Travel News: Airlines Ban Christmas Crackers, Party Poppers And Chestnuts From Flights

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Airlines Ban Christmas Crackers, Party Poppers And Chestnuts From Flights

The Independent Online reports the above-mentioned items are flammable and should not be brought on airplanes. Strict rules imposed by airports and airlines mean passengers aren’t always allowed to travel with these seasonal essentials, either in their hand luggage or checked bags. As a result of heightened security measures, the likes of Ryanair, Etihad, Emirates and Norwegian Airlines all have crackers on the no-fly list. Even those using airlines which do allow them can usually only take them on board if they are sealed and in their original packaging. Packing crackers in particular is a bit of minefield, with airlines and airports having their own, sometimes conflicting restrictions. A spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration said: “crackers are flammable and should not be brought on airplanes.” Those airlines banning the carriage of Christmas crackers on their flights: Air France, Air India, Air New Zealand, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Delta, Emirates, Etihad, Icelandair, KLM, Norwegian Airlines, RyanAir, SAS Scandinavian, Singapore Airlines, South African Airlines, United Airlines, WestJet, Wow.

Windstar Introduces Signature Expeditions

CruiseIndustryNews reports Windstar Cruises has introduced its Signature Expedition program for Alaska. This includes onboard experts, naturalists, geologists, historians and more, who sails the entire cruise, providing insight, understanding, and commentary on Alaska. A number of Signature Expedition tours are also offered, including kayak tours, starting at $170 per guest, zodiac tours, from $40 per guest, and guided hikes, from $150 per guest. he tours promise to give guests a close-up view of Alaska’s icebergs and calving glaciers, flora and fauna. Windstar will sail the Legend from 11 to 14 days from Vancouver and Seward during the 2018 season.

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Southwest Has Big Plans For Hawaii

Airline services to and within the Hawaiian Islands are set for major upheaval as Southwest, which starts services next year, signals that it is looking at more than mainland US flights to the holiday islands. Add to the mix the final withdrawal of ultra-low fare Allegiant which stopped its last Boeing 757 flights in October, and the demise of Island Air. Southwest will use 737 MAX 8s on routes to Hawaii and tickets will go on sale early next year, although no dates have been set yet on when flights might begin, or on what specific routes. The 737-MAX8 has a nonstop range of 3,515 nautical mile / 6,510-kilometer range, which puts cities in the western US as far away as Denver within range of the islands. Before flights can begin, the FAA has to give the go-ahead for Southwest’s LEAP 1B-powered aircraft to ply the long overwater ETOPs (extended operations) routes. On the inter-island services, no final decisions have been made according to CEO Kelly. “Inter-island service has been down our priority list, but we will have serious consideration of that.” Southwest will have plenty of competition from existing carriers. The Big Three legacy carriers, United, America, and Delta, all have well-established service to Hawaii from their hub cities.

Travelers Becoming Increasingly Frustrated With TSA PreCheck As Lines Grow Longer

Longer TSA PreCheck lines at airport security checkpoints are leaving paying members of the program increasingly frustrated as often times the processing for the Trusted Travelers is anything but efficient. The TSA has gotten plenty of bad press in recent months as the agency tries to cope with passenger numbers and balance security with efficiency, barely achieving any of the two. TSA PreCheck is a vetting mechanism that allows enrolled individuals to be designated Trusted Travelers if they pass a background check, brief interview and last but not least pay an $85 fee for the enrollment which is then valid for five years. The advertisement that TSA runs, the PreCheck program, features certain key benefits: Especially the promised wait time as part of expedient processing (the advert promises to wait 5 minutes or less) is a huge pro argument for many to go through the effort and pay the relatively low fee of $17 per year, $85 for all 5 years of the membership. PreCheck lines have been growing and growing with TSA also selecting random travelers for the expedited service who then don’t know how the process actually works. Paying, vetted members are getting frustrated as the key benefit is shrinking. Increasingly, travelers, who paid for their membership and submitted to a background check, are finding that the fast lanes are actually slower than the non-PreCheck lines. And they’re wondering why they even bothered. Virtually all passengers wait less than 30 minutes in standard checkpoint lines, and 99.6% of TSA PreCheck members waited less than 10 minutes in line, according to the agency. In other words, the fast lane is almost always faster and you want to be in that PreCheck line. There are no shoes to remove, no laptops to take out of the bag and best of all, no scanner to radiate your body. It’s just like getting screened, pre-9/11. But some travelers would gladly give up those conveniences if they could get through the line faster. Hence their frustration. 

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Iceland Drafts Emergency Evacuation Plans As Volcano Rumbles After Centuries Of Inactivity

A long-dormant volcano has begun to show signs of activity in Iceland, with authorities fine-tuning evacuation plans in the event it becomes one of the largest eruptions in the country’s history. Öræfajökull, a volcano that last erupted in 1728, is being closely monitored by the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) and Civil Protection Agency, with satellite images showing a kilometer-wide depression in the surface of the ice in the volcano’s mouth. This phenomenon is known as an “ice cauldron.”The IMO reported that geothermal water released from the mouth of the volcano, or ‘caldera,’ has now mixed with meltwater from the glacier, resulting in a smell of sulfur being detected along the nearby Kvia river. There is not yet any sign of a flood risk.

Xi Wants China To Spruce Up Toilets To Boost Tourism, Quality Of Life

Reuters reports China must keep up efforts to “revolutionize” its toilets until the task is completed, state media quoted Chinese President Xi Jinping as saying on Monday, amid efforts to boost the domestic tourist industry and improve the quality of life. Xi launched the “toilet revolution” in 2015 as part of a drive to improve standards of domestic tourism in China, which he said suffers from deep-seated problems of a lack of civility. “The toilet issue is no small thing, it’s an important aspect of building civilized cities and countryside,” Xi said, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

Airlines On Track To Nickel And Dime Travelers For Record $82B In Extra Fees In 2017

Forbes reports if you purchased an airline meal or drink, shopped using an airline miles reward credit card or paid to check a carry-on bag, you are responsible in part for helping the world’s airlines have their most lucrative year selling everything except tickets to fly. Ancillary revenue, the money airlines make with each nickel and dime charged for a passenger’s comfort or convenience, will top $82 billion by the end of the year, according to a study of global carriers by IdeaWorks and CarTrawler. Eight years ago, not coincidentally, shortly after airlines began charging for checked bags, Jay Sorensen, president of IdeaWorks, began tracking airline profits from non-ticket sales based on self-reporting from 66 carriers and by extrapolating similar data from a larger number. The $82 billion estimate for 2017 is a 264% increase from the 2010 figure of $22.6 billion. The report says about $20.13 per passenger, up from just $8.42 in 2010. Based on figures from the International Air Transport Association showing global airlines will spend $129 billion on fuel this year, the report predicts the simple act of buying things with an airline credit card or booking hotels or Lyft cars through an airline website might soon result in ancillary revenue being sufficient to pay the industry’s fuel bill.

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