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Beagle Brigade help confiscate roasted pig, horse meat sausages over Thanksgiving weekend at airport

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents say their Beagle Brigade helped confiscate several illegal items -- including an entire roasted pig -- from travelers flying out of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Joey, a beagle pup, alerted agents Wednesday to the bag of a traveler from Peru to find the pig. Agents said it was seized and destroyed.

On the same day, agents said a traveler arriving from Uzbekistan was found to have fruit trees, carrots and cured sausages consisting of horse meat.

Investigators said the fruit trees lacked a United States Department of Agriculture import permit and phytosanitary certificates, while the meat and fresh carrots were seized to prevent the potential introduction of pests or animal diseases.

“Our best defense against destructive pests and animal diseases is to prevent the entry of prohibited agriculture products they use as vectors from entering the United States,” said Carey Davis, CBP Area Port director for the Port of Atlanta.“One measure Customs and Border Protection employs to intercept prohibited agriculture products is the effective deployment of highly-trained K-9 units. These seizures at ATL illustrate the tremendous expertise of our four-legged K-9 partners in protecting the United States’ many agriculture industries.”

On Friday, Candie, also a Beagle, alerted agents to a bag that belonged a traveler from Bulgaria containing fig trees, tulip bulbs and almond seeds, and seized it for destruction.

Delta apologizes after passenger goes on profanity-laced Trump rant in packed plane

Delta Air Lines apologized for a "disruption" on one of its flights this week after video posted to social media showed a man shouting at fellow passengers in support of President-elect Donald Trump.

>> Read more trending stories

"Donald Trump, baby," the man yells to his fellow passengers as he stood and clapped. "We got some Hillary (expletives) on here? Come on, baby. Trump!"

Video of the Tuesday incident, which contains explicit language, was posted to Facebook by one of the flight's passengers. It was shot on Delta Flight 248, bound for Allentown, Pennsylvania, from Atlanta.

"Donald Trump is your president, every (expletive) one of you," the man tells the crowded plane. "If you don't like it, too bad."

The outburst garnered uncomfortable looks from many of the flight's passengers, to the man's apparent disappointment. A man across the aisle, one row ahead of the shouting man, ignored him while reading. A woman nearby resolutely stared at her phone.

One man, however, appeared to support the public display of support. The shouting man clapped for him.

Despite the flight's interruption, it went on as scheduled.

"We have followed up with the teams involved and all agree that this customer should not have been allowed to continue on the flight," Delta said Saturday in a statement. "Our responsibility for ensuring all customers feel safe and comfortable with Delta includes requiring civil behavior from everyone."

The airliner said it plans to review its training materials to ensure that employees "know they will be fully supported to make the right decisions when these issues arise."

The man has not been identified.

These "magic words" will save you big

Here at Budget Travel we speak fluent French, Italian, Spanish, and other languages. But we've also mastered the phrases that can score you a deep discount, a steep upgrade, or some tasty perks.

Have you ever had a conversation where moments—or even days—later you realize, "I wish I'd said that"? Travel booking and airline and hotel check-ins can often feel like that, with so many questions, options, and price points to juggle. The travel experts at Budget Travel have been there and back. We've assembled a 12-point cheat sheet with twelve phrases to help make your next travel booking easier, nab you some upgrades, and save you money.

"Can I get an upgrade?"

Well, that question seems a little on-the-nose, doesn't it? But most airline passengers never ask, and it can pay off. Ask politely, and if you're met with silence, be willing to wait for an answer instead of backing down. Last-minute first and business class seat availability can mean you pay an "up-sell" fee (typically $50 and up) to get out of coach. The same question can work at a hotel, especially if it's a hotel that caters to business travelers and you're checking in over the weekend.

"Bump me!"

Airline crews deal with a lot of tired, anxious, and sometimes just plain cranky passengers all day every day. Letting them know that you're willing to get bumped to another flight solves some major problems for them—and can result in your being moved up to first class just because you were willing to be accommodating. Note: It might also get you bumped, so use this phrase only if you mean it.

"I serve in the military."

We can't guarantee it, but first-class passengers have been known to trade seats with military personnel as a way of saying "thank you" for their service. On a more predictable note, cruise lines will often offer a discount if you tell them about your military service.

"Would you like some chocolate?"

