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Joan Rivers bumped off flight in Costa Rica when Continental gate agent finds passport suspicious

(NY DAILY NEWS)   Joan Rivers is many things: Funny lady. Jewelry mogul. Red carpet mercenary. But a terrorist?

Can we talk?

Rivers, 76, was deemed a danger to national security and booted from a Newark-bound flight in Costa Rica on Sunday by a jittery Continental Airlines gate agent who found the two names on her passport fishy.

Her passport reads: Joan Rosenberg AKA Joan Rivers. Rosenberg was her late husband’s last name.

The “nasty and cruel” Continental gate agent bumped Rivers from the last flight out Sunday and the comedian found herself alone (her daughter, Melissa, flew out to Los Angeles earlier in the day) and with no ATM card and just $100 cash, she said.

Rivers’ tale of woe put a famous face on travel’s new reality – one that leaves many feeling like common criminals.

“If I were going to make up an alias, I wouldn’t pick Rosenberg. I’d pick Jolie or Pitt,” said Rivers, back home Monday in New York with her sense of humor intact. “Do terrorists wear Manolo Blahniks? I can tell you Donna Karan does not make anything that hides a bomb,” she said.

“I tried the tears; they didn’t work. I tried reasoning. I couldn’t bribe because I didn’t have any money,” she said. “I said ‘I’m going to have a heart attack over this,’ so the woman called the paramedics.”

She said a porter, Eldon Ramos, took pity and found a friend to drive her 6-1/2 hours to the main airport in Costa Rica’s capital of San Jose for a flight leaving Monday morning.

New York-area travelers were also reporting their own horror stories. “It was just one security checkpoint after the other,” said Carmella Rodriguez, 65, of Brooklyn, after barely making it through customs at Newark with her nephew after arriving from Panama. “I told my nephew I felt like I was a delinquent person.”

http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/2010/01/05/2010-01-05_agent_saves_flight_from_joan_rivers.html

Delta and Continental retroactively raise baggage fees

(AMERICA BLOG)   I received an email update today that Delta would be retroactively charging luggage fees and wondered how that is even possible. I had a transaction with Delta seven days ago – all paid, tickets in hand – yet now they are adding more to the cost of the ticket. The luggage fee is ridiculous enough with their prices but to re-charge for a completed transaction doesn’t even sound legal. It’s hard to imagine any other industry getting away with such a stunt.

According to the carrier’s website, the fee to check a first bag for domestic travel is rising to $23 from $15, and the charge to check a second bag is being raised to $32 from $25. The fees apply to economy-class travel.

The higher baggage fees apply to tickets bought after January 5 for travel beginning on January 12. Additional fees apply when checking in via ticket counter, kiosk, or curbside, the carrier said on its website.

Continental is doing the same thing, raising fees and working it retroactively.

NOTE FROM JOHN: Gee, what a coincidence. Two airlines raise their fees exactly the same amount, retroactively to around the same day. At what point does Congress investigate the obvious anti-competitive collusion involved here? Also, $23 extra on a $230 ticket is a 10% tax, just to give you a sense of how outrageous this is. We’re talking luggage, people. It’s not like this is some added accoutrement you can do without. They’re simply trying to hide the fact that they’re raising ticket prices, by hiding the increase in the luggage fee that you pay WAY later, after buying the ticket. I suggest folks try to fly Southwest or JetBlue and get away from these jerks:

On discount carrier Southwest Airlines, the first and second checked bags are free. JetBlue offers a free first checked bag and charges $30 for the second.

http://www.americablog.com/2010/01/continental-refuses-to-let-joan-rivers.html

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