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Travel News: Fee Edition

Carryon charges, terminal concerts, and intense roller coasters

Although airlines have been recovering lately from the economic recession, they continue to impose hefty fees on customers who travel with more than the clothes on their backs. Airlines have been making big bucks off fees for checked baggage, but starting Sunday Spirit Airlines will charge as much as $45 for carryon luggage that won’t fit under the seat in front of you. Passengers, naturally, are upset. The DC-based Association for Airline Passenger Rights has urged a boycott of Spirit Airlines. A Spirit spokesperson called the boycott “absurd.” It remains to be seen whether other airlines will adopt Spirit’s policy or whether they will put the carryon fees on hold, fearing passengers’ wrath.

JetBlue is one of two remaining airlines that don’t charge for the first checked bag (the other is Southwest). It also does things such as put on free concerts inside terminals, as it did last night when Sarah McLachlan performed at JFK in New York. And until 11:59 tonight, JetBlue is offering some exceptional deals from Washington: Boston is $39, Orlando is $69, and Long Beach and Oakland are $129 (all prices one way).

Last week we featured some great cruise deals, but this one’s as good as it gets—Celebrity is phasing out voyages that depart from Baltimore and has slashed prices to as low as $499 for a nine-night cruise to the Caribbean aboard the Mercury during its last year of service. Those who really need a break can travel on a 14-night trip during Christmas and New Year’s aboard the Mercury for $1,199.

If you haven’t checked out the area’s tallest and fastest thrill ride, now might be the time to strap yourself into Intimidator 305 at Kings Dominion, a ride so intense some passengers have reported graying or blacking out. If just thinking about that makes you feel a little woozy, you can enjoy other great attractions in the park as well, including a water park for the kids and lots of classic wooden roller coasters for the whole family. Without traffic, I-95 will get you there in about 90 minutes, making the park perfect for a day trip. But there’s also a vacation package that includes admission along with two nights of lodging at one of 35 participating hotels and other properties, all for $169 per adult.

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