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Travel Junk Fees Are a Virus With No Easy Fix

Sam Kemmis

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

Getting upset at junk fees is like getting upset at the flu.

Sure, I’m annoyed both when I get sick and when I have to pay $20 for my seat of choice, but it’s pointless to get mad at the viruses or airlines responsible. They’re just doing their jobs: One maximizing self-replication, and the other, profit.

Since budget airlines rose to prominence over a decade ago, airlines have been exploiting a quirk in human purchasing psychology: We’re attracted to low initial prices and tend to overlook high total costs when fees are “dripped” out slowly.

Indeed, it’s been shown that consumers systematically make suboptimal decisions when prices are dripped throughout the checkout process rather than disclosed up front, according to a 2020 study in Harvard Business School's journal Marketing Science.

Just as a virus will exploit a weakness in the human immune system to reproduce itself, airlines have quickly realized that offering the lowest base fare possible and the highest fees is a great way to increase profit.

A 2023 report from IdeaWorksCompany, an airline industry reporting firm, and CarTrawler, a travel software provider, notes that ancillary revenue (i.e., fees) as a percentage of total revenue more than doubled from 6.7% in 2014 to 14.7% in 2023.

Junk fees exist because they work, and they won’t go away until they stop working.

Recent federal intervention

In April, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) rolled out new consumer protections for air passengers, including rules aimed at stymying junk fees .

Over the next two years, airlines and travel booking platforms must start displaying the cost of baggage and cancellation fees “clearly, conspicuously and accurately.” They must also do away with some funny business, like making seat selection fees appear mandatory when they aren’t — one of my biggest pet peeves.

It’s a step in the right direction and hopefully will save passengers the time and money they would have spent getting flummoxed by these fees. Yet just as viruses mutate, it’s possible that airlines will find workarounds and new fees faster than federal regulators can quash them.

Indeed, airlines are already suing the DOT over its new fee transparency rules, calling them "arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and otherwise contrary to law," according to a report from Reuters. So who knows if they'll ever go into effect.

We need better search tools

In preparation for its new regulations, the DOT held a public hearing to get feedback from affected groups, including the travel booking platforms, earlier this month. One name that jumps out in the summary of these hearings — some 38 times by my count — is "Google."

Some excerpts from the report:

“Google expressed its view that the Department did not explain how consumers were harmed by not having fee disclosures until the ticket purchase stage of the booking process and that consumers are aware of fees.”

“Some … metasearch entities such as Google stated that the existing marketplace provided transparency and that the rule would diminish consumer choice and competition.”

Basically, Google tried to convince the DOT that the current model, in which search engines like Google Flights display base prices without junk fees, is good enough.

Sure, airlines have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo, since it’s making them boatloads of money. But why does Google care? Besides the technical hassle of updating its software to reflect the DOT’s regulations, Google Flights should applaud anything that helps consumers find the lowest-cost airfare.

If Google isn’t going to do it (and it sounds like they won’t), a travel search tool needs to step up and help travelers make sense of add-on fees .

The DOT’s rules are like nutritional information on food: They’re a good first step to helping consumers make better choices. Now, we need the travel shopping equivalent of Whole Foods to actually offer the product that price-conscious travelers are craving.

It’s not complicated. We just want to know how much a flight or hotel room will actually cost . If services like Google won't figure it out, somebody else (hopefully) will.

Herd junk fee immunity

Halting the junk fee pandemic could also require another change: fed-up consumers.

Although airlines have been racing to the bottom in terms of adding fees, they still differ significantly. According to our recent analysis at NerdWallet, the airlines with the lowest fees are:

Southwest Airlines. 

Alaska Airlines.

Hawaiian Airlines. 

And the airlines with the highest fees are:

Frontier Airlines.

Spirit Airlines.

United Airlines.

When searching for flights, I usually omit the big offenders altogether, either by filtering them in search results or ignoring their fares.

Do they sometimes offer the best flights at the best prices? Probably. But it’s not worth my time and effort to go through their laborious drip-filled checkout processes to figure out how much I’ll actually pay.

This is a kind of "acquired immunity" to the junk fee virus. I’ve been exposed to these fees often enough (it’s basically my job) that I can either avoid or ignore them.

However, many travelers aren’t on the front lines of junk fee exposure and search for flights only once or twice a year.

It could take years before we reach herd immunity, where the spread of the problem is blocked because enough people are immune. Yet I’m confident that, with a little help from the federal government and innovation from the private sector, we’ll turn the junk fee pandemic into a not-so-fond memory.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024 , including those best for:

Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express

Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

1x-5x 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.