This may sound a little precious, but handing out one-pound chocolate bars to the gate agents and flight crew gets John E. DiScala, founder of travel advice site johnnyjet.com, a better coach seat or upgrade about half the time.

"We're on our honeymoon!"

Our evidence here is anecdotal, but Budget Travel readers have reported that telling airline personnel at check-in that you're newlyweds can get you moved to first or business class. Hotels, of course, will almost always respond with an indulgence or two. But don't say it if it's not true—apart from the fact that lying is wrong, you may have a difficult time answering questions about your alleged recent nuptials!

"I have kids."

Hotels may be willing to upgrade you to a suite at no charge, and if you ask for a later check-out to accommodate the little ones you'll almost always get a thumbs-up.

"I'm flying alone."

When airlines try to accommodate families who want to sit together, it helps if they know they can move your seat, and there's a chance they'll move you to first or business class, where single empty seats are more common.

"Give me the cheapest car you have."

We know, we know. When renting a car, you don't really want to cram yourself into the cheapest model in the company's garage. But if you're willing to take the chance, booking the lowest-priced car available and showing up super-early in the morning (before most people have returned their rental cars) can garner you a free upgrade to a bigger car.

"Has the price gone down?"

Yeah, airline seats and hotel room prices fluctuate, and there's a chance that the price has dropped since you made your reservation. Call the airline or hotel regularly as your trip approaches and, if the price goes down, ask for a refund or re-book. (But make sure there's no significant re-booking fee!)

"Is that 'free' newspaper going to cost me $25?"

Resorts are notorious for tacking on fees up to $25 per night for goodies you might assume were free—including pool towels, Wi-Fi, newspaper delivery, gym access, and even access to the resort's casino. Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Las Vegas are especially known for these non-negotiable surprises. Your best bet it to ask about extra fees up front when making a reservation.

"I'm a return customer."

When booking a cruise, mentioning that you've sailed with the line before can nab you a 5 to 15 percent discount on your fare.

"I'm 55+."

Yup, just remembering the 1960s should get you a 5 percent discount from most cruise lines.

See More From Budget Travel:6 Easy Ways to Save on a CruiseThe Right—and Wrong—Way to Pay for Your Dream Trip12 Most Iconic Rivers on Earth

AAA predicts busiest Thanksgiving travel season since 2007

If you’re traveling this Thanksgiving week, plan ahead.

>> Read more trending stories

AAA estimates 49 million Americans will be traveling more than 50 miles from home this holiday. That’s one million more people than traveled last year.

AAA spokeswoman Tamra Johnson said an improving economy and low gas prices are main factors for the surge in travelers. Nearly 90 percent of Thanksgiving travelers will be on the roads.

“Those numbers are the highest we've seen since 2007,” Johnson said. “We really feel like people are taking advantage of the lower gas prices and driving this year.”

Johnson estimates that lower gas prices have saved American’s $28 billion dollars over the last year.

The driving group says some of the most popular destinations include Las Vegas, New York City, Orlando and Seattle.

AAA’s Leisure Travel Index projects airfares will increase 21 percent this Thanksgiving, with round-trip flights for the top 40 domestic routes averaging $205. Daily rental car averages lowered 13 percent to $52.

The driving membership group is planning to help 370,000 stranded drivers. The most common cause for calls will be blown tires, batteries needing to be charged and drivers locking themselves out of their cars.

AAA defines the Thanksgiving travel period as Wednesday through Sunday.

Coming soon: Magic Kingdom to add in-park cabanas for rent, but they won't come cheap

Disney is adding in-park cabanas at the Magic Kingdom for guests to rent, according to WDW News Today.

But renting one will come at a hefty price.

>> Read more trending stories  

WDW News Today’s blog said the Kingdom Cabanas will be added to the park Nov. 27, and will be available for a daily rental price of $649.    

The cabanas will be placed near Space Mountain in Tomorrowland, and will accommodate up to eight guests, the blog said.

The blog also said that amenities in the Kingdom Cabanas include private and shaded seating, cold beverages, snacks and reserved viewing space for parades and fireworks.

Anyone interested in booking a cabana can call 407-WDW-PLAY or they can visit the concierge at any Disney World Resort Hotel.

