Easter Island statues (Photo: Adalberto Rios Szalay/Sexto Sol)

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Low-cost carriers JetBlue and Spirit have announced new connections between the U.S. and Central and South America. Each airline is taking a slightly different approach, but the net effect is more service to popular and up-and-coming destinations.

Just as JetBlue has interline agreements with Lufthansa and Aer Lingus to Europe, it has now expanded south with an interline agreement with LAN Airlines, one of Latin America's largest airline groups. The idea here is that customers can book a single ticket to any of LAN's destinations (including Santiago or Easter Island, Chile; and Lima, Peru) from any JetBlue departure city, connect via New York's JFK airport, and fly the domestic portion of the trip on JetBlue and the international leg on a LAN carrier....read more»

Woman in orange using laptop (Photo: Index Open)

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With only 500 days to go before the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, the United States' authorized Olympic ticket seller CoSport has kicked off ticket sales. Well, sort of. From today through April 22, sports fans can put in ticket requests for the more than 58,000 tickets to 650 "sporting sessions" initially available. In this first phase, you'll have the same chance at scoring tickets whether you apply in the next five minutes or wait until April 21. After the deadline, the company will begin fulfilling ticket requests. According to CoSport, more than 56 percent of the tickets available now are priced under $150....read more»

American plane taxiing down the runway (Photo:  Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport)

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American has rolled back its increase of $10 to $21 round-trip on flights within the U.S. and Canada after other airlines didn't match the increase, according to Reuters.

A few big questions arise from this particular failed attempt. Why didn't other airlines hop on this particular fare increase? One investment bank analyst suggested that, amidst conflict in the Middle East and uncertain oil prices, most airlines didn't want to make any big moves. However, the analyst predicted "that airlines will continue to raise revenue with fees and by selling fewer discounted seats."...read more»

By now you've likely heard about the 8.9 earthquake that hit Japan, with the epicenter 240 miles from Tokyo. While it will likely take weeks to understand the full catastrophic impact, here are some key points and resources for travelers. In light of the devastation, the U.S. State Department is urging U.S. citizens to avoid all non-essential tourism....read more»

Credit card on keyboard (Photo: Index Open)

Seven fare hikes so far in 2011, and we're only in the third month of the year. That will be the tally if the rest of the airline industry adopts the fare increase initiated by American on Thursday morning.

American has raised fares by $10 round-trip on U.S. routes, according to The Arizona Republic. For a price jump like this to have staying power—and a major impact on travelers—other airlines have to match the fee on their own routes. Will it happen? ...read more»

Photo: JetBlue

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Fee creep alert.

This $5 increase comes courtesy of JetBlue, which has quietly raised its second-checked-bag fee from $30 to $35. The first checked bag is still free, and the cost for checking a third bag (or more) remains at $75 per bag. Check our updated Ultimate Guide to Airline Fees for more details.

Pretty soon, we're going to have to start calling the airlines' nickel-and-diming five-and-ten bucking. It’s not as catchy, but it paints a more accurate picture of the industry as of late....read more»

Rome Colosseum at Dusk (Photo: iStockPhoto/David Iliff)

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If you’re used to paying a certain amount for your Europe flights, well, you’ll have to dramatically rethink those figures because recent airfare and fuel surcharge hikes are driving prices through the roof. The fare increases we've noticed average at $39 since this period in 2010 and $25 since last month. That may not seem like much yet, but trends are gaining momentum in a consumer-unfriendly direction.

Rethink Your Destination

A key strategy for avoiding the highest airfares this summer is to choose your next vacation based on seasonality or vast availability. For example, at time of publication Aer Lingus was advertising a peak-season Ireland sale. Based on my research, Dublin is the most consistently affordable destination of those I'm tracking with as much as $478 less than last month’s fares....read more»

Airplane Being De-Iced (Photo: iStockphoto/Richard Goerg)

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A seemingly endless barrage of winter storms led to the cancellation of 19,134 flights in January, according to the latest data from the Department of Transportation (DOT). That's the bad news. The lone bit of good news is that there was only one three-hour tarmac delay for the entire month.

Not only were flights canceled, but they were often, unsurprisingly, running late. In a release, the DOT says, "[Airlines] recorded an overall on-time arrival rate of 76.3 percent in January, down from the 78.7 percent on-time rate of January 2010, but up from December 2010’s 72.0 percent rate." December 2010, you may recall, ended on a sour note, as a major winter storm pummeled much of the eastern half of the country....read more»

Air: Money Paper Plane (Photo: iStockphoto/Alexander Kalina)

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Fees are in the news again, with reports that an increase in carry-on bags has added some $260 million to the TSA's budget. So that got me thinking: What's your least-favorite fee? It's OK, you can take a minute to think about it. There are certainly enough to choose from.

Some travelers may choose baggage fees, seen by many as the original slap-in-the-face fee. But others may bristle at the idea of paying to sit toward the front of coach, or to board early, or for a bit more legroom, or to change their flight, or to bring a pet with them, or ... well, you get the idea....read more»

TripAdvisor Logo. (PRNewsFoto/TripAdvisor)

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Our sister site, TripAdvisor, has released its all-new Travelers' Choice Family Awards, highlighting the 50 family-focused vacations spots TripAdvisor reviewers love the most. The awards include five top 10 lists: U.S. Amusement Parks and Boardwalks; U.S. Great Places to Discover; Europe; Caribbean & Mexico; and Canada....read more»

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