Coming & Going: Delta leg-room; US Air raises overweight bag fees
Delta makes room
Passengers will feel the stretch on a new breed of Delta seats that take the cramp out of flying.
Starting this summer, the carrier will offer Economy Comfort on long-haul international flights. The premium class of seats, to be installed in the first few rows of economy, boast four additional inches of legroom and 50 percent more recline - and, to help with the relaxation, free cocktails. Cost is $80 to $160 one way, on top of the regular coach fare. Ticket-holders can also board early, for quality time in those seats.
Heavy bag? Heavy fees.
U.S. Airways is raising the fee to check overweight and oversize luggage on domestic flights.
For bags that weigh between 50 and 70 pounds, customers will have to pay $90, up from $50. The price for bags over 70 pounds will jump from $100 to $175. That's on top of $25 for a first checked bag and $35 for a second checked bag. Those fees haven't changed. But if you plan on checking three or more bags, plan on paying $125 for each additional bag after the second, up from $100.
New fees apply to passengers with tickets bought after Feb. 1 for travel on or after March 1.
Washington airports' growth spurt
According to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, Washington's two airports served 41.8 million passengers last year, the first time either airport has experienced growth since 2007.
Reagan National served 18.1 million passengers in 2010, a 3.1 percent increase over 2009. Perhaps JetBlue's arrival last November helped. The airline now offers seven daily flights to Boston plus daily flights to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando. Delta also offered new nonstop service from National to several cities.
Dulles International served 23.7 million passengers, a 2.3 percent increase over 2009. The airport got several new airlines, including AeroSur with weekly nonstop service to Bolivia, Turkish Airlines with new nonstop service four times a week to Istanbul, and OpenSkies, a new airline offering nonstop all-business-class service to Paris Orly Airport.
Dulles also reached a new record of 6.3 million international passengers, a 2.1 percent increase over 2009's previous record.
St.Maarten's blue thumb
On St. Maarten's Proselyte Reef, you can look, but don't touch.
The island recently created its first national marine park, the Man of War Shoal Marine Park. The fragile underwater area is home to coral reefs, sea grass, whales, dolphins, sharks, sea turtles and fish.
The park encompasses Proselyte Reef, a popular dive site named after the HMS Proselyte, a 32-gun frigate that hit the shoal in 1801. Underwater sightings of the man-made kind include anchors, cannons, barrel hoops, cannonballs and pottery.
Between April 24 and June 12, Hertz is offering one-way rentals - with no dropoff fees - from Florida to locations in nearly 40 states. Rates start at $5 a day. Info: www.hertz.com. . . . The InterContinental Hotels Group is extending its "Check It Free" promotion, begun last fall, through April 30. Get back up to $100 in checked baggage fees per household for each round-trip flight with a two-night weekend stay at any of the company's 4,500 hotels worldwide. Download a rebate form at www.ihg.com/freebag.
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