AIRLINES

United, US Airways raise change fees to $200

Changing an airline ticket is getting more expensive for US Airways and United Airlines passengers.

Last week, United quietly boosted the fee to change a nonrefundable domestic ticket in advance to $200, from $150. A spokesman for United Continental Holdings says the fee helps cover the cost to the airline when a traveler gives up a reserved seat.

On Wednesday, US Airways did the same thing. The website for US Airways Group also shows that the airline now charges up to $300 to change some international tickets.

Both airlines also make travelers pay the higher fare if they switch to a more expensive flight.

Fees for changing tickets and for baggage have become a major source of revenue for the biggest U.S. airlines. As of late Wednesday, the nation's two other large legacy carriers, American and Delta, had not raised their change fees from $150, according to USA Today. Southwest, the largest domestic airline, doesn't charge for ticket changes.

-- Associated Press

HOTELS

Room rates in Hawaii set new records

Hawaii's hotel industry set records for room rates in February as more tourists traveled to the islands from around the world, according to a monthly study issued by a private consulting company.

The average rate hotels charged for their rooms surged 13 percent to $233.30 in February, according to the study by Smith Travel Research and Hospitality Advisors. That's the highest average daily rate ever recorded for the month of February.

Average daily room rates on Oahu hit an all-time high of $209.18.

Hawaii is benefiting from the return of more Japanese visitors and growing numbers of travelers from South Korea and China, the study said. More Australians are also coming to Hawaii to take advantage of their nation's strong currency.

-- Associated Press

UNITED STATES

June Mountain resort to reopen for skiing

June Mountain, a modest ski and snowboard destination that Mammoth Mountain management closed to save money last winter, is to reopen in 2013-14, officials said.

"We look forward to bringing skiers and snowboarders a great on-mountain experience while also planning for June's future, including the possibility of a new lift and enhanced snowmaking," June Mountain general manager Carl Williams said in a release.

The news comes as a relief to business owners in June Lake. The tiny town, just north of Mammoth Lakes, lies about 7,600 feet above sea level. It includes 17 lodgings, eight restaurants, four nearby lakes and lakeside views of Carson Peak.

-- Los Angeles Times

'Civil War to Civil Rights' bus tours in Topeka

The National Park Service is offering free bus tours of Topeka sites tied to the Bleeding Kansas era and the civil rights movement.

The new 90-minute tour, from the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site, tells a racial story that began in 1854, when Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which allowed settlers to decide for themselves whether to permit slavery. Fighting ensued as people for and against slavery rushed to the Kansas Territory. A century later, Topeka was involved in a U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned segregated education.

-- Associated Press

THEME PARKS

PETA buys shares of SeaWorld stock

PETA has purchased newly issued shares of SeaWorld Entertainment, the theme park company often targeted for protests by the animal rights group.

David Perle, spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said his group became shareholders -- which allows them to attend shareholder meetings and introduce resolutions -- by buying 80 shares for more than $2,200 in the recent initial public offering of SeaWorld stock.

The animal rights group says it wants SeaWorld to stop breeding and buying new animals at its parks in Florida, California and Texas. It also wants SeaWorld to release its whales and dolphins.

SeaWorld spokesman Fred Jacobs says the company anticipated PETA's purchase. He says SeaWorld will try to do for PETA what it does for any other shareholder: create investor value.

-- Associated Press