Coming & Going: Spirit Airlines adds fee, new Starwood perks, more travel news

February 3, 2012
Coming & Going

Plus-one on Spirit; Blue Ridge greenbacks; Starwood perks

That’s the Spirit

Spirit, the airline that loves additional fees, has introduced the $2 “unintended consequences” fee on all tickets. The charge stems from the low-fare carrier’s disagreement with the Department of Transportation over a new regulation requiring airlines to give passengers 24 hours to change a booking without penalty. The fee, the carrier said in a statement, will “cover the unintended consequences of government regulations.”

In honor of the agency, Spirit has named the fee DOTUC.

Three cheers, Blue Ridge

The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation’s Kids in Parks program recently received two boosts that will allow the group to expand its network of TRACK Trails, self-guided treks that encourage junior hikers to embrace the great outdoors.

The BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina Foundation has granted the organization $701,000 for the next three years, and the American Academy of Pediatrics has declared its endorsement.

To date, the foundation and its partners have built nine trails. Info: www.brpfoundation.org.

Starwood’s loyalists

Starwood Hotels and Resorts is rolling out new frequent-guest benefits March 1. A sampling:

●Your24 offers anytime check-in/check-out to Platinum members who reach 75 eligible nights during a calendar year.

●A welcome gift of bonus points, free in-room Internet or free beverage for Gold Preferred members.

●Free continental breakfast for Platinum-level travelers.

One-night upgrade to a standard suite or select premium room. Members who stay 50 nights in a year receive 10 Suite Night Awards.

Aloha, United

United Airlines has announced new daily year-round service between Washington Dulles and Hono­lulu starting June 7.

Andrea Sachs (not the one who wears Prada) has been writing for Travel since 2000. She travels near (Ellicott City, Jersey Shore) and far (Burma, Namibia, Russia), and finds adventure no matter the mileage. She is all packed for the Moon or North Korea, whichever opens first.
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