Chicago O'Hare Airport employees plan strike after Thanksgiving

Employees at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport announced Monday that they plan to strike on Nov. 29, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending stories

Service Employees International Union Local 1 announced the date outside the airport Monday morning, The Associated Press reported. The workers say they want the public's support and wouldn't want to mess up anyone's holiday plans.

About 500 workers committed to a strike after a vote last week. The workers are trying to organize with the union's help. They work mainly for private contractors at the airport and include baggage handlers, cabin cleaners, janitors, and wheelchair attendants.

The workers are seeking union rights and a $15 per hour wage.

It wasn't immediately clear how such a strike would affect operations at O'Hare, which is one of the nation's busiest airports. The Chicago Department of Aviation has said it doesn't anticipate any disruption in service.

The ultimate insider's guide the Macy's Thanksgiving parade

Planning to visit NYC for the big parade? We've got you covered with when/where/how tips to get the most out of this one-of-a-kind holiday experience.

Budget Travel is based in New York City, and we get just as swept up in the city’s holiday lights, music, and energy as any visitor. With the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade coming up, we decided to take a peek behind the scenes to provide you with some of the best advice for getting the most out of this annual extravaganza.

Be a New Yorker for a Day

"Be part of the hustle and bustle and embrace the energy of the Big Apple at holiday time," says Wesley Whatley, creative director, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. "Plus, a hotel near the route could be a bathroom lifesaver on Thanksgiving morning." It's fun to be a “New Yorker for a day” and leave the car at home. Or, if you must drive, park on either the far west or east side of Manhattan and take public transportation to the parade route. Before the big day, get a Metro Card for boarding subways and buses to avoid lines. Walking is always an option (and will help burn off some of the calories that you’ll be consuming later in the day).

Don't Make the Out-of-Towner's No. 1 Parade Mistake

"Do not stand below 38th Street, the parade's 'quiet zone,'" says Whatley. Parade participants and performers use the quiet zone to prepare for their "closeup" on TV in Herald Square, and you will completely miss out on exciting parade music and performances in this area. Want to know more about viewing the parade? The complete route can be found at macys.com/parade.

The "Best Place" to Watch the Parade Is...

"Ever since the classic film Miracle on 34th Street, the dream parade viewing location has been from a Central Park West apartment on the 6th floor overlooking the route with the park as a backdrop," says Whatley. "But, since most of us don't have that kind of access, a close alternative is to approach the route from the west along Central Park West or the south along Central Park South - it's still early in the march, energy is high and the view of Central Park with our large helium balloons passing by is an iconic Macy's Parade experience!" The parade should take about 90 minutes to pass you by from the opening band to Santa Claus’s sleigh.

Ensure Safety & Happiness for Your Whole Crew

"Dress for the weather," says Whatley. "Pack extra hand and foot warmers and dress in layers.  Also, wear rain-proof coats and boots. NYC weather in late November can change quickly and you want to stay comfortable, warm and dry!"The NYPD have a large presence to ensure a safe and happy morning for all, but follow your usual common-sense travel practices: Keep your valuables to a minimum; avoid carrying around oversize backpacks and luggage; always pay attention to your surroundings. And, as we always say here in NYC, “if you see something, say something.”

The ultimate insider's guide to the Macy's Thanksgiving parade

Planning to visit NYC for the big parade? We've got you covered with when/where/how tips to get the most out of this one-of-a-kind holiday experience.

Budget Travel is based in New York City, and we get just as swept up in the city’s holiday lights, music, and energy as any visitor. With the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade coming up, we decided to take a peek behind the scenes to provide you with some of the best advice for getting the most out of this annual extravaganza.

Be a New Yorker for a day

"Be part of the hustle and bustle and embrace the energy of the Big Apple at holiday time," says Wesley Whatley, creative director, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. "Plus, a hotel near the route could be a bathroom lifesaver on Thanksgiving morning." It's fun to be a “New Yorker for a day” and leave the car at home. Or, if you must drive, park on either the far west or east side of Manhattan and take public transportation to the parade route. Before the big day, get a Metro Card for boarding subways and buses to avoid lines. Walking is always an option (and will help burn off some of the calories that you’ll be consuming later in the day).