75,000 Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's over $900 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

1.5%-5% Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

Up to $300 Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

2x-5x Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options.

75,000 Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

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International Day for Biological Diversity - 22 May 2024

The Theme of Biodiversity Day 2024: "Be part of the Plan"

May 13, 2024

International Day for Biological Diversity 2024

Biodiversity Day 2024

When: 22 May 2024

Theme: Be part of the Plan

Official website:

Lead: The Convention on Biological Diversity

“Be part of the Plan”, the theme of International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) 2024, is a call to action for all stakeholders to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity by supporting the implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, also referred to as the Biodiversity Plan . 

The Biodiversity Plan offers opportunities for cooperation and partnerships among diverse actors. 

Governments, indigenous peoples and local communities, non-governmental organizations, lawmakers, businesses, and individuals are encouraged to highlight the ways in which they are supporting the implementation of the Biodiversity Plan. 

We are all #PartofThePlan.

IDB 2024 is expected to increase the visibility momentum in the lead-up to the sixteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 16) , to be held in Colombia from 21 October to 1 November 2024. 

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What is Biodiversity?

Biodiversity describes the wide range of life forms on Earth, spanning from genes to entire ecosystems. It encompasses the processes that maintain life, including evolution, ecology, and cultural practices. Biodiversity encompasses not only rare, threatened, or endangered species but all living beings, from well-known organisms like humans to lesser-known ones such as microbes, fungi, and invertebrates. 

Why is Biodiversity Important?  

Biodiversity plays a vital role in multiple aspects of our lives. Its importance lies in the numerous benefits humans derive from it, including essential needs like food, fuel, shelter, and medicine. Additionally, ecosystems offer critical services like pollination, seed dispersal, climate regulation, water purification, nutrient cycling, and pest control. Moreover, biodiversity holds value beyond known benefits, potentially offering new medicines and other services yet to be discovered. 

Nature in Action

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We Are All Part of the Plan

We cannot be without biodiversity. We are part of the complex web of life, and biodiversity is a part of us. Biodiversity describes the wide range of life ...

Coffee has also been central to life in Fogo Island since Portuguese traders introduced it from Africa. Photo: Projecto Vitó Association

Heart of fire

SGP Cabo Verde, and their partners on the ground are #PartofThePlan. This highlight seeks to raise awareness and understanding of work to strengthen the protectio...

Steppe Eagle. Photo: Vivek Joshi/Pexels

Along ancient routes

In the vast expanse of the Rift Valley/Red Sea flyway, where azure waters meet golden sands, over 1.5 million birds – representing 37 species, five of whom are gl...

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Over the last two decades, fires have caused more than a quarter of all tree cover loss. If there is hope for the world's forested areas, it can be found in Costa...

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From discarded bags at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, to microscopic particles in human placentas, to debris in space, plastics are ubiquitous. This extremely ...

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Elektrostal Localisation : Country Russia , Oblast Moscow Oblast . Available Information : Geographical coordinates , Population, Area, Altitude, Weather and Hotel . Nearby cities and villages : Noginsk , Pavlovsky Posad and Staraya Kupavna .


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Memorial Day road trip ahead. Here are the best and worst times to go in Florida, the Southeast

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Memorial Day is rapidly approaching, which means millions will be hitting the roadways or skies for a quick weekend getaway.

AAA projects 43.8 million travelers will head 50 miles or more from home over the Memorial Day holiday travel period. This is a 4% increase over last year, with experts noting this comes close to matching 2005’s record of 44 million Memorial Day travelers. 

“We haven’t seen Memorial Day weekend travel numbers like these in almost 20 years,” Paula Twidale, Senior Vice President of AAA Travel, said. “We’re projecting an additional one million travelers this holiday weekend compared to 2019, which not only means we’re exceeding pre-pandemic levels but also signals a very busy summer travel season ahead.”  

When is Memorial Day 2024? When is Memorial Day weekend 2024?

Memorial Day is always observed on the last Monday of May, with this year's being on Monday, May 27. Memorial Day weekend starts on Friday, May 24, and lasts through the holiday until Monday.

Why we celebrate: What to know about federal holiday, what’s open in Florida

Which will be more congested for Memorial Day travel — roadways or airports?

According to AAA, road trips are expected to set a record with 38.4 million people projected to travel by car over Memorial Day weekend. Drivers can expect similar gas prices as last year when the national average was roughly $3.57.

Renting a car for your road trip? Florida-based rental company  Hertz  says Orlando, Denver, Atlanta, Boston and Las Vegas are the cities displaying the highest rental demand, with the busiest pick-up days projected to be Thursday, May 23 and Friday, May 24. 

