Heading to the airport this holiday weekend? Check to make sure you’re up on the latest changes.
Shoes out of the bin, buddy!
Like what? Well, the TSA has decided that you still need to take off your shoes and send them through the X-ray machine, but now those shoes need to ride on the belt on their own, outside of the plastic bin. Got that?
There are other changes to make note of. Some are good, some are bad and, as I outlined in my Well Mannered Traveler column this week on MSNBC.com, some are just plain wacky. Here’s what I mean:
No Kiss ‘n Drop tax; for now
In April, London’s Luton Airport announced that it would soon be charging a fee for the privilege of dropping passengers off outside the terminal. That “Kiss ‘n Fly” tax is now on hold.
(O’Hare Airport has a Kiss n’ Fly drop-off spot with a free shuttle)
Ryanair’s “let just say everyone’s fat” tax
Ryanair was going to institute a large-passenger charge, but instead decided to just go ahead and charge everyone a new fee. Print out your boarding pass before you go to the airport and you’ll pay a fee of about $5. Forget to print out your boarding pass before you get to the airport and pay a much fatter fee of close to $60. Ouch.
Loads of reasons to lighten your load
You’ll soon pay an extra fee on United and US Airways if you don’t go on-line and pre-pay the charge to check your luggage. And Air Jamaica will soon begin taking your money for checking a second bag, but in return only promise to deliver it within seven days.
Pillows, snacks, fee-waivers, refunds, and perhaps a marriage proposal
There’s some good news. Experts predict that on-line travel booking agencies will continue to waive booking fees. Air Canada may bring free pillows back. And JetBlue is extending the “Lose your job, get your money back” program through the end of the year.
There’s more. To find out about matchmaking flights and on-board weddings, see my Well Mannered Traveler column this week on MSNBC.com.