Sun Country heads to Maine, Montana, Maryland, Ohio

Sun Country Airlines is offering four new summer destinations to northern U.S. cities, including the only nonstop flight from Minneapolis-St. Paul to Portland, Maine. The other three seasonal routes from MSP will be to Cleveland Hopkins International, Baltimore/Washington International in Maryland and Bozeman Yellowstone International in Montana. All four are new markets for the airline. The routes reflect Sun Country’s new strategy for growing its MSP hub during the summer months by offering routes to the east and west, rather than south. The new routes run at least through Aug. 24, 2020, which is as far out as is available currently on Sun Country’s booking system. None of the new routes will operate daily and their frequencies and schedules will vary.

Kristen Leigh Painter

Minnesota is No. 2 in rental car taxes, fees

AutoSlash.com did a state-by-state comparison and concluded that Minnesota has the second-highest rental car taxes and fees in the country. State taxes and fees add up to more than 18%: a 9.2% rental car surcharge, 6.875% in state sales tax plus local taxes of up to 2%. Nevada had the highest rental car fees and taxes: a 10% surcharge and a statewide sales tax of at least 6.85%, plus county levies of 2%. But almost anywhere you go, you can count on a medley of local and state taxes and airport and other fees. Many states have sales tax and separate rental car taxes. Alaska hits customers with a 10% surcharge. Portland, Ore., has a 17% rental car tax. And according to the National Conference of State Legislators, Alaska, Nevada, Arkansas, Maryland, Texas and Virginia top the list of states with the highest taxes specifically targeting rental car customers, all assessing 10% to 11.5%.

Los Angeles Times

Legoland’s Year of the Pirate

Swashbuckling kids will have several chances to channel their inner pirate at Legoland in Winter Haven, Fla. The kid-friendly theme park has announced a new initiative for 2020: #VacationLikeaPirate. The hashtag will help promote its “Year of the Pirate” marketing push, which revolves around the five-story, 150-room Pirate Island Hotel, set to debut April 17. A new water-ski show, themed around the buccaneer life, will debut for three PirateFest weekends starting on April 18. The Pirate Island Hotel will be the third hotel on Legoland property, following the Legoland Hotel and Legoland Beach Retreat. The hotels have been part of an effort by Legoland officials to make the 145-acre theme park a multiday destination (legoland.com/yearofthepirate).

Orlando Sentinel

Most LGBTQ travelers hide identity

The vast majority of LGBTQ travelers have hidden their sexual orientation while traveling on a business trip out of fear for their safety. In fact, a staggering 95% of LGBTQ travelers have felt the need to hide their orientation, according to a new SAP Concur study. What’s more, 85% have gone so far as to change their travel arrangements out of concern for their safety, compared with just 53% of their non-LGBTQ colleagues, according to the new study. And it’s not just LGBTQ travelers who’ve experienced such significant fear or challenges while traveling. More than three in four female business travelers (77%) reported having experienced some sort of harassment or mistreatment while traveling.

TravelPulse