But airports are also bracing for a large surge of travelers next weekend.

Is Memorial Day a busy airport day?

AAA expects 3.51 million air travelers this holiday weekend, an increase of 4.8% over last year and 9% jump compared to 2019.

"This will be the most crowded Memorial Day weekend at airports since 2005, when 3.64 million flew for the holiday as the travel industry finally rebounded post 9/11," AAA said in its press release.

As for other modes of transportation, AAA predicts nearly two million people are expected to travel by buses, cruises, and train.

“This category took the biggest hit during the pandemic with fewer people taking public transportation or not cruising at all,” Twidale said. “Now – five years later – we’re back to 2019 numbers. Travel demand has been soaring, and long holiday weekends create the perfect windows for getaways.” 

When are the best and worst times to travel on Memorial Day?

For those planning a road trip for the holiday weekend, transportation data and insights provider INRIX offers the best times to get on the road.

Experts advise drivers leaving Thursday or Friday should hit the road early to avoid mixing with commuters. Travelers going back home on Sunday or Monday should avoid the afternoon hours when return trips will peak.  

“Travel times are expected to be up to 90% longer than normal. Travelers should stay up to date on traffic apps, 511 services, and local news stations to avoid sitting in traffic longer than necessary,” Bob Pishue, transportation analyst at INRIX, said.

What are the busiest travel days around Memorial Day?

Thursday, may 23.

  • Best times: Before 11 a.m., After 7 p.m.
  • Worst Times: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Friday, May 24

  • Best times: Before 11 a.m., After 8 p.m.
  • Worst Times: 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Saturday, May 25

  • Best times: Before 11 a.m., After 6 p.m.
  • Worst Times: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Sunday, May 26

  • Best times: Before 1 p.m.
  • Worst Times: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Monday, May 27

  • Best times: After 7 p.m.

Floridians beware: Other states are heading to Florida to vacation

Whether Florida residents plan on traveling or relaxing at home all weekend, they might want to be aware of the thousands of others joining them.

AAA compiled a list of the top domestic travel destinations for Memorial Day weekend, with three Florida cities making the list:

  • Orlando, Florida
  • Seattle, Washington
  • New York City, New York
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Anaheim/Los Angeles, California
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Anchorage, Alaska
  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Miami, Florida
  • Boston, Massachusetts

"This Memorial Day weekend, travelers are seeking theme parks and entertainment venues in Orlando, New York, Las Vegas, and Southern California. Seattle, Anchorage, and Vancouver rank high because of the popularity of Alaska cruises this time of year. Florida beaches and cruise ports will also be packed," AAA writes. world clock

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Geographic coordinates of Elektrostal, Moscow Oblast, Russia

City coordinates

Coordinates of Elektrostal in decimal degrees

Coordinates of elektrostal in degrees and decimal minutes, utm coordinates of elektrostal, geographic coordinate systems.

WGS 84 coordinate reference system is the latest revision of the World Geodetic System, which is used in mapping and navigation, including GPS satellite navigation system (the Global Positioning System).

Geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude) define a position on the Earth’s surface. Coordinates are angular units. The canonical form of latitude and longitude representation uses degrees (°), minutes (′), and seconds (″). GPS systems widely use coordinates in degrees and decimal minutes, or in decimal degrees.

Latitude varies from −90° to 90°. The latitude of the Equator is 0°; the latitude of the South Pole is −90°; the latitude of the North Pole is 90°. Positive latitude values correspond to the geographic locations north of the Equator (abbrev. N). Negative latitude values correspond to the geographic locations south of the Equator (abbrev. S).

Longitude is counted from the prime meridian ( IERS Reference Meridian for WGS 84) and varies from −180° to 180°. Positive longitude values correspond to the geographic locations east of the prime meridian (abbrev. E). Negative longitude values correspond to the geographic locations west of the prime meridian (abbrev. W).

UTM or Universal Transverse Mercator coordinate system divides the Earth’s surface into 60 longitudinal zones. The coordinates of a location within each zone are defined as a planar coordinate pair related to the intersection of the equator and the zone’s central meridian, and measured in meters.

Elevation above sea level is a measure of a geographic location’s height. We are using the global digital elevation model GTOPO30 .

Elektrostal , Moscow Oblast, Russia

How much does it cost DeSantis to travel from one place to another? Florida won't tell you

Why it matters: a new law is being used to prevent the public from seeing how tax dollars are spent for gov. ron desantis' travel..

