Travel Notes: Gatekeeper, Cedar Point's new roller coaster, to open Saturday


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Cedar Point will be opening its 16th roller coaster to the public on Saturday -- and it promises to be a doozy.

The $30 million Gatekeeper breaks seven world records: it's the longest wing coaster (4,164 feet), has the tallest drop (164 feet) and most inversions. Riders will be flipped upside down six times during the 2-minute, 40-second journey and will fly directly over Cedar Point's main gate.

Guests must be 52 inches tall to ride the Gatekeeper.

For more information on the park in Sandusky, Ohio, go to www.cedarpoint.com or call 1-419-627-2350.

-- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Two airlines raise rebooking fees

If you have to change your plans after booking a flight, get ready to pay higher fees.

US Airways and United Airlines raised the fee charged to domestic passengers who want to rebook a nonrefundable ticket: It's now $200, up from $150. (The fee could be higher for international flights.)

And Southwest Airlines announced it would launch a new no-show policy starting with travel on Sept. 13. In the past, Southwest passengers who missed a flight and didn't cancel the reservation in advance could still use the credit toward a new flight. Now passengers who buy a Wanna Get Away or Ding fare, and fail to cancel, will lose the credit.

The higher change fees, adopted recently, and Southwest's new policy are expected to hit business travelers the hardest because their schedules are most likely to change at the last minute.

"The policy is intended to alter behavior, encouraging customers to cancel unused nonrefundable fares prior to a flight's departure," Southwest chief executive Gary C. Kelly said.

United officials noted that airlines lose money when seats are left empty.

"We carefully manage our seat inventory and incur costs when a traveler elects not to fly in a reserved seat," United spokeswoman Jennifer Dohm said. "We adjusted this fee to better compensate us for those costs."

For the nation's airlines, that compensation has been rising.

In the first nine months of 2012, the nation's 17 largest airlines collected $1.94 billion from cancellation or reservation change fees, up from $1.81 billion in the same period in 2011, according to federal statistics.

-- Los Angeles Times

travel

First Published May 5, 2013 4:00 AM


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