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Here’s this week’s roundup of top news highlights:
At least three top hotel companies are bidding to acquire Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Among those starting negotiations are Hyatt, Jin Jiang Intl Hotels and HNA Group.
Holland America Line cruises has partnered with BBC Earth to boost their “edutainment” offerings, for example a concert based on Frozen Planet. This is similar to last year’s Princess Cruises partnership with Discovery Channel. The program will include enrichment activities, game shows, fun workshops, and animal and dinosaur themes.
Anteroom becomes the first dedicated LGBT cruise line, beginning in 2017. Anteroom will sail its 400-passenger ship around the Mediterranean in coordination with Europe’s Pride festivals.
The Department of Transportation announced a ban on electronic cigarettes in checked luggage, citing 26 incidents where e-cigs were responsible for explosions or fires. Taking them in carry-on bags is still permitted but recharging is not.
Jimmy Fallon gets his own ride at Universal Orlando Resort, opening in 2017. The ride is dubbed “Race through New York starring Jimmy Fallon.”
Xiamen Airlines To Launch North American Flights, from Xiamen to Vancouver starting July 2016.
Airlines Increase Efforts To Tackle Cyber Security Risks. This follows a report from a security researcher that was able to hack into flight controls via his undersea entertainment unit.
Norwegian Escape To Get Separate Smoking Area in Casino, and the new area will be retrofitted with full ventilation.
EU Mobile Data Roaming Charges To Be Banned, starting June 2017. Mobile phone users within the EU will be charged the same as they would in their home country.
Last Monday, a massive dog was given a first class seat on an American Airlines flight.
Emirates plans to codeshare with Alaska Airlines, pending US government approval. Emirates flies twice daily from Seattle to Dubai.
British Airways launches daily direct flights from London Gatwick to New York on May 1, 2016.
London’s Big Ben is in such poor condition it could grind to a halt pending restoration. The mechanism could be shut down for four months for repair.
Work has started on Barcelona’s La Sagrada Familia Basilica, designed by Gaudi. It is still 70% complete, and is currently planned to be completed in 2026 for the 100th anniversary of Gaudi’s death.
Aer Lingus will add three transatlantic routes in 2016. Year-round service will run between LA and Dublin, Newark and Dublin, and Hartford and Dublin.
2015’s Best Airports to Sleep In
1. Singapore’s Changi International: fish spa, sauna, butterfly garden, showers, koi pond.
2. South Korea’s Incheon Intl.
3. Japan’s Haneda Intl.
4. China’s Taiyuan Intl.
5. Hong Kong Intl.
6. Munich Intl.
7. Helsinki Intl.
8. Canada’s Vancouver Intl.
9. Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur Intl.
10. Zurich’s Kloton Intl Airport.