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Travel News
Escape the snow with new direct flights to Cancun, find an ATM before checking-in to hotels in the Big Apple, and learn about American Airlines’s new fees. By Eliot Stein
Comments () | Published February 16, 2010
A few days after Snowmageddon 2.0 slammed much of the Mid-Atlantic, Washington’s three airports have each reopened their main runways, though delays and cancellations are still expected. According to USA Today, this week’s two winter storms have caused the biggest disruptions to air travel since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Nearly 6,000 flights were canceled Wednesday, while thousands more were grounded in last weekend’s storm.

Spring breakers and those looking to escape Washington’s post-Snowpocalpytic tundra will be pleased to know that Mexicana Airlines recently launched direct flights between Washington and Cancun—becoming only the second carrier, after United, to do so. Spurred by a 12 percent passenger increase between Washington and the popular beach destination since 2005, Mexicana’s new direct service from Dulles International Airport to Cancun International Airport starts at an affordable round-trip price of $296.

According to a survey by the corporate travel specialist Hogg Robinson Group, New York City has the third-most expensive hotels in the world. Rates fell by 23 percent in the Big Apple in 2009, with rooms dropping from an average of $348 a night to $317. Room rates in Moscow remain the world’s highest for the fifth consecutive year at an average of $415 a night, while Abu Dhabi is the second-most expensive destination with rooms averaging $348 a night. Despite room rates falling in most cities, those in Washington rose by an average of $14.

British Airways’s business-class only European subsidiary, OpenSkies announced this week that it will launch a new direct route from Paris to Washington starting May 3. According to early reports, the route will initially operate five times a week, with increasing frequency during the summer.

Flexible flyers looking for a cheap fare should avoid hanging around the American Airlines terminal. This week, the nation’s second-largest airline announced that, starting with tickets bought on February 22, anyone who is not an elite frequent flier, first or business class passenger, or member of the military, will be charged $50 to fly stand-by. The company stated that the move is an attempt to expedite the boarding process for other passengers, but seeing as how earlier in the week it also announced that starting May 1 it will charge $8 for blankets in coach, it’s likely an attempt to retrieve some of the $3.59 billion the company has lost in the past two years.

Through March 31, those wishing to thaw off from Washington’s frigid winter can book a room for two at Lansdowne Resort for just $129 a night during the luxury hotel’s Snow Escape Special. Located 45 minutes from DC, the 500-acre resort is a AAA Four Diamond Award recipient and is home to 45 holes of golf. The winter package includes access to Lansdowne’s indoor heated pool, hot tub, steam room, and a number of rejuvenating treatments offered at the hotel’s full-service Spa Minerale center.

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Posted at 01:03 PM/ET, 02/16/2010 RSS | Print | Permalink | Comments () | Washingtonian.com Blogs