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The Days of Hidden Fees to End for Airlines Passengers

Friday, January 13th, 2012

January 11, 2012 By Rachel Klein Fodor’s Editor

New Rules for Airlines

The last of bait-and-switch airfare pricing may finally be upon us. At least, that’s what several new regulations going into effect by the end of January suggest. The biggest news is that all those hidden taxes and fees that increase an advertised $59 one-way fare to Florida up to $112—or $224 round-trip after all is said and done—will now need to be shown upfront, rather than at the end of the booking process. Equally appealing, passengers will also be allowed to change their reservations for free within 24 hours of booking, ending the scourge of rebooking fees.

But a handful of airlines—specifically discount carriers—think that the rule will mean losing customers and revenue. Spirit Airlines andSouthwest Airlines have filed for a court appeal, although it’s unlikely this will cause a delay in the new mandates taking effect.

In addition, travelers will see additional charges for baggage up front when booking online, and can pay in advance of arriving at the airport.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is putting the reservations and baggage rules into effect on January 24, 2012, and is telling airlines that they must disclose taxes on fares beginning on January 26, 2012.

For travelers, it’s clearly a big win, as few things are more frustrating when planning a trip than airline ticket sticker shock.

Photo credit: GA161076 / iStockphoto

 

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The Perfect Airport

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Best of the World 2012

From the November/December 2011 issue of National Geographic Traveler.

Best of the World 2012 – All Best Trips

Remember when going to the airport was something special? Mass travel, deregulation, and security clampdowns have turned the airport experience into a real slog. But every once in a while we’re wowed by a cool local shop, world-class art, or a tranquil spot to escape the hubbub. Here’s to those standouts, which, combined, would make the perfect airport.

Architecture
Barajas, Madrid, Spain

Leave it to the Spanish, with their rich tradition of cutting-edge architecture, to build a terminal that conjures a cathedral-like vault drenched in natural light. Two-thirds of a mile long, terminal 4 at MAD won the Stirling Prize for architecture when it opened its doors in 2006. We like the way the color-coded beams that support the undulating bamboo ceiling help passengers get their bearings when they wander off to the newsstand or to grab a bocadillo (traditional baguette sandwich).

Kids Area
Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, USA

DFW’s Junior Flyers Clubs in terminals B and C are a big hit with the little aviators. The play areas are mini airports complete with runways, bridges, cars, planes, and air traffic control towers. Over in terminal D, an interactive art installation including a labyrinth-like game with curved, colored glass walls engages all ages. But the biggest attraction is the elevated Skylink: for adults, a speedy way to traverse the five terminals; for kids, a thrilling, swoopy train ride with a panoramic view of the airfield below.

Souvenirs

  • Macarons in a signature box from Ladurée, Charles de Gaulle, Paris (CDG)
  • Chocolate-covered potato chips from Esther Price, Dayton, Ohio (DAY)
  • Hand-carved wooden animal figurines from Out of Africa, Tambo, Johannesburg (JNB)
  • Willamette Valley Pinot Noir from Made in Oregon, Portland (PDX)
  • Indigenous pottery from Mata Ortiz Gallery, Puerto Vallarta (PVR)

Place to Spend the Day
Changi, Singapore

Waiting around an airport gets pretty old once you’ve tired of your magazine, Angry Birds, and listening to other people’s conversations. Not so at SIN. A veritable leisure park, the airport boasts a rooftop swimming pool (about $12), spa, beauty salons, movie theater, multimedia center with PlayStations and an MTV booth, and butterfly, orchid, cactus, and fern gardens. Have more than five hours to fill? Sign up for a free two-hour sightseeing tour of the city at booths in terminals 2 and 3.

Wi-Fi
San Francisco, California, USA

More airports, including Boston’s Logan (BOS) and Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX), deserve kudos for offering free Wi-Fi, but SFO takes it to a new level with workstations equipped with outlets throughout all terminals. In the newly remodeled terminal 2, fliers can set up their laptops at a multi-seat computer desk with comfy lounge chairs and a kids’ play area nearby for the rest of the family. “This is the first airport I’ve seen that has kept pace with the personal technology needs of travelers. At most airports, it’s obviously an afterthought,” says business jet-setter Mellanie True Hills. Added bonus: There are plug-in outlets everywhere, even in the dining areas.

Local Eats

  • Brisket at the Salt Lick, Austin-Bergstrom, Texas (AUS)
  • Foie gras and mango sandwich at Miyou, Charles de Gaulle, Paris (CDG)
  • Pastrami on rye at Shapiro’s Deli, Indianapolis, Indiana (IND)
  • Ronnybrook Dairy milk shake at Custom Burgers by Pat LaFrieda, LaGuardia, New York (LGA)
  • Alder-planked sockeye salmon at Anthony’s Restaurant, Seattle-Tacoma, Washington (SEA)

High Art
Schiphol, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

At AMS, culture goes beyond the requisite smattering of public art. An annex of the city’s Rijksmuseum curates free rotating exhibitions from the mother ship in addition to a small permanent collection of masterpieces from the Dutch Golden Age (also free). If literature is more your thing, cozy up with a book by the fake fire at the airport’s new library, where you can choose from 1,200 titles translated into 29 languages, listen to music, and download films to watch on one of nine iPads.

Retail Therapy
Heathrow, London, England

With more retail space than most small shopping malls (671,000-plus square feet), LHR offers a million opportunities to burn through that extra quid in your pocket. There are of course the ubiquitous Sunglass Huts and duty-free standbys, but what sets it apart is a focus on Brit brands. Outposts of London icon Harrods are in four terminals, including a two-story superstore in terminal 5, where you’ll also find handbag purveyor Mulberry and Olympic merchandise flagship London 2012. Plus, browse boutiques—Jo Malone and Prada—not typically found in airports.

