Travel briefs


Theme parks

Fantasyland expansion nearly complete

The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, the last piece of the Fantasyland expansion at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, will open May 28.

The mine train is a roller coaster that runs outside, then inside the mine where audio-animatronic dwarfs gather sparkling gemstones. Riders sit in cars that sway back and forth through the turns. The coaster is the centerpiece of the Fantasyland expansion.


New Service

•  JetBlue has begun daily, nonstop service between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International and Trinidad and Tobago’s Piarco International in Port-of-Spain.

•  Thomas Cook Airlines will begin twice-a-week service between Miami International Airport and Manchester, England next year. The nonstop flights will operate on Fridays and Sundays beginning in May 2015.

Miami International

American Express to build lounge

A new American Express Centurion Lounge has been approved for Miami International Airport.

Expected to open later this year, the 8,000-square-foot lounge, which will be for American Express Card customers only, will be near Gate D-12 in the North Terminal and feature locally-inspired cuisine and cocktails, a spa and a family room. Additionally, patrons will have access to high-speed Wi-Fi, personal computers and noise-buffered workspaces.

American Express said it also expects to open lounges this year at New York’s LaGuardia Airport and San Francisco.


Airport opens after years of delay

A vast new airport in the Qatari capital opened for business following years of delays last week as the natural-gas rich Gulf nation works to transform itself into a major aviation hub and prepares to host one of sporting’s biggest events.

The airport is part of a multibillion-dollar building boom that is transforming the skyline of the Qatari capital, Doha, as it prepares to host soccer’s World Cup in 2022.

The new airport is only partially operational for now, with 10 mainly discount and South Asian airlines operating flights during an initial low-key opening period.

Flag carrier Qatar Airways, its main Gulf rivals Emirates and Etihad Airways, and other international carriers such as Lufthansa and United Airlines are expected to move to the new airport once it’s fully operational on May 27.

Built largely on a patch of land reclaimed from the Persian Gulf alongside the existing Doha airport, the new facility cost at least $15 billion to build. It was initially scheduled for completion in 2009, some five years after construction began.

At the existing airport, passengers still have to be shuttled on buses and climb stairs to board aircraft.

Read more Travel stories from the Miami Herald

A flight over Holuhraun in Iceland shows lava flowing from a volcanic eruption.


    A flyover tour of an Icelandic volcano in action

    There is something so majestic yet simultaneously frightful in a volcanic eruption that someone viewing it just cannot look away. In Iceland now, people are paying hundreds or thousands of dollars to experience this bucket-list thrill.

Tom Owens of Marion, Mass., left, buys Heady Topper from Victor Osinaga, one of the owners of Craft Beer Cellar in Waterbury, Vt. Owens traveled to Vermont in order to buy the beer.


    A hard-to-find brew and the ultimate beer run

    Let’s not call this a “beer run.” That has such a… Friday night frat boy connotation. Let’s instead call this a “beer journey.”

  • The travel troubleshooter

    I was charged an extra $134 for my car because I was an hour late

    Q: I have a complaint about my recent car rental experience at Indianapolis International Airport. I’ve called Hertz and Hotwire, the online travel agency I booked this through, and didn’t get answers that make sense.

Miami Herald

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