News and Deals: April 13, 2012 – American Airlines Sues Over Parody Videos, Spring is high season for travel scams, Islamists’ takeover takes Timbuktu off tourist maps and IHG launches $50-back promo for summer

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American Airlines Sues Over Parody Videos

American Airlines filed a lawsuit Tuesday against a flight attendant who was fired last month after making parody videos that poked fun at airline management.

The suit accuses Gailen David of publishing personal flight information for airline executives on his blog and of improperly using airline trademarks — specifically the letters “AA” on his websites.

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Spring is high season for travel scams

When it comes to large migrations of people during the U.S. spring break and summer vacations, the travel scams can come from most any angle.

College students and families are targeted. So are grandparents back home.

“There’s a scam for every demographic,” says John Breyault, vice president of the National Consumers League.

In Florida, one of the nation’s traditional spring break destinations, consumer officials are used to getting a surge in complaints. “As you can imagine, most of the scams around spring break actually start long before the customer packs for the trip,” says Sterling Ivey, spokesman for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Then the problems continue when they get where they’re going.

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Islamists’ takeover takes Timbuktu off tourist maps

When turban-swathed Tuareg rebels swept into Timbuktu last Sunday to plant the flag of their northern Mali homeland, they found very few tourists in the bars, hotels, museums, mosques and libraries of the fabled and ancient Saharan trading town.

Local guides say numbers of foreign visitors had already fallen off after a Dutchman, a South African and a Swede were seized by gunmen in the historic Malian city in November. A German was killed in the abduction claimed by al-Qaeda.

With the rebels, including Islamist factions preaching sharia, now in control of Timbuktu’s streets, tourists may not return soon to the spot near the Niger river that for centuries was a symbol of remoteness, bewitching voyagers with tales of wealth, wisdom and life-giving water.

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IHG launches $50-back promo for summer
USA Today

On Saturday, you’ll start to see Crowne Plaza and photogenic golf pro Rickie Fowler hit TV screens across the USA.

That’s because IHG’s kicking off a new ad campaign that features the Fowler as he goes about his business in a Crowne Plaza with CBS golf analyst Ian Baker-Finch giving the play-by-play account.

Fowler is Crowne Plaza’s spokesperson for the 2012 golf season.

At the same time, IHG’s launched a cash-back promotion aimed at midweek business travelers.

Under the just-launched “Travel Bonus” promo, travelers can get $50 back in the form of a prepaid Mastercard gift card.

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By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer. Also follow Matt on Twitter, Facebook and

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