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Life in Brief — week of Sept. 1

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Vegas-bound travelers start partying early

Travelers flying to Las Vegas don’t wait until they touch the ground to start their reveling.

On the way to Sin City, the average planeload of passengers spends a total of $116 for liquor, beer, wine and soda, surpassing drink sales to any other destination in the lower 48 states, according to statistics released by GuestLogix, a company that specializes in onboard merchandising for the airline industry.

Travelers flying to cities in Hawaii and Alaska spend the most of any U.S. destination, but that is because it often takes a long-haul flight to get to those cities.

Brett Proud, chief executive of GuestLogix, said the spending patterns for travelers to Vegas are unsurprising.

“Everybody going to Vegas has a party mindset,” he explained.

Spending on drinks drops significantly for travelers leaving Las Vegas, Proud added: “On the way back, people are out of cash.”

For all destinations, the biggest days of the week for buying drinks are Thursdays and Fridays, when the average plane load spends $67 and $66 per flight, respectively, according to GuestLogix’s statistics for May.

— Hugo Martin

Los Angeles Times

Hints from Heloise:

Put card with money inside box at wedding

L.H., San Clemente, Calif. writes: When giving a gift, especially at a wedding where you leave the gifts on the table, be sure to put the card inside the box. This way, it won’t get lost, and if cash or a check is inside, it will be sure to be found.

Also, I always put my address sticker on the outside of the envelope. Why should they need to look it up for a thank-you note?

— King Features

Grocery bagging champ shares tricks of trade

We’ve all had grocery-bagging catastrophes: A squashed loaf of bread defeated by a can of green beans, blemished tomatoes that lost a battle to the sharp edges of a cornflakes box.

There are tricks to being a better bagger. It’s all about “thinking one step ahead,” says Andrew Borracchini, 18, this year’s winner of the National Grocers Association Best Bagger Championship and employee at Metropolitan Market in Seattle. Here are his suggestions:

• Use both hands. This will expedite the process. It also helps to look down the conveyor belt to see what’s coming.

• Borracchini bags in four groups: general, shelf-stable items, like boxes and cans; fruits and vegetables; refrigerated and frozen items; and meats. Borracchini warns that frozen food and meat can leak or condensate on the trip home. To be extra safe, he recommends wrapping each meat in its own separate plastic bag.

• “In general, the heavier it is, put it at the bottom,” Borracchini says. Create a foundation in each bag by packing bigger items first. Taller boxes, like cereal, should go around the edges of a bag, with cans in the middle. Next, lay smaller, durable items, such as granola bar boxes, in the middle. Save delicate items, like bread and eggs, for the top. Packs of gum and spice jars can just be dropped in open spaces, so long as they’re not crushable.

• Don’t exceed 15 pounds per bag, and be mindful of how much you can safely carry.

— Heather Schroering

Chicago Tribune


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