Hotels, Cars, Airlines for the Nonsmoker

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Hotels, cars airlines for the nonsmoker Nonsmokers have reasons to cheer these days. Cities and counties all over the West are enacting ordinances to restrict smoking in public places. And now, whether you have allergies or simply don't want to step out of a rental car, plane, or hotel room smelling like smoke, there are increasing alternatives when you travel.

Here's an update on three airlines, two car rental firms, some trains, and a dozen hotel and motel chains we know of that make special allowances for nonsmokers. The list is growing all the time.

Airlines. All airlines must provide a nonsmoking section on every flight; three Hawaiian airlines take it a step further, running 100 percent nonsmoking flights between islands: Aloha Airline, (800) 367-5250; Hawaiian Air, (800) 367-5320; and Midpacific Air, (800) 367-7010.

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), the Washington-based legal action arm of the nonsmoking community, publishes a wallet-size card listing Department of Transportation airline smoking rules and passenger rights in the event there's a problem. The card is free from ASH, 2013 H St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20006.

Rental cars. Thrifty Rent-A-Car reserves a percentage of cars for nonsmokers at major locations around the country. (There's a $50 surcharge for smoking in these cars.) Call (800) 367-2277 for availability at your destination.

Elite Rent-A-Car reserves cars for non-smokers at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport; call (800) 528-2809.

Trains. No smoking is the rule on the 46 daily CalTrain commuter trains between San FRancisco and San Jose.

Amtrak alternates smoking and non-smoking cars on trains on the San Diego--Los Angeles and Seattle-Portland runs. Look for the illuminated "no smoking" sign, or ask the conductor to direct you to a nonsmoking car. Smoking is prohibited in dining and lounge cars; pipes and cigars are permitted only in private sleeping rooms. Call (800) 872-7245.

Hotels and motels. Each of these chains keeps a number of rooms smoke-free by renting them only to nonsmokers--there's not a single ashtray in sight. When you call to reserve, be sure to specify nonsmoking. For a directory listing the locations for any chain, stop by any of its hotels or motels, or write to the address given below. …