Independent Bookstores

  • Renaissance Book Shop, General Mitchell, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (MKE)
  • Powell’s Books, Portland, Oregon (PDX)
  • 2nd Edition Book Sellers, Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina (RDU)

Designed With Travelers in Mind
Munich, Germany

A model of German efficiency, MUC boasts an average six-minute wait to claim your bags and impressive connecting time statistics, particularly in terminal 2. New InfoGates throughout the terminals provide fliers with customized directions at the touch of a screen, including the estimated walking time to their destinations and wait time at passport control. Real people are on hand at the information consoles (albeit via videoconference monitors) to answer your questions. You can use your layover to take a shower, snooze in a “napcab,” or sip a German beer at the airport’s own brewery.

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Eagles Fall Tour, Friday October 8, 2010 at Bank Atlantic Ctr

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

The Eagles – Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit – will perform hits from their more than 35-year career, such as “Hotel California,” “Desperado,” “Life In The Fast Lane,” “Lyin’ Eyes,” “Take It To The Limit,” “One Of These Nights,” “Heartache Tonight,” and more.

This event features an ALL-IN priced ticket, meaning the price you see advertised is actually the price you pay – no additional fees or service charges will be charged at your check-out/purchase when choosing the online TicketFast or will-call delivery option.
The Eagles have teamed up with iloveallaccess.com to offer the ultimate fan experience for the upcoming BankAtlantic Center concert featuring a variety of VIP ticket packages. For more details go to www.iloveallaccess.com. Ticket Prices: $230; $160; $99; $45

For your transportation to this event please call M&M Airport and Car Service at 561 488-6014 to book your reservations. “Travel in Style”

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New Airline Carrier coming to Palm Beach Intl Airport in the Fall

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

Calming and blue not only describes beaches here in The Palm Beaches and Boca Raton, but also our skies. Starting this fall Direct Air will be pulling into the gates of easy-to-use Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) daily with six new non-stop domestic and international flights.

Domestic flights will take off beginning November 18, 2010. For the first time, PBI will have
non-stop flights to and from four convenient airports, perfect for those looking to travel with ease by avoiding gate changes and missed connections. Not too far from Chicago and close to the city’s Northwest and Northern suburbs, Rockford/Chicago, IL (RFD) is ideal for Chicagoland travelers. Buffalo/Niagara Falls, NY (IAG) is just a short drive from Toronto, Canada, perfect for those on either side of the border. Worchester, MA (ORH) is only about 50 miles west of Boston. And Kalamazoo, MI (AZO) serves much of western Michigan. Make reservations early to ensure you will be among the first to experience this new way to fly to Florida.

Caribbean travelers – Direct Air has something for you, too. Pack your carry-on and get ready for another stamp in your passport. Starting in December you can toss that beach bag in an over-head compartment and fly between PBI and San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU) and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (PUJ) for the first time ever.

Go to this link for more information about Direct Air: http://www.visitdirectair.com/westpalm.php

If you require transportation to and from the airport or anywhere around town, please call M&M Airport and Car Service at 561 488-6014 for reservations. Our operators are standing by.

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History of the Lincoln Town Car

Friday, August 27th, 2010

Watch this video. It is the history of the lincoln town car since it became a model of its own in 1981 ENJOY AND REJOICE!

Music: Zadok the priest by Handel
Lincoln Town Car by Ford Motor Company

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……”Am I The Only One?” – Sports Column

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

…….”Am I The Only One?” who can’t believe all the excitement today about King Lebron James joining the Miami Heat?? Wow, Lebron, Dee Wade and Bosh on one team… Can you imagine? Order your NBA Finals tickets for 2011 immediately, if not sooner. Look out Kobe, look out Orlando Magic, look out Celtics! After all, the Heat will surely never lose a game this year. As a matter of fact, let’s not even bother playing the games, just give Coach Pat Riley the trophy right now, and avoid all this confrontation? My opinion?? Well, yours truly says: “Just hold on a minute, friends of M&M Airport?…”
***Unless they start playing with 3 players and 3 basketballs, can this actually work? Wade and James on the same team? Exactly who will bring up the ball and take all the shots here? Don’t they play with 5 on a side? The Heat just traded Beasley to Minnesota, Chalmers is a question mark… Haslem is average at best… Basketball is a TEAM GAME, not an individual showing of talent. For the Heat to win this title, they better get some more players, that is if they have any cash left. I guess owner Mickey Arison and Mr. Riley still have plenty of work ahead of them, so let’s not anoint these guys World Champions just yet… REMEMBER: they still have to play the games!
FOOTNOTE: By the way, if the Heat does go to the NBA Finals in 2011, remember to call M&M Airport Service at (561) 488-6014 and their professional customer service reps will be more than happy to quote a price.

Written by Alan Gee

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Bikes Fly Free on JetBlue

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

by Fran Golden – Posted July 8th, 2010 11:41 AM from Aol Travel

All this month, JetBlue is letting cycling fans bring along their two-wheelers for free. The carrier said it was waiving its regular bike transport fee of $50 each way to celebrate the Tour de France.
The carrier is broadcasting wall-to-wall coverage of Lance Armstrong and gang for a seventh year in a row on the seatback TVs of all its flights. The coverage is on VERSUS, the TV home of the 23-day Tour de France in the U.S.
The free bike deal is available through July 31, on all flights except those to and from the Dominican Republic (due to baggage restrictions in the DR). There are specific packing requirements — you can’t just ride to the airport and turn over your bike.
According to jaunted.com, JetBlue was already more “bike-friendly” than some carriers, that charge $200 and sometimes even more to bring a bike on a plane.

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