Travel briefs


Air travel

Baggage fees most-hated airline charge

The world’s airlines collect more than $27 billion in passenger fees per year, according to one estimate, but the most hated are baggage fees, according to a survey by the travel website Airfarewatchdog, which polled more than 6,100 travelers.

When asked to name the fee they hate the most, 48 percent of website visitors named baggage fees, 38 percent said flight change or cancellation fees, 6 percent said advance seat selection fees and 5 percent said they hate reservation- by-phone fees.

Airlines charge $15 to $25 to check a first bag, with charges that can top $100 for oversized luggage.

“It’s the most annoying fee because most people can’t avoid them,” said George Hobica, founder of Airfarewatchdog. “A lot of people don’t have a choice about carrying a bag.”

Cruise passengers

Royal Caribbean arranges air service from Canada

From March 1 through April 5, Canadian North Airlines will fly weekly charter flights between Miami and Hamilton, Ontario. Royal Caribbean International contracted with the Canadian carrier to provide the peak-season air service, which will use 136-passenger Boeing 737-300 aircraft.


Carnival Cruises to stage concerts on ships

Guests on 49 cruises by Carnival Cruise Lines this year will be able to attend private concerts during port calls at Cozumel, Nassau, and Catalina Island, California.

The Carnival Live Concert Series, which will start in April and run through December, will take place on board the ships while they are in port and will cost $20-$40 for regular admission or $100-$150 for VIP.

Artists are Trace Adkins, Chicago, Daughtry, Gavin DeGraw, Foreigner, Jennifer Hudson, Jewel, Kansas, Lady Antebellum, Martina McBride, Olivia Newton-John, REO Speedwagon, Leann Rimes, Styx and .38 Special.

Ships that will hold the concerts are the Carnival Breeze, Ecstasy, Fantasy, Fascination, Imagination, Inspiration, Paradise, Sensation,


Big Boy locomotive begins California farewell tour

An enormous steam locomotive that has been entertaining train enthusiasts at a California museum for years has begun a trek of more than 1,200 miles with the ultimate goal of putting the engine back on the nation’s rails.

The 600-ton Big Boy locomotive will make its way from Southern California to Cheyenne, Wyo., for restoration work. The goal is to eventually get Engine 4014 back on the rails.

The engine was one of 25 massive steam engines that began riding the transcontinental rails in 1941. It pulled heavy freight trains over the Wasatch Mountains between Ogden, Utah and Green River, Wyo., and retired after a 17-year career.

In 1962, the behemoth was donated to the RailGiants Train Museum in Pomona.

Miami Herald

wire services

Read more Just In! | Travel News stories from the Miami Herald

A woman passes by a departure board at the Philadelphia International Airport that shows that US Airways Flight 796 to Tel Aviv was canceled on Tuesday.

    Airlines scrap Israel flights over missile fear

    In a sign of increased caution about flying near combat zones, U.S. and European airlines halted flights to Israel Tuesday after a rocket landed near Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport.

 <span class="cutline_leadin">Une Bobine Cell Phone Stand Sync and Charging Cable</span>

    Gear + Gadgets

    Coiled to charge

    Having declared a moratorium on testing cellphone accessories, we made an exception for the new Une Bobine Stand, Sync and Charging Cable from FuseChicken. This 24-inch long, 1/4-inch-thick flexible metal coil has a USB plug at one end and a sturdy minimalistic cell phone dock at the other (available in models for iPhone 4/4S, 5//5S/5C, and Android phones with micro-USB ports). Coil the metal as tightly or loosely, high or low-standing as you like (depending on what seems most stable for your phone). Plug the USB end into your computer or a USB wall charger. Then slide your phone’s power port onto the Une Bobine’s Lightning — or 30-pin or micro USB — adaptor, which has a slim plastic vertical backboard to keep the phone stable. The gap between the charging unit and the backboard is just wide enough to accommodate most cellphone cases — a rarity with many docks. The device keeps steady, so you can use it as a tripod, either coiled solo or wrapped around a tree branch or other object.

Schlitterbahn's new Verrückt speed slide/water coaster in Kansas City, Kansas — the world's tallest.

    Kansas: Riders call tallest waterslide scary, but worth it

    C’mon down

Miami Herald

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