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Feb 17th
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Home Travel Western Travel Buzz Latest News, Deals & Savings for Feb. 15

Latest News, Deals & Savings for Feb. 15

Four cruise lines offer deals to begin and end cruises from the Port of San Diego; Hawaiian Airlines extended its streak as the nation’s number one on-time airline to a sixth consecutive year in 2009; and Virgin America has increased its checked baggage fees.

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Four Cruise Lines Offering Deals for Using Port of San Diego

Carnival, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America and Royal Caribbean, cruise lines that serve the Port of San Diego, are inviting travelers to experience beginning and ending a cruise from the Big Bay.

To encourage San Diego sailing, the four cruise lines are offering deals on cruises with port calls to the Mexican Riviera, eastbound Panama Canal and the Hawaiian Islands. Fares are as low as $499, and many packages include incentives and complimentary vouchers for shopping and dining.

"The cruise lines are united under San Diego's Carefree Vacations, one of the West's Super Regional retail travel agency chains," said Rita Vandergaw, director of marketing and cruise for the Port of San Diego. "With reduced pricing and added perks, the public is invited to experience the ease and comfort of departing and returning on a cruise from San Diego."

For information on cruising from San Diego, go to
www.sandiegocruiseport.com . Click on the Cruise Specials link to view the offers. Participating cruise lines and itineraries include:

  • - Carnival Spirit eight-day exotic Mexican Riviera cruises, Oct. 27, 2010, to March 28, 2011, starting at $449 interior and $679 balcony. Ports include Acapulco, Zijuantenejo/Ixtapa and Manzanillo.
  • - Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas is offering five-, seven-, nine-, 10- and 11-night cruises along the Mexican Riviera. Book before Feb. 28, 2010, and receive a complimentary dinner for two at a specialty restaurant. Cruises are scheduled through May 3, 2010.
  • - Celebrity Cruises 14-night eastbound Panama Canal Cruise, Sept. 27, 2010. Category 7 ocean view cabin: $1,739. Includes up to $150 shipboard credit per stateroom
  • - Holland America 14- to 15-day Hawaii Cruises, starting at $1,499 - $400 off the regular price. Ports include Hilo, Lahaina, Honolulu, Nawiliwili and Kona. Cruises available Oct. 24, Nov. 7 and 21, and Dec. 5 and 19, 2010.

The Big Bay - San Diego's biggest attraction - offers 34 miles of scenic waterfront dotted with restaurants, shops, attractions, parks and marinas. San Diego's Cruise Port is located just steps from downtown.

With a wide range of itineraries, options for cruising from San Diego are better than ever before and the San Diego B Street Cruise Ship Terminal on the Big Bay is an ideal place to begin and end your journey.

More information on cruising from San Diego and other Big Bay attractions can be found at
www.thebigbay.com .

Hawaiian Airlines Top in On-Time Service for 6th Straight Year

Hawaiian Airlines extended its streak as the nation's number one on-time airline to a sixth consecutive year in 2009, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Air Travel Consumer Report for December and year-end.

Hawaiian's on-time performance for all of 2009 averaged 92.1 percent highlighted by its leading the industry in each month for the entire year (Hawaiian ranked number one in December at 87.0 percent). Hawaiian has led the nation's carriers in on-time performance every year since 2004 and during that span has earned the number one ranking in 63 out of a possible 72 months.

"The employees of Hawaiian Airlines know what customers care about most is arriving on time, and for the last six years, no one's been better at this than Hawaiian Airlines," said Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian's president and CEO.

The DOT report covers 19 airlines, including nine carriers providing service to Hawaii.

Hawaiian also finished 2009 as the nation's top-ranked carrier for fewest flight cancellations based on data reported monthly by DOT. Hawaiian averaged an industry-best 0.2 percent for flight cancellations in 2009, and either led all carriers or tied for the top spot in nine of the 12 months. In December, Hawaiian was nearly perfect at finishing number one with only two cancellations out of 5,833 total flights.

Hawaiian earned the second-highest overall score for baggage handling in 2009 averaging 1.90 mishandled baggage reports for every 1,000 passengers served during the year. In December, Hawaiian recorded the industry's top score with 1.66 mishandled baggage reports per 1,000 passengers.

Hawaiian also ranked second overall nationally in fewest oversales for 2009, reporting only 22 involuntary denied boardings out of more than 8.3 million passengers served during the year.

Hawaiian Airlines is the nation's largest provider of air service to Hawaii from the Western U.S., as well as the leading carrier for interisland service between the islands of Hawaii. It offers nonstop service to Hawaii from 10 U.S. gateway cities. Additional information is available at
www.HawaiianAirlines.com .

Virgin America Increases Baggage Fees

Like other airlines are doing these days, San Francisco-based Virgin America has announced increases to it baggage fees.

Effective for all bookings made on or after Feb. 12, 2010, for travel on or after March 1, 2010, the airline has changed its baggage fee to a flat $25 rate for all checked items (excluding the first and second bag for First Class travelers; and the first bag for Main Cabin Select and Main Cabin Refundable Fare travelers).

Previously, the airline's fee was $20 for these checked items. Virgin America maintains one of the most generous first bag weight limits in the industry - up to 70 lbs.

The airline said its checked baggage policy allows guests to check a first bag for $25 that can weigh up to 70 lbs, and a second through 10th bag weighing up to 50 lbs for a $25 fee.

For the second through 10th checked bags weighing from 51-70 lbs, the airline charges an additional $50 per bag. For all overweight bags weighing from 71-100 lbs, the airline charges an additional $100 per bag.

Virgin America's Main Cabin Select and Fully Refundable Fare guests will not be charged for a first bag and First Class guests will not be charged for a first or second bag, but overweight and oversized bag fees are applicable.

Any Main Cabin guest who books a non-refundable ticket for travel on or after March 1, 2010, will be charged a flat rate of $25 for each checked bag ($25 for a first checked bag and $25 for the second through the tenth checked bag).

Guests who purchased Virgin America tickets before today or who book and travel before March 1, 2010, will be charged per the airline's previous bag fee rate. Guests can pay checked bag charges when they check in at airport kiosks, on-line or at any airport ticket counter.

Virgin America flies to San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., Seattle, Las Vegas, San Diego, Boston, Orange County and Fort Lauderdale. For more information, visit the airline's Web site at
www.virginamerica.com .