennedy International instead of five and seven daily to Washington's Dulles International Airport instead of 5 1/2, among other additions.

Other air service additions:

On July 2, American Airlines will begin its first nonstop service between Ontario, Calif., and JFK. There will be two flights a day.

On April 1, Switzerland will begin operating a new national airline called Swiss Air Lines. It was formed by the merger of the European regional carrier Crossair with Swissair, which filed for bankruptcy protection last fall but will continue to operate until April 1. Swissair tickets issued before March 31 are good on the new airline.

Call (800) 221-4750 or visit www.flyswissairlines.com on the Web for more information.




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