Don't make the out-of-towner's no. 1 parade mistake

"Do not stand below 38th Street, the parade's 'quiet zone,'" says Whatley. Parade participants and performers use the quiet zone to prepare for their "closeup" on TV in Herald Square, and you will completely miss out on exciting parade music and performances in this area. Want to know more about viewing the parade? The complete route can be found at macys.com/parade.

The "best place" to watch the parade is...

"Ever since the classic film Miracle on 34th Street, the dream parade viewing location has been from a Central Park West apartment on the 6th floor overlooking the route with the park as a backdrop," says Whatley. "But, since most of us don't have that kind of access, a close alternative is to approach the route from the west along Central Park West or the south along Central Park South - it's still early in the march, energy is high and the view of Central Park with our large helium balloons passing by is an iconic Macy's Parade experience!" The parade should take about 90 minutes to pass you by from the opening band to Santa Claus’s sleigh.

Ensure safety & comfort for your whole crew

"Dress for the weather," says Whatley. "Pack extra hand and foot warmers and dress in layers. Also, wear rainproof coats and boots. NYC weather in late November can change quickly and you want to stay comfortable, warm and dry!" The NYPD has a large presence to ensure a safe and happy morning for all, but follow your usual common-sense travel practices: Keep your valuables to a minimum; avoid carrying around oversize backpacks and luggage; always pay attention to your surroundings. And, as we always say here in NYC, “if you see something, say something.”

See More From Budget Travel:60 Gifts Every Traveler Wants!Stress-Melting Holiday Travel Tips16 Awesome American Winter Trips

United Airlines to ban full-size carry-ons for cheaper fares

Cheaper fares don't come without extra costs elsewhere.

United Airlines announced Tuesday that it will begin offering Basic Economy fares but will restrict those fare users from bringing full-size carryons on flights. The Chicago Tribune reported that only personal items, that can be stored below seats, can be brought on board.

>> Read more trending stories

USA Today reported that the move comes as United, one of the major airlines in the U.S., attempts to compete with low-cost carriers like Frontier Airlines and Spirit Airlines.

“United’s move to encourage fewer carry-on bags, similar to practices at Frontier and Spirit, will create a safer cabin for passengers and crew," President of the Association of Flight Attendants union Sara Nelson said in a statement. "Excess bags in the cabin lead to flight attendant injuries, slower boarding times, and passenger altercations.

"Flight attendants manage these safety and security issues often under the pressure of on-time departures and during a critical period for ensuring the overall security of the flight," she said. "Footage from recent aircraft evacuations show that passengers grabbing these bags risks the lives of everyone onboard."

Other restrictions include the inability to exchange or refund basic fares and select a seat ahead of time. Basic Economy customers will also board last.

Despite some restrictions, United said Basic Economy customers will still be able to have some perks, including snacks, Wi-Fi and in-flight entertainment. Basic Economy sales will begin in early 2017.

Why I Took a Road Trip for My Honeymoon

Novelist Nora Zelevansky’s honeymoon was so swoon-worthy and budget-minded that you'll want to steal the idea. Here’s the storybook tale, in her own words.

Despite what Pinterest would have us believe, weddings are stressful. Even “carefree” moments are scheduled with military precision. In travel and in life, I don’t love that kind of structure. So when it came to my honeymoon, I wasn’t inspired to race around airports, making connections. All I wanted was to unwind, wear hoodies, and eat carbs.

My husband, Andrew, and I have always shared a love of road trips: the flexibility, the spontaneity—the simple pleasure of serendipity. California makes an especially good backdrop for such an easygoing journey, with its dramatic shifts in landscape; drive a few hours and you’ve crossed from desert into lush greenery, from the shore into mountains.

Andrew and I took our time getting hitched, exclusively dating in L.A. for years beforehand. By our wedding, we had driven as far south as Rosarito, Mexico, and as far north as Portland, Oregon. So, for us, there was an implicit romance to this honeymoon concept: As anyone who has ever driven cross-country knows, road trips represent a kind of shared freedom.

We decided to do this one like the “adults” we suddenly felt we must be. This wouldn’t be some haphazard slog to worn-down shacks labeled “cottages.” We’d still hold fast to our money by eating inexpensive snacks on the road—albeit high-end Kettle Chips and coconut water this time around—but since we were saving on airfare, we would splurge on the high-end hotels I’d always fantasized about visiting.

