MSP flies to new highs
These are record-setting times at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Last year more than 38 million passengers flew into or out of the airport, beating the old mark of 37.6 million set in 2005. Also, more than 60,883 passengers — a one-day record — were screened on Feb. 5, the day after Super Bowl LII, the TSA said. Passenger traffic has been rising steadily since 2009. Delta continues to be the dominant airline at MSP, carrying 71 percent of air travelers. Locally based Sun Country Airlines carried the second-highest percentage of travelers with 6.6 percent, followed by Southwest, United and Spirit.
Passport fee to rise
Are you getting your first passport or replacing a lost passport? Do it before April 2. That’s when the State Department will raise the passport execution fee from $25 to $35. The change only affects first-timers, those under 16, and people reapplying because their passport was lost or stolen. The new total cost for a first-time passport is $145, or $115 for children under 16. A first-time passport card (mainly for border crossings to Mexico and Canada) is $65 for adults and $50 for children. The fee change doesn’t affect adult passport holders who renew by mail. More info is at travel.state.gov.
Simon Peter Groebner
A grand glacial inn
The historic Many Glacier Hotel is the ideal venue from which to appreciate the vast and astonishing landscape of Montana’s Glacier National Park. Located on the shores of Swiftcurrent Lake with jagged peaks as a backdrop, the iconic hotel was built in 1914 to lure tourists to the Wild West. The secluded five-story hotel offers visitors a window into the past with Old World guest rooms and a Swiss Alpine theme. While honoring its roots, the 214-room gem has undergone a multimillion-dollar renovation. World-class hiking, Red Bus tours, boat cruises, horseback rides and ranger programs are offered (visitmontana.com; glaciernationalparklodges.com).
Dallas Morning News
Family boarding tip
“Boarding a plane? It’s the worst,” says Samantha Brown of PBS’ “Places to Love.” “Everyone’s stressed, you can feel it in the cabin. Most people, when you get to pre-board, will take an entire family on, plus the car seats and the bags. But instead, parent No. 1 — that’s my husband — goes in first to bring all the gear in. Then parent No. 2 — that’s me — waits with the children until the last person of Zone Six walks onto the jetway. That’s when I bring my kids on. They are worn out from all the standing, so when you walk on the plane they get in their seats, tired, and it removes young children from what is the most stressful part of the flight.”
Support hamster flushed
A dwarf hamster named Pebbles is the latest victim in the ongoing battle between airlines and passengers who want to travel with their “emotional support” animals. Belen Aldecosea, 21, said she was assured by a Spirit Airlines representative that she could bring the hamster on her Nov. 21 flight from Baltimore to Florida. But when she arrived at the airport, she was told Pebbles was not welcome. Aldecosea said an airline representative suggested she set Pebbles free outdoors or flush her down the toilet. Unable to find another way home, Aldecosea said she flushed Pebbles down an airport toilet. A spokesman for Spirit denied that an employee told Aldecosea to flush the hamster.