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Washington airports open rest areas for pets

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Sunday, July 11, 2010

D.C. airports: Friendly to pets, cars

Even Fido has the right to take a bathroom break.

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The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has made life easier for traveling pets, opening several pet relief areas at Reagan National and Washington Dulles.

Three of the Dulles locations are outside the Main Terminal on artificial grass in a fenced-in area; the other two are inside the midfield concourses. The indoor locations have ventilation and flushing/drainage systems. All four locations at Reagan National are outdoors on natural grass near the pre-security side of terminals A, B and C.

At both airports, the pet relief areas will have clear signs as well as supplies for disposal of pet waste. For locations: http://www.mwaa.com/reagan and http://www.mwaa.com/dulles under the "airport services" tab.

In other Dulles news, a new Safety Service Patrol is now available to help stranded motorists on the Dulles Toll Road and the Dulles Airport Access Highway.

The free service -- to take care of flat tires, empty tanks, dead batteries, removing disabled vehicles, and traffic control at accidents -- is available 6 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.

If you're in trouble, look for a white truck with a blue "Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority" sign on the door and "Safety Service Patrol" along the side. Or you can just dial #77 from your mobile phone.

Up, up with passport fees

The U.S. State Department has set the date: On Tuesday, the much-discussed spike in passport fees will take effect. That gives you one day to rush off your passport or else prepare your wallet for these new prices:

-- First-time passport: $135 (adult), $105 (minors)

-- Renewal: $110

-- Additional visa pages: $82

-- Passport Card: $55 (adult first-timer), $30 (adult renewal), $40 (child)

For passports, the price is an additional $35; for the cards, $10. Hardest on the wallet is the new charge for additional pages, formerly a free service. The expedite charge remains unchanged at $60.

Why the new prices? According to a department statement, demand for passports has risen over the past few years, with an expected 15 million to be issued in 2010. The agency needs more funds to churn out the books and assist Americans overseas, including those who lose their passports.

Info: http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html.

Travel tickers

Passengers at Los Angeles airport will notice something missing -- panhandlers. A recent court decision has banned individuals and groups from asking for or receiving funds in the terminals and parking areas and on the sidewalks. Handing out literature, however, is still allowed. . . . Eat your cheese at the Vermont Cheesemakers Festival, July 25 in Shelburne. Tickets are $30. Info: 800-884-6287, http://www.vtcheesefest.com . . . The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation will hold the third annual Astronaut Autograph and Memorabilia Show at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida Nov. 6 and 7. Tickets are available online at http://www.astronautscholarship.org/aams/tickets.html or by calling 321-455-7014.

Reporting: Andrea Sachs, Nancy Trejos. Help feed CoGo. Send travel news to: cogo@washpost.com. By mail: CoGo, Washington Post Travel Section, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071


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