Travel & Tourism
Braley Calls on Airlines to Allow Families to Travel Together PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Kira Ayish   
Tuesday, 05 June 2012 12:46

Preferred seat charges can add hundreds of dollars to families’ travel costs

 

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood asking the Department of Transportation to provide guidelines to US airlines to make sure that families are not charged more to sit together.

 

“As a parent, I know firsthand how stressful traveling can be with young children. It’s appalling to require a parent to pay more just to sit with their young child,” Braley said. “Iowa families are already forced to pay higher prices for airline tickets due to increased fares at smaller airports, so these new fees place an unnecessary burden on Iowa families.” 

 

Last week, an Associated Press article detailed how families traveling this summer could be forced to pay higher ticket prices to ensure that parents are able to sit with their children. Airlines continue to add fees, and one of these is to make window and aisle seats available only to frequent travelers or to those willing to pay more for preferred seating. This means that as airlines set aside more preferred seating for frequent travelers, parents often have to pay for these preferred seats to make sure that they are able to sit together as a family. Braley joins Sen. Schumer (D-NY) in calling for rules to ensure that families are able to sit together when flying.

 

Braley wrote to Secretary LaHood in December 2011 over concerns that airlines are moving to an increasingly less family friendly business model. The press release and a copy of this letter can be seen here.

 

The full text of Braley’s most recent letter to Secretary LaHood follows. A copy of the letter is also available via the following link: http://go.usa.gov/dCo

 

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May 31, 2012

 

The Honorable Ray LaHood

Secretary, Department of Transportation

1200 New Jersey Ave., NW

Washington, D.C. 20590

 

 

Dear Secretary LaHood:

 

As you know, I wrote you six months ago asking you to investigate media reports that suggested airlines were moving to a less family friendly business model. I’ve attached a copy of that letter. I was deeply disturbed to learn that airlines plan to charge families more just to allow parents the basic ability to watch and care for their children. Several of the major airlines are increasing their fees for aisle and window seats. These increased seat prices place a significant hardship on traveling families. Many families are now being forced to sit a part from each other on an airplane, unless they pay extra money for an aisle or window seat.

 

As a parent, I know firsthand how stressful traveling can be with young children.  It’s appalling to require a parent to pay more just to sit with their young child.  Furthermore, Iowa families are often forced to pay higher prices for airline tickets due to increased fares at smaller airports.  This being said, I urge the Department of Transportation to require airlines to instate a family exemption for seat fees.  By requiring airlines to have a family exemption, it will ensure that parents are not separated from their young children when they are traveling.

 

I ask that you please respond to my letter within 10 business days with an answer on whether or not the DOT will begin requiring airlines to institute a family exemption rule. Thank you for your attention to my request and please feel free to contact me if I can provide further assistance.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Bruce L. Braley

 

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QUAD CITY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AWARDED “ILLINOIS AIRPORT OF THE YEAR” PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Cathie Rochau   
Tuesday, 29 May 2012 15:01

MOLINE/QUAD CITIES -- Bruce Carter, Director of Aviation for the Quad City International Airport (QCIA) accepted an award yesterday at the Illinois Aviation Conference in St. Charles, Illinois, for “Illinois Primary Airport of the Year.”  The award was presented by Dr. Susan Shea, Director, Division of Aeronautics.  The Quad City International Airport was selected out of all airports in the State of Illinois.

Many recent accomplishments led to the QCIA being selected.  Dr. Susan Shea says “The Division of Aeronautics enjoys a fantastic working relationship with the Quad City International Airport.  The Runway 9/27 Reconstruction / Taxiway P project was a complex, multi-year endeavor that required an incredible level of communication and coordination.  The success of this project is a perfect example of our longstanding partnership with QCIA and would not have been possible without the cooperation of Director Carter and his dedicated staff.”

“It’s a very exciting time to be accepting this award,” says Bruce Carter, Director of Aviation.  We would not have received this award if it wasn’t for the hard work of all of the MAA employees, the airport authority board members, and all of the tenants.  The partnership we have with the Division of Aeronautics and the FAA is critical to the infrastructure improvements we have made over the last several years, and months,” Carter adds.

The QCIA was presented with this same award in April, 1999, and 2004.  The Quad City International Airport currently offers service through four major airlines to ten nonstop cities.  Airlines include Allegiant, American Eagle, Delta Air Lines, and United Express. The Quad City International Airport strives to make travel easier for all of its customers.                        ###    

 
Davenport's Hotel Blackhawk 2012 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award Winner PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Glenn Kass   
Wednesday, 23 May 2012 12:29

Prestigious award based on consistent outstanding customer reviews

Davenport, IA – Hotel Blackhawk has just been named a 2012 TripAdvisor ® Certificate of Excellence Award Winner.

The prestigious award honors hospitality excellence and is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor ®, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Approximately 10 percent of accommodations listed on TripAdvisor ® receive this prestigious award.

To qualify for the Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travelers on TripAdvisor. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months.

