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Checked Luggage Fees, Carry-On Luggage You Can Ride, and More: Today's Travel Briefing | Frommer's Doug Letterman/Flickr

Checked Luggage Fees, Carry-On Luggage You Can Ride, and More: Today's Travel Briefing

A roundup of travel news from all over
Here's what's happening today in the world of travel.

* RUSSIA'S HARASSMENT OF AMERICAN VISITORS (Washington Post). Russia's recent treatment of Americans should make anyone considering visiting that country give the idea a second thought. This month Russia expelled visiting NBCUniversal executive Jeff Shell, saying he was on a blacklist assembled in retaliation against U.S. sanctions targeting those responsible for Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea. Perhaps more troubling, Russia also recently harassed and kicked out a visiting minister, Jim Mulcahy of the Metropolitan Community Church, an institution founded nearly half a century ago for gay men and lesbians who feel excluded from traditional Christian churches. 
 
While visiting a gay community center in the city of Samara in his capacity as MCC's program officer for Eastern Europe, Mulcahy was suddenly accosted by police, who arrested, interrogated, and detained him for eight hours without access to a lawyer. Eventually he was sentenced to a small fine and ordered out of the country. Under Vladimir Putin's regime, same-sex marriage is banned in Russia and hostility toward LGBTQ citizens is official policy. Gays report being harassed by government officials as well as in everyday situations, and the media has no qualms about vilifying homosexuality.
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* AMERICAN AIRLINES ADDS MORE CHECKED BAGGAGE FEES ON INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS (One Mile at a Time). Once the norm, free checked bags on domestic flights are few and far between these days. Now at least one major airline is adding more fees for your first checked bag on some international flights as well. American Airlines now charges $25 to check one bag on flights to Mexico and the Caribbean, as well as to Central America and South America during certain times of the year—the times when most people want to go, of course. The airline's checked baggage policy also includes seasonal surges for a second checked bag on flights to many of those destinations.
 
You wouldn't think American was hard up for cash, seeing as how the company recently announced a second-quarter profit of $1.5 billion—helped along, no doubt, by this year's low gas prices. Guess they're not sharing their bounty with their customers. 

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But hey, maybe you don't need to check a bag. In that case . . . 

* A CARRY-ON BAG YOU CAN RIDE AROUND THE AIRPORT (CNN). A contraption called Modobag lets you hitch a ride on your carry-on suitcase. Equipped with an electric motor, it can carry passengers at speeds of up to 8 miles per hour. It has a range of about 8 miles, it's small enough to take on planes, and its memory foam seat can accommodate a rider weighing up to 260 pounds.   
 
Modobag is available for $1,000 via an Indiegogo campaign that has already reached its funding goal of $50,000. Bags will start being shipped out to customers in January 2017.
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Our Travel Briefing appears each weekday morning, Monday to Friday. For more updates, as well as travel tips, vacation photos, and trip ideas, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
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