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Gov. Ron DeSantis regularly jets around the state.

Stops over the last month have included Coral Gables, Jacksonville and Cape Canaveral , all to sign bills passed by the Florida Legislature earlier this year.

His constituents may know DeSantis went to these three cities, but they won't know how much it cost them. The state says such financial records are exempt from public records disclosure, citing a 2023 law geared at concealing certain information to prevent the endangerment of the governor and other officials.

A total amount for how much is spent on the governor's travel is released every year by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, but the agency recently denied a public records request from the USA TODAY NETWORK-Florida seeking a detailed breakdown.

Open government advocates and others argue the new law prevents the public from clearly knowing whether personal and political trips, which shouldn't be paid for with tax dollars, were kept separate from official travel.

"I don't understand this inconsistency.... He was at a public event, it doesn't make any sense to protect that," said Michael Barfield, director of public access initiatives for the Florida Center for Government Accountability, which has filed multiple public records lawsuits against the governor. "It's my understanding the legislation did not preclude the release of financial amounts."

He wasn't the only one given that impression.

State Rep. Anna Eskamani, an Orlando Democrat, asked a sponsor of the legislation ( SB 1616 ) about financial transparency on the House floor in early May 2023: "How do you strike the balance between ensuring that the public still knows how their money is being spent with travel?"

“None of the finances that are currently public records ... or the reports that are currently available are changing,” replied Rep. Jeff Holcomb, R-Spring Hill.

In a phone interview with a reporter a year later, Eskamani said the GOP supporters of the bill should now be working to get such information out to the public.

"Based on the constant response by the bill sponsor and by others who attempted to say that this bill was all about safety and security, the impression by those in support of the bill was that this information would still be made available," Eskamani said. "I never bought that reasoning or that excuse, but that was definitely what they were pitching to their colleagues."

On the road again: Florida governors' travels long a topic of interest

The travel of Florida's governors has been a topic of intrigue and controversy for decades . Attention on DeSantis' travel ramped up even more when he was barnstorming the nation in the months leading up to his unsuccessful presidential campaign, which formally began on May 24, 2023.

FDLE's report, released in August , showed that it spent more than $8 million protecting and transporting the governor during the 2022-23 fiscal year. It marked a multi-million dollar increase in spending over the previous year.

The law enforcement agency denied the USA TODAY Network-Florida's breakdown request in early May, about nine months after it was made.

The governor's office has not responded to requests for comment, but representatives of DeSantis have previously dismissed concerns about his travel practices.

"The state does not coordinate or plan political travel, nor does the taxpayer fund political travel," spokesperson Bryan Griffin said in an email last year.

Dana Kelly, an FDLE spokesperson, responded via email only that the annual report is "the public record of expenses."

The law took effect on May 11, 2023, the day DeSantis signed it .

“With the security situation, how you do patterns of movements, if you’re somebody that is targeted, which unfortunately I am, and I get a lot of threats, that could be something that could be helpful for people that may not want to do good things,” DeSantis said at the time.

And that's how the bill's GOP champions framed the exemption, which also concealed records about who visits the governor's mansion. The law applies not just to the governor but his immediate family, as well as the House speaker, Senate president and state Supreme Court chief justice.

"We are government in the sunshine," said state Sen. Jonathan Martin, a bill sponsor and Fort Myers Republican, on the Senate floor. "This allows us to continue to do that in these new and interesting times that we find ourselves, where seemingly innocent information can be conglomerated to reveal very personal aspects of your life."

And Holcomb said before the House vote, "unfortunately, this very simple bill that is truly about the safety and security of our most senior elected officials has become politicized," responding to a slew of criticism from lawmakers on the other side of the aisle.

Eskamani wasn't the only legislative Democrat who had doubts. All of them voted against the measure.

"If someone is running for president and they hold the governor's office, that travel should be transparent, and those finances and all of those things and whatever they do should be transparent," said Rep. Michele Rayner, D-St. Petersburg.

Holcomb and Martin didn't respond to requests for comments.

DeSantis travel, security spending: As taxpayers pay more for DeSantis' travel and protection, new law conceals his travel

DeSantis faces records lawsuits: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis accused of lack of transparency, sued again in Tallahassee

Transparency advocates call foul on latest records exemption

American Oversight, a government accountability watchdog that sued the governor's office for alleged public records violations a couple of months ago , said the law doesn’t apply to expenditures. In an emailed statement, the group pointed out that the Florida Constitution requires that any exemption “shall be no broader than necessary to accomplish the stated purpose of the law.” 