“TripAdvisor is pleased to honor exceptional businesses for consistent excellence, as reviewed by travelers on the site,” said Christine Petersen, president of TripAdvisor for Business. “The Certificate of Excellence award gives highly rated establishments around the world the recognition they deserve. From exceptional accommodations in Beijing to remarkable restaurants in Boston, we want to applaud these businesses for offering TripAdvisor travelers a great customer experience.”

“We are pleased to receive this award from TripAdvisor,” said Hotel Blackhawk General Manager Tim Heim. “We strive to offer our customers a hip and historic experience, and this accolade is evidence that our hard work is translating into positive traveler reviews on TripAdvisor.”

TripAdvisor® is the world's largest travel site, enabling travelers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor ® offers trusted advice from real travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools. TripAdvisor ®-branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 50 million unique monthly visitors, and over 60 million reviews and opinions.

Hotel Blackhawk re-opened December 15, 2010. The hotel retains its 95-year-old historic character while featuring modern conveniences throughout the 130 guestrooms and extended-stay suites, eight meeting rooms and up to 300-person banquet capacity in the signature Gold Room.

Other features include wireless internet, a fitness center, business center, swimming pool, hot tub, Spa Luce (lu-CHAY), Milan Flower Shop, the Bix Bistro restaurant, the Beignet (been-YAY) Done That coffee shop and Blackhawk Bowl & Martini Lounge. The hotel is part of the Summit Hotels & Resorts group (www.summithotels.com) and the Historic Hotels of America network (www.historichotels.org).

For more, visit www.hotelblackhawk.com or find us on www.facebook.com (Search: Hotel Blackhawk).

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RENAISSANCE HANNIBAL INTRODUCES NEW ART FAIR PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Michael Gaines   
Wednesday, 23 May 2012 10:28
Hannibal, MO - Renaissance Hannibal will sponsor the Downtown Hannibal Art Fair on June 9 and 10 in Historic Downtown Hannibal.  The festival will be held from 10am to 8pm Saturday, June 9 and 10am to 4pm Sunday, June 10.

The Downtown Hannibal Art Fair makes it debut as the ultimate art block party – featuring quality artists and evening hours with Second Saturday Gallery Night – all in the heart of Downtown Hannibal.  In addition to the Downtown Hannibal Art Fair, the galleries of Historic Downtown Hannibal will be open for Second Saturday Gallery Night from 5-8pm on Saturday, June 9.

The Downtown Hannibal Art Fair features artwork that is handmade and individually designed by the artist. A variety of exhibitors from the Hannibal area, as well as artists from Illinois, Iowa and other Midwestern states will be participating.  Accepted applicants will be exhibiting and selling works several media categories:  paintings, drawings, photography, sculpture, pottery, jewelry, fiber, wood, clay and wearable art!

Hannibal has long been known as a place for artists, artist studios, galleries and a vibrant art community.  The Downtown Hannibal Art Fair was created by Renaissance Hannibal to spotlight both the arts and Historic Downtown Hannibal – an opportunity for both the community and visitors to experience the arts set in an intimate festival setting

Renaissance Hannibal is a volunteer organization with interests in downtown development, establishment of neighborhood associations, issues effecting downtown businesses and potential for growth in Downtown Hannibal.

For more information regarding the Downtown Hannibal Art Fair call 573-719-0252, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or view the festival website hannibalartfair.com

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Concrete Ice Cream Cones Serve Up Fun at the Iowa State Fair PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Tonya Cook   
Tuesday, 15 May 2012 09:51

News from the Iowa State Fair

DES MOINES, IA (05/15/2012)(readMedia)-- The 2012 Iowa State Fair will celebrate its "Fairlicious" foods with a limited number of 3 ½ foot tall concrete ice cream cones on display throughout the grounds during the Fair, August 9-19. Individuals, clubs and companies are invited to showcase their artistic talents and love of the Fair by painting one of these sculptures.

To enter, submit an entry form along with a written description and detailed drawing of the proposed paint design. Entry forms can be downloaded from the Iowa State Fair web site: http://www.iowastatefair.org/fair-attractions/contests/. All entries must be received or e-mailed to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by May 31.

Selected applicants will be contacted by June 15. Pending selection, a $125 entry fee is due at ice cream cone pick-up. Following the Fair, the artists will get to keep their painted sculptures.

A panel of judges will award prizes based on originality, creativeness and overall look in both the professional and novice divisions. Participants will be judged in the "professional" category if 25 percent or more of their income comes from graphic design or is artistry related.

Winners will receive a prize package including an Iowa State Fair plaque, Fair admission tickets, parking and Fair food tickets. The first, second and third place winners will also receive $150, $100 and $50 cash prizes, respectively. Artists' names will be displayed alongside their painted sculpture during the Fair.

Send entries to:

Tonya Cook, Special Events Director

Iowa State Fair

PO Box 57130

Des Moines, Iowa 50317-0003

Or e-mail all materials to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

For questions about the contest, contact Tonya Cook at 515-262-3111, Ext. 215 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

"Nothing Compares" to the 2012 Iowa State Fair, August 9-19. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit www.iowastatefair.org.

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