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Spring break and flying   Travel by Plane

Started Feb-22 by Monkeyface Shorty (TOILETHEA1); 39 views.

Planning a spring break trip during the pandemic? Here's what you need to know about flights

Southwest Airlines kicked off 2021 with a spring fare sale with tickets as low as $29 one way.

Spirit Airlines' website invites travelers to "Say hello to savings this spring,'' touting fares as low as $62 round trip.

And Las Vegas is readying the scaled-down reopening of select party pools and nightclubs and the resumption of full-time operations at resorts that have reduced hours this winter.

The second spring break season of the coronavirus pandemic is here, and with it hopes of a return to travel, at least for those who have been vaccinated or were already infected, are encouraged by the trend in case counts and willing to take a risk, or are simply suffering pandemic fatigue. 

The winter storms walloping most of the country this month are sure to prompt even more Americans to start searching for flights.

Airlines and other travel businesses aren't expecting anything close to a return to 2019 travel levels this year, but executives say they are encouraged by early signs of an uptick in demand for spring break. 

"Our survey data shows (customer) sentiment is at the highest level it’s been since we began tracking the data last spring,'' Matt Klein, chief commercial officer for Spirit Airlines, told investors in mid-February.

For those planning spring break trips by air, here are 9 things to keep in mind

1. Read the fine print onairline pandemic travel waivers before you book a flight. Yes, airlines have been more flexible than usual during the pandemic, waiving and then permanently eliminating onerous change fees on most tickets and relaxing other policies. Most airlines still have policies in place, but many only currently cover tickets purchased by March 31. The policies have been extended several times as the pandemic drags on – and might be yet again – but there are signs airlines, buoyed by the vaccinereduced coronavirus case counts and pent-up travel demand, are ready to tighten some booking restrictions. JetBlue Airways this week said beginning April 1, travelers buying basic economy tickets, which it calls Blue Basic fares, will have to pay a fee to change the ticket. JetBlue and other airlines have even included those cheaper tickets, usually nonrefundable and non-changeable, in their pandemic waivers. 

Pack light: JetBlue will ban basic economy passengers from bringing full size carry on beginning in July

2. That travel credit from last year's canceled trip might be expired. Airlines offered more generous voucher redemption terms when travel collapsed at the outset of the pandemic a year ago. But they aren't extending expiration dates indefinitely as the coronavirus pandemic drags on. Some travelers are finding a nasty surprise when they go to redeem their credits and are pleading with airlines on social media to extend them. So check the status of yours in case the redemption deadline is approaching.

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