“That means that the exemption must be interpreted narrowly (in line with its stated purpose); otherwise, it would be unconstitutional because it would be broader than necessary to accomplish its purpose,” said Ron Fein, American Oversight’s chief counsel. “If a financial record does happen to contain security information covered by the exemption, it can be redacted.” 

The legislation listed out multiple examples of exempt records; Fein says financial records don’t fall under any of them. And he says such records don’t fall under the law’s purpose to prevent records disclosures that “could endanger the protected person.”

The law shouldn’t have been passed in the first place, Fein added: “Not only is it overbroad and probably unconstitutional under the state’s Constitution, it flies in the face of Florida’s commitment to government transparency."

Bobby Block, executive director of Florida's First Amendment Foundation, had warned lawmakers last year about how all-encompassing the exemption could be. Reading the bill, he noticed how it didn't explicitly exclude financial records.

And, as a result, if the state chooses to consider those as exempt security records, it takes legal challenge to contest it. "The time to fight that is before it passes from the legislature," Block said in a recent phone call. "Once it passes its law, and it's a lot harder to push back."

The Washington Post is pushing back. It filed a lawsuit last year in Leon County Circuit Civil court, saying the records exemption law was unconstitutional.

It's a high-profile case that became even more noteworthy after the litigation uncovered that,  as reported by The Post , top DeSantis aides prevented records on taxpayer-funded travel from being released – and retaliated against those who disagreed.

The Florida Center for Government Accountability's Barfield said Florida's public records system, once nationally esteemed for its transparency, was "broken at the state level."

"The bottleneck is in the governor's office," he said, pointing to a News 6 story showing how DeSantis' team reviews public records requests to state agencies.

"They know that our resources are thin to challenge the denial of access to public records, whether it's an excessive fee or an excessive, inordinate delay. And they're taking full advantage of that."

Contributed: News Service of Florida. This reporting content is supported by a partnership with Freedom Forum and Journalism Funding Partners. USA TODAY Network-Florida First Amendment reporter Douglas Soule can be reached at  [email protected] .

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Travel Channel Banner Images

Free PSD flat design paddle tennis youtube banner

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  5. আনন্দ ভ্রমন ব্যানার ডিজাইন || Tour & Travel Banner Design || Ananda Vromon Banner Design @subropix

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  1. Travel Banner

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  15. Travel Junk Fees are a Virus With No Easy Fix

    A 2023 report from IdeaWorksCompany, an airline industry reporting firm, and CarTrawler, a travel software provider, notes that ancillary revenue (i.e., fees) as a percentage of total revenue more ...

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  17. International Day for Biological Diversity

    What is Biodiversity? Biodiversity describes the wide range of life forms on Earth, spanning from genes to entire ecosystems. It encompasses the processes that maintain life, including evolution, ecology, and cultural practices.

  18. Pet travel from the United States to Moldova

    The date of departure from the United States. Whether the pet will be traveling alone, as cargo, or with a person in the cabin of the plane. Note: If you're traveling with a pet bird or exotic animal, you may need to work with additional agencies, such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (1.41 MB) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  19. THE BEST Things to Do in Monino

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  22. Elektrostal, Moscow Oblast, Russia

    Elektrostal Geography. Geographic Information regarding City of Elektrostal. Elektrostal Geographical coordinates. Latitude: 55.8, Longitude: 38.45. 55° 48′ 0″ North, 38° 27′ 0″ East. Elektrostal Area. 4,951 hectares. 49.51 km² (19.12 sq mi) Elektrostal Altitude.

  23. Memorial Day weekend 2024: Tips on best, worst times to travel

    AAA compiled a list of the top domestic travel destinations for Memorial Day weekend, with three Florida cities making the list: Orlando, Florida. Seattle, Washington. New York City, New York. Las ...

  24. Geographic coordinates of Elektrostal, Moscow Oblast, Russia

    Geographic coordinates of Elektrostal, Moscow Oblast, Russia in WGS 84 coordinate system which is a standard in cartography, geodesy, and navigation, including Global Positioning System (GPS). Latitude of Elektrostal, longitude of Elektrostal, elevation above sea level of Elektrostal.

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  26. Elektrostal

    Elektrostal , lit: Electric and Сталь , lit: Steel) is a city in Moscow Oblast, Russia, located 58 kilometers east of Moscow. Population: 155,196 ; 146,294 ...

  27. Florida conceals records on Governor Ron DeSantis' travel expenses

    FDLE's report, released in August, showed that it spent more than $8 million protecting and transporting the governor during the 2022-23 fiscal year. It marked a multi-million dollar increase in ...

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