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Another hot European summer

Europe is headed for another scorching summer, meteorologists warn. And travelers, once again, are heading to the hot spots. Last year, large parts of southern Europe experienced prolonged periods of extreme heat with temperatures reaching 118 degrees. Visitors collapsed from heat exhaustion at crowded tourist sites, and wildfires led to evacuations in Greece, Italy and Spain. This year, Rome, Paris and Athens are among the most searched cities out of billions of U.S. searches for summer vacations on Kayak and Expedia. But some travelers are seeking cooler destinations in places such as Norway, Slovenia, Switzerland, Sweden and Finland. Flight searches for Tromsø, Norway, for example, have risen by 85% over 2023, according to Kayak.

New York Times

Spirit, Frontier drop change fees

Spirit Airlines is the latest carrier to do away with cancellation and change fees. The policy change allows customers to modify and cancel their flights at no extra cost. "Change fees are now gone for all," and "cancellation fees are canceled for everyone," reads Spirit's website. Before, passengers had to pay $69 to $119 to change tickets, depending on how many days in advance. The elimination of change and cancellation fees at Spirit follows a similar move by low-cost rival Frontier Airlines, which announced several changes aimed at improving price transparency. During the pandemic, major airlines including American, Delta and United did away with change fees on standard economy and premium cabin tickets.


Southwest finally on Google Flights

For years, it was a distinction that set Southwest Airlines apart from all the other airlines. The airline refused to allow its flights to appear among competitors on third-party sites like Google Flights. Unexpectedly last week, Scott Keyes, who founded Going, noticed that Southwest had begun to appear in third-party booking searches. Southwest Airlines has landed on Google Flights. A spokesperson for Southwest said that Southwest is "piloting" the "partnership" to allow for price comparisons. It's unclear if this means that Southwest Airlines will remain on Google Flights forever, but at least for the start of summer 2024, frequent flyers can count on seeing Southwest appear on Google's search results.


Save on travel insurance

International trips are averaging more than $9,000 per person this summer, according to Florida-based Squaremouth, a travel insurance comparison engine. That's higher than ever — a 7% increase over 2023. And as trip costs continue to climb, so does the price to insure them; Squaremouth research shows that travel insurance premiums have risen 22% year-over-year, to more than $600 in 2024. To bring travel insurance costs down, the company recommends insuring only expenses you're likely to lose if you should cancel your trip. For instance, if the penalty to cancel a hotel reservation is 50%, insure only that amount vs. the full cost of the room; this will reduce the total cost of your policy.

Washington Post