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United Airlines gets tough on oversized carry-on bags

United Airlines, the nation's third-largest carrier, is cracking down on passengers who drag oversized bags into the cabin. And the airline is doing this to win points with passengers.

The crackdown on oversized bags is an effort to address what United says is one of the biggest gripes among its passengers: The overhead bins are so overstuffed with carry-on bags that the boarding process is often bogged down as fliers try to find space for their luggage.

United sent messages to its MileagePlus members, reminding them that carry-on bags can be no bigger than 22 by 14 by 9 inches. The airline also distributed new "sizers" that are installed in the terminal to measure the carry-ons.

A United spokesman rejected speculation that United was launching the crackdown to boost revenue by charging passengers with oversized carry-on bags a $25 fee to check their luggage.

On social media sites, the crackdown was getting mostly positive reviews among airline fliers.

Public transport booming in the U.S.

Americans are boarding public buses, trains and subways in greater numbers than any time since the suburbs began booming.

Nearly 10.7 billion trips in 2013, to be precise — the highest total since 1956, according to ridership data reported by transit systems nationally and released Monday by the American Public Transportation Association.

Transit ridership has now fully recovered from a dip caused by the recession. With services restored following economy-driven cutbacks, ridership numbers appear set to continue what had been a steady increase. Expanding bus and train networks help spur the growth.

Ridership on Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority light-rail trains increased 6 percent over 2012. Houston, which has been more notable for its sprawl than its public transportation offerings, had a large ridership gain. So did Seattle, Miami, Denver and San Diego.

The New York area's behemoth transit network saw the greatest gain, accounting for one in three trips nationally.

Four Seasons offers customized beds

In the battle among hotels to offer the most comfortable beds, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts is going to the mattresses.

The luxury hotel company with 92 properties, including three in the Los Angeles area, will begin to offer guests customized beds, with three mattress topper choices that vary in firmness at the request of guests.

The program, expected to be available at all Four Seasons hotels by 2016, comes in response to a survey the hotel company commissioned.

It found that about half of all guests like medium firmness, 28 percent preferred extra firm and 14 percent liked soft mattresses.

In fact, 30 percent of those surveyed said uncomfortable beds have forced them to request a new hotel room. A handful have even sacked out on the floor or in the bathtub.

United Airlines gets tough on oversized carry-on bags 03/10/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 2:25pm]

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