Travel briefs



JetBlue plans FLL-Trinidad flights

JetBlue plans to start a new nonstop flight service to Port of Spain in Trinidad and Tobago from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport starting May 1. Destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean now make up nearly one-third of JetBlue’s route network.

Hello Kitty touches down at LAX

Twenty five years ago, a giant black and white killer whale decorated the fuselage of a Southwest Airlines 737 as part of a promotional deal with Sea World. A decade later, All Nippon Airlines decorated several planes with Pokemon characters. Southwest got heads to turn in 2009, when it put the image of a bikini-clad supermodel on the side of one of its jets.

Now the latest attention-grabbing jet lands at Los Angeles International Airport: The Hello Kitty plane.

A Boeing 777 flown by Taiwan-based EVA Air and painted to honor the hugely popular feline will start to make three regular flights from LAX to Taipei.

Passengers on the plane might suffer from a Hello Kitty overdose. The cat is on the plane’s pillow covers, on hand soap and tissues in the lavs and flight attendants wear Hello Kitty uniforms. If you need more Hello Kitty in your life, you can buy Hello Kitty items onboard, such as necklaces, pins, bags and aprons.

Southwest no-show policy in effect

Passengers who fail to cancel bookings on Southwest now face loss of the ticket’s value if they don’t show up.

Customers who buy nonrefundable tickets such as Wanna Get Away fares must cancel at least 10 minutes before scheduled departure or forfeit the ticket’s value.

In the past, there was little incentive to cancel because Southwest let customers use the value of the unused ticket toward another flight within one year.

Southwest is still letting passengers change nonrefundable tickets ahead of time without penalty. Most other big airlines charge a $200 change fee.


Observation pier planned on St. John

The U.S. Virgin Islands is building a new observation pier at a wildlife sanctuary in St. John for bird lovers with the help of the local Audubon Society. The pier is being built at the Frank Bay Marine Reserve and Wildlife Sanctuary and will give visitors a full view of the area’s pond near Cruz Bay.


World’s highest airport opens

China has begun flight operations at the world’s highest civilian airport in a bid to boost tourism and tighten political control over the country’s restive west.

At an elevation of 14,472 feet, Daocheng Yading Airport replaces the previous champion, Bangda Airport in the Tibet Autonomous Region, which sits at 14,219 feet. Passengers are warned of light-headedness and other symptoms of altitude sickness on arrival.

The region is a gateway to Tibet, and Daocheng Yading is a scenic area rechristened “Shangri-la” over a decade ago in the hopes that tourists would be drawn by the reference to the mythical Himalayan land described in James Hilton’s 1933 novel.

Miami Herald

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