Amtrak alters children's discounts
Amtrak's definition of a child for the purpose of discounted fares has changed to cover ages 2 to 12. The upper age had been 15. Those 12 and under remain eligible for half-price fares (one discounted ticket per fare-paying adult). Children younger than 2 still travel free (also one per fare-paying adult; additional 2-and-younger passengers can get the 50 percent discount).
The spirit of flier complaints
U.S. PIRG Education Fund, a nonprofit consumer group, released a report finding that Spirit dwarfed other airlines in terms of complaints from 2009 to 2013. Since 2008, the Department of Transportation has hit Spirit with multiple fines for violations of consumer protection laws. Frontier had the second-highest rate of complaints in the past year, followed by United and American.
Universal opens Minion playground
The sound of high-pitched giggling can now be heard at Universal Studios Hollywood. Yellow-skinned Minions — made popular through the two "Despicable Me" movies — have made themselves at home on the theme park's grounds. Despicable Me Minion Mayhem opened April 4 in the location once occupied by the Terminator 3-D attraction. This isn't just a new ride; it's an entire themed area that starts with the Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride. It also includes Super Silly Fun Land, which features the Silly Swirly Fun Ride, plus a children's area with 80 different water-play features. There also are two "Despicable Me"-themed restaurants at the park in Universal City, Calif. Universal Studios Orlando has a similar attraction, but it doesn't include the additional Fun Land or restaurants.
deal of the week
Take me out to the ballgame
To celebrate baseball season, Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants is taking 15 percent off rates on hotels near baseball parks. The Baseball for All promo runs through Sept. 28 and features such hotels as Boston's Nine Zero (two miles from Fenway Park), Monaco Chicago (five miles from Wrigley Field) and Seattle's Alexis Hotel (less than a mile from Safeco Field). The deal also includes free Wi-Fi and $10 minibar/bar credit for Kimpton InTouch Members (free to join). Prices vary; use promo code BASES. Info at www.kimptonhotels.com.
Ah, Paris, the way it used to be
"Old-Fashioned Corners of Paris" (the Little Bookroom, available May 6), with whimsical text by Christophe Destournelles and photographs by Christophe Lefébure, takes readers to places that evoke the past in its most palatable forms. It is a nostalgic wisp of a book, good to have on hand if you're looking for, say, old-fashioned caramels, a shoeshine or a belle époque bistro where the check is scrawled on napkins. Old phone booths, one of the city's last artesian wells, antique weighing machines in Luxembourg Gardens, a button shop: The book has its charms.
new york times