United Airlines has announced plans to launch around-the-world flights on Dec. 14, becoming the first airline to offer the service since Pan American World Airways discontinued it in 1982.
With the addition of a new gateway in New Delhi--a pivotal link connecting Pacific and Atlantic routes--United becomes the first airline to circle the globe with regularly scheduled flights aboard its own aircraft.
United will operate westbound and eastbound service from Los Angeles. Both routes will consist of five segments. The westbound will stop in Hong Kong, New Delhi, London and Newark before returning to Los Angeles. Eastbound service will be via Newark, London, New Delhi and Hong Kong before returning to Los Angeles.
Each trip can be made in three days, but travelers have up to a year to complete their journeys. Christopher D. Bowers, a United official, said passengers will be able to make unlimited stopovers and each segment will be open for separate booking.
Reservations can be made beginning Saturday. Fares, purchased 14 days in advance, are $5,019 for first class, $3,618 for business class and $2,570 for economy class.
United is obtaining final government approval for the service, but a spokesman said the airline does not anticipate any problems. He also said the airline has worked out differences with the Air Line Pilots Assn. that blocked plans for around-the-world service in 1992.
A Walk on the Italian Wild Side
Two of the footpaths that run along the cliffs of the Cinque Terre, a rugged stretch of coastline in Northwest Italy, have reopened with the completion of structural repairs.
The Via dell'Amore, which connects Riomaggiore and Manarola, was closed by a landslide in 1990. Although the path is narrow and less than a mile long, the reconstruction took five years because of budget constraints and because one section had to be enclosed in a tunnel as protection against slides.
The Sentiero Azzurro, or Blue Path, between Manarola and Corniglia, also is open again after being blocked by a landslide.
Both are part of a famous network of hiking paths, or sentieri (pictured above), that have linked the five tiny villages of the Cinque Terre for many centuries. The distance between the northern-most town of Monterosso and southernmost town of Riomaggiore is about 11 miles.
New Source for Hearst Castle Tickets
Travelers can now buy tickets for Hearst Castle tours at the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center, 1039 Chorro St., through an arrangement with the Mistix ticket agency.
The visitor's center is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday-Monday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday. Four tours are offered at $14 each for adults, $8 for children under 12 years of age. Tours often sell out and reservations are required. San Luis Obispo is 43 miles--about an hour's drive--south of the castle. Information: (805) 781-2777.
Take a Free Ride on Chicago's 'L'
Free tours of Chicago's downtown Loop are being offered through Sept. 30 on the city's famous elevated trains known as the "L." The 40-minute tours are given every Saturday afternoon, beginning at 12:15. Guides present the history of the downtown area and the elevated train system. Tickets, which must be picked up before the tour, are available at the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph St. at Michigan Avenue, a block east of the station where the tours start. Tickets are available every day, but may be used only on Saturday afternoons at the time indicated on the ticket. Information: (312) 744-2400.