Small-town America may soon see less of Delta.
The carrier recently petitioned the Transportation Department to cut service in 24 communities, such as Tupelo, Miss.; Sioux City, Iowa; Butte, Mont.; and Pierre, S.D. Delta is retiring its Saab turboprops and some of its 50-seat jets and has also lost $14 million on these low-demand markets.
Delta will continue service until DOT names a replacement carrier. Great Lakes Airlines has expressed interest in some routes, especially in the Midwest. Delta may also maintain service in select markets, depending on the federal Essential Air Service subsidy.
Delta (800-221-1212) will help customers rebook on another carrier if necessary.
For a list of affected cities: news.delta.com/index.php?s=18&item=156.
In the battle of land vs. sea, the water wins.
A recent Expedia study comparing the price of a seven-night cruise in the Mediterranean with the cost of a week-long ground trip in Spain and Italy found that a self-guided land trip (four-star lodging, food, transportation) costs 68 percent more than an inside cabin on a cruise ship and 33 percent more than a cabin with a balcony.
Of course, Expedia hopes that its study will lead travelers to its cruise special: Spend at least $500 on a cruise vacation listed on the travel site and earn up to 10,000 rewards points. Book by Aug. 12; complete travel by Dec. 31. Register at www.expedia.com/rewards.
Chase Card Services and United have issued the new United MileagePlus Explorer Card. Among its bonuses: one free checked bag for the cardholder and a companion, priority boarding and non-expiring miles. Annual fee of $95 is waived for the first year. Info: 888-744-6899, www.theexplorercard.com.