Coming & Going: No free lunch (or snack even!); and charters from BWI to Cuba

Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, March 12, 2011; 6:42 PM

Attack on free snacks

On Continental, if you're cheap and hungry, you'll now have to quiet those pangs by chewing ice.

Starting this month, the airline will cut all free snacks from its economy beverage service. That means no more Smurf-size bags of pretzels, biscotti or other tide-us-over-till-arrival nibbles.

Instead, the carrier will - surprise! - sell an assortment of sandwiches, muffins, salads and snack boxes. Selection is based on flight length and availability.

Hola, Havana!

Eight more airports may now schedule charter flights to Cuba.

Customs and Border Protection officials have granted permission for flights from BWI Marshall International Airport, Chicago's O'Hare, Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Tampa and San Juan. Previously, only airports in Miami, New York and Los Angeles have been allowed to schedule such flights.

The Obama administration has loosened travel restrictions, but only people on religious, academic, journalistic or cultural missions are currently permitted to fly to Cuba.

AAA's sparklers

AAA Mid-Atlantic announced its highest Washington-area honorees, bestowing the coveted four or five diamonds on 23 hotels and restaurants.

Two four-diamond newbies joined the elite pack: the Jefferson hotel and Alain Ducasse's French restaurant, Adour , in the St. Regis hotel. Three five-diamond establishments continued their decades-long run: the Inn at Little Washington and its dining room (22 and 23 years, respectively), and the Four Seasons (22 years).

Bing picks Kayak

Two of the Internet's most popular search engines are teaming up.

Bing has tapped Kayak as its travel search engine, vastly expanding its flight searches. According to Krista Pappas, global travel industry director for Bing, Kayak will begin providing flight search results for U.S. destinations "in the coming weeks."

Travel ticker

JetBlue Airways has raised its fee for a second checked bag from $30 to $35 for reservations booked on or after March 2. Still no charge for the first checked bag. . . . Costa Cruises will cut port visits to Alexandria, Egypt; Tunisia; and Israel for the rest of the year, due to unrest in the Middle East

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