Skiers and riders are checking their calendars as the season winds down. We want to know our options for squeezing in a getaway or longer vacation -- this time under sunny spring skies shining over the tons of snow which have graced most of Alpine America this winter.
Booking airfares, though, continues to present baffling choices, charges, and changes.
US Airways, for instance, recently raised the fee to check heavy luggage on its domestic flights to an extra $90 each. Previously the overweight charge was $50, on top of the $25 for a first bag, and $35 for a second.
The $90 fee applies to any bag over 50 pounds. The carrier also raised fees on bags between 71 and 100 pounds.
A US Airways statement said the change is in line with what other airlines already do. Most airlines do charge more for luggage over 50 pounds. Spirit Airlines, a small carrier that focuses on vacation passengers, recently began charging extra for bags above 40 pounds.
There was good news from U.S. Airways, however, for mid-Atlantic skiers and snowboarders headed to Quebec, Canada. Although the added service begins June 2, after the snow season ends, it will be available year-round.
Bob Ciminelli, US Airways’ vice president, Philadelphia Hub, said the company will have three flights daily between Philadelphia International Airport and Quebec City. U.S. Airways offers 451 departures daily from Philadelphia.
Ciminelli said the Philadelphia operation serves about 18,000 customers a day through Philadelphia.
Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air recently announced a sale on flights from Portland International Airport. Fares start as low as $57 one way and are good for travel from mid-February through May 11, 2011.
“There's never been a better time to travel with these low fares to so many places that Alaska and Horizon fly," said Joe Sprague, Alaska Airlines' vice president of marketing. "We're pleased to offer our loyal Portland customers this exclusive fare sale from their hometown airport."
The $57 fare is good for the Portland to Redmond/Bend, Ore., route. Another example is $229 between Portland and Anchorage Alaska, or $89 between Portland and Vancouver.
Following Sprague’s happy words, however, are all the “terms and conditions,” including “up to $9 for an Airport Passenger Facility charge, $3.70 per segment (takeoffs and landings) as a Federal Segment Tax, and a $2.50 September 11 Security fee.
WestJet and Delta Air Lines recently announced the immediate start of an interline agreement. WestJet is Canada’s second largest carrier, after Air Canada.
This agreement allows WestJet and Delta customers to purchase connecting flights on one ticket, receive boarding passes for all segments at their first check-in, and tag bags through to their final destination.
Passengers now can connect between WestJet and Delta flights at more than 25 gateways in Canada and the United States. Tickets are available through WestJet's system. (More below)
Alaska Airlines, or call 800 -252-7522;
WestJet, or call 888- 937-8538