Here's what's happening today in the world of travel.
* DOES SOUTHWEST'S "BAGS FLY FREE" POLICY CAUSE DELAYS?
(Consumerist). Southwest Airlines makes a big deal out of still not charging passengers for checked bags (well, up to two pieces, anyway), even as the carrier's major competitors have all instituted fees over the course of the last decade.
A recent study published in the journal Management Science
, however, found that letting "Bags Fly Free" might be hurting Southwest's on-time performance.
Which begs the question: does the journal Management Science hate us?
Looking at the period of 2007-09, when most airlines began instituting baggage fees, researchers discovered that as passengers began squeezing more stuff into their carry-ons to avoid paying extra, they inadvertently helped streamline the luggage handling process. Accounting for other types of delays—weather, mechanical troubles, and so on—the study estimates that bag fees helped reduce airline delays by an average of two minutes.
Southwest's performance, meanwhile, was slightly slower than the others during that period.
But not so fast: 2007 was nearly 10 years ago. Consumerist took a look at airlines' on-time performance in the intervening years and found that Southwest has usually been in the middle of the pack, delay-wise—though there have definitely been times when it's been in last place, with less than 70% of flights arriving on time (ideally, that number should be at least above 80).
In any case, the airline says it has no plans to change its baggage policy any time soon.
* MYANMAR EARTHQUAKE DAMAGES FAMOUS BAGAN TEMPLES
). Wednesday's 6.8-magnitude earthquake in Myanmar killed at least one person and damaged about 60 historic Buddhist temples in the ancient city of Bagan, a major archaeological site and one of the country's top tourist destinations.
Built between the 10th and 14th centuries, the pagodas are revered among locals and popular with visitors, who flock to Bagan to watch the sun set over the city's 2,500 temples.
Officials say that of the 60 pagodas affected by the quake, many were severely damaged, including one of the most beloved, Sulamani Temple.
Myanmar has only just recently become more congenial to tourists, following the country's emergence from junta rule in 2011.
* PRINCE'S PAISLEY PARK TO BECOME A MUSEUM
(Fox 9 Minneapolis-St. Paul). Starting today, August 26, at 2pm, you can buy tickets to tour Paisley Park, the estate outside of Minneapolis that once belonged to music legend Prince, who died on April 21.
Guided tours will take you through the Purple One's recording studio, private music club, and concert hall, among other rooms. You'll also get to see some of the artist's unforgettable outfits and musical instruments, as well as awards, photos, and videos.
In a statement, Prince's siblings gave the planned museum their blessing, saying that he had wanted to open Paisley Park to the public for some time.
Though tickets go on sale today, tours don't kick off until October 6. Our Travel Briefing appears each weekday morning, Monday to Friday. Catch up on past installments by clicking here. For more updates, as well as vacation photos and travel tips, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.