Frequent fliers will need more milesNotice to travelers...


September 04, 1994|By Kathryn R. Markham

Frequent fliers will need more miles

Notice to travelers who use frequent-flier miles: Beginning early next year, several major airlines will be raising the number of miles necessary to receive a free domestic flight. The minimum, which was previously around 20,000 miles for most airlines, will now be raised to 25,000 on USAir, American, Continental and United. Delta is scheduled to reduce its mileage, from 30,000 to 25, 000, making its program more competitive. For travelers close to the old limit, this means that mileage should be redeemed for a flight or certificate soon, since seating for frequent-flier bonus trips is allocated for each flight, and may be limited. Frequent-flier mileage can also be accumulated through tie-ins with car-rental agencies, phone companies and hotel chains.

Big city's little prices

Who says travel is expensive? Certainly not Mark Waldstein, author of the new book "Mr. Cheap's San Francisco." The 33-year-old actor and author has become a celebrity of sorts, renowned for his penny-pinching skills. "We are interested in little discoveries that even the natives might not know about," he says, explaining the research technique behind his latest release. The guidebook offers tourists and residents alike interesting tidbits on the cheapest places to find food, lodging, entertainment and consumer products. Mr. Waldstein has written similar guidebooks about Boston, New York, Chicago and Atlanta, working with assistants for as long as three months to find readers the best deals. The book is available in stores now.

Mystery show at dinner puts audience in the act

Visiting a foreign culture has always offered mystery and adventure. Now the mystery comes to life at Toronto's Royal York Hotel. Visitors to the city can participate in an evening of drama, fine dining and mayhem as Mysteriously Yours . . . Inc. Mystery Dinner Theatre presents a series of interactive murder mysteries. Theater-goers sit at tables with "suspects" in the murder investigation, and are allowed to question them at different points throughout the evening. Guests who are having birthdays or anniversaries may be included as additional suspects. The company has been performing for eight years, and has even done parties at different locations in the United States. The performers are currently doing a set of some of their most popular shows, and will be opening a new Sherlock Holmes mystery in November. For more information, call (800) 668-3323.

Dreams come true in film-site cornfield

"If you build it, they will come." Those were the prophetic-sounding words that resonated through the movie "Field of Dreams," the story of an Iowa farmer who built a ballpark in the middle of his cornfield, in homage to his baseball hero, Shoeless Joe Jackson.

The message has apparently struck a chord with some fans of the movie as well. Ever since crews razed his Dyersville, Iowa, farm property to make the movie set in 1988, Don Lansing has had his own backyard mini-stadium. And about a month after the movie came out, they began to come.

The first was a curious New Yorker, but he was soon followed by others, tourists from around the country, inspired by the movie's message of renewal through baseball or just curious. Nowadays the field is a full-time attraction, complete with rental equipment for the fans who come to enjoy the field in the best way they know how -- by using it. Admission is free, and Mr. Lansing and his neighbors, who also own a small part of the field, sell souvenirs.

In the original story, based on the book by W. P. Kinsella, the field was inhabited by ghosts of famous historic baseball players. After they left, the field became a pilgrimage ground of sorts for baseball fans and people seeking solace through the magic of baseball. For once, real life seems to be imitating art as the area continues to receive a steady stream of visitors. Call it a little bit of Hollywood magic come to life. To find out more, contact the Dyersville Chamber of Commerce at (319) 875-2311.

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