Spirit ups the ante for carry-ons
Spirit Airlines last week announced that passengers who don’t pay Spirit’s fee for a carry-on bag in advance will face a charge of $100 at the gate as of Nov. 6, up from $45 now.
Spirit, one of the few airlines that charges customers for carry-on bags, said it was raising the fee to cut down on the number of passengers who don’t pay the fee in advance.
Spirit has a series of charges for carry-on bags, all going up on Nov. 6:
• $20 if you’re a member of Spirit’s “$9 Fare Club” and pay the fee when you book the ticket and before check-in. That rises to $25.
• $30 if you’re not a member of the $9 Fare Club and pay the fee when you book the ticket and before check-in. That rises to $35.
• $35 if you buy through Spirit’s reservation center. That goes to $40.
• $30 for tickets bought through the group desk and the fee is paid more than 24 hours in advance. That goes to $35.
• $35 for tickets bought through the group desk and the fee is paid less than 24 hours in advance. That goes to $40.
• $40 when the fee is paid at the airport ticket counter or kiosk. That goes to $50.
• $45 when the fee is paid at the boarding gate. That goes to $100.
The airline said the charge for carry-on bags “has helped speed the boarding process, ensured sufficient overhead space is available for all carry-on bags, and it has helped reduce the airline’s fuel consumption rate.”
The carrier first began charging for carry-on bags in 2010.
Carnival offering airport check-in
Carnival Cruise Lines is opening check-in counters at Miami International Airport, so passengers can get their Sail & Sign and boarding cards before arriving at the port. The counters are open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Concourses D and H on the day of sailing.
Carnival passengers retrieve their luggage at baggage claim and are directed to their corresponding check-in counter, based on flight arrivals. They check in and receive a boarding card that reads “Airport Express” so they can be identified when they arrive at the cruise terminal.
Where we’re going for the holidays
The lure of lower prices and fewer crowds have convinced 68 percent of respondents to plan a trip before Thanksgiving, according to a recent Orbitz survey of U.S. travelers.
The top spots for travelers to head this fall are Las Vegas, New York and Chicago according to Orbitz Shoulder Season Insider Index, which ranks the most popular fall destinations based on hotel bookings. Disney destinations Orlando and Orange Country also made the list, while international locales London and Paris rounded out the top 10.
Other highlights from the Orbitz Fall Travel Insider Index and Fall Travel Survey include:
• 68 percent of respondents plan to take a vacation after Labor Day and before Thanksgiving, bucking the misconception that fall is a down period for leisure travel
• Las Vegas tops the list as the top fall travel destination, driven by budget-friendly hotel rates of $105/night and the busy college football and NFL season in the sports books
• 39 percent of survey respondents deem fall the most economical time of year to travel, followed by summer (23 percent), winter (20 percent) and spring (18 percent)
to open in July
Organizers with Gettysburg’s Seminary Ridge Museum say the facility is on track to open July 1, 2013, as part of the Civil War town’s 150th Anniversary Commemoration.
Known by many as the home to the famous cupola where Union Gen. John Buford scouted the countryside as the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg unfolded, the Seminary Ridge Museum is undergoing a $15 million renovation on the campus of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg.
Additionally, the building — known at the time as “Old Dorm” — was used as both a Union and Confederate hospital after the fighting on July 1, 1863. It’s been called the most important Civil War structure not owned by a public entity.
Macau’s largest hotel opens
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has opened the Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central — boasting that it is the largest hotel to open worldwide in 2012. At nearly 4,000 rooms, it is the largest hotel in Starwood’s global portfolio and the biggest hotel to open in Macau.