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Airline fees continue to rise, UK explores gender-free passports following Australia's decision, US President Obama's new deficit plan could cost air passengers, and more. Here are the stories that travellers are buzzing about:

UK considers gender-free passports
The UK’s decision to explore the possibility of gender-free passports comes less than a week after Australia announced it would allow passport holders to choose between three gender classifications. Similar to the Australian system, UK passport holders could have the choice of marking male, female or "X" for their gender. The UK’s discussion of gender-free passports — meant to help eliminate discrimination against transgender people and people of ambiguous sex — is still at an early stage, the Guardian reports.

Air passengers could help pay American deficit
US President Barack Obama released his new deficit-cutting plan Monday, and air travellers could share the burden of paying more than $130 billion in government revenues raised through new or increased fees, the Associated Press reports. Federal security fees would double from $5 to $10 for a nonstop round-trip flight, and eventually reach $15 by 2017, raising $25 billion in the next 10 years. Corporate jet owners would also have to pay a $100 fee for each flight, raising about $1 billion a year to help finance air traffic control.

Airline fees reaching new heights

As part of a survey focused on fees for services and products offered by 13 US airlines, USA Today reported that the most expensive single fee airlines charge – the overweight bag fee -- has now reached more than $400. Continental and United charge up to $400, and American Airlines charges up to $450 to check a bag weighing between 70 and 100 pounds. Fees to check lightweight bags have also risen drastically since they were first introduced four years ago. Spirit Airlines — which is the only airline to charge for carry-on bags — has the highest fee for the first checked bag, at up to $43. During the first three months this year, US airlines collected a record $1.38 billion from fees for checked baggage and reservation changes, the Transportation Department's Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported last week.

Quotable
"The Jews were a part of the Polish landscape, now they are gone. We want to fill in this vacuum. ...This (museum) is about people who were here, who created their works here, who contributed to the progress of the civilization." 

- Marian Turski, head of the Jewish Historical Institute, which is cooperating on the Museum of the History of Polish Jews. The museum is slated to open in Warsaw, Poland on 19 April, 2013, the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising. About 500,000 visitors are expected to visit the museum each year, the Associated Press reports. 

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