On a crisp fall day in early November, with The Clash blaring, we rode that tailwind of change up the 5 freeway, away from the past year’s stresses. 

As is often the case with memories, when I look back on the trip, I am rewarded with ephemeral impressions: crisp breezes carrying scents of salty sea and rosemary, bucolic walks through what felt like enchanted forests, strolls in impossibly quaint towns sampling olive oil and coconut sorbet, a perfect song erupting from the radio, laughter as we relived our wedding or happened upon a pen of adorable baby fainting goats. Still, one experience from each leg of the journey stands out—four in total. They are the chapters of my storybook dream trip, hard-won with budgeting, and savored to this day, the edges gilded in my mind.

I. Sausalito

We landed first on the other side of the bridge from San Francisco in lesser-known Sausalito at Cavallo Point Lodge, a hotel converted from a onetime U.S. Army post, Fort Baker (cavallopoint.com). To me, it was the embodiment of the Golden State’s signature relaxed luxury: at once historic and contemporary, organic and geometric, pampering and utilitarian. I have gauzy memories of enjoying our spa treatments and nature hikes. But the moment that crystallized for me was just after we arrived: Alone in our impeccable, earth-toned room, we peeled off our jackets and looked, spellbound, out the large windows. The Golden Gate bridge loomed orange above us; its lights twinkled as the sun went down.

II. Point Reyes

Our next stop was Point Reyes, where oyster farms line the foggy, protected shoreline. At Manka’s Inverness Lodge, high-end log cabins sit nestled among redwoods and firs (mankas.com). Open since 1917, the hotel had recently lost their lauded restaurant to a fire. As a result, simple yet transcendent meals were brought to our room. The kitchen culled all their ingredients from within a couple of miles, and you could taste it. One morning, we opened our front door to find a tray waiting. We carried it to our dining nook, where we unwrapped impossibly fresh yogurt, homemade granola, local apples, and hot cinnamon buns made from scratch, served straight from the oven. It was the best breakfast of my life.

III. Napa Valley

At Calistoga Ranch, the Napa Valley wine country stop on our journey, our room felt like the world’s most lavish treehouse (calistogaranch.aubergeresorts.com). Tucked amidst greenery, an actual oak grew through the sun deck beside an indoor/outdoor fireplace. We adored the bathroom: Beyond two distinct sleek sink areas opposite each other (what Andrew and I consider “living the dream”), an outdoor shower and garden awaited. We hardly wanted to leave the room, but eventually, we made it outside, accidentally happening upon quirky Prager Winery and Port Works (pragerport.com). My only previous experience with the sweet drink involved stealing it from a friend’s parents’ liquor cabinet when I was a teenager. But here we swirled it, inhaled it, really tasted it. Andrew ended up falling hard for a tawny port, tucking it into our trunk before continuing to our final destination.

IV. Big Sur

We had spent enough time in Big Sur in years past to hear buzz about Post Ranch Inn (postranchinn.com). We couldn’t wait to try it for ourselves. The rumors were true: Our room was extraordinary, massively windowed and overlooking rolling hillsides where wild turkeys roamed. In the brisk fall evening, Andrew suggested that we throw on plush robes, grab wine, and hustle to one of the hot plunges embedded in the cliffside. I was initially resistant because of the chill, but as soon as we climbed into the warm water, I knew he’d been right. The moon was full and bright. Gazing out over the dramatic cliffs, we passed the ambrosial wine back and forth, swigging from the bottle. Just when it seemed like the moment couldn’t get more idyllic, we turned to find a deer regarding us calmly from just feet away. It was as though a fairy godmother herself were designing our own personal fable.

When the sun rose on the final morning of our honeymoon, we were melancholy, of course. The afterglow of a hotly anticipated journey is bittersweet. But as we wound through peaks and valleys on our way home, luckily we weren’t on anyone else’s schedule…and we took our sweet time.

Nora Zelevansky is the author of Will You Won’t You Want Me? (out April 19) and Semi-Charmed Life.

See More From Budget Travel:America's Most Spectacular Drives48 Perfectly Romantic Hours in ParisHoneymoon Paradise for Less (You MUST See the Perks!)Surprise! These Are the World's Top Honeymoon DestinationsHave You Taken Our Top 25 Road Trips?

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